Halethorpe, MD asked in Criminal Law, Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Maryland

Q: I need answers!!!

my son is currently at Central Booking we have ask for his panal attorney to put in for a review of his case because he does have asthma and has been receiving treatment at Central Booking for it. Unfortunately since he has had the panal attorney assigned to him the panal attorney is always unavailable it took him two months to get his Discovery he Nevers return any call or text the few times he has he has said his wife has cancer and he is dealing with that it's been two weeks and no response from the attorney. Is there any recommendation you can give. It's been 8 months and we have so many doubt because we are being ignored my son doesn't think the time he is being offered is right we don't understand why he hasn't tried for the home monitoring because of this virus we even have the home monitoring people calling the lawyer. Anything you can suggest will be grateful I thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It is not clear whether the problem is primarily that the panel attorney does not have the time to devote to your son's case, or is unable to do much given that the courts are all closed and operating to address only emergency issues and therefore cannot do anything at this time for your son until courts reopen, or if the issue is that he ethically is bound to communicate with and take direction from his client--your son--and not you since he does not represent you and you are not his clients. It could be a combination of all three. Or perhaps you believe he is not competent or sufficiently diligent or the best option for your son. Regardless, your son is an adult, and he can decide on his own whether to fire his lawyer and hire another lawyer, or apply for the Public Defender if he qualifies, and/or you can help him pay for another lawyer. But he needs a lawyer, and before he acts he should insist on speaking with his current lawyer first, air his concerns, and obtain a clear understanding of what the plan and strategy is going forward, as well as all his options and likely outcomes. You do not state what he is charged with, where he is (Central Booking in DC? Or are you referring to a Maryland jail?), or whether he has appeared before a judge on bond review since his initial arrest. 8 months ago when he was first arrested and incarcerated was well before the COVID-19 pandemic, so I assume the reasons for his inability to be released pretrial had to do with the nature of the crime (serious felony/violent crime) and or a significant prior criminal history. Only non-violent offenders are being considered for release under guidelines for COVID-19.

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