It's no question that meeting with a criminal attorney can be difficult and stressful, especially if this is your first run-in with the law. While finding a good, reputable criminal lawyer to represent you is crucial, it's only the first step in what's bound to be a long and complex process. An essential part of assisting your attorney in adequately and properly preparing for your case is knowing what you will need to bring and be prepared to give when meeting your attorney prior to your next court appearance. Here are a few suggested things to bring with when meeting up with your personal attorney:

• Your personal and business background. While this doesn't necessarily need to be in written form, be prepared to thoroughly answer and share any information regarding your background with your attorney. This may include giving the names and contact information of certain individuals involved with you personally or professionally who may aid in your case.

• Papers you received upon posting bail.

• Any documents you received from the police or court stating the charges against you.

• Any documents regarding your next scheduled court appearance.

• If your home or property was searched prior to your arrest, any paperwork left by the police can be crucial to your defense.

• If possible, the police report relating to your arrest/charges (assuming the police is wiling to enclose these documents to you)

• A list of possible conflicts of interest – or individuals you know who may be called as witnesses for the prosecution.

• Any other documents you think may be relevant important to your case. Even if you are not sure, bring them for your attorney to review just in case.

• A list of any questions you may have for the lawyer relating to your case and what you can expect during the process, including fees and initiation charges.

It's also not a bad idea to make copies of all the important paperwork so in case any of them get lost or destroyed in the review process you will have backup copies that you can refer to and provide your DC Criminal lawyer.