Defendant’s Rights in Anne Arundel County Criminal Cases

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Anne Arundel County, you have rights that must be protected. A seasoned lawyer may be able to protect a defendant’s rights in Anne Arundel County criminal cases by employing legal principles, and using direct investigation. Many different rights exist, call an attorney today to learn more.

Constitutional Issues in Criminal Cases

Examples of constitutional issues that may come up in Anne Arundel criminal cases are illegal search or seizure of property, self-incriminating statements against the individual’s interests,  and interrogation without being read Miranda rights.

If evidence was gained in violation of someone’s constitutional rights, that evidence will be suppressed and cannot be used at trial by the state in that person’s case.

Investigation vs. Charging

If a person is being investigated but has not been charged, an attorney can reach out to the investigator to speak about the case, to open up a dialogue and, very frequently, learn the posture of the case, where it might be going, and what post-resolutions there may be.

Attorney Investigation of Case

A qualified criminal defense attorney will conduct their own investigation by speaking with the defendant and obtaining all the evidence the state has in the case. Then, they will seek out witnesses, including alibi witnesses, or anyone they think is important to communicate with. They may also talk to the prosecutor about the status of the case and how to resolve it.

It is imperative for an attorney to get as much evidence as possible from the very outset in a case. This means all the charging paperwork, supplemental reports, video surveillance, body camera footage, and dash-camera footage a police vehicle. An attorney might also speak to witnesses and review the alleged crime scene itself.

A lawyer’s investigative process includes gathering evidence and building a strategy for the case. Gathering evidence can include everything that may have captured even some of the alleged incident, and external evidence that may also be influential in leading to the charge. There is a lot for an attorney to do above and beyond just speaking to a client.

The evidence must be gathered quickly because it can be lost; memories fade and videos can be deleted. It is vital to get involved right away not to miss those opportunities.

An attorney has access to certain legal references, opinion books, decisions, as well as law and guidebooks to help with their investigations. They might also confer with other attorneys or other counsel that specialize in the field as well.

Investigation Process Strategies

One of the biggest issues in Anne Arundel County that change the nature of defense investigations is the speed at which the case is set for trial. Many times, individuals can sit in jail for a week if not months waiting for their court date. In many counties, two months is a long time, but in Anne Arundel, it can take four to five months before a trial date is set.

The state is required and obligated to give all evidence it has in a case, regardless of whether it intends to use it. As a result, a defense attorney is entitled to make their own assessment of whether it is useful or not. Primarily, victims and witnesses are cooperating with the state. Getting the prosecutor’s evidence is the first step to learn the nature and scope of everything.

The state usually gives the defense access to its information and evidence by giving them copies either on a disc or by mail. If it is tangible evidence, the defense has a right to review it in person.

Brady Information

Brady is exculpatory information, evidence that could help exonerate a defendant. If the prosecutor does not provide that evidence, it is considered a Brady violation.

The state needs to turn the information over because otherwise, it would be trial by ambush. All sides are entitled to see all the evidence to be used at trial in advance so they to plan a defense accordingly.

If a report says certain evidence was found, but it was never produced or mentioned further, there is an argument that a Brady violation has occurred and the evidence should be produced. It does happen sometimes that a person discovers something later that the state knew about but did not disclose, and that would be a Brady violation.

Appeals in Anne Arundel

If somebody is convicted in the Anne Arundel County district court, they have 30 days to file an appeal in that court. If they do so, a new case is opened in the circuit court by de novo appeal, meaning the new case starts from scratch.

However, they are in circuit court, there are more limited appeal rights and very frequently, one does not get a second trail. They may get a review of the evidence by a higher-level judge or it will be denied outright and not reviewed.

A person typically can appeal their case as many times as it takes to get a verdict that is appropriate. People can be retried over and over by the state. Some people can go through trial once, others 15 times if they wanted to. An attorney files an appeal by paying an $80 filing fee in court.

Among the important things to consider when thinking about appealing a case is that there is nothing to lose by doing so. If it is a district court appeal, there will be a de novo trial. That means a new trial, new case, and a new prosecutor. The only way an appeal gets denied is if someone fails to pay the filing or it was not filed in time, or it was an appeal of a circuit court decision and a review was rejected.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

A lawyer can help protect a defendant’s rights in Anne Arundel criminal cases by investigating any alleged incidences, reviewing case law, and thoroughly examining the prosecution and investigators. Call an attorney today to learn more about your rights and get a consultation on your specific case.