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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

What Is A Criminal Summons In The State Of Maryland?


A criminal summons is a legal document that can and, in some circumstances, will be issued to individuals who reside within the State of Maryland.

By being aware of what a criminal summons is, and speaking with a Maryland criminal lawyer, it’s easier for an individual who has been given a criminal summons to respond in the appropriate manner.

What Is A Criminal Summons In The State Of Maryland? 

Right before we go over what a criminal summons is, we must go over what a summons is. And, with this in mind, a summons is a legal notice that informs the individual whom it’s directed to that they are being sued and requires them to respond in some fashion.

Just as an example, if an individual wishes to sue a business owner, and has the grounds to do so, then the court can issue a summons which will then be delivered to that individual.

A criminal summons is similar to a summons. But, of course, there is one major difference between the two documents: a criminal summons is used for minor criminal charges in place of an arrest warrant.

Someone who is being sued may not, at that time, be faced with any criminal charges. But, someone who has committed a minor crime can be served with a criminal summons.

What Is The Difference Between A Criminal Summons And An Arrest Warrant? 

A person who has committed a minor crime can be served with a criminal summons. By doing so, an arrest warrant will not be served and, as such, the individual who has been given the criminal summons will not be arrested.

Right before we can further clarify these implications, though, we must define what an arrest warrant is: a document that allows the police to take an individual, who has been accused of a crime, into custody.

Given the name, and its implications, when an arrest warrant is issued, then the individual whom that arrest warrant is for will be arrested. But, if they are given a criminal summons, then they won’t be arrested and, as such, will be able to respond to the criminal summons accordingly.

Just as a general rule, a criminal summons is granted for minor crimes, while an arrest warrant is granted for crimes of a more serious nature.

What Are The Legal Consequences Of A Criminal Summons? 

Within a criminal summons, the individual who has received the sentence can find the following information:

  • The charges against the individual.
  • The date and time for their court date.
  • The location of the court.

All that an individual who has been given a criminal summons must do is abide by the terms outlined within the criminal summons.

Even though they won’t be arrested and taken to court, the criminal charges that they might face while at their court date could lead to a criminal record, jail time, fees, and other penalties.

Contact A Maryland Criminal Lawyer Today 

Even though a criminal summons may not, on the surface, appear as serious as an arrest warrant, the charges you might face while at court may, in fact, be very serious.

Contact a Bel Air criminal lawyer at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered today and we will defend you in court, ensuring that you obtain the best possible legal outcome.

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