Hiring a Somerset Robbery Attorney
When facing robbery charges in Somerset, a person should consider hiring an attorney. Robbery is a serious conviction, and when someone has a robbery conviction on their record, that can be a major red flag to anyone who runs that person’s record. A robbery conviction could be used to justify not giving someone a job or not allowing them into college or graduate school. It is not unusual for background checks to be done, especially for a person’s application for an apartment lease.
A robbery conviction is something that a person should avoid having on their record at all costs. Even theft is an impeachable offense, which means that if the person was ever called into court they could be cross-examined about the fact that they have a prior theft. Also, under Maryland law, if a person has a prior theft conviction and they are convicted of theft again, the maximum penalty can be increased. The more convictions that a person accumulates, the greater amount of jail time that they could be facing. For this reason, hiring a Somerset robbery attorney is a crucial component of any robbery case.
What to Look for in An Attorney
As a person looks to hire an attorney, they should look for someone that has experience in trying cases in the circuit court for Somerset County, which is the court where a robbery case would be held. They should look for an attorney who has prior experience as a prosecutor because they can understand all of the elements of the robbery charge and all of the evidence that would be necessary to prove the case, which can be very helpful for a criminal defense. It can give a robbery lawyer the ability to understand what the prosecution is thinking in a case and what they have to do to prove their case, which the defense can then use to their advantage.
Benefits of a Local Lawyer
A local attorney in Somerset is going to know all the other participants in the criminal justice system, and they are going to be more familiar with those participants than an attorney who is not from the area and does not regularly practice in that jurisdiction. It is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the prosecutors, who has had prior dealings with the prosecutors, and who knows what that particular prosecutor’s beliefs or theories may be on different types of cases. A local lawyer will also know the judge; they will have seen the judge make rulings in various similar types of cases, and they will have a better sense of how this judge sentences people or makes rulings on motions.
Additionally, since the jury pool for a case is going to come from the county where the offense was alleged to have taken place, a local attorney will have a much better understanding of the potential jurors. The attorney probably lives in this area, is generally familiar with the culture of the area, has a good understanding of what people’s expectations are, knows what sorts of cases are more likely to get jurors, and what may hit more closely to home for jurors as far as what their expectations are and what they consider to be appropriate behavior versus inappropriate behavior.
Contacting an Attorney
People do not have an obligation to speak with police. Oftentimes, people will be interviewed by the police and they are told that they have a right to have an attorney, but they waive that right and they still speak with the police officers. By speaking with police without an attorney, though, they are giving information to the police officers information that can be used against them. People are typically hesitant to tell police officers that they are not going to speak without an attorney because they worry the police will assume that they are guilty or there will be some negative inferences, however, if the police are attempting to interview someone, they already suspect them and they are just wrapping up what they consider to be their investigation.
A person should not feel like they have to have a great deal of information available to talk to a lawyer. If the person has already been charged, they want to have their charging documents and anything they received from the police with them when they speak with an attorney, even over the telephone. An attorney may also ask them to talk about their day, or days, leading up to their interaction with the police so the attorney can determine if the defendant has an alibi or if it is just an issue of being mistakenly identified as being the person who committed the crime. When hiring a lawyer in Somerset, the sooner a person can meet with an attorney the better, and the more detail of the chronology that they can give is even better.