Maryland and D.C. Criminal Law Firm!
D.C. (MD) Maryland Drunk
Driving DUI DWI Drug Possession CDS Assault and Battery
Lawyers And Major Felony
Crimes in Maryland (MD) and Washington, D.C Lawyers
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LAWYERS-FOR REAL PEOPLE-WITH REAL PROBLEMS!
Our lawyers have been cited on television, radio
and by major national newspapers.
you have been charged with a
criminal offense in Maryland
or the District of Columbia
whether a major felony, drunk
(driving while intoxicated),
dui, possession of cds (controlled
dangerous substance) our experienced
criminal lawyer(s) at Belli,
Weil & Grozbean, P.C. will be by your side each
and every step of the criminal
Most people who are charged with a criminal
offense do not realize that they can not wait
until the last minute to hire a lawyer. Our
lawyers at Belli, Weil & Grozbean, P.C.
understand the criminal laws whether in
Maryland or the District of Columbia (DC) and
know how to prepare you for trial and utilize
resources such as private investigators,
psychologist, forensic experts, drunk driving
and drug evaluators and rehabilitation
facilities. Being charged with a felony, dwi or
drug charge can send you to jail and should not
be taken lightly.
Are you facing a loss of your drivers license
because of being charged with drunk driving, dwi,
possession of drugs, driving while suspended,
speeding or reckless driving to name a few? Then
Belli, Weil & Grozbean, P.C. can
help you thru the administrative hearing
process. Most people do not realize how long
they can lose their license to drive and they
will be going before an Administrative Law Judge
who has the power to keep them from driving.
Can you afford not to drive? Will you lose your
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM ARRESTED?
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS!
TO DO IF YOU ARE ARRESTED!
I am told
that I am under arrest. What does that mean?
When you are arrested, you are taken into
custody. This means that you are not free to
leave the scene. Without being arrested, you can
be detained, however, or held for questioning
for a short time if a police officer or other
person believes you may be involved in a crime.
For example, an officer may detain you if you
are carrying a large box near a burglary site.
You can also be detained by storekeepers if they
suspect you have stolen something. Whether you
are arrested or detained, you do not have to
answer any questions except to give your name
and address and show some identification if
RIGHTS DO I HAVE?
you are an adult citizen or non-citizen, you
have certain rights if you are arrested.
Before the law enforcement officer questions
you, he or she should tell you that:
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say may be used against you.
You have a right to have a lawyer present while
you are questioned.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be
appointed for you.
These are your "Miranda" rights, guaranteed by
the U.S. Constitution. If you are not given
these warnings, your lawyer can ask that any
statements you made to the police not be used
against you in court. But this does not
necessarily mean that your case will be
dismissed. This does not apply if you volunteer
information without being questioned by the
2. ONCE I
AM TOLD MY RIGHTS, CAN I BE QUESTIONED?
You can be
questioned, without a lawyer present, only if
you voluntarily give up your rights and if you
understand what you are giving up. If you agree
to the questioning, then change your mind,
questioning must stop as soon as you say that
you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues
after you request a lawyer and you continue to
talk, your answers can be used against you if
you testify to something different.
You may be required to give certain physical
evidence. For example, if you are suspected of
driving under the influence of alcohol you may
be requested to take a test to measure the
amount of alcohol in your system. If you refuse
to take the test, your driver's license will be
suspended and the refusal will be used against
you in court.
Once you are booked, meaning your arrest is
written into official police records and you are
fingerprinted and photographed, you have a right
to make and complete three telephone calls that
are free within the local dialing area.
SHOULD I SEE A LAWYER?
If you are
arrested for a crime, particularly a serious
one, you should contact a lawyer as soon as
possible. He or she has a better sense of what
you should and should not say to law enforcement
officers to avoid being misinterpreted or
misunderstood. The lawyer also can advise you or
your family or friends on the bail process.
There is no substitute for a good Maryland
criminal defense lawyer.
CAN ARREST ME?
enforcement officers - such as police officers,
county sheriff officers, investigators in a
district attorney's or an attorney general's
offices and highway patrol officers - can arrest
you whether they are on or off duty, in most
cases. A probation or parole officer also can
They can arrest you - even if they do not have
an arrest warrant - if they have probable cause
or good reason to believe you committed a
felony, such as armed robbery. (A felony is a
crime of a more serious nature than a
misdemeanor, usually punishable by imprisonment
for more than a year.) They do not have to see
you commit a felony in order to arrest you. They
do, however, have to see you commit a
misdemeanor in order to arrest you.
If you commit an infraction, instead of taking
you into custody, they may ask to sign a
citation or notice. This is a minor offense,
such as a moving violation, where the punishment
usually is a fine. If you sign the citation, you
are not admitting guilt; you are only promising
to appear in court. If you have no
identification or refuse to sign, however, an
officer may take you into custody.
SOMEONE OTHER THAN A POLICE OFFICER ARREST ME?
person, such as a private security guard, can
make a citizen's arrest if they see a
misdemeanor being attempted or committed. (A
misdemeanor is a criminal offense, usually
punishable with a fine or short jail term.) They
also can make a legal arrest for a felony as
long as it actually was committed and they have
good reason to believe you did it. They must
take you to a police officer or judge who is
required by law to take you into custody.
IS AN ARREST WARRANT USED?
warrant is required before you can be taken into
custody in your home. But you can be arrested at
home without a warrant if fast action is needed
to prevent you from escaping, destroying
evidence, endangering someone's life or
seriously damaging property.
The warrant must be signed by a magistrate or
judge, who must have good reason to believe that
you, whom the warrant names, committed a crime.
If your name is unknown, "John Doe" can be used
on the warrant - along with your description.
Once an arrest warrant is issued, any law
enforcement officer in the state can arrest you
- even if the officer does not have a copy of
the warrant. Generally, there is no time limit
on using a warrant to make an arrest.
Before entering your home, a law enforcement
officer must knock and identify himself or
herself and tell you that you are going to be
arrested. If you refuse to open the door - or if
there is another good reason - the officer can
break in through a door or window.
If the police have an arrest warrant, you should
be allowed to see it. If they don't have the
warrant with them, you should be allowed to see
it as soon as practical.
The police may search the area within your
reach. If you are arrested outdoors, they may
not search your home or car.
Resisting an arrest or detention is a crime. If
you resist arrest, you can be charged with a
misdemeanor or felony in addition to the crime
for which you are being arrested. If you resist,
an officer can use force to overcome your
resistance or prevent your escape. The officer
can even use deadly force if it appears you will
use force to cause great bodily injury.
CAN I BE RELEASED?
the questioning and before a charge is filed,
the police are convinced that you have not
committed a crime, they will give you a written
release. Your arrest then will be considered a
detention and not recorded as an arrest.
IS BAIL AND HOW IS IT SET?
of bail - money or other security deposited with
the court to insure that you will appear - is
set by a schedule in each county. You may be
notified that you can forfeit or give up bail
instead of appearing in court if you receive a
traffic citation. However, if you have any
doubt, go to court so a warrant is not issued
for your arrest for failing to appear. Bail
forfeiture does not apply to misdemeanors or
felonies. Forfeiting bail does not mean that the
charges are dropped and usually works as a
conviction for a traffic offense.
A Magistrate at the jail will usually set bail
or you maybe held for a Judge to set bail. If
you cannot post or put up the bail, you will be
kept in custody. Depending on where you are
arrested, you may have the opportunity to
request a bail reduction from a Judge.
When you are taken to court for bail setting or
release, the judge will consider the seriousness
of the offense you are charged with, any prior
failures to appear (even for traffic tickets),
any previous record, your connections to the
community, as well as the probability that you
will appear in court. The amount of bail is set
according to a written schedule based on your
charges. The law presumes you are guilty of the
charges for purposes of setting bail or release.
Instead of paying bail, you might be released on
your own recognizance or "O.R." (or supervised
O.R.). This means that you do not have to pay
bail because the judge believes that you will
show up for court appearances without bail.
MAINTAINS ARREST RECORDS AND WHAT DO THEY
police departments and the Judiciary keep arrest
records. Your past criminal record maybe in a
national data bank. The arrest record includes
when and why you were arrested, whether the
charges against you were dropped or whether you
were convicted of the charges, and the
subsequent sentence imposed. Both pleading
guilty and being found guilty after a trial
count as convictions.
If you are convicted of committing a
misdemeanor, placed on probation and stay out of
trouble, you are able to have the conviction
removed from your record for such purposes as
employment background checks. This is often
called "probation before verdict".
HAPPENS AT AN ARRAIGNMENT?
You have a
right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay
- usually within a short period of time- after
being arrested. You will appear before a judge
who will tell you officially of the charges
against you at your first arraignment. At the
arraignment, an attorney may be appointed for
you if you cannot afford one, and bail can be
raised or lowered. You also can ask to be
released on P.R., even if bail was previously
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can
plead guilty or not guilty at the arraignment.
Or, if the court approves, you can plead nolo
contendere, meaning that you will not contest to
the charges. Legally this is the same as a
guilty plea, but it cannot be used against you
in a non-criminal case, unless the charge can be
punished as a felony.
Before pleading guilty to some first-time
offenses, such as drug use or possession in
small amounts for personal use, you may want to
find out if your county has any drug diversion
programs. Under these programs, instead of
fining you or sending you to jail, the court may
order you to get counseling which can result in
dismissal of the charges if you complete the
If misdemeanor charges are not dropped, a trial
will be held later in municipal court. If you
are charged with a felony, however, and the
charges are not dropped, the next step is a
HAPPENS AT A PRELIMINARY HEARING?
preliminary inquiry or hearing, usually within a
short period after arrest, the States Attorney's
office must present evidence showing a
reasonable suspicion that a felony was committed
and that you did it to convince the judge that
you should be brought to trial.
offenses in the District Court of Maryland the
preliminary inquiry is only to find out if you
have an attorney and understand the charge. This
hearing is often waived if your attorney enters
his appearance in your case.
If you are charged with a crime and unable to
understand English, you have a right to an
interpreter throughout the proceedings.
REMEMBER THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCED
CRIMINAL LAWYERS! You could be sentenced to time
in jail for driving while intoxicated,
possession of drugs or reckless driving. It is
important to contact a lawyer immediately.
WHEN EXPERIENCE COUNTS YOU CAN NOT AFFORD
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