Let us assume that you have been called up by the police to assist with investigations, or you have been arrested and charged with a crime.
The first thing you must do is engage a Singapore qualified criminal lawyer to represent you and advise you of your rights. It would be ideal if you could ask the criminal lawyer to accompany you to the police station and/or to the court session.
This is because during the initial stages of the criminal proceedings, one must be careful about what one says, does or admits to the Investigation Officer (the “IO”), the Deputy Public Prosecutor (the “DPP”) or the Judge.
For many of us, it is our first brush with the law and we have no knowledge of how to find and engage a good criminal lawyer. For sure, it will not be an enjoyable experience and we will be nervous.
That is why it is important to have the phone number of a criminal lawyer in Singapore on standby, so that if you get arrested or stopped by the police, you can call him to come and advise and assist you with the questioning and investigations.
But how do you decide which lawyer to engage? You could rely on the age and experience of the lawyer, or could you make a decision based on price? How about asking your friends for recommendations? But then again, how many of your friends have engaged a criminal lawyer before? And do you want your friends to know that you are currently involved or suspected to be involved in a crime?
What we would suggest is that you make an appointment and ask to meet up with the criminal lawyer. During the meeting, you should ask the lawyer as many questions as you want. Some may charge a consultation fee for the initial consultation and ask you to sign an engagement letter, especially if you are seeking legal advice during the meeting.
During the meeting, you should evaluate the way and manner in which the criminal lawyer answers your questions. This will give you an indication of his competency and dedication towards your case.
You should be cautious if the criminal lawyer asks you to immediately claim trial or plead guilty, when he or she has not known or the facts or evaluated the pros and cons of your case. You should also be cautious if the criminal lawyer is not paying attention to you when you are explaining the case to him, appears distracted or impatient with listening to your story. Last but not least, you should be cautious if the criminal lawyer tells you that if you do not engage him, you will be in deeper trouble.
While the initial meeting is not the best way to evaluate the criminal lawyer which you will hire, it is much better than relying on internet websites and forums, or from calling them up and speaking to them on the phone.
Another way is to attend events, seminars and functions which are organised from time to time by The Law Society, various law firms or organisations.
By meeting criminal lawyers face-to-face, you will be able to make a better decision.
Contact us now for a no-obligation discussion.