Frederick County Criminal Defense Lawyer
A defendant accused of a crime has the right to an attorney. When your future is on the line, you need a Frederick County criminal lawyer with experience handling felony and misdemeanor charges. A criminal defense attorney in Maryland can provide you with advice as you decide how best to respond to your charges.
How a Frederick County Criminal Lawyer Can Help
A defendant accused of violating the law has the right to due process and should be treated as innocent until a prosecutor has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant needs an attorney to help secure a fair trial or to explore alternatives to going to court.
A criminal lawyer in Frederick County can provide important assistance when you are being investigated for involvement with a crime or if you have been arrested and charged. Your attorney can:
- Review the evidence against you. Were you searched improperly? Was the evidence handled correctly? Can police prove the chain of custody for evidence? Are the witnesses credible? All of these questions should be asked. Your attorney will help investigate and, if there were problems with the evidence against you, may be able to get the case thrown out.
- Explain your options. You can try to get charges dropped or a case dismissed. You can go to court and try to get a verdict of not guilty. You could try to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement to avoid a criminal record. You could also negotiate a plea agreement with a prosecutor. Your attorney can explain the pros and cons of your options and help you make a smart choice based on the specifics of your case.
- Represent your interests with the prosecutor. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to get the best deal possible if you are not ready to take your case to a court trial.
- Stand up for you in court. Your attorney can make pretrial motions (including a motion to dismiss) and can advocate for you in front of a jury. If you can make any arguments or raise any defenses that introduce reasonable doubt, this should allow you to avoid a guilty verdict.
Being convicted of a crime can change the direction of your life. A Frederick County criminal lawyer can work hard to help you stay on track or get back on firm footing after an arrest has caused a shakeup in your life.
Criminal Law in Frederick County
Many different kinds of behaviors are illegal under the Maryland Criminal Code. This includes drug offenses (Title 5), property crimes (Title 6), and crimes against people (Title 3).
Some of the most common causes of arrest include driving under the influence or driving impaired (Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-902), and assault (Code Sections 3-202 and 3-203).
Some of the most serious offenses include rape (Code Sections 3-303 and 3-304) and murder (Code Section 2-201).
Any criminal offense can result in consequences including jail time, probation, parole, community service, required counseling, fines, house arrest, asset forfeiture, and restitution.
The penalties depend upon the severity of the offense, whether the defendant has a criminal record at the time of sentencing, and the extent of the damage or loss that allegedly results from the offense. For example, the theft of items of a significant value has much more serious penalties than the theft of lower-valued items and assault that causes serious injury has more serious penalties than an assault that causes no lasting injuries at all.
Avoiding a Guilty Verdict in Frederick County
When you are accused of a criminal act, the ultimate goal is to get the charges dropped or to get the judge or jury to find that you are not guilty. In some cases, however, you may not want to take the chance of going to court. For many minor first-offense crimes, you may qualify for probation before judgment (PBJ). This means that you will have certain requirements to fulfill, but will not be left with a criminal record if you successfully complete the terms of your probation. Your charges may be eligible for expungement after complete certain conditions.
A Frederick County criminal lawyer will help you to explore whether PBJ is an option, and will otherwise assist you in doing everything possible to avoid getting a guilty verdict on your permanent record.
Getting Help from a Frederick County Criminal Lawyer
A Frederick County criminal lawyer knows the laws in Maryland that protect defendants and understands the rules of local courts. An attorney will be your advocate and guide as you respond to charges, from the first day of interrogation until your case is over. Call an attorney as soon as possible for help with your case.