As an Annapolis Criminal Defense Attorney, there are 5 different potential outcomes for you case (other than a Not Guilty verdict at trial).
- Nolle Prosequi – The prosecutor who is bringing the case against you has the discretion to terminate a prosecution or charging document and dismiss the charging document against you. The defendant does not have to be present in court when a nolle prosequi is entered. A nolle prosequi can be immediately expunged by filing the appropriate expungement petitions at the clerk’s office. A nolle prosequi generally does not preclude the State from recharging a defendant and claim of double jeopardy can be made unless the State entered the nolle prosequi on the charges after the tesimony began in the case.
- Stet – Maryland Rule 4-248 – Upon motion of the Assistant State’s Attorney, the court may indefinitely postpone trial upon a charging document by marking the case “stet” on the docket. You are not necessarily required to be there for a stet but you are required to be there to maintain your speedy trial rights.
An Annapolis Criminal Defense attorney or the judge will go over your speedy trial rights with you.
“The prosecutor has requested that the charge be placed on the stet docket. A stet is not a trial, and it is not a dismissal of the charge.
The charge currently is scheduled ont he active trial docket, which means that it is scheduled for trial today. The stet docket is an inactive docket, which means that it will be indefinitely postponed. It is like placing a case on a shelf.
A stetted charge may be rescheduled for trial at the request of either party within one year for any reason. After one year, either party may request that the charge be rescheduled for trial but it may only be rescheduled by order of court for good cause shown.
You have a right to speedy trial. This means that you have a right to be tried within a reasonable period of time after being charged. If the case is placed upon the stet docket, it may bever be rescheduled for trial, or it may be rescheduled at an indefinite time in the future. If you agree to the entry of a stet, you may not be tried within a reasonable period of time, and therefore you would be waiving your right to a speedy trial.
A charge may not be stetted over your objection.
Do you understand everything I have explained to you?
Do you have any objection to the entry of a stet of the charge pending against you?”
3. Confession of Not Guilty – The State will enter a nolle prosequi before they enter this disposition.
4. Nolo Contendere – Maryland Rule 4-242(d) – A plea of nolo contendere or no contest which, for all practical purposes, is an admission of guilt, requires the permission of the court. No verdict is entered and thus the defendant has no criminal record or conviction. The DMV treats this as a conviction, though. No appeal can be taken from nolo contendere
5. Guilty Plea – Maryland Rule 4-242(c) -The court will not accept the guilty plea without qualifying the defendant first that the guilty plea is voluntarily made. Here is a sample guilty plea advisement of rights:
-Do you understant that you are pleading to XXXXX crime?
DO you understand that you have a right to a jury trial?
A jury trial before anne arundel county registered voters. Understand?
Right to a bench trial?
Right to cross examine witnesses?
Right to present evidence?
You have not been forced or coerced or threatened for this plea?
You are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
You understand you are giving up your right to appeal?
You understand that you could be giving up rights if you are not an american citizen?