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Pre-Charge Defense

Pre-Charge Defense Attorney in Maryland & Washington D.C.

Preparing Defense Strategies During Criminal Investigations

If you are facing any form of a government investigation, an experienced, local criminal defense attorney can provide pre-charge representation. This is a critical phase of the criminal justice process because it is the period during which an experienced attorney can have the most significant impact on the outcome of your case.

David Zwanetz and Justin Lake, the co-managing partners of SZL, understand the stress and anxiety that comes with a criminal investigation. As such, we frequently provide investigatory representation to help clients protect their rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact us online today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.

What Is a Pre-Charge Intervention?

“Investigations” and “criminal charges” are not the same. When a person is formally charged with a crime, the response is rather standard: Get a lawyer and fight.

However, many individuals know they are under investigation for a criminal act —they have received a standard or Grand Jury subpoena, or a visit from law enforcement. But without being formally charged, many people optimistically wait for criminal charges to be filed before they seek legal help. This is the wrong choice!

During any criminal investigation, law enforcement officals will work tirelessly to gather incriminating evidence against their target. This is why it is in one’s best interest to balance the scales of justice by retaining a defense lawyer who can counteract the allegations. The time between an alleged offense and the conclusion of a government investigation serves as an advantage to the prosecutors, but by retaining a lawyer for pre-filing intervention, one will eliminate the prosecutor’s advantage.

Hiring an experienced attorney for pre-charge representation gives you the best possible chance to avoid a criminal charge and can drastically alter the outcome of your case.

A defense attorney's main job is to protect their client's rights. Any individual under investigation by the government, or at risk of being charged with a crime, absolutely needs protection. A pre-filing defense allows lawyers to proactively address any potential legal issues before they arise.

Our attorneys can also work with law enforcement officials and prosecutors to position a case in the most favorable way.

A pre-filing defense can involve: 

  • Interviewing witness and gathering evidence in tandem with or before law enforcement can; or
  • convincing a prosecutor not to file charges at all; or
  • negotiating a plea bargain or cooperation agreement; or
  • providing information that may mitigate the charges.

Pre-charge representation is crucial to your case. If you wait until criminal charges are filed, it may be too late to acquire critically important evidence that supports one’s defense.

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.

Investigations Defense for Federal Crimes in Maryland

If the federal government is investigating you, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

When facing a federal investigation, we commonly hear subjects or targets of an investigation asking questions such as:

  • Can I invoke the 5th amendment?
  • Am I a target of this federal investigation?
  • Will criminal charges get filed?
  • What are my responsibilities for producing documents?
  • What are the consequences of ignoring a subpoena?

An experienced attorney, hired at the right stage, could help address these important concerns or bypass them altogether, potentially keeping the charges from ever moving forward. At Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake, we are prepared and highly-experienced in challenging all types of federal criminal investigations, including:

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