So you have been charged with a crime. Whether or not the charges are legitimate or not, you should treat them with the highest degree of seriousness. You could go to jail depending on the charges against you. If the charges are minor, go here.
A thorough investigation of the evidence and facts against you is needed. Scott MacMullan Law, LLC can assist you with this. Please call 443-494-9775.
You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The State must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This is a high standard.
Most cases are “overcharged”. Meaning overzealous prosecutors bring frivolous charges against you.
1. You have a right to a lawyer.
2. You have the right to testify on your own behalf.
3. You have the right to cross examine and confront witnesses.
4. You have the right to remain silent.
5.You have the right to a speedy trial.
6. You ave the right to compel witnesses testimony.
7. You have the right to a jury trial and/or judge trial.
What can happen at your criminal trial date?
1. The prosecutor can drop the case/charge for some reason (usually weak evidence). This dropping of the charge/count is usually called “Nolle Pros.” If your charges are dropped you can just go home. The case is closed for those specific charges that were dropped.
2. You can have your case stayed. If a case is stayed or the charge is made “Stet” then the case can be brought again within a year if the prosecutor so chooses. (Usually only if additional evidence is found.) The practical reason why a case is stayed is that the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence to prosecute but the prosecutor wants to cover themselves against public criticism in case additional evidence is discovered against you.
3. You can get what is called a “probation before judgment” or a “PBJ”. If you plea guilty the judge can strike the guilty finding and enter probation before judgment. The judge usually does this because of favorable circumstances, such as this was your first time committing this crime. The judge decides whether the Probation is supervised or unsupervised.
4. A finding of guilt which leads to a punishment from the judge. (Jailtime, fine, community service, etc.)
Remember to double-check which courthouse you are supposed to show up to!
Call Scott MacMullan Law, LLC at 443-494-9775 to protect and fight for your rights during your criminal case.
For information on what “Your Legal Rights are if You Are Arrested” the Maryland State Bar Association has a helpful online brochure that can be found by clicking here.