State Court

Although some criminal accusations are prosecuted in federal court, most criminal prosecutions occur in state court. For cases in the State of Maryland, the prosecution involves an attorney with the Offices of the Maryland State’s Attorneys. The State’s Attorney in Maryland presents the state’s case in traffic and criminal trials in the District Court.

For criminal cases, the responsibility of prosecuting all criminal cases generally rests with the Maryland State’s Attorney for the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred. In Maryland, each political jurisdiction (the counties and Baltimore City) are served by an elected State’s Attorney, who serves a four-year term.

The Office of the State’s Attorney prosecute at trial all violations of Maryland law that have a criminal sanction and investigate criminal activity within its jurisdiction.


Criminal Defense Attorney in State Court in Maryland

I am Jim Crawford, a criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, MD. I have more than two decades of experience as a trial lawyer defending people against Maryland state charges, all types of misdemeanors and felonies, in Baltimore and across the State of Maryland.

With offices conveniently located in Baltimore and Catonsville, Maryland, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates serve clients throughout the city and county of Baltimore, and the surrounding areas including Catonsville, Bel Air, and Annapolis.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The firm operates four offices for your convenience, including the main office in Baltimore as well as offices in Catonsville, Annapolis and Bel Air, MD. If you have been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor in state court in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Call 443-709-9999.


What is the Different Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor under Maryland Law?

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony offense in Maryland is that:

  • A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense (other than a felony or an infraction) punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
  • A felony is a serious criminal offense, punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or death.

The criminal defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are familiar with the procedures used in state court including:


The Way Serious Felonies are Prosecuted in Baltimore, Maryland

The largest Circut Court Division of the OSA is the Felony Trial Unit. The dedicated Assistant State’s Attorneys in this Unit prosecute a range of serious crimes including attempted murder, felony assault, drug dealing, and handguns. Felony prosecutors assume responsibility for a case from Grand Jury indictment through the final resolution. In 2015, the Felony Trial team prosecuted nearly 3,400 cases.

The prosecutors in the Felony Trial Unit work with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and each of Baltimore’s nine District Detective Units to discuss coordinated investigation strategies including securing video evidence, testifying in court, tracking phones and other electronic devices. The Felony Trial Unit has a 24/7 on-call program that allows officer with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to contact a Felony Trial Team Leader at any time to review search and seizure warrants and provide any other form of investigative or legal assistance.

You also need a criminal defense attorney focused on defending you against serious felony offices in Baltimore, Maryland. When we represent someone in state court we often answer the following questions:

  • Are you under investigation but haven’t been arrested yet? I can help you before charges are even filed.
  • If you have been charged with a felony, you have the right to request a preliminary hearing within 10 days from the date of your arrest.
  • If you were denied bail, you’ll need to plead your case in front of a judge as to why you should be allowed to go home rather than stay in jail.
  • You can make an appeal for the return of property forfeited by the government.
  • If you are found guilty or accept a plea, the judge will sentence you. It can be probation or prison, depending on the circumstances of the case.
  • Generally, an attorney can file a motion for a new trial within 10 days of trial, or file a motion to modify or revise the sentence within 90 days.

The Maryland Office of State Prosecutors

The criminal defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates also represent clients prosecuted by the Maryland Office of State Prosecutor. The Office of State Prosecutor began operations in January of 1977 after it was established by Constitutional amendment and legislation in 1976 (Chapter 612, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 1976). The State Prosecutor investigates crimes:

  • on his own initiative;
  • at the request of the Governor;
  • at the request of the Attorney General;
  • at the request of the General Assembly;
  • at the request of the State Ethics Commission; or
  • at the request of a State’s Attorney for certain criminal offenses.

Investigations by the Office of State Prosecutor include:

  • State election law violations;
  • State public ethics law violations;
  • State bribery law violations involving public officials or employees;
  • misconduct in office by public officials or employees; and
  • extortion, perjury, or obstruction of justice.

If you are under investigation by the Maryland Office of State Prosecutor, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates in Baltimore, Maryland.


Additional Resources

Criminal Cases Prosecuted in Maryland’s District Court – Visit the website of the Maryland Judiciary to learn more about what happens in Maryland’s District Courts. Also find a description of the staff and other agencies including District Court commissioner or judicial officer who reviews the charging documents and set pre-trial release, the Clerks who provide support for the courts both within and without the courtroom, the judges in District Court who presides over cases, the public defender who provides criminal defense in certain District Court trials for indigent persons unable to afford a private attorney, and the State’s Attorney that presents the state’s case in traffic and criminal trials in District Court.