What You Need to Know About Criminal Defense & Criminal Law in Maryland
The Complete Legal Guide

If you are charged with a crime in Maryland, you do need a lawyer. You also need to know what to do now. You want to stay out of jail and get your life back. You probably have a lot of questions – and a lot of anxiety. Don’t wait any longer. Get some answers now!


We are Maryland criminal defense attorneys, and we wrote this guide so you can quickly & easily discover the answers to your legal questions. Know your options and be informed before you make big decisions about your criminal law case.


You can learn a lot in just 15 minutes by reading this guide now.

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Maryland criminal law is a very large subject. Different criminal charges have very specific issues you need to know about. So we broke this guide down by subject.

The first few subjects below apply to any criminal case. They explain the process and have good links to other resources on our site you can use in any criminal law case. 

After that, we have separate sections for different criminal charges. Each section will explain what you need to know about that charge, and provide links to other blog posts explaining the details. 

Find the criminal charge you are interested in below, click on that section, and the links in that section will take you to more detailed posts that give you everything you need to know.

Our Best Advice: This guide contains general information about Maryland criminal law as a helpful resource for the public. Simply reading this guide does not create an attorney-client relationship with our law firm. 

Reading this guide is no substitute for hiring an attorney. If you have any serious legal issue, you should get personal advice from an attorney who understands the unique facts of your situation. 

We hope you will choose us to handle your Maryland criminal case. If not, at least talk to another attorney who knows what they are doing. That is the best advice we can ever give you.

The Criminal Law Process

There is a very specific process for every criminal case. From being stopped and arrested to sentencing, the steps are set out in Maryland law.

If you have been charged with a crime in Maryland, it is helpful to understand this process, Click here to read our post explaining the steps that occur in every criminal case from beginning to end. If you are charged with a crime you really need personal advice from a local criminal defense attorney.

Your Constitutional Rights


Our constitution provides every person certain basic rights to protect themselves from the power of the government. They are so important, but do you know what they are? Do you know how to use them properly? 

This post provides a good overview of the rights that apply to anyone accused of a crime in Maryland. We will explain each right, and give you some good advice on how best to assert it if you are charged with a crime.

Driving while suspended is no joke in Maryland. If the state suspends your license, they get very unhappy when you drive anyway. 

There can be a lot of seemingly mundane reasons why your license can be suspended. Maybe you didn’t pay your insurance? Maybe you forgot to show up in court for a ticket? Maybe you just got too many tickets? 

Whatever the reason, do not ignore it! There are serious penalties involved. 

Click here to read our full post on the subject of driving while suspended. We explain the two most common charges, and the penalty for each, the likely outcome, and whether or not you need to hire a lawyer (spoiler alert – the answer is yes). It’s a 5 minute read with lots of good advice.

If you are charged with a crime you really need personal advice from a local criminal defense attorney.

Drug possession and drug distribution charges are some of the most frequently prosecuted cases in Maryland District and Circuit courts.

However, they are also some of the most complex cases to litigate. There are a lot of moving parts to a drug distribution or drug possession case. These cases require significant experience and expertise to handle properly.

For all the details on drug charges in Maryland, click here to read our full blog post on the subject. We explain what a “drug” is under Maryland law (which is not necessarily a dumb question!), the most common types of drug charges and what they mean, your most valuable right if you are charged with a drug offense, and why you should always get treatment after being charged with a drug offense. It’s a 5 minute read with a lot of good advice.

If you are charged with a crime you really need personal advice from a local criminal defense attorney.


Most people think a criminal charge for assault must involve something fairly serious (like a punch or slap). But assault charges can be for much less than that. Assault is technically defined as the unlawful touching of another person. That can include almost anything!

The key is – the touching must be unlawful and without consent. However, as a practical matter the police usually charge you for criminal assault only if the situation was pretty significant, or likely to lead there.

Assault charges range from misdemeanor 2nd  Degree assault (like a push or a shove) to the more serious felony 1st Degree assault (like a stabbing). 1st degree assault can result in 25 years in prison. 2nd degree assault can result in 10 years in prison. However, typical sentences are much less than that, and there are defenses an experienced attorney can use to get charges reduced or even thrown out completely.

For complete details about assault charges in Maryland, read our full blog post on the subject here. We explain the two types and the differences between them. We specifically discuss domestic violence and the defense known as the “spousal privilege.” We discuss the various defenses to assault charges your attorney may use. We also discuss the oddly named “mutual affray” and specific points related to firearms. It’s a quick 5 minute read with a lot of good advice.

If you are charged with a crime you really need personal advice from a local criminal defense attorney.

In Maryland, theft charges can be anything from a minor shoplifting offense, to a serious felony theft charge. The greater the value of the items stolen, the more serious the case and the sentencing guidelines.

Theft charges can have an enormous and long-lasting impact on a person’s life. In addition to potential incarceration, theft charges can also make it extremely difficult to obtain employment or pass a background investigation. That can still be true years in the future, when a theft charge is long behind you.

For that reason it is vital that you get an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you if you have been charged with the crime of theft in Maryland.

First, read our detailed explanation of theft charges in Maryland in our full blog post here. We explain why some theft charges are different, and give you some little known tips and advice on handling specific theft charges like shoplifting and dealing with pawn shops. It’s an easy 5 minute read with lots of good advice.

If you are charged with a crime you really need personal advice from a local criminal defense attorney.

Explore Your Options Today

Contact us today for a consultation so you can explore your options and get good advice. We can do consultations in person or by phone. You can even send us an email (see the contact us page for instructions). We will make it convenient for you. You should always know what your options are before you make any major decisions about a legal issue. 

This guide is free legal advice from experienced local criminal defense attorneys in Charles County, Maryland and St. Mary's County, Maryland. Discover what you need to know about criminal law, and learn how to protect yourself and your family.

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