Our Early Representation Team contacts clients as soon after their initial contact with law enforcement as possible to provide advocacy and representation. Defenders visit clients who are incarcerated before their first court date to listen, offer support, and find out how we can help. We also offer defense consultations for people who are out-of-custody and cited to appear in court for a criminal offense. Typically, when someone is arrested or cited, unless they can afford to hire a private attorney, the first time they meet their attorney is at the first court appearance. This can take days for an incarcerated client and months for a client who is not in custody. For incarcerated clients, this delay can be especially harmful, resulting in additional incarceration, lost evidence, and missed opportunities for arranging supportive services. At that first court appearance, the court makes the important decision whether to detain or release someone. By meeting with our incarcerated clients before the first court date, our defense teams are better prepared to get clients out of jail. We can also reach out to friends, family, and supporters and help tie up loose ends, so a client has something to return to when they are released. Out-of-custody clients benefit from early access to supportive services and legal advice. Early representation allows us to hit the ground running. Because we have already met the client before the first court date, we are more prepared to begin investigation, hire experts, apply for services like residential or behavioral health treatment, and suggest alternative resolutions like restorative justice, collaborative courts, or diversion.