Hagerstown, MD asked in Criminal Law for Maryland

Q: What is Maryland statue of limitations on a misdemeanor criminal citation for possession of cds not Maryjane

We got pulled over on February 8th 2022 I was giving a misdemeanor criminal citation and released from the spot we got stopped since then I never received a preliminary hearing and I haven't been sent a court date think it's a year that Maryland has to charge me or dismiss my charges? Anyone know any information that can help me anything is greatly appreciated ty

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The citation is the charge, and that meets the statute of limitations for charging you after the date of the offense. The issue is whether your speedy trial right under the Constitution has been violated, and the answer is not found in a clearly stated number of days, but has to do with a weighing of factors and the prejudice caused to your ability to defend the case. If you were held in jail all this time then you’d have a good argument based on loss of your liberty alone for this minor charge, but you’ve been free, so that’s not an issue. In what way has your ability to present a defense been prejudiced by the length of time passing? Has an essential witness key to winning your case moved away, died, or lost their memory of the events they were to testify to? 8 months is not per se a violation of your right to a speedy trial. Another 8 months and you may have an argument. Covid caused a huge backlog of cases, and the courts are still sorting through that backlog, so that is an excuse which is not the fault of the prosecution moving forward with the case in a timely fashion. You’ll just have to be patient.

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