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Arrested in Charles County Maryland: How Do I Get Out of Jail?

If you have been arrested in Charles County, MD (or elsewhere in Southern Maryland), you CAN get released from jail pending Maryland criminal trial proceedings. Most often, this requires payment of “bail.” But there are other options that may not involve the payment of money. If you need legal help after being arrested for a crime in Maryland, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301) 75-5253 if you are facing a bail hearing. We are available around the clock, 24/7. We are located in Waldorf, MD. Here is a quick rundown on pretrial release in Maryland.

Pretrial release is a bit confusing because, typically, there are two “hearings.” The first “hearing” is a proceeding that occurs a few hours after the booking and processing of the person arrested. This proceeding takes place before a non-judge Maryland government employee called a “Commissioner.” Commissioners are hired to handle the very first appearances of a person arrested while that person waits to see an official Maryland criminal court judge. The Commissioner is empowered to set bail conditions. Maryland prosecuting attorneys are present at proceedings before the Commissioner and will make recommendations on pretrial release. Commissioners often follow the recommendations of the prosecutors. The accused is also present and is often defended by a government-paid public defender. For obvious reasons, it is better for the accused to have his or her own Maryland criminal defense attorney when the Commissioner makes a decision.

If what the Commissioner decides is satisfactory to the accused, then those bail/pretrial release conditions set by the Commissioner are generally the conditions for bail/pretrial release.

The Commissioner has a number of choices. “Bail” generally refers to some sort of payment of money or collateral — like putting up equity in a home — that are meant to guarantee the appearance of the accused at his or her Maryland criminal trial. But, there are non-bail options for pretrial release. Obviously, the non-bail options are the best for the accused. A Commissioner has these choices:

  • Release on personal recognizance (no bail) — essentially, this is release from jail with no conditions and no payment of money or putting up of collateral
  • Personal release with promise but without bond (also no bail) — this is release from jail on the written signed promise that the accused will appear for their case/trial and a promise to pay a set amount of money if the accused fails to appear
  • Release on personal recognizance with conditions (also no bail) — conditions might be something like GPS monitoring, required weekly check-ins, etc.
  • Release with cash bail or other security — this is the most common method of pretrial release; this is release from jail only if the bail amount is paid (or is otherwise secured) — could be $1,000 or $1 million or really any amount; failure of the accused to appear for trial will forfeit the full amount of the bail to the courts; if the accused appears, the bail amount paid is refunded after the criminal proceedings are completed
  • No bail — this means the accused will stay in jail pending their trial; no bail occurs, for example, if the accused is deemed to be a flight risk or has failed to appear in previous criminal cases

After the Commissioner makes a decision, the second hearing is an official judicial hearing that takes place in front of a Maryland criminal court judge. Usually, this hearing takes place the next day — or the next day that courts are in session. This is called a Bail Review Hearing. If you are challenging the decision made by the Commissioner, you definitely need a top-tier Maryland criminal defense lawyer to provide legal counsel and services at the Bail Review Hearing. The Maryland criminal court judge can agree with the Commissioner’s decision or change the bail/pretrial release conditions.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301)705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is: 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.