Criminal Defense Attorneys in Maryland & DC
Expert Defense Lawyers in Baltimore, Rockville, DC & Beyond
If you have been accused of a crime, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed about what comes next. You deserve a compassionate defense attorney to help you feel confident about what the future holds. At RaquinMercer, our lawyers fight fiercely for your legal rights in court. When we learn about your case, we’ll be upfront and honest about your legal options and possible defense strategies. We believe everyone deserves outstanding legal representation, no matter their charges or guilt.
To request help navigating the legal system, please contact RaquinMercer, a defense attorney firm serving Washington, DC, and Maryland.
Defense for the Accused
How Our Seasoned Team of Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight for You
It’s important to recognize that your case begins the moment you are confronted by the police. Plan to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so you understand your legal rights before your arraignment date or initial court appearance. Our criminal defense lawyers will help you shape your defense and take critical steps that could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
RaquinMercer represents defendants accused of nearly any crime, including:
- Weapons charges
- DUI and traffic offenses
- Drug cases
- Fraud and other white-collar crimes
- Resisting arrest
- Parole and probation violations
- Theft and burglary
- Murder, sexual offenses
- And more
Criminal Defense Proceedings
We’ll stand by your side throughout the entire legal battle, from pre-trial and trial to appeals court and post-conviction proceedings. With our expert representation, we give you the best chance of a desirable outcome.
RaquinMercer—An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in MD & DC
Our criminal defense lawyers, Isabelle Raquin and Steve Mercer, provide the compassion and knowledge you need to make it through your court proceedings. Our team has a passion for justice and will work hard to protect your legal rights.
Call RaquinMercer today at 301-880-9250 to request a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in MD and DC.
Our DNA is Excellence in Criminal Trials, Appeals, and Post-Conviction Proceedings.
In the years that Steve and Isabelle have practiced law, they have come to know that the power of their advocacy is a combination of two mutually reinforcing abilities. First, they effectively analyze, investigate and prepare each case for trial, appeal, or post-conviction. Second, they have the talent, technical skills, and experience necessary to present their client’s side of a case persuasively during trial, in an appellate brief, or at a post-conviction hearing. It is the reinforcing effect of their combined abilities to effectively prepare a case and execute on a plan of representation that results in great advocacy. Steve and Isabelle approach their representation of each client with the firm belief that effective advocacy is both an art and a skill that is only mastered in an individual case through complete preparation and precise execution. This is why a person accused or convicted of a crime should retain RaquinMercer for representation at trial, appeal, or post-conviction.
Judge and jury trials are the principle way to resolve an accusation that a person has committed a crime. Although most criminal accusations are resolved through a plea-bargaining process, judge and jury trials remain the most important method for resolving a factual dispute whether an accused has committed a crime. In another sense, an attorney’s reputation as a trial attorney can make the difference to whether a prosecution ever goes to trial.
In our adversarial system, the defense is pitted against the prosecution and each side presents their version of the truth. In a jury trial, the judge gets to decide legal questions, the jury must decide factual questions, and then apply the law to the facts. To prevail at trial, the defense has certain tools available to it, such as the substantive law of the crime, the rules or procedures of the court, the technical rules of evidence, and the art or psychology of persuasion. Fully integrating these tools at trial is what RaquinMercer is all about.
In our system of criminal justice, overreaching police officers and overzealous prosecutors can tilt the balance of advantage against you. You need a seasoned trial team on your side to shift the balance in your favor. You have rights that need to be protected and a liberty interest that must be defended. RaquinMercer fights for you, for your rights, and for your future.
Contact RaquinMercer to speak with Steve and Isabelle about your criminal case.
Appellate advocacy is a specialized area of practice that is unfamiliar to many trial lawyers. Steve has 20 years of successful appellate experience, primarily in Maryland state appellate courts, but also in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. You can read here a recent appellate decision in a case successfully briefed and argued by Isabelle.
Most trial lawyers lack an understanding of the procedures of an appellate court, or how doctrinal principles shape and define the contours of appellate review. At the same time, many appellate attorneys lack the experience of jury trials, which limits their insight of the trial process. Steve and Isabelle believe that combining the art of appellate advocacy and the art of trial advocacy has a mutually reinforcing and amplifying effect on the quality of representation they provide to their clients. Trial experience, in particular mastering the art and psychology of telling a persuasive narrative, is an essential tool in an appellate practice. Also, knowledge of the appellate process is a critical part of honing legal arguments during a trial. RaquinMercer commits to both.
Contact RaquinMercer to speak with Steve and Isabelle about your appeal.
RaquinMercer has extensive experience with collateral challenges to Maryland state court convictions and sentences. Steve and Isabelle approach their representation of a client in post-conviction proceedings with the firm belief that successful claims can only be identified through complete preparation and precise execution in an evidentiary hearing. Steve has successfully obtained post-conviction relief of a new trial from murder convictions and other serious crimes, such as rape, sex offenses and abuse. Steve’s particular area of expertise include challenges involving DNA/forensic science, but his success also extends to non-DNA/forensic science claims of wrongful conviction. You can read about some of Steve’s successful post-conviction cases here.
Broadly defined, a post-conviction proceeding may involve a motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, a petition under the Maryland Post-Conviction Procedures Act, a Writ of Actual Innocence, a Petition for Post-Conviction DNA testing, or a petition for a common law writ such as habeas corpus, arrest of judgment, and corem nobis. Although Maryland has unified the procedures for many of the post-conviction challenges and most of the historic common law writs, a complex set of rules govern waiver of these claims with many opportunities for a default to occur. Also, because of the tension between a collateral attack on a judgment of conviction and the State’s interest in the finality of a judgment, the substantive law that defines these claims is constantly evolving—and often not in helpful ways. For all of these reasons, success in a post-conviction proceedings requires extensive trial, appellate, and post-conviction experience.
Contact RaquinMercer to speak with Steve and Isabelle about your post-conviction case.
DNA/Forensic Science: Trials, Appeals, Post-Convictions
You may not be aware of it yet, but your case probably involves DNA/forensic science. DNA/forensic science may include any of the following types of evidence frequently introduced during a trial: fingerprints, cell phone/GPS location information, digital/computer evidence, firearm/toolmark comparisons, arson, cause/manner of death, trace evidence, hair/fiber, medical diagnoses of non-accidental trauma, sexual assault examinations and forensic interviews of children, breath, blood or urine tests for alcohol or drugs, and forensic analysis of suspected CDS.
It takes advanced knowledge of science and the law to identify the problem with DNA/forensic science in your case and to develop solutions. It is often the most powerful form of evidence against you. RaquinMercer has the expertise to review, challenge, and confront the DNA/forensic science in your case. Read about our team here. We litigate DNA/forensic science issues at trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction, in prosecutions for murder, rape, child abuse (physical and sexual), sexual offenses, robbery, burglary, assault, drug possession and distribution, weapons charges, theft, fraud, DUI/traffic cases, and violations of parole and probation.
Contact RaquinMercer to speak with Steve and Isabelle about the DNA/forensic science evidence in your case.