Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.
Are you online with me?
Welcome to JustAnswer.com
I am very sorry about this unfortunate situation.
So both you and your friend were charged with felony second degree assault?
How bad were the injuries?
Not too bad. A few bruises.
How long ago you were both arrested and charged with this serious felony crime?
Neither were arrested. And it was this past Sunday
How were you charged with this felony without being arrested?
That's what we don't understand. They didn't even tell us they were going to charge us
Well, how did you find our you were charged?
We looked it up on our state judicial system and our names were on there but we haven't been served yet.
It has a court date already too and the name of the officer who filed it
Well, unfortunately, it is likely that an arrest warrant has been issued for both of you and this is a very serious felony charge, that can subject you to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 upon conviction.
Unfortunately, it is likely that it is only a matter of time since DA decided to charge you and your friend with this serious felony crime, before police shows up at both of you and your friend's door in order to execute an arrest warrant and take both of you to jail to be processed.
So the time is of real essence here.
It is extremely important for both you and your friend to contact an experienced local criminal defense attorney right away.
Since you fought each other, you would have to consult different attorney and it is extremely important that you DO NOT communicate with each other, until you retain an attorney and unless your local attorney permits communication with your friend.
I cannot stress enough, how serious of a situation it is.
My friend went to the courthouse and asked and there isn't a warrant out for our arrest. They just said make sure you come to the court date.
It takes time for an arrest warrant to be issued.
Also, keep in mind that your friend, is really not your friend when it comes to the criminal case, but rather a victim and a cross defendant and he might not be telling you the truth!
Well why didn't they arrest us then
Because, in many cases police collect the facts and evidence and then present it to the DA and DA makes a decision whether to file criminal charges.
I am sorry to deliver this tough news to you, but you are entitled to know the reality and to understand the seriousness of this situation and that conviction on this criminal charge can potentially result in up to 10 years in prison in most extreme case.
What's a extreme case. I have no criminal record
Also, under the Maryland law, there is no Statute of Limitation when it comes for the DA bringing criminal assault case, so in some cases charges for an assault can be brought years after it happened.
Generally, if the defendant does not have any prior criminal history and the injuries were not major, such defendant would only be looking at 1-3 years in prison upon conviction on assault 2 and in some cases if the attorney is able to negotiate a plea deal, even several years of probation and a fine, without any prison time.
Do you have any related follow up questions?
What if I can't afford an attorney
If you cannot afford a private attorney, you will be able to apply for a free or low cost service of a public defender
Does this make sense?
I guess not
Once again I am sorry that you are in this situation, but the situation has to be taken very serious and needs to be addressed and unfortunately it might be against your interest to communicate with your friend or to rely on anything your friend is telling you.
I wish you the best of luck. Please click on the "excellent service" rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).