Columbia, Maryland is located in Howard County and is known for the Mall in Columbia. In 2016, it was ranked as #1 “Best Places to Live” in the United States by Money Magazine. However, that does not mean that crime still does not occur and people still make mistakes. If you are facing criminal charges, allow a Columbia criminal lawyer come to your defense.
Howard County Court Houses
When facing charges many people have experience with the District Courts. At the District level, the cases that are heard include motor vehicle violations, misdemeanors, and specified felonies. Each county and city have at least one District Court and Circuit Court. However, at the Circuit level, the cases handled include more serious criminal cases and major civil cases. In Howard County, there is one District Court, which is located in Ellicott City. This is just a short drive from Columbia and the courthouse offers parking next to the building. The Circuit Court is located in Columbia and offers free parking.
There are many different types and classifications of fraud in the Maryland Criminal Code, such as embezzlement, forgery, credit card crimes, identity fraud, and fraud against the general public. Depending on the crime, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges, which both will impact future endeavors and possibly your freedom. If you have been charged with a fraud crime of writing bad checks valued at less than $500, it is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of $500 and up to 18 months in jail. If you are facing identity fraud involving values over $500, it is a felony that can carry fines up to $25,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Facing fraud charges is no laughing matter, it is vital to hire an experienced Columbia criminal lawyer.
Maryland theft laws can encompass a wide range of actions including concealment of property and possession of stolen property. Maryland’s theft statute forbids hiding something with the intent to deprive the owner of possession of the object. Maryland’s theft statute also prohibits possessing property that has been stolen by another person. In order to prove this, the prosecution must prove a guilty mind, meaning that you knew or should have known the property was stolen. The penalties for theft include fines and jail time, depending on the amount in question. For theft, less than $1,000 the penalty is up to 18 months in jail and/or a $500 fine. If you are facing theft charges, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice who will craft a defense for you.
Have you been pulled over by a police officer, only to realize that you have been driving on a suspended license? Being pulled over is a nerve-racking experience, but being cited for driving while suspended is even more serious than getting a speeding ticket. Driving on a suspended license carries a punishment of possible jail time and multiple points on your record if found guilty. However, do not fret, a Columbia criminal attorney can help walk you through the process. An experienced lawyer can explain to you that the prosecution must prove a knowledge requirement to the crime and can help present a defense on your behalf.
What is probation before judgment?
Probation before judgment, also known as PBJ, is an outcome a person can receive in a criminal or traffic case in Maryland. This means that a person has not been convicted, even though the judge or jury may find the defendant guilty, so rather than a guilty on the record, it will show as a PBJ. There are some restrictions on PBJ where a person may not be able to receive one. Those restrictions include if a PBJ has been entered in the past 10 years or if it was for a charge of possession of CDS, and the defendant has previously been convicted of the same offense. PBJs are beneficial because the person can expunge the charge from their record, with some restrictions. To further discuss probation before judgments, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice.
Should I take the plea bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement in which a person who has been accused of a crime agrees to plead guilty in return for the prosecutor recommending a lesser sentence or reducing the severity of the offense. If you do not take a plea bargain that means that the case is going to trial, which can be a risky endeavor. Every case is different, so there is no set-in-stone answer. However, an experienced attorney will be able to help you gauge whether taking a plea bargain is in your best interest. Contact a skilled Columbia criminal lawyer today to discuss your options.
What is bail review and how does it work?
After you have been arrested, the court commissioner will determine bail at the initial appearance. This can result in three outcomes, released without bail, a bail amount or held without bail. If bail has been imposed, but you cannot afford it, you may choose to have a bail review hearing to argue for a lower bail. This can result in one of several results, such as keeping the bail at the same level, reducing the bail, increasing bail, releasing you on your own recognizance or keeping the same amount and set a percentage that may be paid to be released. Bail is a serious topic that can be the difference between sitting in jail before your trial or being home with your family. Be sure to contact a skilled Columbia criminal attorney to come to your defense.
Being arrested or charged is a frightening experience that can bring about multiple questions. An experienced Columbia criminal lawyer can help answer those questions. Call today for a free consultation.