Once your criminal trial is over and you’ve been found guilty of a crime or crimes, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. To the contrary, there are potentially many different avenues available to you to better your circumstances. Even if you have no reasonable expectation of getting a reversal of your conviction, you may still have the ability to challenge the severity of your sentence. For those who do have a reasonable hope of reversing their convictions, there are even more options. The key, of course, is getting reliable advice about the paths available to you and which one(s) offer the best chances of providing meaningful betterment for you. For that and other essential advice, look to a knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense attorney.
In addition to possibly having many options, it is important to understand that some options may require multiple steps to get the most from them. Consider the case of a man named B.E., who was facing several charges related to possession of child pornography. The accused man went to trial with his case decided by a judge. The judge acquitted the man on four charges and found him guilty on three misdemeanors.
B.E. could have simply accepted this outcome, but he wisely didn’t. In his case, the defense filed something called a “motion to reconsider” This motion, if granted, means that the trial judge will re-look at some aspect or aspects of your case and consider whether changes should be made. That motion was fruitful as, in 2014, the judge considered B.E.’s new information and granted the motion, wiping out the finding of guilt against B.E.
That was a huge success, but it wasn’t the end. Just because you’ve gotten a ruling that reverses the finding of guilt against you, that doesn’t mean that it is the time to stop and celebrate and think that all the work is done. You are no longer considered guilty of those charges under the law, but all of the police records, court records and governmental records of the arrest and criminal case are still out there. These records still have the potential to inflict great harm upon you, whether it’s regarding employment, housing or other areas, even though the record says “not guilty.”
To address that, it may be wise to seek something called “shielding” or “expungement” of the records. Expungement is the stronger course of action of the two. Shielding just shields the records from public view. Expungement removes those records entirely. B.E. sought expungement of his records, and the Court of Special Appeals concluded that he was entitled to that outcome. The law says that you’re entitled to expungement if you’ve waited the required three years and have avoided criminal convictions during those years (and are not a defendant in pending criminal case). B.E. met the law’s standards, so the government and courts were required to remove those records.
As you can see, after you’ve been wrongly convicted, there are actually multiple steps and multiple processes that go into getting you all the way back on your feet. To protect your rights before, during and after your criminal trial, put the power of legal skill and experience on your side by reaching out to knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense attorney Anthony A. Fatemi, who has been diligently representing the accused in Maryland for many years. To learn more, contact us at 301-519-2801 or via our online form.
More blog posts:
A Baltimore Man Receives a Second Chance After Getting Sentenced for a Crime that Should Have Been Merged, Maryland Criminal Lawyer Blog, Jan. 10, 2019
The ‘Exclusionary Rule’ for Illegally Obtained Evidence and How It Can Help You in Your Maryland Criminal Trial, Maryland Criminal Lawyer Blog, Dec. 20, 2018