Thank you, P.
First of all, understand that this is just one of several hearing dates that he will have. Typically, on the first hearing date, he will be asked how he pleads (NOT GUILTY), and then the matter will be reset several times as his attorney and the prosecutor try to come up with a plea deal. If this does not work, then he is to take her chances at trial
. About 90% of such matters end up with a plea deal.
Normally, if he does not have an attorney, the Court will not even take his plea, and will reset the matter for her to find counsel. He may also request a reset himself to find counsel and the Judge normally obliges on the first hearing.
If he cannot afford an attorney, then one is typically appointed to him, but the Court has to be convinced that he really cannot afford it - if he is able-bodied and can work, and is not in jail, then the Court normally declines appointment, but it is on a case by case basis.
It is very likely that the prosecutor and his attorney will come to a plea deal. His attorney is likely to push for a deferred sentence
, called "Probation Before Judgment," which is a type of program wherein a low-level, non-violent
crime with someone who has little/no priors is given classes and community hours and probation in exchange for dropping the charge and any conviction. If this is done, then the matter may usually be expunged and it would be as though nothing happened. Title §6–220
So I believe that very likely, the prosecutor and the defense attorney will come up with such a plea deal after a few resets. If not, then still a plea deal may be worked out - few matters actually ever get to trial.
If this were to go to trial and he was to be found guilty, he would be looking up to 15 years imprisonment, and fine of $15,000 (worst case scenario). However, again, it is much more likely that a plea deal would be worked out that includes Probation Before Judgment, or, a plea deal including a guilty plea to a lower crime, possibly time served, and probation.
Let me know if you need links for pro bono attorney work in Maryland.
Best of luck.IMPORTANT
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