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Law & Schriener, LLC Aug. 10, 2023

How Often Should I Expect To Meet With My Attorney After An Arrest?

How often you will meet with your attorney will depend on you, your attorney and the jurisdiction in which you were charged. The first meeting that I have with my clients typically lasts for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours because there is a lot of material to go through. If it’s available, I always want to get a copy of the police report to my client, along with any other discovery (lab reports, photographs, recorded statements, etc.). We have a right to all of it, and I always make copies and give them to my clients. Since the client was there during the incident, they are a valuable resource in reviewing the discovery. For example, they may be able to identify false or inaccurate information in the police report and bring it to my attention.

I tend to meet with my clients more often at the beginning of the case, but not every week. I might see a client a couple of times in the first month, but I also go by what the client wants. If there is a ton of discovery for us to review, then we might meet more often. If the client is in jail, then we might not be able to meet as often, but that would depend on where the jail is located. If the client is really shaken up, we might meet or speak more often at first just so that I can try to help calm them down. So, it depends a lot on the specific case, but a client can meet with me as frequently as he or she needs to and my schedule permits.

Should I Voluntarily Start Pre-Trial Counseling? Will It Help My Case?

It depends on the kind of case, but you should talk with a lawyer before making that decision. There are many kinds of cases in which pre-trial counseling could be very helpful. If there is some sort of mental health issue for which you’d like to have a psychologist or other mental healthcare professional on board, you need to seek careful guidance from your attorney in order to make that happen. That’s because if you end up putting a report into evidence or hiring that medical professional as an expert to testify in court, then the confidentiality of the physician-patient relationship would be waived. So, I would suggest that you talk to a lawyer before making that decision.

How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty To Criminal Charges?

I never ask my clients whether or not they actually committed the crime of which they’re accused. That’s because it’s not really my job to assess guilt or innocence; it’s my job to assess the evidence. It’s my job to assess the charges and the evidence that the government has in order to help the client decide the course of action that is in his or her best interests. At the end of the day, it’s always the client’s decision, but that’s the way I approach cases.

In child pornography cases, it is not uncommon for the investigating law enforcement agency to go the person’s house and say, “We need to schedule a lie detector test really soon, because otherwise, you might lose your children. We might have to go to the Division of Family Services and say that we think these children need to be taken away.” Understandably, this gets people’s attention and motivates them to schedule the polygraph test as soon as possible. That’s not a good idea.

I have had to have really lengthy discussions with clients in order to help them understand that submitting to a lie detector test could actually hurt their case, and to help them understand that the government is not going to be able to just take their kids away. In fact, they very rarely do, absent any other sign of neglect or abuse. It’s just a bluff to get you to take the lie detector test, which is inadmissible in court anyway because they are hideously unreliable. The whole thing is just a nightmare. People who find themselves in these situations often feel horrible, but they are innocent until proven guilty. If it is a case where the evidence looks really overwhelming and I can’t find a way to get it suppressed, then the client can almost always plead as quickly as they want to, but I always want an opportunity to review the evidence first and to discuss it with my client.

Sometimes a prosecutor will say to the defense lawyer, “If he wants to just plead and get a suspended imposition of sentence, we’ll give him time served and we’ll get him out of here,” which sounds fabulous if the client is locked up and can’t get out on bond. But if the client is innocent, then it’s not so great because they are going to be pleading guilty to something that they didn’t do. That’s something that people really need to think hard about and talk about with their lawyer.

I try to help my clients make their decision by weighing how likely we are to win against the consequences of losing. If losing at trial, or at an evidentiary hearing of some sort, carries a low risk and we think that there is a good possibility of winning, then that may be a better decision than pleading guilty. But if the opposite is true, then we may want to consider taking the plea bargain. Ultimately, the best decision will depend on the facts of the case.

For more information on Meeting With An Attorney After Arrest, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.


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