Being arrested for a crime can have repercussions that extend beyond jail time. Even before you go to jail, your life could be uprooted by the arrest and the investigation. If you have been charged with a crime or think you might face criminal charges, call a lawyer today to help you from your arraignment – or earlier – through to the end of your case.
For a free legal consultation, call our Hampstead criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. We defend people accused of all sorts of criminal charges, from mild to severe and from property crimes to violent crimes. For a free case consultation, contact our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 to learn more about the charges you are facing and what our attorneys can do to help fight your case for you.
What to Do After Being Arrested in Hampstead, MD
The first thing you should do when you are arrested for a crime in Hampstead, MD is call a lawyer. If you get your “one phone call,” you may want to use this to call a significant other, a parent, or a friend, and that is often a good decision if they can help hire a lawyer for you. If you get an opportunity to call a lawyer yourself, you can call us directly at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.
When you set up a free consultation with your lawyer, your attorney can meet with you or schedule a phone call and discuss the charges you are facing. This can help you get a better idea of what kinds of penalties you could face and how the case will proceed.
You will be arraigned at some point after your arrest, which is when the court explains the charges to you and asks you to enter a plea. In most cases, you will plead “not guilty” and keep your right to fight the charges against you.
If you are released on bail, you will likely have conditions to follow. The police might need to continue processing your case or might need additional information from you, such as your address or phone number; the court might request that you check in with the bail department so they know where you live and work; and you might have required court dates to attend. Make sure that you have a full list of what you need to do and discuss these tasks with your attorney to avoid any technical issues.
Fighting Criminal Charges in Hampstead, MD
In many criminal cases, there are dozens of steps your Hampstead criminal lawyer can take to help protect your rights and potentially get charges dropped or dismissed. Some of the most common defenses are things you might already be familiar with, but our attorneys have decades of experience using these defenses and legal processes in court and working toward getting cases dropped and dismissed for our clients.
One of the most common defenses is the claim of self-defense. If you were accused of a violent crime like assault or even murder, the fact that you committed the assault or caused injuries because you were acting in self-defense should absolve you of any criminal intent. Self-defense cases are often difficult because you need to prove not only that there was a reasonable threat, but also that your response was reasonable based on that threat. For example, someone reaching into their coat might not be a clear enough threat to justify striking them in self-defense, and responding to a punch with a gun is not usually reasonable or proportional.
Many crimes deal with possession – whether that be possession of drugs, possession of stolen property, or possession of a weapon. In many cases that hinge on proving possession, you can fight the case against you by challenging the fact that you legally “possessed” the items. To prove that you possessed drugs or some other item, the prosecutor must prove that you knew you had it and that you had access to it. If you had drugs in the back seat of your car because they fell out of a friend’s pocket, you might not have even known they were there. Similarly, if the items were located in a roommate’s private space or some other location you didn’t have access to, the government will have a hard time proving you had access to the items. If the drugs were found on your person, this kind of defense becomes difficult to use.
A strong alibi that shows you were not there when the crime was committed can often break the government’s case against you. In some cases, the person who provides your alibi might not be trustworthy, and so the charges could have gone through despite their claims that you were not able to have committed the crime. Our Hampstead criminal defense lawyers can work to track down security camera footage, cell phone data, or other witnesses to help prove your alibi and get the charges dropped.
Challenging Searches and Seizures with Evidence Suppression
In many cases, the government oversteps its authority to collect evidence or make arrests. Police must have warrants or probable cause to search your property or arrest you. If they do not, then any evidence they get because of that violation should be barred from court (“suppressed”). Similarly, the police must read you your Miranda Rights when you are being interrogated while in custody. If they do not properly respect your rights, information – potentially including confessions – can be blocked from being used against you in court.
Call Our Hampstead Criminal Defense Attorneys for a Free Case Consultation
If you were arrested for a crime in Hampstead, MD, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice right away. Our Maryland criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience representing the accused and fighting to defend their rights against unfair charges and illegal searches and seizures. For help with your charges, call our Hampstead criminal defense lawyers today at (410) 694-7291.