Be Patient Throughout the Process of Your Case:
If you have been charged with a crime, or are facing a criminal situation, you likely want to get it over with as quickly as possible. It is completely understandable to feel this way. But we are here to tell you why embracing patience throughout your case is what will help you get the best possible result. In our experience of defending people charged with crimes over the last 20 years, we have found that the quicker a case is over, the worse the result is.
What to Expect:
If you are arrested or receive a summons in the mail to appear in court, you will be scheduled for an arraignment hearing. Many people believe that at an arraignment hearing, you can simply explain what happened and get the charges dropped. However, that is not how these hearings work. At your arraignment, the judge will not let you talk about what happened or the facts of the case. This hearing is only to enter a plea of “not guilty” and to set your next court date: a pre-trial hearing.
Most pre-trial hearings are set 30 to 60 days out from your arraignment. This is the point in your case when you might start to feel restless and wonder what is going to happen next. At this time, you should be getting a private attorney or applying for a public defender. Once you have retained an attorney, they will be sent police reports, 911 calls, and any other evidence the prosecutors have against you. It will take at least 3 weeks to receive these reports, and once your attorney has them, they will set up a time to go over them with you. You likely will want a copy of them for yourself, but unfortunately, the court does not allow this in most cases.
You may be wondering why you cannot get your case resolved at one of the pre-trial hearings by explaining that you are innocent, falsely accused, or that it was all just a big misunderstanding. The reason for this comes down to one thing: human nature.
How Self-Interests Play a Role in Your Case:
Everyone involved in your case has their own self-interests, and we must all work together to come to a resolution that makes sense to everyone. Even if you believe you are being wrongly accused of a crime, it will take a lot more than just your word to prove to the prosecutor you are worth making an exception for.
The person making decisions in your case is the prosecutor, not the judge. This puts prosecutors in a very difficult position because they are representing the public interest. They have defense attorneys, police officers, alleged victims, probation officers, and others asking them to make things happen a certain way.
The best thing you can do to help your case during this time is to listen to your attorney and do what they say.
Our 3 Step Strategy for Defending Criminal Cases:
You want to give the prosecutor some time to get used to your case. After they have seen it two or three times at pre-trial hearings, they will be more willing to hear your side of the story. You do not want your attorney to start negotiations with the prosecutor too early, because oftentimes, once you get a no, it stays a no. Trust that your attorney is doing what they think is best and that they are working to get you the best outcome possible.
Do Some Classes or Treatment
During this waiting period, your attorney will likely ask you to do some classes, treatment, or evaluations. If there was alcohol involved in your crime, your attorney will want you to get an evaluation done to show you do not have an alcohol problem, or, if you do have a problem, that you are addressing the issue through treatment.
These classes cannot be used against you as an admission of guilt, and they will show the prosecutor that you are actively involved in improving your situation by being a part of the solution.
By using the facts of your case and knowing what the prosecutor needs to feel comfortable enough to give us the result we want, we can start to work on getting a resolution for your case. The longer your case goes on without you getting into any other trouble, and by completing treatment or classes to improve yourself, the more willing the prosecutor will be to use their discretion to not convict you and send you to jail. This is the point in your case when your attorney will use their skills and experience to negotiate with the prosecutor to get you the best possible outcome.
Get the Defense You Need:
If you have been charged with a crime in Washington State, or have found yourself in a criminal situation, please give our office a call. We will listen to you, answer your questions, ease your stress and resolve your case. Owner and principal attorney Lance Fryrear of The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear has defended the accused in Lynnwood and throughout Washington for the past 20 years. We will be sensitive and careful every step of the way, doing everything we can to help and support you.
Give us a call at (425) 224-7075 to learn more!