If you've been charged with a crime, you may not know where to turn or what to do. It's quite common for people in your situation to be in a state of shock, especially if this is the first time you have experienced this type of scenario. You may dispute everything from the moment you were arrested to the time you were able to post bail, but what can you do next to try and sort things out?
There's no doubt that this whole process can be traumatic to anyone, as they may suddenly live through what they had only previously seen on television. They may feel as if they are alone and that the state always has the upper hand, but in today's society, this is not how it works.
The first thing you should do in this situation is engage a solicitor. When you attend the initial consultation, you will be asked to walk through the events from start to finish, without leaving out even the smallest detail. All of this information will be committed to record while it is still fresh in your mind so the solicitor has something to work with and can compare your take with the official records.
Presenting Documentation and Asking Questions
The prosecuting authority is now required to deliver some key documents to you and your legal defence team. These include a prosecution notice and a statement of material facts. The attorney will be very familiar with documents like this and can go through them with you step-by-step.
Don't be surprised if some of the information contained within the fact statement seems wrong, incomplete or questionable. This is not unusual, but your solicitor will certainly go through such matters carefully to see if you have grounds to fight the case.
Your solicitor will also be very interested in the process involved. Did the police follow the legal requirements when you were arrested and subsequently interviewed? Did they inform you of your rights at the time in accordance with the statute?
Questioning the Position
There are many ways for a solicitor to question a prosecution notice and the information contained within the statement of material facts. Sometimes the police will make an error in generating these documents, and if this is the case, it can often lead to dismissal before matters go any further.
You're Never Alone
Don't think that you are alone in this situation, and remember that, in principle, the law is always on your side. You are innocent until proven guilty, and your solicitor is there to help you state your case. Contact a criminal law lawyer near you to learn more.