If you have been charged with a crime and are feeling anxious because you have never been in trouble with the law before, continue reading. Anxiety in these types of cases usually arises from a feeling of powerlessness. And to some degree, a lot of this process is indeed out of your hands, and in the hands of your attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge. However, here are the top four things you can do to be proactive and increase the likelihood of having a great outcome.
- Memorialize the incident. Write down everything you remember about the incident that got you in trouble. Cases can take several months or longer to resolve. If the case goes to trial, it could be a year or longer. Get your recollection down on paper now, so that you and your attorney can reference it later, should the need arise. Don’t worry about whether the information is legally relevant to the case or not; your attorney will make that determination.
- Create a game plan. Your attorney will evaluate your case and create a custom game plan based on the factors in your case. This plan may include making an appointment for an alcohol and drug evaluation. If you are charged with an alcohol-related offense, obtaining an alcohol drug evaluation and following up with any recommended classes or treatment is a great idea. If you are charged with a driving offense, like reckless driving, taking a defensive driving course can be helpful. Doing this immediately after your arrest, or soon thereafter, will show the court you are being proactive and taking your case seriously.
- Character evaluation. Do you regularly engage in volunteer work? Are you currently in school to further your life goals? Have you won the Nobel Peace Prize? Who you are as a person does matter. At the start of every case, I usually spend about an hour or so getting to know each of my clients. I find that it helps me represent them better, and it also helps me educate the court on why a client’s case is unique and why the client deserves a second chance.
- Stay out of trouble. This one sounds obvious, but it needs to be said. One of the worst things you can do when a criminal case is pending is to pick up a new charge. Even worse is if the new charge is similar in nature to the pending charge.
Moreover, more likely than not, the judge will have ordered that you not pick up any new criminal law violations while the case is pending. Violating a judge’s order is never a good thing. So be vigilant and careful, and lay low until your case is resolved.
Call (425) 747-0582 for a free consultation with lawyer Sarah Cho. Her criminal defense experience has helped many clients successfully defeat their charges. From her office located in Bellevue, Washington, Ms. Cho represents clients throughout the Seattle area.
The sooner you call, the faster we can help!