Finding yourself in a situation where you need the services of a criminal defense attorney can be one of the most stressful and difficult periods of anyone's life. If you find yourself involved in a situation that could end in the deprivation of your freedom, it's vital that you take every possible step to satisfy the criminal justice system while simultaneously protecting your interests.
Below, you'll find a guide to some questions you should be sure to ask your criminal defense attorney. Having the answers to these questions can help guarantee the best possible outcome for you and your family, and can help put you on the path to righting wrongs and recovering from a difficult situation.
Ask About Treatment
In many cases, allegations of crime come as the result of mental illness or substance abuse. These can be difficult struggles to wage, and many people don't seek the treatment that they need until they find themselves in a difficult situation like a criminal case.
Luckily, the court is likely to take these factors into account when determining your sentence and may offer you the opportunity for rehabilitation. Be sure to ask your lawyer if you should seek treatment as the process plays out, as doing so may demonstrate your commitment to improving your life and could help mitigate your legal consequences.
Ask About Sentencing Alternatives
If you're convicted of a crime, that doesn't automatically mean that you'll be facing incarceration. Courts are increasingly reliant on diversion programs in order to keep prison populations under control, and you may be eligible for some of these alternative sentences.
In many cases, first time offenders who are involved in nonviolent crimes may be eligible for punishments such as home confinement or work release. While these programs do come with a degree of deprivation of liberty, they at least offer you the opportunity to stay engaged in the community and much closer to the people who will offer you support.
Ask About Strategy
Ultimately, your attorney's job is to mitigate risk and minimize consequences. To that end, he or she will develop a strategy that they believe is best for navigating any potential legal hurdles. You should be sure to ask them about that strategy, as it's important that you don't take any actions which could risk jeopardizing it. Having a complete understanding of their strategy will also help increase the trust between you and your attorney and can guarantee a positive working relationship.
For more information, contact a criminal defense attorney like those at the Kaiser Law Group.