How to prepare to meet with your St. Catharines criminal lawyer

Meeting with a Criminal Lawyer

Jun 16, 2016

Facing criminal charges is a difficult and often embarrassing situation. On top of the stress of your impending case, the process of finding, meeting, and learning how to work with a criminal defence lawyer can be difficult. Meeting with a lawyer prior to your case will provide you with peace of mind and will ensure that your rights are protected and that you have access to a fair trial.

A criminal defence lawyer can be the difference between innocence and guilt or staying in or out of jail. You will have many questions prior to meeting with your criminal lawyer, but without preparation, you’ll fail to receive the answers you want. Before your initial consultation with your criminal lawyers, have the following prepared.

Preparing for your meeting

Collecting all the documents that you have about your case is the first step in preparation, and these may include:

  • The arrest record
  • The police file
  • Your criminal record
  • Your motor vehicle records (if the charge is motor-related)
  • Your medical records
  • Your mental health records
  • Paper trails
  • Information about witnesses
  • Information about your alibi

Be ready to tell your lawyer your story in a clear and logical order; dates of important moments are necessary for this process. You will also need to discuss the fee required for their retainer, which is usually necessary for the lawyer to start working right away.

Have questions ready

Preparing a list of questions that you’d like to ask your lawyer is normal and encouraged as they’ll be able to cite past examples and experiences that will give you a general idea of what to expect in your case.


Common questions include:

  • What information do you need to further evaluate my case?
  • How does the law affect my situation?
  • What should I do next? Is there anything I shouldn’t do?
  • Are my expectations realistic?
  • Can someone else in your office give me information about my case?
  • How much is your retainer? How much will your services cost?
  • What are some outcomes of a case similar to mine?
  • What are your current options? What are the outcomes of each option?

Helping your Niagara criminal lawyer moving forward

Once the first meeting is complete you’ll have a general idea of how your case will proceed. Your lawyer may require future discussions to further your case and you must read any letters/documents your lawyer may send you.

Chown, Cairns criminal defense lawyers have over 38 combined years of experience and provide aggressive defense on all charges. To book a consultation with one of our St. Catharines criminal lawyers, click here.

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