Getting convicted of a felony in Baltimore means you could not only be put behind bars, but you set yourself back in terms of your personal and professional life.
Hiring a credible Baltimore attorney is your only saving grace. But what should you look for in a criminal defense lawyer?
Below we break down exactly what you need to consider.
1. Know Precisely What Charges You’re Facing, and Find a Specialized Baltimore Attorney
The State and local codes lay out every statutory offense and other charges are found in what is known as the common law also known as case law. Statutory crimes state the charge and the penalties that you will face. Common Law offenses are for the most part decided on the basis of whatever penalty is not cruel and unusual.
When you get charged with an offense, the charging document will feature the statute or common law, so you can go look up the charge and know what you’re up against. From here, you’ll need to hire a Baltimore attorney who has experience dealing with the charges you are facing.
For example, if you’re facing a gun charge, you wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer whose experience is DUIs or writing Wills. You give yourself the best shot at success when you lean into their expertise.
2. Ask about Their Success Ratio and Do Your Research
It’s important to do your due diligence when researching the attorney’s prior record.
Ask for testimonials and research them in Maryland’s bar association. Aside from independent research, ask the law firm about their success ratio and how often they get acquittals.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office boasts a 92 percent conviction rate and her attorneys are professionals who day in and day out seek to obtain convictions in accordance with that rate. It is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the policies of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office as well as the attorneys who work within her office to ensure you are not missing out on any opportunities to have your matter decided in your favor.
3. Speak to Law Firms to Get Their Advice
Since criminal defense is such a complex form of practice, it’s important to get advice before making an official hire.
Every criminal defense case is different, so have an attorney walk you through how they’d represent you, point by point. Based on the advice you are given during different consultations, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices.
One attorney might think a plea deal is the best course of action, while another may want you to take your case to a jury – because every case is different and different lawyers may have different approaches to resolving a case.
4. Find Out How Much They Charge
It’s essential to research the law firm’s and how much they charge as well.
As with any other service, price is a consideration. Sometimes a firm is able to charge less based on the convienence of having a matter scheduled in their home jurisidiction but sometimes a firm will charge less because they don’t expect to do a lot of work on a case or because they simply need quick money. One should consider the fact that a rock bottom price can be a symptom of bigger problems down the road and choose their attorney based on an overall satisfaction with the attorney’s practice with price being a consideration and not the guiding light.
Be sure to ask an attorney about their rates during a consultation. Questions such as why a particular rate has been quoted can help assist when choosing an attorney. You can then use this information to help you decide which attorney is the most effective and affordable.
While your inclination is definitely to save money, make hiring the lawyer who best represents your interests the main priority.
5. Learn Which Lawyer in the Firm You’ll Be Communicating with
Finally, be sure you know exactly which attorney at the practice will be your main point of communication.
While cases are often handled by committee, you’ll always have a main point of contact. Research their track record and be sure you feel comfortable communicating with them regularly.
Choose the Best Lawyer
When you follow these five tips, you’re a few steps closer to getting the help of the best lawyer you can find.
Reach out to learn more about our firm and how we can help you.