Mr. Kimmell offers the information on this page as a public service, and not as legal advice. This information doesn't create an attorney-client relationship but is instead offered to as important information individuals can use in protecting themselves prior to such a relationship.
An excellent criminal defense attorney will do everything possible to develop excellent attorney-client relationships. Here are five important things you can do that may help your choice in an attorney and protection of your best interests until then.
- Do a complete job on the confidential DefenseMap.com website. Get a copy of your completed Defense Map to your attorney as soon as possible. (If you have an attorney, you can mail, email, or hand a copy of your Map to your attorney, and if that attorney has a professional account with DefenseMap.com, you can transmit a copy to that account by entering the attorney’s email address on the Conclusion Page of the website.) Read your Map, consider how its contents look to you, and log back on to add more.
- Make sure your attorney always has your current contact information. This includes your address, email address, phone numbers, and any plans to travel or relocate.
- Be completely open and honest with your attorney. This may be the only person on the planet you have a reliably confidential relationship with, and your attorney needs to know as much as possible about you and your case.
- Unless you and your attorney both agree, don’t speak with anyone else about your case, what happened, or what you or anyone else did. This includes police, family, and friends—everyone. There are obviously legal reasons for this (these conversations are almost always discoverable by the police and prosecution. You have no control over how someone incorrectly understands, interprets, or reports what you’ve said). And I’ve also found that clients actually protect their peace of mind by not burdening their personal relationships with talk like this. Again, keep your case discussions to ones with your attorney, and even use your attorney’s advice as the reason you can’t speak (“I’d like to talk about this, but Ms. Anderson says none of her clients should”). If it’s an investigator nor law enforcement you can add, “Please speak to my attorney; I have to do what she says.”
- Finally, we all have issues and challenges in our lives we can work on. While your life is under this microscope, consider if there are changes you’d like to work on. Counseling, stopping an addictive pattern, healthy changes in your relationships, and other steps may help you personally and legally. Your Defense Map may suggest some ideas about this. Develop a plan you can speak with your attorney about. As you think about moving ahead constructively in your life, why not do so while the system is evaluating you?
Whether or not we represent you, we wish you the very best.