Has a Loved One Been Arrested? Call Zirkin and Schmerling Law

Habeas Petitions and Bail Reviews

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    Has a loved one been arrested? We are here to help.

    When someone is arrested, the next 24 to 72 hours are some of the most important times in their case. You absolutely should have a Zirkin & Schmerling Law working retained during these times. If these critical hours are not handled right, a person could make statements that prove fatal to their defense.

    Equally important are the decisions that will be made as to where your relative will be spending the next weeks, months, or more of their life. Will they be behind bars or sleeping in their own bed? Will they be away from their family and employment or will they be home every night after working hard each day to provide for their family? Will they be seeing their attorney in a visiting booth or will they be able to actively assist their attorney from home?

    Pre-trial incarceration can be absolutely crippling to a Defendant and their families. One of the most important tenants of our criminal justice system holds that we are innocent until proven guilty. Being held pretrial in jail without the possibility of bailing out certainly confuses the way we view this concept. 

    If you need legal help, contact our Criminal Law attorney to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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    What can be done to avoid this nightmare scenario of being held in jail awaiting a trial date?

    Below are the three types of hearings where one can argue to be released while waiting for a trial date. Click on any of the links below to reveal more information and get a better understanding of what to expect for each hearing.

    1. Initial Bail Hearing
      • After being arrested by an officer, they will bring you to a police station where they will write up the charges against you. Within 24 hours of being arrested, you must be released or taken before a Commissioner. A Commissioner is someone who will advise you of the charges against you and decide if you should be released while your case is pending or hold you in the jail until your trial date. A Commissioner can also order you to have to pay a bail in order to get released. Finally, a Commissioner can order certain pretrial conditions on release on you including, but not limited to, staying away from certain people/locations and reporting to a Pretrial Agent who will stay in touch with you while the case is pending.
      • The standard that a Commissioner will consider is (1) whether you are a flight risk and (2)whether you are a danger to the community. They are applied like a balancing test. One can be enough to keep you detained while your case is pending. This is not a trial and most Commissioners will say they must accept the police report as fact for this hearing alone. Asserting that you are innocent until proven guilty is not enough to be deserving of pretrial release.
      • You have a right to an attorney at your Bail Hearing. Notify the Commissioner that you want an attorney to represent you at this stage and the Commissioner will give you an opportunity to call your attorney. Contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you at your Bail Hearing.
      • If you are released at this stage, and you have not already done so, contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to begin the preparation of your defense in your case.
    2. Bail Review
      • If you are not released from the Detention Center after your Bail Hearing, you will have a court appearance on the next business day with a Judge who will conduct a Bail Review. A Bail Review serves the same purpose as a Bail Hearing: to determine if you should be released while your case is pending or hold you in the jail until your trial date. Also, Judges have more discretion that Commissioners; there are certain situations where Commissioners are not authorized by law to release a Defendant, but a Judge still can.
      • The standard that a Judge will consider is (1) whether you are a flight risk and (2) whether you are a danger to the community.They are applied like a balancing test. One can be enough to keep you detained while your case is pending. This is not a trial and most Judges will say they must accept the police report as fact for this hearing alone. Asserting that you are innocent until proven guilty is not enough to be deserving of pretrial release.
      • You have a right to an attorney at your Bail Review. Contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you at your Bail Hearing.
      • If you are released at this stage, and you have not already done so, contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to begin the preparation of your defense in your case.
    3. Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
      • If a judge denies you a bail, there is one final way to seek a bail review. It is called a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. This type of a hearing does not happen automatically in a criminal case. It is an elective motion that must be filing in writing by the Defendant and there are important perquisites to know about before being able to file this type of motion. If those perquisites are met, filing this Petition does lead to having another bail review in a pending case.
      • All petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus are filed in the Circuit Court where a Defendant’s pending case is taking place. It is not actually filed under the same case number. The petition is filed at the Civil Clerk’s Office and assigned a new case number just for the purposes of the Habeas Petition.
      • There is a filing fee when you file a Habeas Petition. The fee is $165.00. You should be prepared to pay this fee on top of any attorney’s fees when you are retaining an attorney for this type of a motion.
      • Just because a Writ of Habeas Corpus motion is filed does not guarantee a new bail review. By law, the Court can deny the motion without a hearing if the petition does not allege any new grounds of a substantial nature to grant the petition. More plainly stated, if all of the same reasons you want to be released were already discussed at previous bail hearings, the Court can deny the petition.
      • If a judge grants a hearing on a Habeas Petition, you will be granted a new bail review. The standard that a Judge will consider is (1) whether you are a flight risk and (2) whether you are a danger to the community. They are applied like a balancing test. One can be enough to keep you detained while your case is pending. This is not a trial and most Judges will say they must accept the police report as fact for this hearing alone. Asserting that you are innocent until proven guilty is not enough to be deserving of pretrial release.
      • You have a right to an attorney at your Bail Review. Contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to file a Habeas Petition and represent you at your Bail Hearing.
      • If you are released at this stage, and you have not already done so, contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to begin the preparation of your defense in your case.

    What are the types of pretrial release in Maryland?

    The nightmare scenario for all is to be held without bond. Until recently, effectively another version of being held without bond was to have a monetary bail that was so high that one might as well be held without bond. Money bails are still constitutional in Maryland however they are hardly ever granted anymore.

    Below are the most typical types of release one can expect when appearing before a Commissioner or a Judge at a bail hearing, bail review, or Habeas Petition hearing. Click on any of the links below to reveal more information and get a better understanding of what types of release one can hope to have ordered by the court.

    1. Release on your own recognizance
      • If someone is released on their own recognizance, it means they do not have to pay any money to be released or report to anyone while their case is pending. This is the best one can hope for when their pretrial liberty is at stake.
    2. Level 1 Pretrial Supervision
      • When you are released with this type of supervision, you are expected to keep in contact with a Pretrial Agent from the county where you were charged. The only contact you need to maintain is by telephone. How often you are to call in is determined by your Pretrial Agent. You need to be in contact with this person your release status can easily be revoked and you will remain in jail while your case is pending.
    3. Level 2 Supervision
      • When you are released with this type of supervision, you are expected to keep in contact with a Pretrial Agent from the county where you were charged. The contact includes meeting in person with your agent, submitting to random urinalysis, and following any other rules set by your agent or the court. If you cannot follow through with these conditions, your release status can easily be revoked and you will remain in jail while your case is pending.
    4. Level 3 Supervision
      • If a judge orders Level 3 Supervision, it does not mean you are automatically getting released. This is the type of supervision where the judge is merely making you eligible for release with electronic monitoring and/or home detention.
      • Eligible according to the judge is different than being eligible according to the jail. A judge can order someone to be ineligible for release on home detention. But if a judge orders Level 3 Supervision, and the jail determines someone to be ineligible according to certain Maryland Regulations, then your relative is not coming home. Some criteria that could prevent release under Maryland Regulations are: (1) if the person is pending trial for a crime of violence, (2) if the person has a history of child abuse or sex abuse of minor, (3) if the person has escaped or attempted an escape in the last 10 years, and (4) if the person is within 3 years since the expiration of their sentence for a crime of violence.
      • If you are released on home detention, and do not follow program rules, your release status can easily be revoked and you will remain in jail while your case is pending.
    5. Home Detention through a Private Vendor
      • Sometimes a judge is comfortable with a Defendant being released from the jail on Home Detention but Maryland Regulations prevent that person from being released to Home Detention. In those situations, there are private home detention companies that you can pay for to supervise your loved on while their case is pending. This will come as an out-of-pocket case and frequently can cost hundreds of dollars every month.
      • It is recommended that family have a contract signed with a home detention company before a bail hearing. If this is not done, it will make a judge less inclined to use this option since a judge will typically want a person officially on their home detention program within mere hours of their release.
      • It is also important to know that just because you arrange for private Home Detention does not guarantee that a judge will agree to it. It is an important phone call than many should make before a bail hearing but it does not always work out.
      • There are not many private Home Detention companies in Maryland. Here is the information for some companies that courts frequently work with: Alert Home Detention, 410-528-9333 ASAP Home Detention, 410-832-1717
      • If you are released on private home detention, and do not follow program rules, your release status can easily be revoked and you will remain in jail while your case is pending.

    Many Types of Charges

    You may need a Criminal Defense attorney for any number of reasons. Zirkin & Schmerling Law has attorneys that are ready to fight for you no matter what type of crime you have been charged with in Maryland. Click on any of the types of crimes below to get more information about what you need to know about your criminal case.

    Do you have more questions? Here are more answers:

    Booking In and Bailing Out: What You Should Know About Arrests Read More
    Self-Defense IS a Defense in Maryland Read More