If someone you love is in legal trouble, you may want to do everything you can to help them. If you have no legal training or experience with the criminal justice system, your best move may be to hire a lawyer to represent your loved one. Whether this is a member of your immediate family, a member of your extended family, or even a close friend or partner, you can contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today to discuss hiring a Baltimore criminal defense lawyer for a family member.
Our defense lawyers may be able to take your loved one’s case and represent them in court, fighting the charges against them and working to get the case dropped or dismissed. If you want to hire a lawyer for a family member or someone else, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 to discuss the case.
Hiring a Lawyer for Someone Else in Maryland
Everyone accused of a crime has the right to an attorney. Most of us, especially fans of police dramas, can likely recite the Miranda rights guarantee that “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” If your friend or family member cannot afford a lawyer for themselves, they may be entitled to representation from a public defender or another pro bono lawyer, but that attorney may have a heavy caseload of similar clients who cannot afford attorneys.
This may get them lost in the shuffle or may not give them the quality representation they need. Instead, consider hiring an attorney for your loved one.
Parents paying for a lawyer for their child is incredibly common, even for college students and other adult children. Similarly, someone’s spouse or other family members may meet with a lawyer and hire them on the defendant’s behalf if the defendant is behind bars awaiting trial.
These kinds of cases are quite common. If you have a loved one who was arrested or accused of committing a crime, you may be able to contact our law offices on their behalf to schedule a free consultation and volunteer to pay their legal fees.
Lawyer-Client Relationship When Another Person Pays
Regardless of who pays the attorney’s fees, a criminal defense lawyer is required to provide counsel and legal advice to the client. If you are interested in paying for a lawyer for someone else, it is important to understand the lawyer’s ethics rules and how the relationship works when there is a lawyer, a client, and a payor.
The lawyer-client relationship is governed by many laws and ethics rules. One of the core tenants of this rule is that the lawyer is to keep any communications for legal help between the client and the lawyer confidential. Having a third party present while discussing the case, even the person paying the lawyer, can actually violate this confidentiality and reduce the protections afforded to the client.
Because of this, someone paying for a lawyer for someone else may not be involved in the case to a level they want. The client can always share information with the person paying their legal fees if they want to, but the lawyer’s hands may be tied. Even though the payor pays their bills, the lawyer’s duty is first and foremost to the client.
Some exceptions might apply that allow you to be more involved in the case. If you are paying on behalf of your minor child, the attorney may need you present during some of the discussions and interactions. The same may be true if you are the guardian for an adult with developmental disorders.
How Criminal Cases Proceed in Maryland
The first question that many family members have when their loved one is up on criminal charges is “What happens next?” Family members want to know when their loved one can come home, how long the criminal case will take, and when they will be free and clear of the charges.
Every case is different, and depending on the facts of the case, the complexity of those facts, and the seriousness of the charges, the case can take drastically different amounts of time. However, most cases follow the same basic procedures.
First, your loved one will be arrested and booked for the crime. Bail will be set, and the defendant is typically released. If they were not released or bail is too expensive, our first priority will be to get them released while they await trial.
Their case may involve many preliminary court dates for preliminary hearings and arraignments. At these stages, the defendant enters a plea – typically “not guilty” – and gets the first chance to address the charges and some of the evidence against them.
If the case proceeds, the pretrial stage will involve exchanging evidence and interviewing witnesses to build a strong defense case. We will also submit motions to the court with legal arguments to challenge evidence and charges on legal grounds.
If the case proceeds to trial, the trial will typically only last a few days or up to a week or two for very serious cases. This is the culmination of the whole case, and our attorneys can be there to fight the case. If your loved one is found guilty, the case is not over. There are still opportunities to reduce the penalties at sentencing or even continue to fight the case on appeal.
Call Our Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyers to Hire an Attorney for a Loved One
If your loved one or family member was charged with a serious crime in Maryland, call our law offices today. Our attorneys may be able to take your loved one’s case and fight to keep them out of jail. For a free legal consultation, contact the Baltimore criminal defense lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.