A criminal defense lawyer is trained in specialized in defending individuals and businesses that have been charged with state and federal crimes. If you are facing criminal charges it is suggested that you retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer for your matter.

What is a Criminal Defense Attorney?

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer that defends and represents an individual who is facing a criminal charge. A criminal charge can include violations of the state and federal criminal laws as well as state and federal traffic violations. The Maryland Criminal Laws dictate all criminal actions that can be prosecuted within the state. The Maryland Transportation Laws set forth the crimes that may be committed on Maryland highways and Roads. A criminal defense attorney’s job is to analyze and prepared defense as well as advise their client on the best course of action when facing criminal charges.

How much for a criminal defense lawyer?

The cost to retain a criminal defense lawyer is dictated by number of factors. These factors may include

  • The types of charges the client is facing
  • The maximum penalties for the charges
  • The time it will take to represent the client
  • Whether the case will result in a plea or a trial
  • The criminal and traffic record for the client
  • The time for investigation and legal research
  • The need for experts and investigators in the case
  • Various other factors.

The best way to find out the cost of a criminal defense lawyer is to meet and discuss your case in person. Criminal defense lawyers will review the facts of your case and propose a fee agreement for representation.

How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost for District Court cases?

The Maryland District Court is the tribunal that hears misdemeanor and traffic cases. The cost of a District Court criminal defense lawyer can vary. For a traffic case in the Maryland District Court, a criminal defense lawyer will typically charge between $750 and $1,500. If an individual is facing drunk driving or DUI / DWI charges a lawyer can cost between $1,500 and $2,500 for a first offense.

If a defendant is facing criminal charges the typical cost for criminal defense lawyer of the District Court is $1,250 to $2,500. Violations of probation, which can occur if an individual does not follow a court order, can cost anywhere from $750 to $1,500 for criminal defense lawyer.

Read more at: How Much does a Criminal Lawyer Cost?

How much does a lawyer cost for a Circuit Court case?

The Maryland Circuit Court hears felony cases as well as misdemeanor jury trial prayers and District Court Appeals. A typical cost for a Maryland criminal defense lawyer for a misdemeanor jury trial or district court of appeal is $2,000 to $4,000.

If an individual is charged with a non-violent felony defense lawyer and the Circuit Court will charge between $5,000 and $7,500. For violent felony charges in the Circuit Court, a criminal defense lawyer will typically charge between $10,000 and $25,000. For the most serious types of cases including murder, rape and child abuse a criminal defense lawyer can charge between $20,000 and $50,000 to represent an individual in the Circuit Court.

How to become a criminal defense lawyer?

To become a criminal defense lawyer a person must first complete college and attend an accredited Law School. Upon completion of Law School, successful passage of the bar exam is required to practice law in Maryland. Most criminal defense lawyers have experience as either a prosecutor or as a public defender.

What does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

The most important thing a criminal defense lawyer does is offer you legal advice throughout your pending criminal charges. From the moment you meet the lawyer and conduct your initial consultation all the way through the conclusion of the criminal matter. There are various steps in both district court and circuit court cases that require the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer.

In addition, a criminal defense lawyer can advise you as to the maximum penalties for your charges as well as the criminal law applicable to your case. A criminal defense lawyer represent you at trial. In Maryland, there are two types of trials, a bench trial and a jury trial.

Bench Trial

A bench trial, also known as a judge trial, is where a defendant pleads not guilty before judge and the judge will hear the evidence and make a decision as to guilt or innocence. During a bench trial, criminal defense lawyer will cross-examine the state’s witnesses and call witnesses for the defense. Criminal defense lawyer is trained in the rules of evidence and is knowledgeable and what evidence may be admitted or excluded during the trial. If a defendant is charged with a crime that carries a maximum penalty of greater than 90 days, and the defendant is entitled to a jury trial.

Jury Trial

A jury trial is held before 12 members of the community selected from the motor roles and voter rolls for the county where the defendant is charged. If a defendant elects a jury trial, the defendant will plead guilty and the state will begin calling Witnesses and presenting evidence before the jury. At the conclusion of the state’s case, the defendant and his criminal defense lawyer will have the option of calling their own Witnesses or allowing the defendant to testify.

At the conclusion of all evidence, the jury will resign to the jury room to deliberate and make a decision as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. The jury must unanimously agree on their verdict, which means all 12 must agree as to guilt or innocence. If all 12 do not agree, it is called a hung jury, and the state has the option of retrying the case until a unanimous verdict is met.

Criminal defense lawyer for a preliminary hearing

In Maryland, a preliminary hearing is a proceeding held in the District Court to determine if probable cause exists to charge the defendant with a crime. The defendant does not testify at the preliminary hearing or offer any evidence but does have the right to hear the oven is presented by the state. The defendant’s criminal defense lawyer does have the ability to cross-examine the witnesses at a preliminary hearing.

After hearing all the evidence the court will decide if probable cause exists. If probable cause does not exist, that the charges will be dismissed. If you are charged with a felony, the state’s attorney has the right to vacate the preliminary hearing and request the grand jury hear the evidence. A preliminary hearing must be requested within 10 days of the first appearance by the defendant before the commissioner.

How can a criminal defense lawyer help me after I’m arrested?

After you are rested you’ll be taken before District Court commissioner to determine if probable cause exists and to set a bail for the case. A criminal defense lawyer may be present during the bail hearing before the commissioner. In addition, a criminal defense lawyer can speak with the state’s attorney to determine the direction of the case and learn of any evidence the state may have against the defendant.

How does a criminal defense lawyer help in a plea bargain?

A plea or plea bargain is a process where the defendant admits guilt and accepts a deal from the state. The state may offer one or more counts in a case for the defendant to plead guilty an exchange the state will dismiss or nolle prosequi the remaining charges. If a defendant enters a plea, it is up to the judge to determine the sentence. The defendant’s criminal defense lawyer will argue for a lesser sentence before the judge and provide and present mitigation. Mitigation is evidence or arguments that the judge can consider in fashioning the sentence. A criminal sentence in Maryland may include jail time, probation, fines, court costs, and any other conditions the court deems appropriate for the defendant.

How to choose a criminal defense lawyer?

When choosing a criminal defense lawyer there are number of factors to consider. They may include, the experience of the criminal defense lawyer, his knowledge of the law, and your comfort level with the lawyer. One of the most important factors when choosing a criminal defense lawyer is finding one you can trust and that you feel has your best interest at heart. A criminal defense lawyer will be with you throughout the whole process of your criminal charges and you want to be able to trust and have confidence and faith that the lawyer will do everything in your best interest. You also want to find a lawyer that is well spoken and presents well in the courtroom.

Criminal defense lawyer in Maryland

If you are facing criminal charges are you believe you’re going to be charged with a crime in Maryland, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The law offices of Randolph Rice have been defending individuals and businesses in Maryland since 2009. They have defended thousands of clients who have been charged with crimes and violations of the traffic laws throughout Maryland period contact their office today to schedule a free consultation and learn how they can help.