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10 Reasons to Hire an Attorney In Criminal/DUI Case In Maryland

You have a right to remain silent...Use it!


  1. Explain the charge and its consequences.
    Lawyers are trained to read and interpret statutes (laws). Depending on your personal criminal background, there may be complicated sentencing matters to consider. A lawyer can explain to you the possible outcomes, and they should be aware of the individual sentencing patterns of your local judges. 
      
  2. Obtain information about the "CASE".
    A lawyer has access to most, if not all, of the information gathered about you by the police that the prosecutor will rely on at trial. This helps you and your lawyer to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your defense, and ultimately will help to guide your decision as to whether or not to even have a trial.
      
  3. Analyze your case: applying the law.
    Your lawyer will evaluate your case to see if all of your constitutional rights were protected. Was the stopping of your vehicle legal? Did you voluntarily consent to be searched? Was the breathalyzer machine working properly? Did you understand your rights as they were explained to you? These are some of the issues that your lawyer will be looking for. In addition to that, your lawyer is also trained to look for the things you did right during the stop, and may be able to use these clues to persuade the prosecutor to make a better plea offer.
      
  4. Help you decide whether to have a trial.
    The Constitution of the United States guarantees you the right to a trial, where the State would have to prove you guilty of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. However, most cases are resolved via "plea bargaining". This is a process whereby the charges against you are dropped, reduced, or otherwise amended in exchange for you making some type of concession to the State, i.e., pleading guilty, doing community service, etc. A lawyer is often crucial in this stage and can help you obtain the best possible disposition.
       
  5. Prepare you for trial.
    If you decide to have a trial, your lawyer will help you gather evidence and witnesses and prepare you for what to expect when you have the trial.
       
  6. Suggest positive, pre-trial steps that you can take.
    Often, there are positive steps that you can take prior to your trial date, which can be helpful in the event that your case results in a plea bargain or finding of guilty and you go before the Judge for sentencing. A lawyer should be familiar with the types of programs available in your community, such as substance abuse treatment or community service, and should be able to provide you with advice as to whether you should consider participating in such programs.  Your lawyer will present your participation in these programs as mitigation against any sentence to be imposed on you by the Judge.
       
  7. Defend you during a trial.
    Trials are often complicated and your lawyer will be able to assist you by providing your best defense. Your lawyer is trained in the rules of evidence, and will be able to help keep out information that may have come into evidence if you represented yourself.
       
  8. Be your advocate at sentencing.
    A lawyer can be particularly helpful at this stage because your lawyer is paid to advocate for you and is not afraid to speak on your behalf to the Judge. Your lawyer will prepare a list of positive things to say about you during the allocution phase of the sentencing.
       
  9. Pursue post-trial motions.
    Even if you are found guilty, sometimes the law allows a Judge to go back and "strike" the guilty verdict. Your lawyer will know how this process works, and will protect your post trial rights by filing the appropriate motions.
       
  10. Handle important administrative issues.
    With drinking and driving charges, there are administrative matters, in addition to criminal matters, that must be considered in a proceeding before the Motor Vehicle Administration. Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice on if, how and under what circumstances you can retain a license to drive.
       

WHAT IF I JUST WANT TO PLEAD GUILTY? DO I STILL NEED A LAWYER?
YES.

All of the above reasons still apply, including the sentencing and post-trial services that a lawyer can provide.

REMEMBER THE OLD ADAGE: “He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"


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