Baltimore Criminal Court

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

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

I need help for my Baltimore criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Baltimore court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Baltimore will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Baltimore Criminal Court

Baltimore Criminal Court

Sentencing in Baltimore

In Baltimore 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.

Baltimore Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Baltimore this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Baltimore Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Baltimore a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

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.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Baltimore Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Baltimore Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Baltimore Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Baltimore, the prosecutor will be a representative of Baltimore. The Baltimore 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.

Required Court Appearances in Baltimore

Any required court appearances in Baltimore Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Baltimore 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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