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Published on 5/6/2024, 4:31:00 PM

The State Picked up my Charges - 5 Myths Behind Criminal Charges

A common misconception about Maryland criminal cases is that at the time of charging "the State has picked up charges against you". This article will discuss some of the charging procedures in Maryland and explain why you might be prosecuted for a crime even if the "victim" isn't interested in you being charged or convicted.

At FrizWoods LLC, we understand how daunting criminal charges can be and we're here to dispel some common myths about criminal charges and demonstrate the crucial role of having an experienced attorney by your side.

Five Myths Behind Criminal Charges in Maryland

Myth 1: "The Victim Can Drop the Charges Anytime"

Truth: While victims in Maryland have significant rights, they do not include the ability to dismiss criminal charges at will. Especially in cases such as domestic assault, victims may desire to drop the charges for various personal reasons. However, once the state takes up the case, the prosecution can continue with the case independent of the victim's wishes. This often occurs because the state aims to uphold the laws and protect the community, not just the individual victim.

Myth 2: "The State Picks up Charges"

Truth: It's a common misconception that only an impersonal "State" entity can initiate criminal charges. In Maryland, both police officers and private citizens have the authority to file charges. Police do so based on probable cause that a crime has occurred, which is independent of a victim's desire to press or drop charges. The final decision to pursue a case is often discussed in court, where the merits of the charges are examined and validated.

Myth 3: "Only Police Officers can File Charges against a Person"

Truth: Maryland's legal system uniquely allows not only police officers but also private citizens to initiate criminal charges. This means that individuals can take legal action against others, including family members, friends, or neighbors, which can result in arrest warrants. This capacity highlights the state's emphasis on community and individual involvement in the justice system, though it can lead to complex legal scenarios.

Myth 4: "Charges can't be added after an arrest"

Truth: Contrary to what some might believe, the charges at the time of arrest are not final. As more evidence is gathered and the case develops, additional charges can be filed. This often happens as the case progresses from the District Court to the Circuit Court, where more serious charges can be considered based on new findings or legal interpretations.

Myth 5: "Once charges are dismissed they can't be brought back"

Truth: The dismissal of charges does not necessarily close a case forever. In Maryland, charges can be refiled if new evidence emerges or if an appeal is successful. Legal nuances such as speedy trial violations or the statute of limitations may affect this, requiring skilled legal analysis to navigate effectively. It's essential to have competent legal representation to address these complexities if charges are re-introduced.

Why Legal Representation Matters

Understanding and navigating the myths surrounding criminal charges in Maryland underscores the necessity of expert legal representation. If you find yourself facing charges, or if you're involved in a case where these myths might impact the outcome, contact FrizWoods LLC for a consultation. Our experienced attorneys can provide the guidance and defense you need to ensure the best possible outcome.

Contact FrizWoods LLC for more detailed information and personalized legal support.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Facing criminal charges without an expert by your side can increase the risk of unfavorable outcomes. Our attorneys at FrizWoods LLC specialize in criminal defense, bringing years of experience, deep legal knowledge, and a personalized approach to each case. We understand the nuances of Maryland law and are committed to achieving the best possible results for our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Charges in Maryland

Q: What should I do immediately after being charged?
A: Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and begin building your defense.

Q: Can the state drop charges once they are filed?
A: Yes, charges can be dropped, but this typically requires legal arguments and negotiations handled by an experienced attorney.

Q: How long can a criminal case take?
A: The duration of a criminal case can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the evidence involved, and the legal strategies employed. Most criminal cases recieve a trial date within a few months of charges being brought; however, cases can be transferred between District and Circuit Court which can delay the process.

Q: What are the potential consequences of a criminal conviction?
A: Consequences can range from fines and community service to long-term imprisonment and permanent criminal records.

Contact FrizWoods LLC Today

If you've been charged with a crime, don't hesitate to seek professional legal help. Contact FrizWoods LLC to discuss your case and learn how our expertise can make a critical difference in your defense.