telephone For A Free Consultation Call (301) 761-4842

What to Expect From Montgomery County Criminal Charges

After someone is charged with a crime, they will be arrested or have a summons issued for them to be formally served with documentation, release conditions will be determined, and they will have a court date scheduled.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you may be wondering what to expect from Montgomery County criminal charges. Fortunately, a dedicated criminal defense lawyer could fight for you and help you understand your legal options.

Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

Misdemeanor crimes include shoplifting, driving under the influence, prostitution, simple assault, and other minor charges. Felony crimes carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors. Felony crimes include murder, rape, financial crimes involving a significant amount of money, assault with a deadly weapon and more.

Felony charges are different than misdemeanor charges because they are handled in the circuit court. People charged with a felony automatically have a lengthier period of time with the cases set out for many different preliminary hearings. A significantly larger amount of evidence needs to be evaluated in felony cases. Also, more experienced prosecutors handle these cases because of their serious nature. The consequences associated with felony cases are more significant because of the serious nature of the charges.

What to Know About Criminal Charges

The top three things that everyone should know about facing criminal charges in Montgomery County are:

  • Criminal charges are serious and require the assistance of an experienced attorney
  • Do not wait to contact a lawyer
  • Be straightforward with the attorney

Having an attorney assist someone who is facing criminal charges is essential in this process. One should not make the assumption that they can handle the charges on their own because the consequences are serious and complicated. An accomplished lawyer could inform the defendant about what to expect from criminal charged in Montgomery County.

When a person waits too long to contact an attorney, they often miss the opportunity to take advantage of certain investigations and make requests for materials to the prosecutor and there is an inadequate amount of time to prepare the case.

A defendant needs to be honest with their attorney so the lawyer has the opportunity to fully prepare the matter on their behalf. They need to tell the attorney everything to make sure their case gets the best chance for the most positive outcome.

Attempt to Commit and Conspiracy Charges

Being charged with an attempt to commit a crime means the individual may not have followed through with the criminal act that was intended, but they took substantial steps to do so. Being prosecuted for conspiracy means someone may not have been near the crime or participated in the actual criminal act, but there was a meeting of minds where a decision was made between one or more persons in furtherance of the criminal activity that is alleged to have taken place.

In any circumstance where the underlying offense takes place, a person could be charged with attempt and the underlying offense. The same may not be true in the reverse because an attempt may not necessarily mean the act is completed and therefore, the underlying offense may not be possible to prove. For example, a theft requires a taking. If the taking never took place, the theft did not occur. An attempted theft does not require the theft to take place, rather just an attempt of theft takes place. Attempt charges carry the same penalties as the charge itself. An attempted criminal act, or a charge of an attempted criminal act should not be taken any less seriously than somebody being charged with the underlying offense as well.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Facing Criminal Charges

The biggest mistake to avoid when facing criminal charges in Montgomery County is to assume one can handle the matter without an attorney. These cases are particularly complicated to litigate. Attempting to handle a matter without adequate representation or without giving their attorney an adequate amount of time to prepare the matter is a dangerous proposition.

The most important way to avoid making mistakes is for one to reach out to an attorney immediately after being charged with an offense. They should give the attorney all the information necessary to begin the process of preparation based on the discovery provided and the investigations the attorney conducts to achieve a successful resolution on their behalf. To learn more about what to expect from Montgomery County criminal charges, contact a seasoned lawyer today.