Courts are supposed to make sure you know your rights. One of the ways they do that in Maryland is by way of a preliminary inquiry hearing. The hearing is a pretrial proceeding done by the judge when you’ve been charged with something that could get you jail time. This hearing is held prior to your trial date. At the preliminary inquiry, the judge will advise you of your rights, the charges against you, and what the maximum penalties for those charges are.
This is important for a lot of a reasons. For example, you may have been arrested for something you think is minor like an assault second degree. But, this charge carries significant jail time. You have the right to a jury trial in this case. You should retain your attorney prior to the preliminary inquiry hearing. If you retain an attorney, and they enter their appearance prior to the preliminary inquiry hearing date, you don’t have to appear for the hearing.
If you are facing charges in Maryland, we offer free consultation. Call us at 301.513.7832.