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Frequently Asked Questions

Find Answers to Your Columbia Criminal Defense Case Needs

If you were arrested on a criminal charge, you only have a limited time to assemble a case and build your defense. Prosecutors are notorious for their interest in winning a case, no matter how it’s done. With the help of experienced Howard County criminal defense lawyers, you can increase your odds of an outcome in your favor. With over 50 combined years of award-winning experience, the team at Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake is here to help you fight for your rights.

Dial (410) 927-5137 now or contact Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake online to schedule a free consultation about your case.

Below you will find answers to questions our clients often ask. You can find out more about how we serve our clients and how to proceed. When you are ready to get started on your legal strategy, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.

  • Why should I hire Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake to handle my case?

Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake have experience in both prosecuting and defending criminal, traffic, DUI/DWI and personal injury cases. Our firm has a proven track record of zealously representing clients—both in and out of the courtroom and when cases cannot be resolved pre-trial—and we are especially skilled in the courtroom due to our extensive judge/jury trial experiences.

  • Do you have a free consultation?

Yes, we offer a free, initial consultation.

  • What are your fees?

We offer a flat fee rate on all criminal, traffic, and juvenile matters. All fees are based on the applicable charge and prior record of the client. For personal injury, fees are calculated on a contingency basis, or based on the amount collected. In these cases, there are no fees unless we win.

  • What form of payment do you take?

We take MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, cash, money order, and checks.

  • Do you offer payment plans for your retainers?

Payment plans are only offered on an as-needed basis.

  • Will I have an opportunity to meet with the attorney before I go to trial?

All clients will have the opportunity to review and prepare their case with the attorney prior to trial. Customarily, we will obtain police reports and other documentation to send to clients for review. We will schedule a meeting to help clients prepare for trial as well.

  • What happens if my temporary license expires before I get an MVA hearing?

The MVA is required to forward driving privilege extensions as long as a hearing request and application filing fee are filed in a timely manner. In the event that you do not receive an extension, please contact our office and we will assist you.

  • How long will it take to get a court date and MVA hearing from the date of my offense?

It takes approximately 6-10 weeks for an MVA hearing to be set from the date of offense. A court date will be assigned usually 4-8 weeks from the date of offense.

  • What happens if I cannot appear on the date the court sets for my trial?

In the event that you cannot appear for trial, it will be necessary for you to provide proof that you cannot appear for court. Once we receive that proof, we can request a postponement on your behalf.

  • If I have a bench warrant for my arrest, what steps should I take to have this warrant recalled? 
    If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, it is imperative that you make an appointment with our office to discuss recalling or quashing this warrant, or making arrangements to turn yourself in to the authorities. If that drastic step is necessary, Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake can assist you in securing the services of bail bondsman to secure your release from custody.

See Why We're the Right Choice

Reasons to Choose Our Firm
  • We approach every case as a team.
  • Every initial consultation is free and no-obligation.
  • We are available for you 24/7.
  • We are a team of former prosecutors and know how the other side thinks.
  • We have in-house payment plan options on qualifying cases.
  • We are highly recommended and awarded by various associations.

A High-Quality Reputation

Read Reviews from Real People
    "Will Be In Good Hands"
    I never hesitate to refer any potential clients with criminal defense needs to Justin Lake or David Zwanetz
    - Joe M.
    "Easy to work with"
    Prompt, professional, and easy to work with as a client.
    - Zach S.
    "Great Lawyer With Ethics and Morals"
    From my 8-month experience, Mr. Justin Lake is a great lawyer with ethics and morals. Even more a good man in a time there seems to be a shortage of. Highly recommend!
    - L.W.
This Isn't a "Paycheck" This Is Our Calling
At Shapiro, Zwanetz & Lake (SZL) we believe in thinking differently from most lawyers and law firms. We help our clients understand and accept their legal situation; we work with them to confront and improve that situation, while seeking the best outcome available at law. We recognize that each client is a unique individual, each deserving of the highest client/customer service; and we just happen to get our clients excellent results while we deliver that exceptional service.

Contact Our Team

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