William A. Stavros a lawyer with over twenty five years of courtroom trial experience and has represented thousands of people in court. He represents criminal defendants in both the State and Federal Courts and understands how stressful it is to be accused of, or under investigation, for allegedly violating the criminal law. He knows how important the results of criminal cases are to his clients and their families, and thus looks into every reasonable option that he believes could benefit their case.
Penalties for criminal charges can include imprisonment, substantial fines and a criminal record, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. The State and Federal Government will utilize their substantial resources, including a staff of trained and experienced attorneys, investigators and experts, in prosecuting their criminal case against you. Your legal rights may be prejudiced by delay; it is therefore essential that you take your case seriously and hire an attorney as soon as possible.
William A. Stavros understands that all criminal cases are unique and must be treated as such to achieve the best possible outcome. It is therefore important to hire an attorney like William A. Stavros who is committed to paying careful attention to your individual circumstances. Initial consultations are free and our fees are reasonable. Contact William A. Stavros so that we can start discussing your criminal charges and possible options and defenses.
For a free consultation about your case, you should contact William A. Stavros at (410) 825-3300. If you live on the Maryland Eastern Shore call today at (410) 739-0794.
General Information Regarding The Criminal Process In Maryland State Court
Criminal cases in Maryland are heard for trial in either the District Court of Maryland or the Circuit Court of each respective County in Maryland. Crimes charged are generally divided into two categories: Felonies and Misdemeanors. Felonies are generally considered graver crimes than misdemeanors, with harsher potential penalties. This generalization has its roots in English Common Law. Presently, however, there are many nuances and exceptions to that general rule. Most serious felonies, however, including, but not limited to, murder, robbery, possession of C.D.S. with intent to distribute, and first degree assault may only be heard for trial before the Circuit Court. Criminal cases in Circuit Court may be tried by either judges or juries. There are, however, numerous other felonies that can be tried in the Circuit Court and the District Court.
The District Court of Maryland is where original jurisdiction lies for most misdemeanors and a relatively few felonies. Some crimes, both misdemeanors and felonies, have concurrent jurisdiction in both the District and Circuit Courts. Cases tried in District Court may only be heard by a judge. Defendants accused of a crime with a maximum penalty of more than ninety (90) days, however, may demand that their case be heard in the Circuit Court in front of a Jury. An experienced criminal attorney can advise you as to whether this option might be useful in your case. Misdemeanors, although generally less serious than felonies, can still carry substantial jail time and a permanent criminal record. Consequently, anyone being investigated or charged with any crime should seek an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.
If you are charged with a Circuit Court jurisdiction felony, The State’s Attorney must do one of two things in order for the case to be set in for trial in the Circuit Court: (1.) Convince a judge of the District Court of Maryland, at a Preliminary Hearing, that there is sufficient “Probable Cause” to forward your case to the Circuit Court, or (2.) Convince a Grand Jury meeting in secret that there is sufficient “Probable Cause” to indict the accused. These checks on the ability of the Prosecutor to proceed to trial in a Circuit Court jurisdiction felony are not present for charges that have original or concurrent jurisdiction in the District Court of Maryland. Preliminary Hearings are an important component of the criminal process. An experienced criminal attorney can explain how.
As almost everyone knows, being charged with a crime is a far cry from being proven guilty in court. Anyone charged with a crime has the right to proceed to trial and force the State of Maryland to prove its case against them beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, people charged with crimes in Maryland have the benefit of the rights afforded in the Maryland Declaration of Rights and the United States Constitution. Many other technical defenses may also be available and appropriate. An experienced criminal lawyer can analyze how your rights and other technical defenses may have a positive impact on your case.
Our Criminal Law Services Include, But Are Not Limited To:
William A. Stavros serves the entire Eastern Shore, including Ocean City, through his office in Centreville, Maryland. He serves the Baltimore Metropolitan area and surrounding counties, including the Maryland D.C. suburbs from his office in Towson, Maryland.