People who have had more than one experience with the Massachusetts criminal justice system probably have certain expectations stemming from their prior cases. Some of these experiences were good, and others not so good. Yet second time around you know what you want in your lawyer and you make sure that you get it. However, for many if not most people getting charged with a crime is a once in a lifetime occurrence. Your liberty and perhaps your life is at stake so you want to make sure that your selection of a criminal defense lawyer is the right one. Whether the charge against you is a simply motor vehicle crime or a major felony like a rape you need to know what your lawyer should be doing for you. This post will hopefully help you with that decision and answer the question “what should I expect from my criminal defense lawyer?”.
You Should Know Everything About The Case Against You
For the most part anyone charged with a crime in Massachusetts state courts is entitled to everything that the prosecution has and has access to. This includes police reports, grand jury minutes, exhibits, statements of witnesses, names of witnesses and people interviewed and more. Virtually nothing cannot be accessed by the defense. If your lawyer has this material you too should have a copy. No lawyer can adequately defend someone without their help. You need to have a full and complete copy of your file. You need to review this material and you need to discuss what you have read with your lawyer. In other words you should know everything about the case against you. After all, how can you help with your defense if you don’t even know what people are saying about you?
You Need to be in Regular Contact With Your Lawyer
Silly as it might sound, you need to provide your lawyer with your current phone number and your current address. You would be amazed at the number of people who change their cell phone number or move from place to place and never let their lawyer know how to be in touch with them. You should also provide your lawyer with your email address. Then, no matter where you live or what number you have your lawyer will always have a way to get a hold of you. Keep in mind that criminal prosecutions are fluid. This means that investigations can continue up until and sometimes even during your trial. District attorneys have an obligation to keep the defense updated on discovery matters and new revelations in their investigations. This can happen at any time and your lawyer should provide you with this material immediately. So make it easy by keeping your lawyer current with your contact information. And moreover, don’t be afraid to call. You need to be involved in all discussions.
You Should Expect Honesty at all Times
Sometimes the case against a defendant is very strong for the prosecution. And while there are always defenses to crimes some defenses will not exonerate you. Some defenses simply minimize your exposure or lessen the sentence you will receive. Don’t expect your lawyer to sugarcoat situations that you know are difficult to overcome. Sometimes lawyers have to be brutally honest and deliver news that you would rather not hear. Discuss this at length with your lawyer and ask about your options. Be wary of people who tell you what you want to hear. Honesty will help you make to properly make difficult decisions.
Remember, whether you are paying for your lawyer or not you have certain rights as a client. Our job is to inform you about the charges against you, to provide you with options for your defense and to work with you to get the best result you can get. If you have been charged with a crime in Massachusetts call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman at 617-263-6800 or send us an email. We can help you.