Justin Lake is a passionate advocate for all of his clients and fights until the very end in order to obtain the best possible results, specific to each individual client’s unique situation. Upon joining Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates in 2018, Justin’s effectiveness in the courtroom was quickly recognized by his peers as he was selected as one of Maryland Superlawyer’s Rising Stars, which is a distinction awarded to only 2.5% of the attorneys in Maryland. Justin understands that being charged with a crime and facing the criminal justice system can be a scary and daunting process. He takes great pride in each of his clients’ cases and works hard to keep all clients informed throughout the entire process.
Ref: “Mr. Lake ALWAYS took the time to call me after each court date and explain things to me…Mr. Lake always put me at ease, not only is he a great lawyer but truly cares for the people he represents, and their families and it shows! I would recommend Mr. Lake to anyone in legal trouble…”
Justin has years of experience handling a wide range of criminal, DUI/DWI and traffic cases. Prior to joining Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates, Justin was an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office. During his nearly four years at the State’s Attorney’s office, Justin prosecuted hundreds of DUI/DWI and misdemeanor cases, prompting his quick promotion to the Circuit Court Division, where he routinely handled major felony cases including Robbery, Armed Robbery and First Degree Murder. As a defense attorney at SZA, Justin is now handling these same types of cases, and the experience Justin has as a former prosecutor allows him to meticulously analyze each and every aspect of his cases to get the best results for his clients.
One particularly notable case that Justin has handled was during the winter of 2019, when Justin represented a client charged with First Degree Rape, a felony that carries the possibility of life in prison. The case was not called for trial until over one full year from the date that charges were initiated. Through Justin’s tirelessly efforts to defend his client, he learned that prosecution’s case was based solely on false accusations. One of the most satisfying moments of Justin’s career was when, due to Justin’s superb lawyering, evidence proposed by the state was excluded and the prosecution forced to dismiss all charges against Justin’s client. Sharing with his client and the client’s family that their the nightmare was finally over is a pinnacle moment in Justin’s career that he will never forget. Perhaps this is just one reason why one of the Maryland judges commented about him: “Justin has impressed me so much…..He puts a lot of thought into his approach for each of his clients and chose the perfect words to say on their behalf. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear Justin has been doing criminal defense for 20+ years. He is so polished and poised….”
Justin is a lifelong Maryland resident, growing up in Howard County with his parents and two sisters. Justin received his undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University and matriculated from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he graduated Cum Laude. Justin now lives in Baltimore with his wife and daughter. Justin is a passionate D.C. sports fan, and enjoys cheering on the Washington Football Team, Nationals, Capitals, Wizards, and of course his Nittany Lions.
Year admitted to bar: 2013
Law School: University of Baltimore, School of Law
College: The Pennsylvania State University
Born: June 10, 1988, Silver Spring, MD