Process of an Anne Arundel Drug Case
The penalties associated with a drug charge in Anne Arundel are often severe, cementing the need for experienced legal counsel. The government is paying a lot of attention to drug cases and all its task force efforts are being put on it. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist an individual in avoiding such penalties, and spare them from any long-term consequences.
To better understand the process of your Anne Arundel drug case, it is imperative that you consult with a qualified Anne Arundel drug attorney as soon as possible.
Preparing a Defense
A person facing drug charges should be prepared to draw a timeline before meeting an attorney to begin preparing for a drug case in Anne Arundel County. A good attorney has a client put together a timeline of the events itself, where they were, what they were doing, what, if anything, happened, and when did the police come in contact in them.
All those details are important leading up to the police involvement and then when the police are involved—did they serve the warrants, if they pulled over a car, what conversation takes place, what questions are asked, how the questions are asked, or if an individual was ever advised of his or her Miranda rights, if they are applicable.
Giving A Statement before a Drug Case
There are distinct differences between where these warrants or contacts occurred and also distinct differences in what, if anything, an individual states to these officers and how it is either stated with consent to do so after being advised of rights or if it was coerced. Examples of this might include:
- If an individual is left in a room for hours with the lights out and they turn them back on and a person has three people screaming at the individual
- After advising the person of their rights and the right to an attorney, the individual refuses to give a statement
- Signing off on a waiver and give a written statement
It is important to know what went on after an arrest, what was sent to the person, how they got to the point to signing a consent form. The individual still may have been coerced. There are a lot of aggravating factors. Nothing is ever black and white when preparing for a drug case. As much information of the timeline the client can give their drug attorney is essential to the drug case.
Hearing the Case
Typically, if an individual’s charges are classified as a misdemeanor, their case would be held in district courts. Anne Arundel County has the Annapolis District Court and the Glenburn District Court, and the process of an Anne Arundel drug case would be in the district court in front of a judge only, which would be a bench trial.
If a person’s drug case in Anne Arundel carries felony charges, it is likely that the case will get indicted. It will be moved to the circuit court. If someone’s case is moved to the circuit court, they have the right to a trial by jury, or they can waive a jury to have a bench trial. However, this is rarely done in circuit court.
Overall, the majority of cases go in front of a jury, which would be 12 people from the jury pools of Anne Arundel County that are randomly selected. The individual accused and their attorney would choose a hearing as well during the process of their Anne Arundel drug case.
It is rare that a person would forego a jury for a judge. If an individual is doing that, generally, the reason would be that there is a technical argument that the person wants the judge to hear because only the judge would appreciate it, not a jury. However, it is rare that it is done that way.
The only way to get a verdict in a jury case is by a unanimous decision. All 12 jurors have to find the individual guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or if they have reasonable doubt, they would have to be 12-0 that the individual is not guilty.
Length of the Case
Depending on how an individual’s case travels, they not be in district court for anywhere between 6-10 weeks and if they get a preliminary hearing, which would be they are indicted until the arraignment date comes in, if their lawyer carries over and knocks out the arraignment date until they get a motions date and a trial date, it could be upwards from 6-8 months.
Typically, if it is a district court matter, the length of the Anne Arundel drug case is about 2-3 months and then, typically, if it is a circuit court matter, it is roughly 6-10 months. Most of the circuit court cases will originate in district court for an individual’s first charge, before the individual is indicted.
In circuit court, it is important to know that Maryland employs what is called the hitchpool in the process of an Anne Arundel drug charge, which details 180 days from the date of an individual’s first appearance at an arraignment or the entry of the person’s attorney, whichever occurs first. This clause means that the court would have to try the person’s case or get it to trial within 180 days unless the person waives their right to a speedy trial, which sometimes is necessary in larger cases with multiple defendants. However, it is still something strongly considered. and the time limit is not. The time limit is not on the defense but on the state. These are elements that a qualified, experienced attorney would explain in detail.