Everyone just assumes that when you hire a lawyer, you can just wash your hands of the problems, and they will take care of everything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Representation is a partnership between an attorney and his client. The better the partnership, the stronger the likelihood of a successful outcome. Today we explore how to be a better client for your criminal defense attorney so that your Phoenix criminal defense attorney can do the best job possible.
Communication Is King
There is no question that the biggest gripe of both lawyers and clients is a lack of communication. Clients feel that they don't know what's going on in their case, and the lawyer feels that the client just doesn't care. Some very simple rules can remedy the problem on both sides.
Check your email regularly
Very few criminal defense lawyers communicate via snail mail. We all know that the quickest, most direct, and most efficient means of communication is via email. When your lawyer emails you a request for information or has a question, answer it quickly. Usually, when a lawyer emails a client a request for information, it means that they are at a point that they can go no further without the client's input or assistance. Your failure to check email regularly, and to respond quickly, means that progress on your case may be slowed or halted.
Be honest with your attorney
It's bad enough that criminal defense attorneys need to put up with half-truths and games from prosecutors and police. Because the information you share with your attorney is confidential under the attorney-client privilege, you should be 100% honest and candid with your lawyer.
Perhaps the most difficult thing a criminal defense lawyer has to deal with is a client who lies to them or just doesn't tell them the truth. It damages the relationship and forces the lawyer to scrutinize everything the client says in the future. Think about it, if your spouse or significant other lies to you, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to regain that trust. When your freedom is on the line, this is the last problem you want to have with your criminal defense attorney.
Don't be shy if you have questions or concerns
As I always tell my clients, the only dumb question is the one that you don't ask. If you have a question and don't ask it, your attorney won't know there's a problem. It may be something simple and easy to fix or clarify, but if they don't know about the problem, they can't help answer the question and put you at ease.
A simple email to your attorney will usually do the trick. Be concise and direct and you will get a similarly formed response that should answer your questions or concerns.
Larger more complicated issues can require a face to face meeting. Realize that you will almost always get a quicker response via email compared to an in-person meeting. Meetings can address frustrations in the attorney-client relationship and give both the attorney and client the opportunity hash things out and get things back on track.
Happy Clients Make a Happy Criminal Defense Lawyer
Over the past 21 years, I have represented people charged with drug trafficking offenses, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and other serious felony offenses. Our recent reviews tell us that we are doing something right and that, frankly, makes us happy. We strive to get great results for good people in bad situations.
No two cases are alike. We craft a customized strategy to get the absolute best results possible for our clients. If you or someone close to you is in need of a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, or for that matter, anywhere in Arizona, contact us at (602) 663-9100 to set up a private and confidential consultation.