Prince George’s County Jail and Courts Information

When facing a criminal charge in Prince George’s County, an attorney could help you mitigate the severity of punishments. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who could explain Prince George’s County jail and courts information to you. Call today to set up a consultation and learn about your rights.

How an Attorney Could Represent Someone in Jail

Someone being held and throughout the time that their case is pending still could, though limited, remain in contact with an attorney. While they could not simply make a phone call and reach out, they could wait for an allowed visitation and then discuss their situation with their legal representative. While jails may offer phones under supervision, it is not recommended to use them. This is because jails record phone conversations.

Whether incarceration facilities wish to admit it or not, all phone calls are monitored, so someone is listening to the conversation. Even though what inmates talk about with their attorney is confidential, officers are likely still going to monitor it. If the state’s attorney or anyone else is going to listen to a conversation about trial strategies, facts, and witnesses, it is not something that they want to do in any other fashion but in person. The attorney has to go to the detention center, be there during the visiting hours that are available, and see the defendant.

There are constraints when it comes to these meetings with a lawyer. For one, conversations are often made in a small room. Attorneys have to clear video and other equipment through security which takes time and forces quick exchanges between attorneys and defendants. The lawyer will often work with the constraints of the situation and will try to meet with the defendant as often as possible.

The Booking Process in Prince George’s County

The booking in Prince George’s County could be done in a number of ways. Once someone is arrested, they could be detained and then brought before the commissioner. Eventually, they are brought before the magistrate. At some point, a decision is made on their bond conditions. The decision is whether they are going to release the person on their own recognizance, release the person with some conditions, release them on bond, or hold them without bond.

If a judge decides they are going to hold the person without bond, the person would be transferred to the Prince George’s County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro. Their bond or bail hearing would be the following day. All the bond hearings are done through the closed caption. Upon concluding, the person could leave. To learn more about bond and other Prince George’s County jail and courts information, contact a seasoned attorney.

What to Expect When Taken to Jail in Prince George’s County

When a person gets taken to jail in Prince George’s County, they should expect to be locked up. No jail is a pleasant experience. No matter how nice an individual may believe the jail may be, they are still locked up. Their next appearance in front of someone outside of that institution is going to be through a television set, which is not personal. They should expect to have their lawyer, public defender, family, and other people to advocate for them and their character. A judge is often going to be the difference between that person staying in jail or being released. 

How Bond Works

Bond works in a number of ways and it has changed over the last several years. A magistrate has the ability to give someone a bond. For example, it could be a $100 cash bond. Defendants could then pay $100 and they are allowed to leave. They could possibly do an unsecured bond. For example, the bond would be $5,000 unsecured, meaning they could go, but if they do not show up to court they are going to owe $5,000. Magistrates could also do larger bond amounts. They could authorize ten percent, and the defendant goes through a bondsman or bondswoman to have that bond paid, which would secure the person’s release. Magistrates could also do the hold-without bond, meaning that the defendant is going to be kept in jail until trial.

Where Courts Are Located in Prince George’s County

Prince George’s County has two courthouses. The first is the district court, located in Hyattsville on Rhode Island Avenue. The district court is where all district court cases may be heard, which includes domestic matters, traffic matters, criminal matters that are non-felony, and the occasional felony because of the dollar amounts of a theft or a destruction-of-property case. Additionally, it could be the assault of a police officer.

The other district court is located on Main Street in the Upper Marlboro courthouse, which is both the district and circuit court. On one side of the building is the district court. On the other side is the circuit court, which is a fully comprehensive courthouse. It does hear juvenile matters and family law matters. The clerks, the paralegal, and staff are there at all times and are very accessible.

How Prince George’s County Court Works for Criminal Cases

In a criminal context, the majority of cases in the Prince George’s court system start at the district level because there are no felonies involved. The person would be either at the Hyattsville Courthouse or the Upper Marlboro Courthouse district court would appear in front of a judge. There are no juries in district court. It is the judge, the state, the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and any officer or witness that was present.

In the district court, one has the ability to have a trial. They could accept a plea or a disposition that has been agreed to with the state. They have options, one of which is called a jury trial prayer. It is entering a prayer for a jury trial, which is putting on the record that the person requests their matter be transferred to the circuit court of Prince George’s County or a trial before jury. In the circuit court, one does not have to have a jury trial. They could have a bench trial. That is within district court, but there are pros and cons just as there to anything involving a bench trial. Someone may want to speak to the jury if it is a legal argument where they want a more senior, more tenured judge to address, but there are plenty of options.

The the Maryland court system, if someone is charged from Prince George’s County, would generally start in the district court. On some occasions, defendants’ cases are serious and may involve felony accusations. Felonies could be indicted by a grand jury from circuit court. They could also be passed by an information filing, and that would remove the matter to the circuit court just like a prayer of a jury trial. In the circuit court, one could have a trial by jury and they could have a trial in front of a judge with no jury.

In the circuit court, someone would either be found guilty or not guilty. If they are found guilty, they have appellate rights. The first level of the appeals court in Maryland is called the Court of Special Appeals. After the Court of Special Appeals, if they are not successful there they may file for the Court of Appeals, which is Maryland’s highest court. After that, they would be applying to the United States Supreme Court.

What Defendants Need to Know About the Prince George’s County Court System

Some of the most important Prince George’s County jail and courts information that people should know is that the system is massive and there is significant volume in these courts. These courts deal with a number of things just like every other county, but in a higher volume. Right now it seems as though the volume for drugs and guns, domestic matters, and traffic violations are up. It is no secret that the officers are on patrol are much more sensitive, depending on the time of the day.

Additionally, in Prince George’s County, police have a number of entities working with them for investigations. They have people that would investigate larger-scale crimes, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and major felonies. They are the ones that would investigate sex crimes, murders, and gun cases becoming a major factor in Prince George’s County courts. These cases are dealt with swiftly and harshly.

One may not come into the courthouse and expect just to walk out without facing the consequences of their charge. If they walk in without an attorney, they probably would not come out. Penalties could be much more difficult during the period of probation than if they would have been with an attorney. There are ways to maneuver the courts from district to circuit. There are judges that are more lenient than others. In this county, one has to have an overwhelming solid bench, whether it is trial or a plea.

It is essential for defendants to obtain an experienced attorney. The earlier one gets a lawyer involved, the better. There are plenty of cases that an attorney could file and have discovery from the state’s attorney’s office within a week. Other cases take longer. It depends on the charges. The more serious the charge, the longer it is going to take for the state to put their discovery together. However, if it is exceptionally serious and there has been an ongoing investigation, many times, discovery may be available at least in part right away.

Additionally, the Prince George’s County is the Greenbelt Courthouse, which is a federal courthouse. Therefore, if someone is involved in major drug trafficking, the federal government is going to take a look at the case. If someone is involved in human trafficking, sex trafficking, or child pornography, the federal government is going to investigate. Upper Marlboro is a very unique district with much going on in terms of court activity. An attorney who practices in this area regularly is going to be of incredibly high benefit to someone in moving forward with their matter. A local lawyer will also be knowledgeable when it comes to Prince George’s County jail and courts information.

How to Behave in Court

In terms of how to behave in court, people should know that they have to come to court and present themselves in a way that the judge would be proud and that they would be willing to take a risk on someone who comes to court wearing a shirt, tie, and nice pair of pants. If they come to court in their sweatpants, ripped shorts, shirts with cut-up holes, or shirt not tucked in, a number of judges in the district court would tell the person to walk out of that courtroom. It is critical to dress appropriately when coming to court.

 The jury is going to judge defendants on the words that are spoken in the courtroom, pictures or videos that they see, how they react, and their disposition. Make no mistake, the jury are checking out the person’s behavior and the way they dress. The minute the jury walks in, they are looking at the defendant, including the way that they are dressed, the way that they sit, how they hold their hands, and how they behave themselves.

Whether the defendant likes that they are there or not, they should always behave themselves and give others the most profound respect possible. It is okay to show frustration and shake their head if they do not agree. That is why their lawyer is sitting next to them to convey their thoughts and their disagreements. The attorney gets to cross-examine the witnesses. If the defendant yells at the judge, prosecutor, or witness, it is the last impression that a juror or a judge would see.

They should know that the person is there. They should never lose focus that this is about the person being accused of something. They should never remember the person for something negative. That goes for the attorney, as well. Attorneys are going to be fiery. They could get into it, but they do it in a way that is consistent with their job. They do not do it in a way that the judge’s final thoughts are of them and not the person.

The ultimate way to present information is so that any fact reflects upon the person that is sitting next to their lawyer, which is someone who is humbly there going through the same process. Whether it is a judge or a juror looking at them, they are taking this seriously. Attorneys are there advocating for their innocence. By the presentation, they could find a connection to the person. If the facts back that up, it is likely that they would find that reasonable doubt attorneys are looking for, which becomes a not-guilty.

What to Avoid in Court

Some things to avoid when going to court include acting randomly. When one gets to the courthouse, they should their attorney outside the courtroom on time, not inside. The reason is strict consistency. The court officials know where to look and find the person. They do not want the person in the room, because they do not want anyone to have the opportunity to talk about them, say something to them, or provoke them, depending on what type of case it is. Sometimes, they want them to know who the person is.

Contact a Prince George’s County Attorney Today About Jail and Court Information

If you find yourself in need of experienced legal counsel, contacting an attorney who could explain Prince George’s County jail and courts information could be essential. Reach out immediately to learn how a defense lawyer could fight for you and advocate on your behalf if you are facing criminal charges.