For Criminal Defense attorneys, one of the most frequent questions prospective clients ask is oftentimes the most difficult one to answer – “So what’s going to happen in my case?” It is a natural and understandable question. People during this difficult time want an honest, professional opinion on what their future holds. Most clients are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system and even more are unfamiliar with being accused of committing a crime by Law Enforcement. While we do not have a crystal ball at the beginning stages of the case – with the correct information, clients can receive an initial tailor-made game plan to achieve a favorable outcome for them.
There are a plentiful number of factors, and there are simple questions that can help you better ascertain your situation. For instance, were you arrested on a misdemeanor or felony charges? What degree of misdemeanor or felony is the charge or charges? Have you already been arrested, has the State filed formal charges (through an Information or other official charging document), or are you simply under investigation? Do you have a criminal record – and if so, how “bad” is it? Are there any substance abuse or mental health issues which contributed to the event? Who is the presiding Judge, and is he or she likely to be sympathetic? Who is the prosecutor currently handling the case, and is he or she likely to be sympathetic?
While there may be an infinite amount of “X-factors” in your case, one piece of advice is a constant. Seek the advice of a qualified and experienced attorney as soon as you are able. The earlier you seek legal counsel, the more likely that you can control the outcome. While the answer to “what is going to happen in my case?” is sometimes an unsatisfying one, your ability to receive prompt legal advice on all conceivable factors only serves to help during this trying time.