When we urge prospective clients to “lawyer up” as soon as possible, it is not a sales pitch or an attempt to create fear. In fact, it is the opposite reason—we want to increase the odds for a positive outcome.
When we say “don’t waste valuable time” it’s because the early point in a case can determine if a case will become more costly in the end. The ultimate “cost” in many misdemeanor cases is based on whether you are proactive regarding evaluations and other tasks or whether you’re just sitting around waiting for an Arraignment date. If you have done many of the “tasks” we’ve assigned before Arraignment, there is a real possibility that the case could even be resolved prior to Arraignment.
When you tally costs, there are many factors to consider
When we monitor a case prior to criminal charging, you know that there will be no surprises as far as missed court dates, warrants, or unexpected court requirements when you might be deployed or moved out of state. This cuts down on unexpected arrests, need for bail, missing work, or being in “limbo” while you search to figure out which public defender is assigned to your case (assuming you qualify). It is very common for defendants to have their Arraignment and then weeks or months will go by before they meet with a public defender. The defendant has done absolutely nothing to improve their odds of a positive resolution.
Think like a prosecutor
Think of your case from a prosecutor’s perspective. You are reading the investigating officer’s reports (the defendant never looks good), you notice the case is a month or more old, you can see the defendant did not appear for the Arraignment with an attorney and, therefore, no proactive steps have been accomplished, and, now, the public defender is trying to explain how you should have the charge dismissed or get a reduction in charges. There is nothing in front of the prosecutor that suggests this particular defendant is taking the situation seriously, mounted any defense, or has taken steps to address how serious the situation really is. Prosecutors really don’t like that. You have to stand apart from the other hundreds of cases where the defendants seem indifferent (at best) with their situation. You must stand out…in a good way! This needs to happen at the very outset of a case.
Don’t miss your opportunity!
Even if you have been to your Arraignment, the weeks leading up to your first pre-trial can still be very valuable for you. If you take the right steps and hire a lawyer who can present you in a positive light, it is far more likely options will be open to you that other defendants don’t have. Prosecutors are certainly looking at punishment but they are also considering risks to the community. With the proper counsel and proactive steps, you can show the prosecutor that you are not a risk and understand the gravity of the situation.
If you have any question about seeking private criminal defense or want to know about our case monitoring service, give us a call at (360) 792-1000. We’re here for you 7 days a week.