Felony charges can lead to significant jail time and need to be taken seriously. Even if the offense seems minor to you, or even if you know you are innocent, failing to protect yourself could potentially take away your freedom. It is important to know what to do from the beginning if you are arrested for a felony in Maryland.
Talk to an Attorney First
Innocent or not, the first step is speaking to a criminal attorney in Cambridge, MD. It is not uncommon for someone to say something inaccurate while they are upset. This could have long term repercussions. Be respectful and stay calm, but insist on an attorney before you say anything other than your name.
Understand the Process
After an arrest your case will not immediately go to trial. You will face an arraignment and (if you plead not guilty) a preliminary hearing. It is then you may be given the opportunity to accept a plea bargain. This is basically a lesser sentence for admitting some fault and avoids a lengthy trial. It is your own circumstances and the evidence against you that determine if the plea bargain is a good deal. Your attorney will advise you, but the final decision is yours.
Be Realistic About Court
Even the innocent can be convicted when enough circumstantial evidence is present. Have your details straight, be honest with your attorney so they can build the strongest case for you and do not let emotions cloud your behavior. Your attorney will instruct on behavior, what to say and how to dress. Listen to the advice you are given.
Choosing an Attorney
If your finances will allow it or if you have family willing to help, hire your own attorney. Public defenders are very skilled, but also notoriously overworked. You will be better represented if you can hire a lawyer with a dedicated team behind him.
Whatever you have been charged with, be certain your attorney is familiar with that type of felony law. Hire only those with trial experience. You need someone comfortable speaking in court, who understands how juries think and appears confident and in charge.
Mark A. Zeve, PA is a Criminal Attorney in Cambridge, MD with plenty of tips, advice and experience in the field of criminal law. Contact him for the support and advice to help you need to navigate your way through this confusing and stressful process.