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If you have been arrested in Maryland, you probably have lots of questions, unless you’ve been charged with a crime before. If you haven’t faced a criminal charge before, you probably aren’t familiar with your criminal case is going to proceed, but it is important that you understand what comes after your arrest.
After you are arrested, you will appear before the District Court Commissioner who will decide if you should be charged and inform you of your rights as a criminal defendant which include the right to an attorney. During this appearance, the Commissioner will explain your charges and make sure you understand what counts you are facing. They will also set your bail amount and explain the penalties you face if convicted.
If a District Court commissioner determines you are eligible for bail, you can post bail on your behalf or have someone over the age of 18 to post bail for you. You can pay a cash bail or put up valuable assets to cover your bail amount. Bail is imposed to ensure you show up to court when your case goes to trial.
During your preliminary hearing before the District Court to decide if there is sufficient probable cause to be charged. You can hear the evidence against you and cross-examine any witnesses for the state, but you are not allowed to testify.
When you are facing a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing if a grand jury has not charged you. Your trial will take place in a circuit court. We strongly recommend you get legal advice as soon as possible if you are facing any criminal charge but it is critical to get legal counsel if you are facing a felony criminal count.
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