The Montgomery County Criminal Justice System
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Montgomery County, Maryland it is important you know what to expect from the court system before standing in front of a judge. With this in mind, the following is information regarding the court system in Montgomery County including where certain cases are heard, how judges treat these cases, and information on local prosecutors.
To learn more about these types of cases or to discuss your case, call a Montgomery County criminal defense lawyer today and schedule a free consultation.
Montgomery County Courts and Judges
The court system, especially in the circuit court for the more serious offenses, is committed to use the Maryland sentencing guidelines. They come up with a sentence that is most appropriate for the criminal allegations that have been brought in that particular case. Those sentencing guidelines are used by judges to put a criminal defendant on equal footing with other similarly situated criminal defendants in similar criminal situations throughout the state.
Whether a judge is particularly harsh or not for a particular offense will depend on the individual judge.
Montgomery County Prosecutors
The types of cases that tend to be the most heavily and intensely prosecuted cases in the Montgomery County are those that involve family violence. The family violence unit in Montgomery County is among the most talented units in the state, in any prosecutor’s office. They are prosecutors that deal with domestic violence cases, child sex offense cases, things that really of particular importance to the family unit.
These prosecutors are very well trained. This is a division of the prosecutor’s office that is very well funded. These cases are treated extremely seriously within the county.
Montgomery County courts take all criminal cases seriously but frankly the unit that decides whether or not a case is going to be prosecuted and how severely it is going to be prosecuted is the state’s attorney’s office – not the court system. Even though people step into the courtrooms and are before judges in the courtroom, they don’t realize that when it comes to the prosecution of a case it is actually the prosecutors that have the most power and not the judges. It is the prosecutors who determine what cases to go forward on.
Prosecutors determine what charges should be dropped and what charges should be pursued. Prosecutors determine whether a plea negotiation is going to take place. Prosecutors determine whether they will offer a sentence that is lighter or harsher for all kinds of criminal offenses.