In any criminal or traffic case a defendant has certain basic post-trial rights according to Maryland Law. All of motions for post-trial relief (requesting a change in the outcome of your case) have time limit deadlines and must be done in writing. The following is a brief summary of these rights:
MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL – Pursuant to the Maryland Rules of Procedure you have ten (10) days to file a Motion for a New Trial from the time that you plead guilty or are found guilty by the Court. This date starts the day of the guilty finding and expires at the end of the tenth (10th) day. If you do not file a Motion with the Court in writing pursuant to the Rules you will be forever barred from requesting same. A new trial request may include any legal or factual issues relevant to requesting a new trial.
APPEAL – You have the absolute right to appeal your case to the next appellate level within thirty (30) days of the date of your sentencing. Failure to do so in writing will forever bar you from filing same. If you appeal a Maryland District Court criminal case, you get a Trial De Novo (new trial) in Circuit Court. If you tried the case in Circuit Court either by judge or jury then you can appeal the case based on a factual basis, legal issues or a combination of both that you believe may of violated any law, your constitutional rights and/or procedural matters. If you were granted Probation Before Judgment, you have waived your right to appeal as there is no conviction to appeal.
MOTION FOR MODIFICATION – You have the absolute right to file a petition for a modification of your sentence within ninety (90) days from the date of the sentence. Failure to do so will preclude you from filing or having your sentence modified at a later time. You may also request that any probationary issues be modified thereto. In some cases you are able to modify “probationary issues” after the ninety (90) day time period. However, you should not assume that and ultimately, it is at the discretion of the Court.
3 JUDGE PANEL – In some circumstances you have the right to request a 3 Judge Panel in the Circuit Court only. The Judges may reduce, keep the sentence and conditions the same or modify your sentence. This must be filed within thirty (30) days in writing to the Court.
OTHER POST TRIAL RIGHTS – Depending upon your case you may have other post-trial rights pursuant to Maryland law. This list is not a total complete list but only to advise that these and others exist. As stated above you should not hesitate because an untimely motion may disqualify you. TBH&E criminal attorneys are experienced in handling post-trial criminal and traffic matters.
About the Author
Justin Esworthy is a founding partner of Timmerman Beaulieu Hinkle & Esworthy, LLC. Justin’s practice focuses on criminal defense, traffic defense, and complex civil litigation. He also advises individuals and businesses of all sizes on general business and risk management issues. He can be contacted by phone at (410) 649-4440 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.