7 Things to Expect After Receiving a Criminal Charge
Many people who are accused of committing a crime – particularly serious crimes – find that their lives become immensely complicated and stressful soon after they are charged with the offense.
Going to trial and facing possible sentencing in prison or a hefty fine, as well as the prospect of having a criminal record that follows you for years, are just some of the daunting consequences of facing a criminal charge in Maryland.
Although a criminal case attorney can help you navigate the legal process, you must also be aware of what will happen once you are charged. Let’s dive into the details of what you can expect after receiving a criminal charge in Baltimore, MD.
Types of criminal charges in maryland
Most states classify criminal offenses in two categories; misdemeanors and felonies, depending on the severity of the crime.
A misdemeanor is defined as a crime that’s less severe than a felony. It can be punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine.
Common examples of misdemeanors are crimes against property, such as theft, vandalism, writing bad checks, or driving under the influence. Other examples have to do with acts of morality such as prostitution and indecent exposure.
A felony is the most serious type of crime a person can be charged with. There are generally three classifications of felonies: I, II, or III.
Felony offenses are much more serious than misdemeanor offenses. Crimes such as murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, and burglary are all considered felonies.
If convicted of a felony, you could spend time in prison.
What happens after you are charged and hire a criminal attorney in maryland
Being charged with a criminal offense can be an overwhelming experience. Every state has differences in laws, regulations, and court procedures. So, here is what you can expect if you have been charged in with a criminal case in Maryland and need a criminal case attorney.
Criminal charges result in one or multiple rounds of investigation
A formal investigation is intended to gather evidence and facts about what happened. So, they can be extensive, complex, and can take a long time to complete. Not only do you need to be mentally prepared for it but also be prepared to meet with more than one detective and lawyer before you find the best criminal defense attorney in Maryland for your case.
Initial appearance follows a maryland criminal charge
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you will be taken to court. The initial court appearance is where the judge will determine if there is enough evidence for you to go on to trial.
If there isn’t enough evidence, most people are released without charge. If there is enough evidence, bail conditions or an adjournment date may be set. This is where you want to ensure you are working with an experienced criminal case attorney in Maryland who can assist you.
Travel restrictions are imposed with a maryland criminal charge
Those who have been accused of a crime face losing rights to their liberty, in addition to being subjected to probation, fines, or imprisonment. This is regardless of whether you are under investigation, on bail before trial, or have been convicted of a criminal offense.
The court may put “travel restrictions” on your case, which either means that certain countries might ban you from entering while your case is still being processed or that you can’t travel outside your city or state at all. Consult with your criminal case attorney if travel restrictions will interfere with your job, family, or cause other problems.
Criminal charges mean disruptions in professional life
Regardless of whether or not you are found guilty, your case may appear on background checks – and employers can legally ask if you were ever charged with a crime, even if it didn’t go to trial.
That means even being convicted of a misdemeanor can seriously impact your professional life when you are applying for future jobs or licenses; getting background checks; or trying to make a career change.
Safe to say, you need to be prepared for professional distress and have a reliable criminal lawyer in Baltimore to defend your case.
Emotional turmoil is a large obstacle when dealing with criminal charges
It is a normal reaction to feel panicked, angry, or fearful when charged with a criminal offense. It can also be incredibly difficult to resist your emotional responses in addition to paying for any penalties that accompany the charges.
The silver lining, if any, is that the experience can be highly educational and possibly a lesson for your future self. Still, as experts, we believe that it is a good decision to surround yourself with people who understand your situation and care about your emotional well-being.
When meeting with criminal lawyers in Maryland for a free legal consultation, assess if they are able to help you feel calm, relaxed, or prepared moving forward.
Have your criminal attorney in maryland help with Pre-trial prep
One of the reasons pre-trial is so important is because it can expose you to a lot of evidence, which can either make or break your case. A criminal lawyer will not only be responsible for informing you about the details of the case but also prepare you for the day.
An ideal criminal case attorney in Maryland will take you through the dos and don’ts of court proceedings and prep you for what is to come so that you don’t feel ambushed during the procedure.
Potential prison sentences are a risk, so hire an experienced criminal attorney
When you are charged with a criminal offense, you must consider all the potential consequences that may result from your charge. And one of the most serious consequences is getting sent to prison – regardless of whether or not you have truly committed the crime.
Needless to say, there is a lot to unpack if you are convicted. And although it may not be the end of the road because there are always other routes to pursue, a prison sentence is certainly a temporary setback.
How can a baltimore criminal defense attorney simplify the process?
Receiving a criminal charge means your freedom is at stake. While your defense options will vary depending on your situation, it is important to establish the facts and protect your rights.
A criminal lawyer is someone who is immune to the complexities of the legal system. They can make all the difference in getting your life back on track and avoiding harsh criminal penalties.
The best criminal lawyer will start by having a strategic plan put into place and telling you exactly what you should expect from them and the case’s procedure. They will share all the relevant legal information with you and provide you with reliable legal counsel throughout.