Being charged with a crime often makes a person feel he is guilty until proven innocent, when it is supposed to be the other way around. A strong legal defense from the time you know you are under investigation to post-trial is essential.
Each crime has elements, which are things that the State or prosecuting authority is required to prove in order for a Judge or Jury to convict you. That is because the State has the burden of proof in a criminal case. An experience criminal defense attorney knows how to prepare the case, ready the defense, and cross-examine witnesses, in the hope that the State will not be able to meet their burden of proof and you will be acquitted.
Sometimes, a trial is necessary and the attorney must be ready to present evidence in the form of document production, witnesses, expert testimony and more so that the Judge or Jury come to the conclusion that the defendant is not guilty.
Those are just two potential outcomes in a criminal case. For example, the case could be entered Nolle Prosequi by the State, placed on the inactive "Stet" docket, or dismissed. Each disposition would not be seen as a conviction and would entitle the defendant to an expungement of his record.
Finally, another disposition that is often favorable for a defendant is probation before judgment or PBJ. This disposition allows the Judge to place the defendant on probation without a finding of guilt. There may be conditions associated with this probation, but once again because it is not a conviction, the defendant would be eligible for an expungement of the record in this case in a matter of time.
Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor in the District Court, Circuit Court or U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, you must ensure that your legal rights are protected. No one wants to have a criminal conviction, especially if they didn't choose the right lawyer.