We are currently living in unprecedented times. Schools, bars, restaurants, and non-essential businesses are all shut. The Chief Judge of Maryland has closed the courts to the general public. However, the courts are still opened and are hearing certain urgent cases, including bail reviews in domestic violence cases. In this blog, I will focus on the bail review process in domestic violence cases and explain why you need an experienced criminal attorney to fight for you.
Most Maryland residents are heeding the government’s advice of social distancing and remaining at home with only their immediate families. This isolation causes increased social, financial, and mental stress which may lead to verbal arguments between spouses and significant others. Unfortunately, many of these verbal arguments may lead to a physical altercation in which the police are called to the residence.
Commissioner Hearing: Pretrial Release is Possible
When the police are called to a residence for a domestic situation, they are trained to separate the parties and to speak to all present witnesses. They also look for bruising and injuries to corroborate the alleged victim’s story. If bruising or injuries are found, they will arrest the other party and charge them with domestic violence assault.
The police will then transport the criminal defendant to a District Court Commissioner for an initial appearance and to determine if the defendant can be released pending trial. However, the Commissioner’s are generally instructed not to release a criminal defendant facing domestic violence charges. They will usually hold the person without bond pending a bail review the next business day before a District Court judge. However, many times the criminal attorneys at James Crawford’s office have been successful in persuading a Commissioner that pretrial release on bail is appropriate in certain situations. It is important to note that you have a right to have an attorney present at the Commissioner’s hearing. The Commissioners all know our office and they allow us to appear telephonically at all hours of the day and night. Therefore, it is important to contact our office immediately when you are arrested so that we can notify the Commissioner that we will be appearing remotely for your hearing.
Bail Hearing: You Need an Experienced Attorney
If the defendant is not released, a bail review will be held in the District Court the next business day. The defendant once again enjoys the right to have an attorney present for the bail review. It is extremely important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for you at the bail review. Many inexperienced attorneys argue the facts of the case before the judge and attempt to “try” the case at the bail review. Judges get impatient with such arguments and disregard the attorney’s statements. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows to only argue why their client is not a flight risk nor a threat to the victim or society, in general if released pending trial. It is important to note that the District Court is still opened to hear bail reviews in all cases including domestic violence cases. Therefore, it is extremely urgent to call the experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, LLC, if you or a loved one is facing a bail review for a domestic violence case.
Is Your Loved One Being Held Without Bail?
Finally, you may be reading this blog and you or your loved one already had a bail review and is being held without bond pending trial. You need to know that your trial may not take place for several weeks or even months due to the current pandemic. If that is the case, please immediately call our office at (443)709-9999, to speak to one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. Earlier this week, a client of ours was being held without bond pending trial on a domestic violence case. I immediately contacted the client’s family and they were able to secure approval for private home detention pending trial. I then filed a Motion with the District Court requesting that the defendant be released pending trial on private home detention monitoring. A couple of days later, I received a call from the judge stating that they will sign the order releasing my client pending trial on home detention which allowed the client to go to work and attend medical and legal appointments pending trial. Our client and family were elated that he was coming home and that he was able to retain his job during these trying times. If you or your loved one is being held without bond on any criminal matter including a domestic violence case, please call us immediately at (443 )709-9999. Our Office is open and ready to help you navigate this difficult time.