Being accused of committing a crime is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Some who are involved with or become aware of the situation may automatically consider you guilty, while others may presume your innocence. Whether innocent or guilty, it is important to prepare the best legal defense in order to protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome.

Organize a Timeline

Check receipts and notes you may have from around the time of the alleged incident that support your claim. These could include personal journal entries, employment records, appointment cards, and other documentation that prove your whereabouts and activities during certain days and times. Make a timeline that covers the relevant time period. Use the collected information to create a profile that can serve as a defense against part or all of the criminal charges.

Seek Legal Counsel

Consult criminal defense attorneys for information about legal protection and guidance. They can advise you on the litigation procedures and an estimated timeline of hearings and events related to your case. A lawyer who specializes in criminal law is your best resource to help you respond appropriately to any claims brought against you. You can find out the legal definitions of specific terms used in your case, the process that will be followed in the discovery phase, and the types of proceedings that you will need to prepare for. Your legal defense team can explain what to expect and how to respond at each stage of the investigation. You may also be advised about the type of plea to enter when the time comes unless the case is closed before then.

Identify Witnesses

With your criminal defense attorney’s help, you may be advised to think about anyone who may have witnessed, directly or indirectly, the events surrounding the criminal charges against you. These may involve people you know, like friends who were with you or with whom you discussed the incident, or business professionals who might have been nearby, such as a store clerk or a parking attendant. Your attorney will inform you which potential witnesses should be contacted and by whom.

Comply with the Legal Process

Even if you are completely innocent, be sure to follow the letter of the law in complying with hearing times, document requests, and attorney meetings. Failure to comply may work against you during the proceedings. Be honest about the facts of the case to protect your reputation and innocence. Remember your legal rights and work through them with your lawyer. The process of law, when it functions properly, is there to make sure justice is done and that the court is fair to all affected. The more you consult with your legal help, the better equipped you will be to understand the system.

Facing criminal charges is usually stressful. If you follow the above steps, your case has a better chance of resulting what is best for you. Stay calm, collect information, and work with your defense team to ensure the best outcome. You have a right to a thorough and just legal defense. Don’t forget it.