Being charged with a crime is a serious matter that can quickly become overwhelming to the individual accused. But what happens after someone has been charged with a crime? This article discusses the criminal defense process and includes a checklist of things to bring to your first meeting with an attorney if you’ve been accused of a crime.
The general process a criminal case takes is as follows. However, there may be exceptions. An arrest is made, initial hearing/arraignment, discovery, plea bargaining, preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, trial, post-trial motions, sentencing, and appeal (if applicable). The first step an attorney will take, in any case, is a general case assessment. This assessment includes looking at the charging document, police reports, and other available documents related to the case. Charging documents are evaluated, including statutes or laws written that are relative to the case being assessed. Next, we will provide a checklist of items to bring to your first meeting with your criminal defense attorney.
✓ Arrest Record:
when arrested, police will make a record of it which will include information on the suspected crime, alleged victim, and date/time.
✓ Criminal Record (if applicable):
if you’ve ever been arrested or spent time in jail/prison, this is information that your attorney will want to have on hand. Your criminal record also includes any probation or parole. While it may seem irrelevant to the situation at hand, this information could be used against you in a trial, so it is always best to provide your attorney with as much information as possible. When in doubt, ask or offer it to be safe.
✓ Driving Record (DMV):
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense that has anything to do with your car or another person’s car, you may request a copy of your driving record from the DMV.
✓ Medical Records, including Mental Health:
in many criminal cases, your medical records may be relevant and help your case. This also includes any situations where you received treatment for your mental health. Your attorney may use your records as evidence to support your claim. Having your records available should they be requested is always a good idea.
✓ Supporting Documents:
any documents that could help support your case. The documents will vary depending on the crime you are being accused of. For example, if you are being charged with a crime that occurred when you were actually at work, having emails or documents showing you were elsewhere when the crime occurred helps you immensely. You can always consult with your attorney on what may or may not be helpful but coming prepared to your first meeting is a great first step.
✓ Witness Statements/Information (if applicable):
if there are witnesses or you have witness statements, provide a copy of their contact information or the statements to your attorney at your first meeting.
Contact Albers & Associates Today
In criminal defense law, attorneys know and apply statute law, case law, and the rules of criminal procedure, among many other factors, to ensure that a defendant’s rights are preserved under the law. We are confident that we can help you and your case. With offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Towson, Northern Virginia, Westminster, and Dundalk, we’re here to help you with any questions you may have. Contact us, or call our experts at Albers & Associates at (443) 543-8517 to learn how we can help.