If you’ve never been involved in a criminal case before, you might not know there are essential pieces of information you should be aware of as soon as you are assigned a public defender or hire an attorney. This information can help you better prepare for the case ahead. Here are a few essential questions to ask your criminal defense attorney.
Have You Obtained and Reviewed All “Discovery”?
Discovery is how attorneys refer to relevant evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, audio and video tapes, photographs, and other material provided by the prosecutor. Your attorney should have made copies of all of it and reviewed it with you to ensure you understood the case thoroughly. You can point out holes where your defense attorney can fill the gaps with more information that can help your situation, such as potential witnesses the prosecutor never discovered.
What Can I Do?
Depending on your situation, there might be steps you could take that can dramatically lessen your sentence. Your attorney should tell you if there are any gestures or actions to take to improve the outcome of your case. For example, you might be able to enroll in classes, counseling, or a drug rehabilitation program to lessen your sentence.
How Much Will I Owe You?
Unless you have a public defender, you will need to pay your attorney’s fees after all is said and done. Some lawyers charge by the hour while others charge a flat rate for the entire process. If you’ve hired your own lawyer, make sure you know ahead of time how much you are likely to owe after the case is closed.
Are There Any Sentencing Alternatives?
Sometimes offenders are eligible for alternatives to prison, such as electronic home detention, the Sheriff’s Work Program, Work Furlough, or community service. Your lawyer should know whether you qualify for these alternatives. Likewise, some defendants can’t afford to pay high fines and would prefer to receive a longer jail sentence instead.
If you’re facing a criminal charge, give yourself the best chance of defending your rights and freedom. Talk to our skilled Reno criminal defense attorney about your case as soon as possible.
Contact us at (775) 502-1575 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.