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Documents you may need to fight your criminal charges

Many Virginia residents are aware of how difficult it can be to defend yourself against criminal charges in a court of law. If you have been charged with a crime, your attorney may be able to help you come up with an effective criminal defense strategy. In order to assist you, your attorney will need as much information as possible about your case.

If you were arrested, the officer at the scene likely filled out an arrest report detailing the incident. Your attorney will need this report to get a handle on the case and determine what exactly happened. If you have been arrested in the past, your attorney will also need a copy of your criminal record. Your criminal record will provide a detailed account of your past arrests, convictions and sentences.

A solid defense strategy often rests on the availability of high quality witnesses and alibis. Make sure your attorney has a list of potential witnesses and alibis and their contact information, if possible. Even if you do not know the names of the witnesses, you should still make your attorney aware of any witness information you do have. Your alibi is particularly important, as he or she can prove that you were not at the scene of the crime and therefore, cannot be guilty. You will also want to provide any receipts or records (e.g. hotel bills, restaurant receipts, phone records) that show where you were at the time of the crime. You should also make sure that your attorney has access to your health records, in case something in your medical history can be used as part of your defense.

Providing your attorney with the above documents can be the difference between having your charges dropped and facing jailtime. Make sure your attorney gets detailed case information as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of success in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Getting Arrested: Documents Your Attorney Will Need," accessed on Jan. 22, 2017

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