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What should you say to your lawyer when facing charges?

What to Say to Your Criminal Defense Lawyer When Facing Charges

The Reason You’re Here

There’s one reason you’re on this website: you’re looking for an elite criminal defense law firm, because you or someone you care about is facing charges. Most law firms implement a cookie-cutter strategy to fight cases – saving their own time, without carefully examining each situation. At Spodek Law Group, we leave no stone unturned. Everything we do focuses on getting you results. We understand the difficulties of going through a criminal case. If you’re accused of a crime, schedule a consultation with our criminal attorneys today.

Being Fully Transparent Matters

Regardless of how tough your situation is – we are here to help you. Our criminal defense lawyers work tirelessly to find a solution, irrespective of the circumstances. Many clients feel embarrassed and don’t openly discuss their alleged issues. We encourage full transparency – so we can provide the best possible legal advice. The Spodek Law Group handles cases nationwide from our offices in NYC and Los Angeles. But, what should you actually say when speaking to your lawyer? Let’s explore that.

The Initial Consultation: Be Fully Honest

During your first meeting with a prospective criminal defense attorney, be upfront about every detail – no matter how incriminating it may seem. Why? Because your discussions with a lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege. Your lawyer can’t reveal what you’ve said to anyone without your permission. So, be truthful from the start. Holding back facts that could hurt your case means your lawyer may develop an ineffective strategy. It’s their job to find holes in the prosecution’s arguments – but they can’t exploit weaknesses they don’t know about. Hypothetically, let’s say you’re accused of drug possession. The drugs were found in your friend’s car console. If you admit the drugs were yours, your lawyer could argue the prosecutor can’t prove you knowingly possessed them beyond a reasonable doubt. But if you lie and say they weren’t yours, your lawyer will likely pursue an alibi defense that’s bound to fail once the prosecution produces evidence tying you to the drugs.

Listening to Your Lawyer’s Advice

Once you’ve been fully honest, listen closely to your lawyer’s guidance – even if it’s not what you want to hear. They’re the legal expert aiming to minimize the consequences you face. For example, prosecutors may offer a favorable plea deal your lawyer advises accepting. You may want to gamble on a long-shot at trial instead. But your lawyer sees the evidence’s strength and wants to secure the best possible outcome. Following their advice is crucial.If you blatantly disregard your lawyer’s counsel by committing another crime while represented, they can withdraw from your case. Ultimately, your lawyer’s role is protecting your rights and serving your interests – not enabling you to dig yourself into a deeper hole.

Staying Quiet Except With Your Lawyer

Once charges are filed, don’t discuss your case with anyone except your lawyer – not even close friends or family. Why? Because any statements you make could potentially be used against you. Hypothetically, you’re accused of assault, but claim self-defense. You confide in your spouse, explaining how you felt threatened and had to fight back. If your spouse is called as a witness, the prosecution could use your admission against you to undermine your self-defense claim. Social media posts are also a minefield. Prosecutors will scour your online presence for anything that contradicts your version of events. One ill-advised post could sabotage your entire defense.The only safe policy is keeping quiet and letting your lawyer handle all communication about your case. Don’t risk making statements that could jeopardize your freedom.

Providing Requested Information Promptly

Your lawyer will need information and evidence to build the strongest possible defense. Provide any requested documents, contact information for potential witnesses, or other relevant details as soon as possible.Witness memories fade over time, and physical evidence can disappear. Delaying getting your lawyer this information makes mounting an effective defense exponentially harder. If you’re unable to furnish certain requested items, explain why to your lawyer immediately.

Showing Up for All Court Appearances

While your lawyer handles most of the heavy lifting, you still need to show up on time for all scheduled court appearances and meetings. Failing to appear could result in a bench warrant for your arrest or have other negative repercussions.If an unavoidable conflict arises, inform your lawyer immediately. They can request a continuance and explain the situation to the court. But making your court dates should always be a top priority.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Following Your Lawyer’s Instructions

In addition to showing up, closely follow any other instructions from your lawyer, such as:

  • Avoiding potential witnesses in your case
  • Staying off social media
  • Not discussing your charges with anyone other than your lawyer
  • Maintaining or seeking employment
  • Avoiding travel without permission

Your lawyer’s guidance is aimed at putting you in the best position for a positive outcome. Ignoring their recommendations could actively undermine your defense.

Asking Questions When Confused

If you’re ever unsure about anything related to your case, just ask your lawyer to explain. The legal process is confusing for those without training. Your lawyer should break everything down in easy-to-understand terms.Don’t passively go along with something you don’t fully comprehend. Speak up! The more you understand, the better you can assist in your own defense.

Hypothetical Scenarios

Let’s walk through a hypothetical scenario to illustrate these principles. Let’s say you’re accused of felony theft over $10,000 from your workplace. Here’s how the process could unfold:During your initial consultation, you admit to your lawyer that you did take around $12,000 from petty cash over several months to fuel a gambling addiction. Your lawyer explains this is grand larceny, which carries potential jail time. But they believe arguing for a rehabilitation-based sentence may be possible due to your addiction issue.Your lawyer advises entering a not guilty plea for now while they investigate further. They warn you not to take any more money or discuss the allegations with co-workers, who could be potential witnesses. Over the coming weeks, you promptly provide any requested information to your lawyer, including records of your gambling activities and rehab efforts. You make all court dates, avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Ultimately, your lawyer is able to negotiate a plea deal involving probation, restitution, and mandatory gambling addiction treatment – a much better outcome than potential incarceration. You take the deal based on your lawyer’s strong recommendation. Throughout this process, you remained fully transparent, followed instructions, and let your lawyer do their job advocating for you. While the consequences were still serious, your lawyer was able to mitigate them significantly.

When the Unthinkable Happens

But, what if the charges against you involve something more severe – something utterly unthinkable? How can you have an open dialogue with your lawyer in that scenario?It’s natural to feel ashamed, angry, or in denial about such allegations. But remember, your lawyer is there to defend you, not judge you. They’ve likely handled many difficult cases before.Approach the situation with the same full honesty. Lay everything on the table, no matter how ugly the truth may seem. Your lawyer needs to know all the facts, even the most disturbing ones, to mount the best possible defense. For example, let’s hypothetically say you’re accused of sexually abusing a minor. The charges alone are sickening and sure to provoke feelings of revulsion. But your lawyer needs an honest account from you to proceed appropriately. If the allegations are truly false, be upfront in declaring your innocence and provide any potential alibi information. If the charges are accurate, own up to your actions so your lawyer can pursue a strategy aimed at minimizing consequences – perhaps arguing for psychiatric treatment in a facility instead of prison time.Regardless of the situation’s depravity, your lawyer is a professional bound by confidentiality and committed to defending your rights. They can’t help if you don’t level with them.

When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

For those unable to pay for a private criminal defense attorney, public defenders are available to ensure your constitutional right to legal counsel is upheld. But should you be as open with a public defender as a private lawyer?The answer is still yes, you should be fully honest. While public defenders have higher caseloads, they are still subject to attorney-client privilege rules. What you tell them remains confidential. Additionally, being truthful allows the public defender to develop the strongest possible defense strategy for your case. Holding back details because you don’t fully trust them, or because you think your case is a “lost cause,” can only undermine your chances. Public defenders want to win cases just like private attorneys. If you’re up-front about your situation, they’ll go to bat for you and fight to minimize the consequences you face. Dishonesty serves no purpose.

The Keys to a Successful Attorney-Client Relationship

In summary, the keys to a successful attorney-client relationship when facing criminal charges are:

Full transparency and honesty from the very start. 

Your lawyer needs to know everything to construct an effective defense strategy. Holding back facts or lying can only hurt your case.

Following your lawyer’s advice and instructions to the letter. 

Your lawyer is a trained legal professional trying to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Ignoring their guidance can severely jeopardize your defense.

Providing requested information and evidence promptly. 

Delaying getting your lawyer materials they need makes their job exponentially harder.

Showing up on time for all court dates and meetings. 

Failing to appear can have severe negative repercussions.

Asking questions when you’re confused about any aspect of your case. 

The legal process is complex, so seek clarification whenever needed.

Maintaining open communication with your lawyer. Don’t go dark on your lawyer or stop returning calls and emails. They need to stay updated.If you maintain this level of communication and follow all instructions, you’re giving your lawyer the best chance to defend you effectively. The attorney-client relationship is a team effort requiring full participation from both parties. So, take a deep breath. As terrifying as facing charges is, your lawyer is your advocate – but only if you bring them into full confidence and heed their counsel. With commitment on both sides, you’ll stand a fighting chance at the best possible resolution.

Call Spodek Law Group today at 212-210-1851 or schedule a free consultation online to find our more information.

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