Facing Criminal Charges in Ocean City
The process of arrest would include being transported to the Public Safety building. It’s important to contact an Ocean City criminal lawyer once you have the opportunity to do so. Having an experienced attorney by your side can be in your best interests when facing criminal charges.
The arrest process in Ocean City would include an intake process that’s done at the police department, which would include the officer filling out a report of the person’s basic biographical information. The officer will run that person’s name in a system throughout the country which will advise the officer if there are any outstanding warrants for the person. They will be photographed, they will be fingerprinted. It could be a very stressful and embarrassing situation to have to go through.
Being Arrested v. Being Charged in Ocean City
A person may be under arrest pending being charged. However, if a person continues to be held, they will be charged. The police officer will prepare a document which clarifies the charges and the maximum penalty. The charging document will include a narrative to accompany the list of charges. They will appear in front of a commissioner, who will explain to the person what they’re charged with and will then ask them questions to determine whether or not the person should be released on their own recognizance or if there should be a bond that the person has to pay in order to guarantee that they will come back to court when their case is scheduled for trial.
What to Expect After Being Charged in Ocean City
After the charges are filed the case is going to be scheduled for various court appearances, depending on the type of charge. If the person has been charged with a felony then they should request a preliminary hearing held in the district court for the purposes of establishing probable cause. If the person is charged with just misdemeanors and they don’t get an attorney right away their case could be scheduled for a preliminary inquiry where the judge will explain the charges and the right to retain a private attorney or request a public defender. Eventually their case is going to be scheduled for a trial date and they definitely want to have their attorney in place well before the trial date gets there.
Priorities for Ocean City Prosecutors
Drug charges are prosecuted very aggressively, and the prosecutor’s office will file enhanced penalties on subsequent offenders. The prosecutor’s office also takes a very strong stance on firearms cases. Most firearms charges fall within the jurisdiction of District Court. However, in Worcester County, the State’s Attorney’s Office will file a criminal information and move a firearms case to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. The purpose of this is to increase the potential sentence and increase the period of probation–the stakes are much higher in Circuit Court.
How Do Ocean City Courts Treat Criminal Charges?
The courts have the responsibility of both punishing a defendant and deterring other people. As a result, the courts will impose a tough sentence on anyone who threatens the safety of the citizens and anyone who negatively impacts the tourism industry. This will not necessarily include jail time, but those sentences will often involve a significant fine and community service.