criminal in a jail with the police officerCriminal offenses are always serious matters and you need to have an experienced attorney by your side. If you are looking for criminal defense lawyers in Maryland, the Thompson Legal Group can help you.

While every court and judge is different, the following is a general summary of what you should expect in this process.


This will be your very first appearance in court and before a judge. A number of things will happen during your arraignment.

  • The court will read the charges against you and ask if you understand the charges.
  • A judge will advise you of your right to an attorney.
  • You will enter a plea of “not guilty” to the listed charges.
  • Your conditions of release or bond will be set while your case is pending.
  • You will be assigned a date for your next appearance.

The entire arraignment process in many cases only takes a few minutes and having a good criminal defense attorney at your side already can lead to more favorable conditions for your release.

Pretrial Hearing

After your initial appearance, you will appear with your attorney to either have the case dropped or advanced towards a trial. If the case is to continue, your attorney will set a date with the judge and prosecutor to investigate and negotiate your case.

Hearings on Motions

Sometimes deals with prosecutors need additional time. There also may be disagreements you will need the judge to resolve. At these hearings, your attorney will either file motions or object to the prosecutor’s motions.

Intent Hearing

The last pretrial hearing will be to inform the court of you and your attorney’s decision to; accept any plea deals, continue to trial, or change your plea. The court will set a date if you go to trial or change your plea.


During this process, you may need to meet with an investigator or probation officer to conduct a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). Your defense and the prosecution will use the information you provide during sentencing if necessary.


If charges have not been dismissed or a plea deal reached, then you will need to appear for your trial. Should you need criminal defense lawyers in Maryland, then an experienced lawyer from the Thompson Legal group will be pivotal to have at your side during your trial.

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