Preparing Your Defense

Once retained, I will meet with you to go over the facts of your case, speak with your witnesses, obtain a copy of the charging document, and engage in the discovery process. Each case is different and complicated cases naturally take longer than other cases.

I will file the necessary discovery motions to obtain State witness lists, police reports, witnesses' statements, reports of experts and all other important facts in your case. Discovery depositions and other statements given under oath may be taken from witnesses. I will also likely approach the prosecutor to get an idea of the prosecutors' attitude about your case.

The prosecutor may decide to dismiss all charges or to "plea bargain," which is to agree to a lighter sentence or drop some of several charges against you, in exchange for a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). If the prosecutor offers a plea bargain to you, I will inform you of it immediately, as I have an ethical duty to inform you of any plea offers, even if you have said you wanted a trial regardless of the plea offer.

Investigating your Case

Anything you say to me is confidential. Conversations with other people are not confidential. These people include your spouse, family, friends, CELLMATES, news reporters, probation officers, or police officers. You should not talk to these people about your case. If you are asked about your case, you direct that person to speak with your attorney regarding any matters concerning your case.

It is important you cooperate with my investigator and me. I must know the truth even if the truth makes you look guilty, makes you think you are guilty, or if in fact you are guilty. If the truth is known, I will not be caught off guard and will be able to better represent you. This is because it is the State of Florida's job to prove your guilt. Many cases are not about guilt or innocence, it is about whether the State of Florida can prove their case, whether they followed the law in arresting you, whether they violated your civil rights, and whether they can locate the necessary witnesses to testify against you. Even if you are guilty of a crime, the State Attorney's office inability to satisfy all of these needs may force them to drop the case against you.

You can help the investigation of your case by providing the names and addresses of witnesses. If you are out of jail, you can help your case by finding witnesses and notifying me by sending a letter, calling in, or coming to the office with the names and addresses of those witnesses. If you are in jail, try to have your family and friends find witnesses. A witness may be anyone who can testify to any circumstances which may show you are not guilty or which may tend to show that the crime was not as serious as the prosecutor claims. My investigator may interview the witnesses against you and try to locate defense witnesses. Accurate names and addresses are helpful.

You should not, however, contact witnesses for the prosecution, the victim, or send other people to talk to the witnesses or the victim for you. If you do, you may be charged with a new crime of tampering with witnesses.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.