A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota

What to Expect in Your Initial Consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney

You just found out you have been charged with a crime. You know you need a criminal defense attorney, but you don't know what to expect. This has never happened before. Who do you talk to? How does it work? What do you need to do?

In this blog post, I will explain the initial consultation process. I'll tell you what to expect, what to bring with you, and how to prepare for consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

Step 1: Schedule an Initial Consultation

The first big step to getting a criminal defense attorney to help you is simply picking up the phone or sending an email. By reaching out for help, you have already done more for your criminal defense than many other defendants. When you call Just Criminal Law, we will schedule a time that works for you to sit down and work through everything with you. We don't want you to have to worry. Most of the time, we are able to schedule an initial consultation with a few days of that first phone call.

When you schedule the consultation, make sure you tell the staff whether you want to come to our office in Gillette, Wyoming, or meet with someone over the phone. Leave yourself plenty of time, so you know we will have a chance to answer all of your questions.

Step 2: Gather Your Papers

Depending on how your case got started, you may or may not have received papers from the police or court about your case. This could be a ticket, a notice to appear at court, or a signed bail receipt. You may also have other documents that are connected to your case. For example, if you have been charged with a theft you could have a receipt for the item the police claim you stole. Or if you are charged with stalking, there may have been a civil protection order entered before the case began. No matter what the papers are, bring them with you to your initial consultation.

It is especially important that you bring any paper with a court date on it. Your criminal defense attorney is relying on you to know when the first court hearing is. Until we are hired, we can't easily get this information from the court, so it is best if you bring it with you to the initial consultation.

Step 3: Write Down Your Side of the Story

A great way to prepare for your initial consultation is to write down your side of the story. By taking the time to put everything in order, you will have a clearer memory of the events leading up to and immediately following the incident. As you write, you may find yourself remembering details you would have forgotten otherwise.

Having a written version of your story also helps your criminal defense attorney prepare your strongest legal defense. While we do our best to record all the important details, sometimes details can slip by or get lost in translation. By writing it out for us, you give us one more way to verify the facts and develop your strongest defense to the criminal charges against you.

Step 4: The Initial Consultation

A meeting with a lawyer may be intimidating, but we will do whatever we can to put you at ease. If you are coming into the Gillette, Wyoming office, our staff will make you comfortable and allow you to set the pace of the meeting. We will listen carefully to everything you have to tell us about your case, and answer all of your questions about the criminal process. We will help you understand what kind of criminal consequences you are facing, and what your options may be.

During or soon after your initial consultation, criminal defense attorney Christina L. Williams will carefully review your case. If you decide to hire our firm for your legal defense, she will provide you with an objective assessment of your case and help you decide how to proceed with your case.

Step 5: Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

At the end of the initial consultation, you will be asked if you would like to retain Just Criminal Law. It is okay if you say no. You need to be comfortable with your choice of criminal defense attorney. If you need time to think about your choices, or gather funds, we completely understand.

At Just Criminal Law, we always charge a flat fee for our services. While there may be additional expenses like expert witness charges or discovery fees that come up along the way, you will walk out the door knowing exactly how much your legal representation will cost. We accept credit cards, and can work with you to get your attorney fees paid.

Ready to take that first step? Our highly trained criminal defense team is ready to take your case. Call 307-686-6556 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and take Step 1 to a stronger criminal defense.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

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