If you have been accused of a crime, having a criminal defense attorney working with you is the best way to ensure you do not get jail time, and if you do have to go to jail, the time you must serve will be at a minimum. However, you also need to know how to interact and work with your lawyer. This will not only help your case go more smoothly, but it will also keep things pleasant between the two of you. Here are a few tips to get the most from your lawyer during a very stressful time.

Hire a Lawyer As Soon As Possible

The first thing you should do is make sure you have adequate legal counsel as soon as you have been contacted by the police about the crime. This will allow the attorney to get to you, talk with you, and be there from the very beginning. If you are taken into custody before you have a lawyer hired, be sure to not say anything until you can secure legal counsel. If necessary, go with a public defender until you can find a private attorney to take your case.

Be Honest

You need to be completely honest with your attorney. Explain your side of the story, and be sure to include all people who can verify your side of things. If you were near the scene of the crime, or have any knowledge of what happened, you need to be honest about this, even if it could leave you open for further questioning or make you look suspicious. Even facts you may think are insignificant may be important to the whole picture.

Listen to Your Lawyer

You need to pay attention to what your lawyer is telling you. If he or she tells you to do or not to do something, you need to following their directions exactly. The attorney has experience in all kinds of criminal cases and knows how to get through them with as little trouble as possible. If you are told to not discuss the case with anyone, including a spouse, keep your mouth shut. If you are told to keep going to work and maintain your normal routine, do so. Everything he or she tells you has a reason.

Meeting with a stranger and discussing things that may be of a very personal nature can be difficult. Keep in mind that criminal attorneys are hard to shock and do not place judgment on their clients. Whether guilty or not, having one on your side gives you the best odds of remaining free and will also keep the stress of the whole situation to a minimum.