Can a Wife Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Her Husband in Baltimore?

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When a husband is arrested and put in jail, he may want his wife to handle the legal aspects of the case like making bail. A wife may hire a criminal defense for her husband in Baltimore. This does not mean the wife will be a party to the legal strategy used by the criminal defense lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we help wives and husbands who face arrest. We can answer questions such as ‘can a wife hire a criminal defense for her husband in Baltimore?’ Please contact Baltimore criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice as soon as possible after an arrest.

How Can You Find a Private Criminal Defense Lawyer After an Arrest in Baltimore?

Defendants are often traumatized by an arrest and everything that is going on in their lives. They may not be in the best position to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Jails are chaotic and disorientating places. Often their wife or another family member makes calls to a lawyer or goes online on their behalf. 

In the past, they looked at a phone directory. Or perhaps they knew a lawyer. Today, most Baltimore County criminal defense lawyers have a website. They may be listed on Google and you can read reviews from past clients. You can also check online directories such as Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, and Nolo. Be sure to hire a lawyer with criminal defense expertise.

Although a wife can hire a lawyer for her husband, the attorney-client privilege is between the husband and the lawyer. The lawyer and his or her client must sign papers. Even if the wife is paying the lawyer’s bill, the important contractual relationship is between the attorney and the defendant. The wife has no right to be part of the deliberations between the defendant and his legal counsel. It can be difficult for lawyers to stop family members asking about their loved one’s case. However, it’s important that the details of the case and potential strategies your lawyer is using are kept confidential for the benefit of the defendant. 

What is Attorney-Client Privilege in Maryland?

Attorney-client privilege is a basic principle of the law, not just in Maryland but across the country. Even if a wife hired a Howard county criminal defense lawyer for her husband, she has no right to know about what the lawyer and her husband discuss.

The lawyer-client relationship means all communications between the attorney and his or her clients are privileged, or confidential. Lawyers are barred by law from revealing clients’ oral or written statements. Nor can they tell others about their strategies with their clients.

A lawyer is not per bitted to reveal details of discussions and statements from a client to employers, prosecutors, friends, or family members, without their client’s consent. It doesn’t matter whether a defendant admits a crime or intends to plead not guilty. All attorney-client communications are confidential. Both court-appointed lawyers and private criminal defense attorneys are bound to maintain client confidences.

Lawyer-client confidentiality applies to any business conducted in an official lawyer/client capacity. If a man who is arrested on burglary charges talks to a lawyer his wife found for him and later hires a different lawyer, the original lawyer is bound by attorney-client confidentiality. That attorney cannot be called by a prosecutor to testify about anything the defendant told him in a police cell.

Conversations at the jailhouse between defendants and their defense attorneys are confidential. However, these audiences should take place in private areas of the jails. This can pose a challenge in hectic jails such as those in Baltimore. It’s imperative that the attorney and defendant do not speak so loudly that other inmates or guards at the jail overhear what they say.

Phone conversations pose a particular challenge. Often jail phones are separated by a thin glass or plastic partition. Defendants must be careful not to allow guards or even other prisoners to overhear what they say on the telephone to their lawyers. People who eavesdrop may say the accused was talking too loudly.

You may lose the right to attorney-client privilege if you bring strangers who are not part of the relationship into a meeting with your lawyer. The prosecutor may ask the third party about what was said during the meeting. However, the lawyer can maintain the attorney-client privilege by convincing a judge that it was necessary to bring a third-party into the conversation.

Can a Wife Hire a Public Defender for Her Husband in Baltimore?

A wife can inquire about the public defender program and help her husband out but he must apply himself. Eligibility for a public defender in Baltimore is based on the needs of the defendant, in other words, his ability to pay for legal representation.

A District Court Commissioner determines whether the defendant qualifies to be represented by the Office of the Public Defender for the District Court or Circuit Court criminal cases that carry a penalty of incarceration.

The commissioner interviews defendants who may be eligible for a public defender. Defendants complete a written form and must provide information about their income, assets, and expenses.

Can a Wife Hire a Criminal Defense for her Husband in Baltimore?

Always seek a face-to-face audience with a Baltimore criminal defense lawyer to get your questions answered. Attorney Randolph Rice has worked for over a decade defending people who get in trouble with the law in the city. He worked for the Baltimore County State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney before going into private practice. He regularly takes cases before juries in Baltimore’s district and circuity courts and courtrooms across Maryland. Our Baltimore DUI defense attorneys have represented many defendants in DUI cases. We also represent people accused of more complicate federal offenses like white collar crimes, kidnapping, and sex crimes. It’s important to act fast and contact us if your loved one ends up locked up in jail. Please contact us for a free consultation.


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