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When should a suspect's criminal defense begin?


Criminal procedure in America is steeped in tradition. From the right to a speedy trial to proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, many of the tenets of criminal law go back to the country's founding. Despite this history, many Maryland residents know little about how a criminal case plays itself out.

Fortunately, there are resources which help explain the process. One of the better resources is a justice system flow chart which lays out the process, including alternatives, from an incident to the sentence. The question then becomes, when does one initiate a criminal defense?

Upon an incident of abuse, two things can happen. Either the police become immediately involved or a victim reports the incident to authorities. Certainly, if an arrest occurs shortly after either of these two scenarios, the accused should consult a local Upper Marlboro criminal defense attorney.

Often times, though, the process moves much slower than that. For instance, allegations of domestic violence may result in police interviews, medical exams or other fact finding activities. The person suspected of a crime may wonder whether they need representation during that process.

While formal charges may not have been filed, it may still be prudent for a suspect to secure the help of a criminal defense attorney. These experts in criminal law will ensure that the investigation process is fair. They can guide their clients through the ins and outs of an investigation and prevent overreaching by authorities.

Time and time again, the assistance of a defense lawyer early in the criminal process has proved invaluable at reducing penalties, controlling a damaged reputation or silencing false allegations.

Source: Maryland Crime Victim's Resource Center, "Justice System Roadmap," Accessed on August 26, 2014

Source: Maryland Crime Victim's Resource Center, "Justice System Roadmap," Accessed on August 26, 2014

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