Preparing for Criminal Case

Preparing for Criminal Case

Preparing a Criminal Defense

This page presents an overview of what is required to prepare a criminal defense case. The goal is to help clients understand why legal fees often seem high and why it seems like a case can move very slowly.

The average person would be surprised to learn the amount of time and expense involved in preparing a strong and proper defense for a criminal case. The time and cost invested does vary quite a bit because every case has its own unique set of circumstances. For example, a defense strategy for a violent crime case would be far more complicated than a defense for shoplifting.

Preparing Plea Bargains vs. Jury Trial Defenses

Preparing plea bargains can be slightly easier than a jury trial. Typically, the lawyers and prosecutors have a professional relationship. The two sides are obviously at odds, however; they work off of facts with little emotion (vs a jury). Although it is serious, working a plea bargain is a very fact-based negotiation process.

This is not to say that preparing or negotiating a plea deal is easy. A case always requires the discovery process (obtaining evidence from the Prosecutor's office), researching legal precedents, interviewing the accused and witnesses, perhaps hiring investigators or expert witnesses, and a lot of time spent in meetings, preparing and submitting motions, and more.

Preparing for a jury trial includes everything required for a plea bargain, however; it is far more complicated. Firstly, presenting a case to a jury means convincing everyday people that you are not guilty. A jury has an emotional element, sometimes including a need to counter bias against the accused. A defense team may need to obtain or create easy to understand visual content such as videos, charts, graphs, etc. There is a need to spend time helping the accused understand what they will face when questioned by a prosecutor, how a jury may judge their appearance, behavior, or facial expressions. A jury trial defense requires the development of a methodical presentation of facts, evidence, and managing witness testimony. Even the jury selection process requires a lot of time.

If you have been arrested or formally charged with a crime you need to hire an expert defense lawyer. Call us at 770-956-1400 to arrange time to discuss how we can prepare a robust defense for your case.