The police did not read me my rights; will my case be dismissed?
The Police are required to read you your “Miranda Rights” only if two requirements are met. You must first be in police custody and you must be interrogated (questioned) about the crime. If the police violated your rights, your statement could be suppressed and may not be admissible against you in a trial.
I just got arrested for possession of marijuana and it is my first offense. Will I go to jail?
No, it would be extremely unlikely that you would go to jail for a first offense of this kind.
My roommate has a marijuana plant in his closet, and his ex-girlfriend called the cops. Am I in trouble?
You face a criminal charge only if you are deemed to have “possessed“ this drug. If the plant was not located in any area over which you have control, then you should not have been deemed to have possessed this drug. Remember. you always run the risk of the police charging you with a crime if you live with or keep company with individuals who are breaking the law.
If I get probation, will I have mandatory drug testing as a condition?
If one of the conditions of your probation is that you refrain from using any illegal drugs, then drug testing from 6 months to up to one year is likely.
I was riding in my buddy’s car when he got pulled over. The cops found a pipe in the car. Can I be charged with possession of paraphernalia?
If you were not aware of the presence of the pipe or it was not in an area over which you have control, then you should not be guilty of a crime. Any time you ride in a car which contains illegal contraband, you run the risk of facing criminal charges.
The cops arrested me in an area known for drug trafficking, and I had $2000 on me. What can they charge me for that?
Depending upon the facts of the case, you could be charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute, or not charged with a crime at all.
What will happen on my first court date and do I have to be there if I have a lawyer?
You need to be present at all court dates unless you are excused from attending by the Court. If your first court date is called an “Attorney or Preliminary Inquiry” date, then you can often avoid having to appear once your attorney files papers with the Court advising it that you have retained an attorney.
What is bail?
Bail money is money paid to the court to guarantee that the person arrested who is released from jail will show up for all required court appearances.
How can someone post my bail?
There are several types of bail in Maryland:
- Cash Bail- The judge permits the person posting the bail to deposit a percentage (usually 10%) with the court. Once the case is concluded the deposit amount is refunded.
- Property Bail- One home or land may used to post bail provide that the person posting the bond possesses sufficient equity in the property to match the bond amount
- Intangible Assets- includes things like stock certificates, bank books, and certificates of deposit
- Bail Bondsmen- Bondsman charge a fee usually 10% of the bond set by the judge or commissioner. The fee you pay the bondsman in non-refundable.
Bonds may be posted by anyone provided they are 18 years of age or older.
In which court will my case be handled?
The District Court handles most cases involving motor vehicles, all misdemeanors, and some felonies. The Circuit court hears felonies, and appeals from the District Court.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
In most cases, a misdemeanor is an offense for which the maximum period of incarceration is one year.
Will my case receive a trial before a judge or a jury?
In Maryland, Defendants have a right to a trial by jury where the maximum period of incarceration is greater than 90 days.
Please note that these answers should not be construed as legal advice in all situations. You should speak with an attorney before making any decisions about your legal matter. These answers are intended only to provide general information.