Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.
Q) I am wondering should I get a lawyer or just go to court by myself?
Regarding the possible punishment, confining a child under this Maryland code section
is a misdemeanor
, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to a fine of $500.00, or some combination of both jail and fine.
As for whether you should get an attorney, my thought is "absolutely!" If nothing else, you should at the very least get legal advice from an attorney before deciding to go it alone in court. The attorney can evaluate your case and make a recommendation of whether or not you should have a trial
, or try to work out a plea agreement
for you if that is what you wish. The attorney can also discuss with you other possible consequences if you were convicted. Finally, an attorney who is knowledgeable about rules of evidence and other specific issues may know things that can help you.
You are always free to hire any attorney of your choosing. If you do not know a criminal
defense attorney in your area, try the Maryland State Bar attorney referral service
. They can point you in the right direction. Word of mouth is also a great place for referrals. Ask around to see if your friends, neighbors etc. have had a good experience with a criminal defense attorney in your area.
Since this statute carries possible jail time if convicted, you are entitled to court appointed counsel (i.e. a public defender, for example) if you qualify for one and you cannot afford your own attorney. If you have not already requested court appointed counsel and you believe you qualify, you should ask the judge to be assigned an attorney.
I think you are very right to be concerned about what a conviction, any conviction, could do to your job prospects in the future. This is definitely a topic to discuss with your attorney.
I'm very sorry you've found yourself in the predicament. I hope the case resolves quickly and in your favor.
I also hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.