• Understanding Plea Deals in Criminal Cases

    If you’ve been arrested for a criminal offense, such as drug charges, and you live in Annapolis, there is no guarantee that your case will go to trial. If the prosecutor thinks that his or her evidence against you is weak, then there is a possibility that the charges will not be pursued. Even if the prosecutor does pursue your case, your criminal lawyer might raise the possibility of plea bargaining. A plea deal isn’t right for every defendant. You’ll need to carefully consider this option with the help of your criminal lawyer.

    Definition of Plea Bargaining

    Plea bargaining is a way for a criminal case to be resolved without the need for a criminal trial. A plea deal requires that both the prosecutor and the defendant arrive at an agreement. In this agreement, the defendant enters a guilty plea with the criminal court system.

    Benefits of Plea Deals

    It might seem disadvantageous for a defendant to enter a guilty plea without being represented at a trial, but there are certain benefits to this arrangement. Usually, plea deals involve the defendants pleading guilty to lesser charges that carry lighter sentences. For example, the defendant might plead guilty to driving while under the influence (DUI) instead of aggravated DUI. Alternatively, a defendant might plead guilty to the original charge with the understanding that the prosecutor will recommend a light sentence to the judge. The main benefit of plea deals for defendants is that it’s possible they will receive less time behind bars or an otherwise less severe legal punishment. Some defendants prefer plea deals because the outcome of a trial is uncertain and it’s possible that should a trial result in a conviction, the defendant would face harsher penalties. Additionally, criminal trials can bring unwanted publicity for the defendant.

    Drawbacks of Plea Deals

    If you’re considering accepting a plea deal, it’s important that you fully understand the potential drawbacks. The prosecutor may promise to recommend a light sentence, but you should know that the judge isn’t bound by these recommendations. If you plead guilty, the judge could still decide to sentence you to the maximum allowed penalty. Additionally, there is always a chance that a trial would result in an acquittal. Before making your decision, carefully discuss this matter with your criminal lawyer.

    Disclaimer: This article provides general information about the topics discussed and does not qualify as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws applicable to each case may differ. If you have a legal matter, you should speak to an attorney to get advice on your particular situation.

  • A Closer Look at Drug Manufacturing Charges

    Drug charges are taken very seriously in state and federal courts. Illegal drug manufacturing in particular can lead to a lengthy term behind bars compared to simple possession charges. If you’ve been arrested on drug charges near Annapolis, it’s in your best interests to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will explain how the law applies to your case and what the potential legal penalties are if you’re convicted.

    Criminal Codes

    Drug manufacturing charges are covered under Maryland criminal code section 5-603 . This statute explains that in the state, it is illegal for a person to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. It is also illegal for a person to possess, manufacture, or distribute any piece of equipment, machinery, or instrumentation that can be used or adapted to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. A person can be convicted if he or she is determined to have dealt with this sort of equipment in circumstances that would cause someone to reasonably believe that the defendant had the intent to use the equipment to produce, sell, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.

    Drug manufactoring - Legal information

    Potential Penalties

    Drug manufacturing charges are typically prosecuted as felonies, compared to the misdemeanor charges that are typical of simple possession cases. Your criminal lawyer will let you know what the specific penalties are for your case. Depending on the exact charges, you could be facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For a second offense, you could face a mandatory minimum of two years behind bars without the possibility of parole. Other related felony charges could result in up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Repeat offenders can be sentenced to no fewer than 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

    Defense Strategies

    Defending from a charge of drug manufacturing is often more complicated than developing defense strategies for a possession charge. However, there may be ways of mitigating the circumstances. It might be possible to argue that the manufacture of the drugs was for personal use only, rather than for sale or distribution. If the defendant was found with the ingredients for drug manufacturing, but no finished product, then it may be possible to argue that the ingredients were intended for legitimate purposes.

    Disclaimer: This article provides general information about the topics discussed and does not qualify as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws applicable to each case may differ. If you have a legal matter, you should speak to an attorney to get advice on your particular situation.

  • What to Expect if You Are Arrested

    criminal lawyer, annapolis arrest Law firms in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County often field calls from people who have been arrested and are unsure of their rights. If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is important to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer will ensure that your rights are not violated and will make note of any instances of police aggression or an improper arrest. Continue reading to learn more about what will happen immediately after an arrest.

    Initial Booking

    After you are arrested, you have the right to call a criminal defense attorney and call a friend or family member to arrange for bail. You are then booked into jail, where you must provide the police with basic information about yourself, including your address and birthdate. At this point you are fingerprinted and photographed. The police will also take any personal property or money you have on you, which you will be able to collect after you post bail.

    Filing Charges

    After you are booked, a police officer will deliver the facts about your arrest to a prosecutor. The prosecutor will decide whether or not to press criminal charges, which usually must be filed within 72 hours of an arrest. A prosecutor is not bound by the initial charging decision and can change the charge or add on additional charges once more evidence becomes available. It is essential to speak to a criminal attorney at this point so your lawyer can help you decide how to plead.

    Posting Bail

    Whether you plead not guilty or guilty, after getting advice from your criminal lawyer, the next step is to post bail. Bail may be denied in the case of very serious criminal charges, but a good criminal defense attorney can generally negotiate the lowest bail possible. Bail secures your release from jail until your trial date. A judge will set a dollar amount or release you on your own recognizance, which means that you do not have to pay but are obligated by law to appear at your next hearing. Once you are released pending your next court date your attorney will begin the process of preparing your case with you.