Most criminal and civil cases are settled through a plea agreement; but, in some situations, you may have no choice but to go to trial. Courtroom proceedings are always stressful, especially if your future is at stake. Knowing what to expect beforehand can provide some peace of mind and help you make better decisions. To get prepared, below are a few questions to ask your defense attorney in advance.
Pre-Trial Questions for Your Defense Attorney
1. Have You Argued a Case Before This Judge?
Procedures may differ slightly from one county to another, and each judge has their own preferences for running their courtroom. Ideally, your defense attorney should not only have experience with similar cases, but also familiarity with the judge trying your case.
2. Have You Tried Similar Cases in the Past?
Before the trial begins, make sure your defense attorney has specific experience handling similar situations to yours. Ask what outcomes they were able to achieve.
3. What’s Your Strategy?
Knowing your lawyer’s legal strategy and why they decided on that approach can help you mentally prepare for the trial. Even if you don’t fully understand the arguments, your attorney should be able to clearly articulate their purpose.
4. Will We Need Expert Witnesses?
Some legal arguments require the testimony of expert witnesses. If your lawyer plans to call them to the stand, ask why they’re necessary and what they intend to prove.
5. Should I Testify?
In criminal cases, only the defense can call a defendant to the stand, but whether or not testifying may be in your best interests depends on a number of factors specific to your case.
6. What Evidence Will You Be Submitting?
Knowing what evidence your lawyer plans to submit can help you avoid surprises and develop a more thorough understanding of their legal strategy.
7. What Are the Most Likely Outcomes?
No reputable defense attorney will promise an acquittal, but they should be able to predict the most likely outcomes.
8. Is a Plea Agreement Possible?
Prosecutors become less likely to agree to a plea bargain once a trial begins. A good defense attorney will thoroughly explore all options before the trial date.
9. Is There Anything I Need to Do?
Should you begin alcohol addiction counseling, attend therapy, or start collecting documents? Your defense attorney will be able to tell you which actions could have a positive impact on your case.
10. How Much Will This Cost?
Defense attorneys generally work on an hourly basis, which makes giving an exact quote difficult. However, they should be able to explain their fee structure and estimate how many billable hours similar cases required.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you can rely on James F. Bogen, Attorney at Law, to provide the spirited defense you deserve. This legal professional has over 10 years of experience fighting for the rights of Cincinnati, OH, residents facing a variety of criminal charges. To schedule your consultation with an accomplished defense attorney, visit his website or call (513) 503-7251, and follow him on Twitter for more legal tips and updates.