Last Updated: 05.06.2020
As a Baltimore Criminal lawyer, we regularly have clients come into the office and have already had that wonderful free consultation with their own personal “neighborhood” lawyer (or jailhouse lawyer) [these are people who are not really lawyers but have some experience with the criminal justice system, be it a parking ticket to a stint in the big house]. Sometimes these valuable friends can provide sage advice (and occasionally will get their cases to the Supreme Court); usually these friends provide nothing but confusion, misinformation, and bad advice.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer: An Online Example
While reviewing my Facebook feed this morning, I came across a gem of an article. It’s title was, “how to beat a speeding ticket.” (note: I probably shouldn’t send it traffic by linking it, but I will) It was written by a 3rd-year law student, which should have been my first tip that it was not a good article. Of course, we regularly represent people in Baltimore traffic and criminal courts, so I read the article anyway. What a bad idea. It was filled with a laundry list of bad ideas.
Here was the doozy:
8. Call the officer at work
Um, yeah if you want to really piss off a cop, call him at work. Or if you just want him to ignore you and make sure that he comes to court on your regularly scheduled court date, call him at work. Or if you want to look like a psychopath who is stalking a cop and get a peace order put out against you, call him at work. Frankly, I occasionally tried calling he precinct when I was a prosecutor and I could never get in touch with anyone so good luck!
9. Write a letter to the officer
See #8. Ditto
10. Repeat calls and letters to the judge and/or the prosecutor.
See above, and multiply it by 100. For a sure-fire way to get yourself on the police radar; harass a judge and/or prosecutor. Really, go ahead and see how quickly a police office is knocking on your door asking to search your computer and garage.
The occasional good advice
Of course, like every jailhouse lawyer or “friend” who caught a charge before (like catching a cold), your friend may have some good advice. Examples of good advice:
- Show up to court on time
- Be prepared
- Dress appropriately
- Sometimes a delay in your court case is helpful (but in Maryland it will probably need to be done in advance of trial for a speeding ticket)
- When you are stopped by police, know your rights and quietly assert them
- Understand the technical concepts of speeding (radar is sound waves, LIDAR is a light beam)
- Understand that you can “argue” about Radar, but not as much about Lidar.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer Bottom Line
When in doubt, cast your neighborhood, jailhouse, or online advice aside and talk to a real Maryland Criminal Lawyer. Contact ENlawyers