WHAT ARE THE THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR A CRIME?
Contrary to popular belief, if you ask a person on the street, they would think that most criminals re-offend, but that’s usually not the case. Many people who visit an attorney are first-time offenders. Most people learn their lesson when they get into trouble. However, the first reaction they have is, depending on what level of crime they are charged with, is to be scared. Depending on that, sometimes that first reaction never really subsides.
The most basic instinct that people have is self-preservation. Most of the time, the number one question they are going to have when they walk into the attorney’s office is what’s going to happen to me. That can be a really tough question to answer at the outset. From what evidence and details the client provides, they might already be in trouble. Attorneys want to look at the case objectively from the get go; at all the evidence. If any lawyer you talk to says this is exactly what’s going to happen, without looking at one single piece of evidence, or looking at any police report, he has already made up his mind of what’s going to happen to the case and that’s probably not the lawyer you want to hire.
The first step most lawyers do is calm the client down. Going back to the TV show reference, people think everything happens so quickly. People think that they are going to be arrested one day and the next day they are going to jail. That’s not the case. You need to calm people down and get them used to the idea that they are going to be dealing with this for a while and they can’t just sit at home worrying all the time.
A good analogy to use in these cases is ask them, “Have you ever paid somebody to mow your grass?” and most people will say yes. Then the attorney says, “After that, you didn’t go out and mow the grass again, did you?” Most people kind of laugh and say, “No, why would I do that?” Then the lawyer says to them, “You’ve just paid me to work on your case and you’ve just paid me to worry about your case, so don’t go home and rehash everything. Don’t go home and worry about it yourself, that’s my job”.
After they are initially scared, the biggest part is just calming them down and getting them used to the idea, “Well, this is a problem and yes, it stinks” and yes, they don’t want to be where they are at, “but it’s a problem you’re going to deal with and you’re going to make good decisions moving forward and let things shake out the way they do”.
If you’re in a lawyer’s office, you’ve already started making good decisions. If you just keep on that same track, listen to your lawyer and make sure that you trust what your lawyer is saying is accurate. Then you’re doing everything you can. You can’t undo things that have happened in the past so you don’t need to worry about them.
The last thing the attorney will tell people is to formulate a plan. Whether that plan is that they’re going to fight the case tooth and nail or whether that plan is that they need to mitigate the damages. The plan can involve getting some sort of counseling that can be shown to a judge that’s going to cast them in a good light and then stick to the plan.
If there is something else, an opportunity that comes along during the plan, whether that’s discovering evidence that they might be able to suppress, that’s going to alter the ultimate outcome of the case. It might just be a new type of treatment or a new program may come out or even a new alternative sentencing becomes available. They want to gear their case to fit into that type of outcome.