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Help From a Lawyer When Deciding How to Plea in a Maryland Federal Case

While making a deal for your case, it is critical to have help from a lawyer when deciding how to plea in a Maryland federal case.  An attorney will know what constitutes a “good” or “bad” deal.  An attorney is familiar with the sentencing guidelines and the different variances that can be used to reduce your potential sentence. An experienced federal criminal attorney will know the judge and the prosecutor involved and will be able to think creatively to craft a plea arrangement that addresses your specific needs and concerns. 

What is the Benefit of an Attorney When Deciding a Plea?

Having an attorney to help one decide on a plea is critical because the attorney can specifically explain the consequences. When a person is pleading in federal case, they are affected by guidelines which are calculations based on the charge as well as other factors including the person’s criminal record and specific aspects of the charge. The guidelines determine a range of months of potential jail time that are advisories. The guidelines give a court a general range of potential jail time; but the judge does not have to follow that. 

The guidelines are one factor to consider. An attorney knows that there are other factors. An attorney who has experience with the specific sentencing judge, knows how to play to audience and knows what factors the judge may find more important and more compelling. Another judge may want to hear different factors and that is something the attorney can help the individual understand.  

Understanding the Lawyer Relationship with the Prosecution

The attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor. Frequently, help from a lawyer when deciding how to plea in a Maryland federal case means being able to utilize the attorney’s experience and working relationship with the prosecutor. The attorney knows how to play to the judge, the audience, and the prosecutor. In negotiations, the attorney may know what the prosecutor wants to hear to bring the prosecutor to a sentence or an agreement that is more comfortable for their client. The lawyer is familiar with the legal consequences and the collateral consequences and how they affect security clearance and employment options. 

The attorney may be able to speak with family, friends, and employers to explain the nature of the situation and give them confidence about the process. When a person tries to plea bargain without a lawyer, the prosecution holds all the cards. The prosecution has the experience and legal training.

The person is at an incredible disadvantage to go to the negotiating table without that. A person always wants to have as much information, knowledge, and experience as possible when they come to the negotiating table. An experienced attorney can provide that. Ultimately, the decision to plead is up to a person. It is always the defendant’s decision and it must always be the individual’s decision. 

Importance of Hiring an Attorney

Help from a lawyer when deciding how to plea in a Maryland federal case means providing you with the information to understand the different options of every decision. The attorney can let youknow what they think is the best outcome while leaving the decision in the hands of the individual. Attorneys want their potential client to be as prepared as possible and make the most informed decision possible. Without an attorney, a person does not have the same information and the same breadth of options they have when an experienced attorney provides them with information and counsel. 

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