Do This to Raise Your Chances of Winning Your Criminal Case
Your criminal case is completely unique. It may have similarities to others, but when it comes to the details, no two are alike. Of course, it goes without saying that the defense of your case must be equally unique. Your attorney will need to present you and your situation in the best possible light.
The attorneys at Gregory & Waldo believe that any criminal defense attorney will do a better job of mounting a credible defense when the defendant is totally forthcoming. If you are that defendant, the truth must come from you.
Three Ways of Presenting Your Story
When you find yourself charged with a crime, you have three choices. You could deny the charges categorically. You could admit to guilt with an explanation. Otherwise, you could simply confess.
Let’s take a closer look at:
- Denial. This is a basic proclamation of innocence. “I could not have done this because I was at work, or I was sick in bed, or I was visiting Grandpa in Oshkosh.”
- Confession. “Yes, I did it. They’ve got me dead to rights.”
- Admission with explanation. “OK. I did break and enter, but I had the owner’s permission to go in and feed his cat. When the key didn’t work, I had to break the window so Mittens wouldn’t starve.”
After you’ve told your version of the story to your criminal defense attorney, you enter a period of collaboration during which you devise a strategy based on the story that you have told. This is where you need to supply as many proofs as you can.
For example, if you claim that you were not present when the crime occurred, you must be able to provide a stamped time sheet, a hospital bracelet or a store receipt acquired in a faraway town. If you admit that you own the getaway car but claim that someone had stolen it the morning before the crime, do you have any way of proving that? Regardless of whether you intend to deny the charges, come clean or admit guilt with an explanation, your attorney will explain your options for mounting a credible defense.
Helping Your Attorney Help You
Although there is only one tale to be told, your attorney wants to tell it in the way that puts you in the best light. The more information you can provide, the better. This will include:
- Police reports.
- The names and addresses of any witnesses.
- Any documentation or evidence that might be of use.
It also helps to give your attorney any information that may not have been documented, particularly if it concerns any conversations you may have had with law enforcement or others who could shed some light on the situation. Write down your own version of events from your point of view and present it to your attorney. Some of these things may seem unimportant to you at the time, but by providing every piece of information that you can, you allow your attorney to help you in the most effective way.
Be aware that during the pretrial discovery phase, your attorney might glean additional information from the prosecution that contradicts something you have already stated. If this should happen, be prepared to give a credible explanation. Again, your attorney cannot help you unless you come clean.
Above all, be honest. Remember that telling the truth could result in a lessening of the charges against you. For example, imagine that you have been accused of armed robbery, and while it may be true that you robbed the store, you actually did so without benefit of any type of weapon. This fact, if you can prove it, could result in a reduction of the charge from armed to simple robbery.
If Your Case Is Going to Trial
When you make an appearance in a court of law, credibility counts. The impression you give at this point could make or break your case, so once your attorney has devised a credible defense, it will help if you:
- Try to understand why your lawyer is taking your defense in a particular direction.
- Practice your testimony beforehand in line with the predetermined strategy.
- Be aware of the tack that the prosecution is likely to take, and be careful that no part of your story inadvertently substantiates his or her claims.
Remember that if you have been charged with a crime, a criminal defense attorney from Gregory & Waldo will have many possible strategies available for your defense. The one that works best for you will depend on the facts surrounding your case. Whether this entails making a complete denial, giving a credible explanation or even entering a guilty plea, we can explain your options and outline your possible defenses. Don’t go down without a fight. Call Gregory and Waldo for a free consultation today.