Anyone charged with a crime is going to think hard about retaining attorney services. If you're preparing to meet with a criminal law attorney, though, there are several things you'll want to do before the consultation.
The court will send you the paperwork for the case. Collect and make copies of all of it. Also, find a secure place to keep the originals so you don't have to worry about anything happening to them.
Check Court Dates
Make notes of all of the dates from the paperwork. Likewise, pay particular attention to when the court says you need to respond by a specific date. Make sure you can set up a meeting with a criminal law attorney before any of these dates might pass. If you can't get a session with your preferred lawyer, ask them to point you to another firm that offers criminal attorney services.
Make Contemporaneous Notes
It's tempting to assume you'll remember everything. Don't fall into this trap. Get a pen and a pad. Write down the general details you remember. This should include dates and times, and it's also wise to write down the names of anyone who might act as a witness.
You don't need to go into great detail. Simply make sure there's enough information with each note to jog your memory down the road.
Also, you'll want to make copies of your notes. Similarly, store the originals in a secure place.
It can be emotionally taxing to keep all of this to yourself. However, you don't want to put anyone in a position where they might have to testify against you about anything you might have said. Stay patient and avoid discussing the case with anyone but your lawyer.
This includes talking with the police. If the cops have any questions, they're welcome to take that conversation up with your criminal law attorney. Even if you think you can clear things up quickly by talking to the cops, don't do it until you've had a chance to discuss it with your lawyer. Also, don't do it unless your lawyer is present and wants you to answer particular questions.
Yes, it can be worrisome to hold onto anything that might serve as evidence against you. However, lots of prosecutors have had more success going after people for process crimes after they destroyed evidence. If you're not sure what to do with an item, contact the criminal law attorney and ask them for instructions.