5 Steps to Prepare for a Criminal Case
Having to prepare for a criminal case can be an intimidating process. This is especially true if you do not have prior experience with the court system, or are facing serious charges. Rather than struggle to navigate the proceedings on your own, this blog post highlights the correct protocol to follow when preparing for a criminal case.
1. Hire a Lawyer
Regardless if you are the defendant or claimant in the case, you should always consider hiring a lawyer. That’s because a credible criminal lawyer will be able to help you navigate the complicate court proceedings. A lawyer will also be able to ensure all of the correct paperwork is gathered and presented to the courts.
When parties fail to present certain documents to the courts, or miss their submission deadlines, it can result in a negative outcome. Hiring a lawyer to represent you means you won’t have to navigate the system on your own. The lawyer will have prior experience with similar cases and be able to gather, prepare and effective present the case on your behalf.
2. Gather Evidence
When preparing for a criminal case, it Is vital to gather any necessary evidence that validates your claims. When gathering evidence, be sure to collect any documents, records, photos or videos. It is best to ensure you only present original copies to the court to avoid disputes.
Although gathering evidence for your case can be a tedious and time-consuming process, it is necessary to ensure a favorable outcome. If you are unsure what documents you will need to present to a court you should try speaking to a criminal lawyer who can assess your case and advise of the proof you will need.
3. Request Witness Statements
If the crime was committed in front of a witness, it is important that you request a statement from them. Requesting witness statements can be in the form of a written or verbal testimonial to validate the circumstances. Despite their importance, many witnesses are reluctant to come forward during a criminal case.
In these instances, it is best to have a lawyer represent you to summon the witness to the court room to testify. That way, you can ensure a fair outcome is reached during trial.
4. Avoid Mediation
Oftentimes, criminal cases are settled out of court through a mediation process. Prior to agreeing to an offer, it is important to take your time to carefully ready through the contract and consider the situations. As well, it may be best to have it reviewed by a lawyer who can better advise.
This is especially true if you are the victim of a crime, and are receiving retribution for it. In these cases, the defendant may be offering you less than what you deserve. Rather than accepting the immediate offer, you should be sure to take your time to carefully asses the circumstances and determine if it is right for you.
5. Do Not Speak to Others
Immediately following a crime, it is important that you do not speak to others about it. That’s because, what you tell others regarding the situation can be used against you in court. This information can then be used by the other party and presented to the courts. If this occurs, it could have a detrimental impact to the outcome of your case. It is best to avoid posting about the case, or uploading any information of it online. That’s because, this information can easily be accessed and used to contradict your original statements.