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.
What comes next for your Maryland 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.
Bailing out of jail
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.
Which Court Will Hear My Case?
Most charges involving motor vehicle violations, misdemeanors, and specific felonies are heard in the District Court. Below are a few District Court locations in Maryland:
District Court of Maryland
Address: 5800 Wabash Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215
District Court for Montgomery County
8552 2nd Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Robert F. Sweeney District Court Building
251 Rowe Blvd, Annapolis, MD 21401
Most felonies are tried in one of Maryland’s Circuit Courts. Following is a list of a few locations in Maryland:
Trust Department Circuit Court
111 N Calvert St #113, Baltimore, MD 21202
Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County
8 Church Cir, Annapolis, MD 21401
Washington County Circuit Court
24 Summit Ave, Hagerstown, MD 21740
What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Maryland?
A misdemeanor is a minor crime punishable by a fine and incarceration or both. A felony is a serious crime that is punishable by more than a year in jail or death.
Common misdemeanors include:
Driving under the influence
Possession of marijuana
Common felonies include:
Burglary using force
If you are a victim of a crime in Maryland, there are numerous resources available to assist you with a range of needs you may have.
Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE)
Online access: vinelink.com
VINE Protective Order (VPO)
Victim Rights Compliance Line
Phone: 410-697-9338 (GOCCP main line)