Worcester County is the easternmost county in Maryland and includes the entire length of the state’s ocean coast. If you are located in Worcester County and have been charged with a crime, you may be confused and frustrated. However, you don’t have to face your charges alone, call an experienced criminal attorney to assist you.
Court in Worcester County
Knowing when and where to go is the first step successfully fighting your charges. Worcester County has two District Court, located in Snow Hill and Ocean City. In order to enter either courthouse, you must pass through security and metal detectors. Both locations offer parking in front of the building and operate between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Circuit Court for Worcester County is located in Snow Hill and operates under the same hours. There is parking directly across the street from the Government Center at Washington Avenue, however, if that lot is full there is additional parking at the Green Street Municipal Parking Lot.
Questions and Answers
What is the role of the grand jury?
The grand jury decides whether there is sufficient evidence to indict a suspect and continue the criminal proceedings. In order to make that decision, the grand jury hears evidence including testimony. The grand jury, unlike a regular jury, does not determine guilt or innocence and up to 23 people can serve on the grand jury. Of the 23 picked to serve on the jury, at least 16 members must be present to hear evidence and at least 12 of the members must agree in order for the defendant to be indicted. When dealing with a trial jury there are only 12 people for criminal trials.
What is the difference between probation and parole?
Probation is a criminal sentence that allows a person to stay in the community rather than serve time in prison as long as the conditions are satisfied. Parole is a supervised release from the previous incarceration into the community before the end of the sentence. Conditions that are attached with parole and probation are typically similar in nature. Conditions of probation are managed by a probation officer that monitors the defendant’s progress and files reports with the judge. When on parole, a parole officer manages the defendant’s conditions. Some of the conditions may include to pay supervision fees, not to use drugs, submit to an alcohol or drug testing and to obey all laws.
If I am innocent, why do I need a lawyer?
Just because you know you are innocent, it does not mean others will see the truth. Innocent people can and do get accused of committing crimes. When facing charges, you are frightened and thinking short term. However, your entire future can be on the line, so why not think long-term and big picture. There is no reason that you should end up punished just because you did not think you needed a professional. By being charged you have a right to an attorney, so why not take advantage of the right. Do not gamble with your future. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free consultation.
Defenses to Common Offenses
In Maryland, assault is divided into the first and second degrees. In order to be convicted of second-degree assault, one of three theories must be proved; intent to frighten, attempted battery and battery. However, there are defenses to assault, no matter the degree. The various defenses are the defense of others, defense of habitation- deadly force, defense of property – non-deadly force and self-defense. In order to prove any form of defense, you must evaluate any evidence against you, including witness testimony. This can be a big task to take on, so allow a Worcester County criminal attorney to take over the hard work. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we will formulate the best defense for you.
Homicide charges encompass both murder and manslaughter charges, in multiple different degrees. First-degree murder is defined as a murder that is either premeditated, willful, or deliberate, committed by lying in wait, or by poisoning. In order to defend a first-degree murder charge, the defendant may claim that he did not commit the killing. For other degrees of murder and manslaughter, there is a claim of self- defense or defense of others. In order to prove self- defense, the defendant must prove that he reasonably used force to resist a reasonable fear of death or bodily harm. Proving that you acted reasonably can be a difficult task to do. Consult a skilled Worcester criminal attorney to discuss the possibility of defenses for you.
Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated are serious offenses. If you are caught behind the wheel driving after having a few drinks, it can lead to severe consequences. There may not seem like any defenses when the officer saw you behind the wheel and the blood alcohol was above a .08. However, there are options to refute the charges. If the officer did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle or arrest you then you may be able to suppress any evidence that came from that vehicle stop. If you were arrested without being Mirandized then you may have another defense because your rights were violated. Even when it seems like you have no options, an experienced lawyer will exhaust all options.
Get Assistance Today
If you have found yourself facing criminal charges, do not panic. Your life does not have to be turned upside down just because of one mistake. Contact a skilled Worcester County criminal lawyer to be on your side.