As an Experienced Baltimore Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney I have often written about the mistakes that are made by inexperienced attorneys when representing people in criminal cases. I often pose the question, “did you hire the right lawyer to represent you?”. In many of my previous postings I have written about cases in which the criminal defendant has hired an attorney who was in reality a domestic (divorce/child custody) attorney, an accident attorney or a general practitioner, who had claimed to be experienced in criminal defense. Upon closer inspection of his or her case history, these claims turned out to be false.
Recently I have become aware of several instances of poor representation in cases where the criminal defendant hires an attorney who sends him an unsolicited letter shortly after they are charged in a criminal case. These “letter lawyers” as they are known, very often offer legal services at well below the customary fee charged by experienced criminal lawyers. The reason for this in most instances is that the attorneys sending these letters are inexperienced (many are just out of law school) and are unable to attract criminal clients any other way. Truly experienced criminal defense attorneys are able to get most of their clients from referrals from past satisfied clients or from people who do the necessary research to find a qualified lawyer to represent them. And as the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for”, as very often these inexperienced attorneys do what one would expect from an inexperienced attorney and that is, they make mistakes.
I have written in this blog about many instances where the mistakes made by “letter lawyers” or other inexperienced lawyers are immediately apparent – usually because the defendant ended up in jail on a case where he wouldn’t have had he been properly represented by a criminal defense specialist. In other cases the mistake may not become apparent for many months or even many years after the case is mishandled. I was recently hired by a client who falls into this latter category. Here are the facts:
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