The Impact of Criminal History on Criminal Cases in Maryland

criminal history

Navigating the legal system can be complex, especially when criminal history comes into play. In Maryland, a person’s prior criminal record can significantly impact the outcome of their current case. How can your personal criminal history influence the eventual outcome of your current case?


Criminal history can have a big influence on bail determinations in Maryland. Judges will consider a variety of factors, including flight risk and potential danger to the community, when setting bail. Someone with a longer criminal record may be deemed a higher flight risk or a greater threat to public safety, which can cause higher bail or even denial of bail altogether. Those without a criminal history often have lower bail amounts.

Habitual Offender Status

In Maryland, individuals with a history of certain offenses may be classified as habitual offenders. Being labeled as a habitual offender can have serious consequences, including increased penalties for subsequent offenses. Prosecutors often seek harsher sentences for habitual offenders to deter additional criminal behavior. Additionally, Maryland has a three-strikes law. If you receive your “fourth strike” for a violent crime, you will automatically be sentenced to life without parole.


One of the biggest ways that criminal history can affect your criminal case in Maryland is your eventual sentence if convicted. Judges often take into account a defendant’s prior convictions when determining an appropriate sentence. A history of repeated offenses may lead to harsher penalties, including longer prison terms and heavier fines. Conversely, individuals with clean records often receive more lenient sentences like probation or community service. Your attorney is key to help avoid more severe sentences.

Using Past Convictions As Evidence

Maryland law does allow for the admissibility of prior convictions as evidence in criminal cases, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. For example, prosecutors may try to introduce prior convictions to show a pattern of behavior. The admissibility of prior convictions is subject to strict rules though, including relevance and prejudice. Working with an experienced defense attorney is a crucial part of challenging the admissibility of prior convictions.

Partner with an Experienced Defense Attorney at The Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence

If you or a loved one are concerned about finding the right defense lawyer for your case, choose an experienced firm like the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence to give you the help you need.  Please give us a call at 443.352.3201. Skype and telephone consultation are both available to clients.

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