As a criminal attorney in Loudoun County, I like to do the initial intake process from the perspective of letting the potential client tell me their story, and then I follow up with questions. My first question when I’m talking to a potential client is typically going to be “what brought you here” or “what happened.”
From there I will hear their story. I want to hear the events leading up to them facing a criminal charge. Once they’ve had an opportunity to tell me all about themselves and all about the situation, then I’ll typically follow up with more directed questions.
The top three guiding principles for me are preparation, communication and expectation.
What I mean by that is I want to be as prepared as possible for every stage of the criminal defense case. That means research, discovery, and a review of potential fact witnesses. I aim do all those things well ahead of anyone else involved in the case.
In regards to communication, I want to make sure that my client is able to be in touch with me when they have questions of representation, the law, or the facts. In addition, I seek to be able to communicate effectively and clearly with judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials.
Lastly, expectation management is key. Many times the deck is stacked against our clients in criminal defense matters and we want to let them know what they should reasonably expect at every stage of representation. Now that doesn’t always mean that the case is going to be dismissed and it doesn’t always mean the person is going to be convicted. But it is important that I inform my clients and know the expectations in the case—both expectations for them and expectations for myself at every stage.
As a criminal defense attorney, I have many roles in a criminal case. When a client hires me for certain duties, I am tasked with the duty to inform them of their rights and the duty to inform them of any defenses they may have.
In addition, I have the duty to present a defense at trial if the client requests trial, to advise the client of the risks and the terms of benefits to the trial, to file motions, to do research on the behalf of the client’s case, and to negotiate with the prosecutor on behalf of the client if the client is interested to enter a bargain to resolve the case not at trial.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law