Building a Defense For Criminal Charges in Maryland
The first thing an individual should do if they are charged with any kind of criminal offense in the state of Maryland is seek legal representation in the form of an experienced Maryland criminal lawyer. Having adequate legal representation can make a huge impact on the course of the case and the sooner your attorney can get involved with your case, the more they can do to help. Below, a Maryland criminal lawyer talks about the various aspects involved in building a defense and the benefits of hiring a law firm as opposed to a single practitioner.
To learn more about how a lawyer can help you call and schedule a consultation today.
Important Steps to Take After Being Charged With a Crime
After you are charged with a criminal offense there are two important steps you should take. First, seek legal counsel and follow your attorney’s advice. This advice will likely include aiding your attorney in the investigation and not aiding the police in their investigation.
The second thing to do, depending on the nature of the charges, is seek appropriate therapy or treatment. Frequently for DUI cases it is of benefit to clients to enroll in an alcohol treatment program. That is not an admission of guilt or an admission of driving while drunk on the evening in question, but it does show the court that you are taking the charges very seriously and judges frequently do want to see some kind of enrollment in treatment prior to the trial.
How the defense conducts an investigation depends on the nature of the case. You cannot investigate a Constitutional rights case the same way you conduct an investigation for a DUI case. Sometimes an investigation is done using the attorneys network and investigators while other times it may include other aspects. Some common investigation tactics include:
- Talking to witnesses
- Looking at physical evidence
- Returing to the scene of the crime
- Subpoenaing records
- Anything else that can help your case.
What Constitutional Issues Can Have An Impact on A Case?
There are lots of Constitutional issues that come up in Maryland cases. The most frequent is the right to remain free from unreasonable search and seizure which means an officer has to justify detaining, arresting and searching an individual. The officer cannot base a search purely on a hunch that there is a crime going on, and must instead have reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify any kind of detainment. The officer must also then have probable cause to expand an investigation and do a further criminal investigation. If the officer violates this Constitutional right, then any evidence found during the search must be suppressed.
Ways an Attorney Can Help If You’ve Been Arrested
The first way an attorney can help is by counseling you as to the best way to handle yourself throughout an investigation so that you avoid making your situation any worse. An attorney can also sit with you during the course of a police interrogation and advise you which questions to answer and the right way to answer so as not to incriminate yourself.
Hiring a Law Firm Attorney Versus Hiring a Solo Practitioner
A law firm has a lot more resources to use in a criminal investigation than a solo practitioner does. For example, a law firm may have dedicated investigators and a breadth of focus that a solo practitioner just cannot have. Additionally a law firm may have attorneys who practice in multiple jurisdictions which can be an advantage if a case involves investigations in multiple jurisdictions and attorneys who focus on different areas of law.