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What Should I Look For In A Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer?

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Thomas J. Maronick, Jr. - Criminal Defense - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Thomas J. Maronick, Jr.

Located in Glen Burnie, MDThe Law Offices of Thomas Maronick Jr LLC

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If you or someone close to you is accused of a crime, you don’t want to hire just any attorney. Criminal allegations are serious, and you are probably facing significant fines and prison time. Do your homework and make sure the lawyer representing you can provide the defense counsel that you need.

You want someone you can talk to, who will be straight with you, and tell you the truth about what lies ahead. That might not be what you want to hear, but you must have that information to know what is truly best for you. It is not always best to hire an attorney who only tells you what you want to hear.

Good criminal defense attorneys are also lawyers who primarily focus on criminal law. Someone who is a general practitioner may not have the level of knowledge and experience needed to develop an effective defense strategy.

Finally, it is important to consult with an attorney with real trial experience. Criminal cases may ultimately go to trial, and it is important for the prosecution to understand that your legal counsel is prepared to advocate fully for your interests in court, if necessary.

Key Traits Of Successful Criminal Defense Attorneys

The best criminal defense attorneys typically offer the same qualities. They include:

  • Experience: Find out if the attorney has defended clients against similar charges. If the attorney hesitates to tell you about their background, press them for details. If they still won’t tell you, look for another attorney. You want to hire someone who knows what the consequences are and has firsthand experience representing individuals who were in similar situations to the one you are facing.
  • Preparation: Your lawyer should advise you not to talk without them present and not to discuss your case with anyone but them. They should know what police can legally do when they collect evidence and their limitations under state and federal law.
  • Trial experience: You want someone who has real trial experience and who has defended clients in court. A trial lawyer will know how to effectively deal with prosecutors, judges and juries, and how to present your evidence.
  • Honest advice: Your attorney should never tell you what you want to hear. Instead, a good criminal defense attorney should provide realistic expectations for the outcome of your case. The attorney who tells you what you want is simply looking to get your business. The attorney you need to hire is going to provide a clear pathway to deliver the best chance at a positive outcome.
  • A focus on criminal law: If an attorney practices a handful of different practice areas, they may not have the level of knowledge and experience needed to provide a strong, robust criminal defense plan. Your criminal defense attorney should live, sleep and breath criminal law.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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