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St. Mary’s County Criminal Lawyer

Even if you have previously represented yourself in civil cases in court, such as business disputes or divorce, you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer if you are facing criminal charges, even if it is only for a misdemeanor. While civil lawsuits are usually between two individuals, two companies, or an individual and a company, in a criminal case, it is the state of Maryland against you. The bad news is that the state has all kinds of resources to make you appear guilty or to pressure you into pleading guilty. The good news is that you have the right to the presumption of innocence and to due process. Hiring a St. Mary’s County Maryland criminal attorney from the Law Office of Robert R. Castro can make all the difference in your case.

St. Mary’s County Maryland Criminal Lawyer

Robert R. Castro is a criminal defense lawyer who represents clients throughout Southern Maryland. He has been practicing law for over 29 years, and during his long career, he has helped thousands of clients clear their names after being accused of criminal offenses, including the following:

  • Assault and other violent crimes
  • Drug possession and the manufacture or sale of illegal drugs
  • Property crimes, such as theft, burglary, and vandalism
  • Drunk driving charges, including DUI and DWI
  • Traffic offenses, such as reckless driving and driving without a valid driver’s license

When you work with a St. Mary’s County Maryland criminal lawyer, it is important to keep in mind that criminal cases are not all or nothing; getting a prison sentence and being acquitted of all charges are not the only possible outcomes in criminal cases. More than 90% of defendants plead guilty, and their criminal lawyer in St. Mary’s County Maryland negotiates a plea deal that enables them to stay out of prison or to avoid getting a felony conviction on their records. Even if you go to trial, your lawyer might have to spend months developing a convincing argument about why it is unfair to let jurors hear a certain piece of evidence, or why it is unfair not to let them hear it. Even if you have already been convicted of a crime, your lawyer can help you appeal the conviction or the sentence. If you have completed your sentence for a previous conviction, a criminal defense lawyer can help you get the conviction expunged from your record.

Even if you do not go to jail or prison, getting a criminal conviction is financially and emotionally costly in the short term and in the long term. The sooner you contact a southern Maryland criminal defense law firm, the closer you are to putting your legal problems behind you and moving on with your life.

Beating criminal charges in St. Mary’s County may be easier than you think – especially if you team up with a qualified, experienced defense lawyer. With help from the Law Office of Robert Castro, you can strive for the best possible results and fight for your rights. To get started with a solid defense strategy, call (301) 705-5137 now.

But how exactly can a defense lawyer help? Is it even worth defending yourself in the first place? How does a criminal trial work, and what kinds of strategies might be effective for your specific situation? At the end of the day, the answers to these questions depend on your specific situation. Internet research can only get you so far, and this is why booking a consultation with a qualified lawyer is critical. That being said, there are a few things you should know about the criminal justice system in Maryland:

Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law

Most people base their ideas of the criminal justice system on movies or TV shows. This leads to many misconceptions: 

  • The Victim Can Choose Not to Press Charges: One of the most common misconceptions is that victims can choose not to press charges. This is especially problematic when it comes to charges of domestic violence. A spouse may call 9-1-1 on their partner when an argument gets out of hand, and they may think they have the option to drop charges later to avoid criminal charges. But as soon as they call the police, the matter is completely out of their hands. Even if the accusations laid against the partner were exaggerated, the criminal justice system takes over. Only the prosecution and the judge have the ability to drop the charges.
  • First-Offenders Always Get a Slap on the Wrist: If it is your first time committing a crime, you might assume that you will receive a light sentence. This is true in some cases but not all. For example, you might escape incarceration if you committed a first-time shoplifting or DUI offense. But even a first-time offense can result in serious penalties if certain aggravating factors are present. For example, you might have seriously injured or killed someone as part of your first-time DUI offense. Or perhaps you brandished a firearm in connection with your shoplifting offense. Many crimes have mandatory minimum sentences when certain aggravating factors are present.
  • Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Many defendants assume that is their responsibility to prove their own innocence. The truth is the complete opposite: The prosecution must prove your guilt. If they fail to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you cannot be convicted. If the prosecution has no real evidence against you, you do not have to lift a finger in order to be acquitted. You are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty – not guilty until proven innocent.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

A criminal defense lawyer can help you in a number of important ways. First of all, they can represent you during discussions with police and prosecuting attorneys. It is advisable to have your lawyer present during these discussions, as they can prevent you from incriminating yourself with ill-advised statements. From there, your lawyer can investigate your situation in detail, potentially discovering details that prove your innocence or help your case.

Your lawyer can then help you make a decision about how to proceed. Usually, the main decision is whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Pleading guilty may result in a lighter sentence, while pleading not guilty could potentially lead to acquittal. If you move forward with a trial, your lawyer can cross-examine witnesses, make objections, and make arguments on your behalf.

Book Your Consultation with the Law Office of Robert Castro Today

If you need help with criminal charges in St. Mary’s County, book a consultation with the Law Office of Robert Castro as soon as possible. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can get started with an effective defense strategy. With our assistance, you can strive for the best possible results and fight for your rights. Remember, your right to a defense lawyer is guaranteed under the Constitution. It is best not to waste this crucial lifeline – so choose a reliable lawyer and reach out today.

Robert R. Castro has been representing defendants in criminal cases in southern Maryland for nearly three decades. For more information or questions, contact the Law Office of Robert Castro to speak to an experienced lawyer at (301) 705-5137. The Law Office of Robert Castro is located at 2670 Crain Highway #411, Waldorf, MD 20601.