Baltimore County Criminal Court

Baltimore County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Baltimore County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Baltimore County will take place at the Baltimore County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Baltimore County Criminal Court Locations.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Baltimore County Criminal Court

Baltimore County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Baltimore County

In Baltimore County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Sentencing in Baltimore County

In Baltimore County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Baltimore County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Baltimore County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Baltimore County. The Baltimore County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

Baltimore County Required Court Appearances

In Baltimore County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Baltimore County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

What happens in Baltimore County at an arraignment?

In Baltimore County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Who can help me in Baltimore County?

For general information about your case the Baltimore County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Baltimore County Criminal Court Locations

  • Baltimore City Circuit Court – Civil Division

    Address: 111 N Calvert St, #462, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-333-3722

  • Baltimore City Circuit Court – Criminal Division

    Address: 100 N Calvert St, #200, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-333-3750

  • Baltimore City Circuit Court – Family Division

    Address: 111 N Calvert St, #109, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-333-3709

  • Baltimore City Circuit Court – Juvenile Division

    Address: 300 N Gay St, #A3300, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 443-263-6300

  • Baltimore City District Court – Civil Division

    Address: 501 E Fayette St, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-878-8900

  • Baltimore City District Court – Criminal and Traffic Division

    Address: 5800 Wabash Ave, Baltimore MD 21215
    Phone: 410-878-8000

  • Baltimore City District Court – Criminal and Traffic Division

    Address: 1400 E North Ave, Baltimore MD 21213
    Phone: 410-878-8500

  • Baltimore City District Court – Criminal and Traffic Division

    Address: 700 E Patapsco Ave, Baltimore MD 21225
    Phone: 410-878-8300

  • Baltimore City District Court – Criminal Division

    Address: 300 E Madison St, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-545-8294

  • Baltimore City Orphans’ Court

    Address: 111 N Calvert St, #311, Baltimore MD 21202
    Phone: 410-752-5131 Fax: 410-752-3494

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