Every criminal defense case is unique. However, there are a few things that you will likely need when you face an accusation.
Here is a checklist to help you ensure you have all the information necessary for your defense.
Some general information you will need for your case includes the charging document. You will also want other information related to your situation, such as:
- Police reports
- Probable cause affidavits
- Jail records, including whether you are out on bail
It is a good idea to gather your criminal history record if you already have convictions. Remember your full contact details available, including phone number, address and alternative ways to contact you.
Charges and statutes
Gather the documentation related to your charging documents, such as the original complaint, indictment and other information. Then, find the statutes related to this charge and understand your max sentence or fine, if a demurrer is appropriate, whether there are diversion programs, if anyone else faces the exact charges, what pretrial motions you can use and any potential charges that the district attorney missed.
Print out a Google Map image showing the street location where the crime happened. You may also want to include a street view or personal crime scene photo. If relevant, look up data about the weather conditions and lighting at the time of the crime. This may involve you going back to the scene to take pictures.
Facing criminal charges is daunting, but proper preparation can help ensure a good outcome for your case.