Defense Strategies for Maryland Assault Charges
Time is very important. When you hire an attorney, they’re going to want to enter an appearance demand to speed up the trial and get discovery from the state. You want them to have as much time as possible to work on every detail of the allegations. They need to have the opportunity to work with you, go over everything, and prepare you for trial. They will also need to know every single aspect of the story that you can remember and you will remember more in the beginning than you will as time passes.
Preparation for Trial in Maryland Assault Cases
In any case, I always take a very generous amount of time for preparation and run them through the questions that I would be asking. However, if you were in the situation and you are being charged, you know what happened better than anyone else, so you have to explain everything that allegedly occurred to your attorney.
How Important Is It to Keep an Attorney Informed?
You give your attorney the best possible chance to protect you and represent you by giving them all of the most important information. The way I look at cases is that everyone is telling the truth; the client, the State’s Attorney, and the officers. You have to look at whose truth is the most credible and the most honest. I need my client to sound the best, to be the most credible, and to be the person that everyone will believe. That is how I prepare my clients.
Is It Risky to Take the Stand in Maryland Assault Cases?
The risk is that your client has certain protections and the burden of proof is on the state. They will call their witnesses and if the witnesses cannot do enough to ensure a conviction, you’ll never have to call up your client. Before you would do that, you would make a motion for the judgment of the court based on the presentation of facts at that point.
If the judge decides that there is no reason to do that, then you have the opportunity to call witnesses and you would always want to call other witnesses first. If you have to call up your client, you would want to call them up last. If you do, you have to advise them of their rights because they are waiving their right to not self-incriminate. Then you get a protective promise that there is no bearing on their credibility, their truthfulness, or their innocence. The defendant is choosing to testify but it is up to the state to prove or disprove anything.
If you put your client up there, you also want to prepare them because they are used to you asking them questions, but then the prosecution will also ask them questions. They are going to ask why the court should believe them when this other person is saying something different. They will ask what makes them more credible than the other person. Those questions are difficult to answer for anybody.