Should I tell my lawyer the truth, even if I may be guilty?
Your lawyer is the person that stands between you and the prison or jail time and fines associated with the charges that you face. Clients should provide full and honest answers to all questions the lawyer determines relevant to developing and providing a full defense.
Will my case go to trial?
There are many considerations involved in the client’s decision of whether to take a case to trial. It is the attorney’s job to familiarize themselves with the case by reviewing the state’s evidence and conducting any necessary investigation in the client’s case. The attorney is also obligated to inform their client of all plea offers made by the state. It is the client who makes the ultimate decision of how their case will be resolved.
I received my letter with my court date and I cannot make it on that date. What should I do?
You should try to rearrange your schedule so that you can make it to court on the scheduled date. If that is not possible, you should immediately contact your lawyer to request a continuance.
What happens if I don’t show up to a scheduled hearing?
In most instances, a warrant for your arrest will be issued when you fail to show up for a scheduled hearing. The court can also issue a bond forfeiture which means that any bond that has been posted is lost, increase bond or set a bond in a case where there was originally no bond set.
Will I have to testify at trial?
It is the client’s decision whether to testify at trial. The attorney should provide the client with the pros and cons of testifying. If the client chooses to testify, the attorney should ensure that the client is adequately prepared.
Can a defendant’s family come to court?
Yes, all criminal trials are open to the public. There are very limited circumstances where portions of a trial may be closed to the public. However, it is never a good idea to bring children to court.
How should I dress for court?
You should plan on appearing in business casual (dress pants and a dress shirt) unless advised to wear a suit by your lawyer. If you are unsure about appropriate clothing for court, you should discuss this with your lawyer.
How can I review what services (hours + work product) were provided to me by my attorney?
If you want to review the invoice submitted by the attorney to Public Defender Services for the legal services provided to you, you need only to write to Public Defender Services and request a copy of the invoice. Public Defender Services will provide the copy without charge. You do not need to file a Freedom of Information Act request.