Charged with a criminal offence? Take advantage of the free consultation offered by most criminal defence lawyers before deciding how you are going to handle the situation. At the initial consultation, the criminal lawyer will be able to explain:
- the process,
- how long it will take,
- the types of defences that may be available to you,
- what should be expected in the disclosure and
- what range of sentence is possible if you were to plead guilty or be convicted of the charges, or any one of them.
Having this information is crucial to making a decision about whether or not to hire a lawyer and fight the charges.
However, at the initial consultation it is unlikely that an experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to tell you if they can get the charges withdrawn or secure an acquittal. At the initial consultation stage, the lawyer will not have the disclosure, which is the Crown’s evidence. Some of the disclosure may be helpful to you. Other aspects of the disclosure may not be helpful. Until the defence lawyer has access to this information, it is unlikely that the lawyer will be able to give you an opinion.
The bottom line? Before you speak to the Crown or plead guilty to your charges, get the basic advice available at an initial free consultation so that you can make an informed decision on your case.