If you are facing criminal charges in Maryland, one of the best actions you can take early on is hiring a local criminal defense attorney. Beyond the immediate concerns of your particular case, such as the charges and penalties you will face, your choice can impact your future. To what extent your criminal record determines employment, housing, and other opportunities, for instance, can be affected by picking the right lawyer.
How do you ensure you select a quality one that will indeed look out for your best interests?
Below we outline five vital characteristics for you to consider when seeking out an attorney so that you know your criminal defense case gets adequately handled and your future is protected.
Criteria to Consider When Hiring a Local Criminal Defense Attorney
Local Legal Expertise for Your Case Type
Your attorney should be someone who has a proven record of defending cases like yours in the jurisdiction where you are facing charges. They should possess extensive knowledge of local laws related to your case type to represent you in court successfully. Lastly, you want a local attorney that has a good rapport with key individuals in the legal system, such as the DA, police department, which potentially can lead to a better outcome.
Years and Types of Experience
It would help if you asked your attorney a few questions to assess their professional experience, including:
- How long have you practiced as a criminal defense lawyer?
- Have you represented people charged with X type of case?
- What percentage of your practice involves representing people charged with X type of case?
- Are you certified as a specialist in X type of situation?
- What percentage of your practice involves appearing in the court that my case will be assigned to?
- What types of outcomes can I expect for my instance given your past clients?
Take a look at past clients’ reviews on Google, the attorney’s website, and their social media profiles. Be wary of things like lots of positive reviews being left in a short period or the absence of less than 5-star reviews. These are red flags for something being amiss and potentially representative of the lawyer’s professionalism.
Also, ask people in your community about their experience working with the attorney you are considering for your case.
Professional Awards and Association Memberships
Using the Internet, search for your attorney on local and national professional organizations. Places to look include:
As your attorney will be representing you in court, you want to make sure you have an excellent working relationship. Some guiding questions to help assess if a lawyer is right for you are:
- Is this someone I can fully trust and disclose everything to?
- Does this attorney speak to me in a way I understand easily?
- Do they take a genuine interest in my case, as well as my overall well-being?
- Do they seem to be someone who will be trusted by a judge or jury?
If you are facing criminal charges and wish to hire an attorney, feel free to contact our offices in Timonium, Westminster, Frederick, or Columbia. Call (443) 317-2197 or request a consultation on https://www.rossalbers.com/.