Maryland Drug Trials
Maryland drug cases are typically heard in district level and are typically misdemeanor cases. An overwhelming majority of cases happen to sit at the misdemeanor level. There is no need for them to be in any other court. There is the possibility that attorneys will want to utilize circuit court, depending on the facts of the situation. Having a skilled drug lawyer to represent you in Maryland drug trials can be beneficial to ensure you are receiving the legal counsel you deserve.
Proving Drug Charges
When proving drug cases in Maryland, the prosecution has to prove with sufficient evidence that there was an illegal drug involved. Cases can be dismissed because the drug yield came back negative. Sometimes they may find the drug, so a person has to be very careful as to what may or may not be present and how to proceed. It is always very important to take baby steps, go step by step and piece by piece, and break it down.
As far at the minutiae and most important detail, everything is very important. As a person starts to put it together, they want to be able to look at certain things in a case and that always gets them back to how the vehicle was searched. They will want to know where the person was, what was said, what important notes of interest and individuals were involved.
Sentencing for Drug-Related Crimes
When prosecutors prosecute these cases, they are coming down as hard as they possibly can to make sure that public perception is not that they are easing up on drug dealers. They are not going to back out and commit a crime or do something that puts the greater public at risk. At sentencing, the judges weigh in on that particular type of statement and of the need to keep the streets and the greater public safe from drug dealers. A person is already labeled and is being told that they are a drug dealer. If they are going to label the person a drug dealer, they are going to be as hard on them as they possibly can.
Bench Trials vs Jury Trials
Typically at a misdemeanor level, a person is looking at cases that are a bench trial, distinguishing the misdemeanors from the felonies. A district court is in front of a judge; a circuit court is a judge and a jury. They can choose what they prefer. If they are looking at pure facts or just law-based arguments, they may want a judge, not a jury that can be confused.
If a person is going after the facts and perception, they may want a jury to hear all that. They may want them for both. There are always different reasons to generally rely on juries more than judges. An overwhelming majority of them are for trial. If they are misdemeanors, it would be district level at a district court. If they lose, they can appeal to circuit court. In circuit courts, they jury trials. Sometimes they take a drug case to the circuit court for a plea because they may get a better draw at the judge. Also, the case may not be as big a deal in circuit court as it would have been in district court. There is a lot that has to be waived in terms of what a person chooses in moving the case.
Length of Drug Cases
It is tough to figure out the typical length of a drug trial in Maryland. Cases are not moving as fast as in the past. It may be that the labs have slowed down or they are taking more time to investigate the cases and move them. At least in most cases, they are going to hit out to about 45 months. In the circuit court, it could be seven, eight, or nine months, because they start at the district level and go up. There are time limits in the circuit court that are more specific than the district court. There are constraints on the state to prosecute the case in an 180-day window, which is a Maryland state rule.