Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer: Protecting Your Rights and Freedom
This is the third article in our “Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer” series, where we break down the pros, cons, and benefits of working with local Baltimore criminal defense lawyers when fighting criminal charges in Maryland. If you’re new to the series, check out our previous two topics:
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer: Protecting Your Rights and Freedom
Criminal lawyers work for you to protect your rights and freedom when they are in jeopardy. When facing criminal charges, you need someone working on your behalf to represent you in court, negotiate with the prosecution, and ensure that all constitutional rights are upheld through the legal process. Without proper representation, those facing criminal charges may be at risk for not having all of their rights allocated to them throughout the legal proceedings.
With a criminal lawyer by your side, you will have your right to a fair trial protected. This means reviewing all evidence, challenging evidence that may not be legally reliable or legally obtained, and protecting your rights throughout: to remain silent, to a jury by trial of your peers, etc.
Protect your rights and freedoms with a criminal lawyer who will fight for your best outcome, negotiating, seeking plea bargains, and reducing charges where applicable. We break down how to find the best criminal lawyer for you, common mistakes to avoid when hiring a criminal lawyer, and what to expect during your free consultation with a criminal lawyer near you.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney provides benefits and increases your chances of a successful outcome in your case. They can provide valuable legal guidance, protect your rights, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Let’s break down how criminal defense lawyers protect your rights and freedom during criminal charges.
- Knowledge of the Legal System: An experienced criminal defense attorney has a deep understanding of the legal system, including the criminal justice process, laws, and legal procedures. They can help you navigate the complexities of your case and ensure that your rights are protected.
- Understanding of Prosecution Tactics: An experienced criminal defense attorney has likely encountered numerous prosecutors and knows their tactics, strengths, and weaknesses. This knowledge can be used to negotiate effectively on your behalf and build a strong defense strategy.
- Ability to Evaluate Evidence: An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you and identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies. They can use this information to challenge the prosecution’s case and work to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
- Experience with Plea Bargaining: An experienced criminal defense attorney has experience with plea bargaining and can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal. They can also advise you on whether a plea bargain is in your best interests or if you should go to trial.
- Understanding of Sentencing Guidelines: An experienced criminal defense attorney has a thorough understanding of the sentencing guidelines and can help you understand the potential consequences of your charges. They can also work to minimize the penalties you face if you are convicted.
How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for Your Case
You know the benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney, so how do you choose the best criminal defense lawyer for your case? This is critical because a lack of experience, education, or connections could cost you the best outcome possible. When researching and consulting with lawyers near you, here are the key elements to keep in mind to choose the best criminal defense attorney for your case.
Experience: Your criminal defense attorney should be familiar with cases and charges similar to yours; check their track record of success and ask about similar approaches and outcomes they’ve had in the past
Reputation: Look at online reviews, ask for references, and speak with other lawyers or legal professionals in your community to ensure your criminal defense lawyer is in good standing
Availability: A good criminal defense lawyer will be responsive and available to work on your case. Look at how they respond to emails and calls and inquire about their current caseload and how they divvy up scheduling
Fees: Make sure you understand your criminal lawyer’s fee structure and if it is reasonable and transparent; talk about retainers, deposits, hourly fees, and the expected total by the end of the case
Communication: The criminal defense lawyer is one you should feel comfortable communicating with and they should be able to explain legal concepts to you in a way that you can understand so you are never left confused or in the dark about your own case
What to Expect When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
The first step when hiring a criminal defense lawyer is to schedule an initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss your case, ask questions, and get a sense of the lawyer’s experience, approach, and communication skills. After the initial consultation, your criminal defense lawyer will begin to develop a legal strategy for your case. They will review the evidence against you, research the law, and develop a plan to defend your rights and minimize the consequences you face.
During your consult, you should cover all of their anticipated approaches, what they know about the other parties involved in the case, and how much they expect your case to cost overall, including a rough timeline. Your lawyer should explain their fee structure and provide an estimate of the total cost of your case.
Communication is a critical component of working with a criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer should be responsive to your calls and emails, keep you informed of developments in your case, and explain legal concepts and procedures in a way that you can understand. If you don’t feel confident with their communication, make a decision to seek other consults before signing on with the first attorney you meet with.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Facing Criminal Charges
When facing criminal charges, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes that could harm your defense. Making the wrong mistakes could jeopardize the case and compromise your criminal defense strategy.
Your lawyer will likely advise you to be aware of what you say when talking to the police. You always have the right to remain silent, and it is wise to exercise that right until you have a criminal defense lawyer present. By not hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you are risking navigating the legal system alone, making it harder to defend your rights and win a favorable outcome.
You will want to avoid posting case details or any other evidence on social media. Prosecutors and investigators can use your social media posts as evidence against you. This is also why you need to refrain from sharing too many details with your friends and family, as any information shared outside of the consults with your attorney is subject to investigators in the case.
Do not ignore court orders and court dates: these can result in higher fines, jail time, and can impede the court case defense. Always work with your lawyer to ensure you are available for all court times required.
At the end of the day, it’s most important to be honest with your lawyer. They must know all the details of your case to develop an effective defense strategy and failing to be honest with your lawyer can harm your defense and limit your lawyer’s ability to help you – remember, it’s your investment, so protect it wisely.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Criminal Lawyer in Maryland
Facing criminal charges can be terrifying and stressful. Don’t let the charges or pressure of the other parties restrict your rights and freedom. Hire an experienced criminal law attorney to fight for your rights and protect you during the legal process. The cost of a criminal defense attorney is an investment in your future to your career, family, quality of life, livelihood, and more.
Ready to begin? You can set up a free consult today to get more info on how a criminal defense attorney works for you.