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Probation Before Judgment Maryland

The term "PBJ" gets passed around a lot. I practice in Maryland, and here, a PBJ or Probation Before Judgment is a popular disposition for criminal (and traffic) matters. A similar type of case resolutions may go by other names in other jurisdictions, but I will refer to the PBJ for this article.

What is Probation Before Judgment?

First, a definition: In most cases, probation before judgment means that the defendant will plea guilty to a certain charge, but that guilty finding will immediately be "put on a shelf," where it will remain for a certain amount of time. The time will be determined by the amount of time the Court places the Defendant on probation. In most cases, it is a period of one or two years.

The probation portion of a PBJ can be either supervised or unsupervised. Depending on the seriousness of the charge, the Defendant's record, and other relevant factors, the Judge will decide whether or not to require that the probation be supervised. If it is supervised, the Defendant will be required to "check-in" with a probation agent at regular intervals, and follow all of the usual requirements that come with being on probation. If the probation is unsupervised, the Defendant need not do anything in terms of meeting or reporting to a probation agent.

Regardless of the type of probation ordered, the most important thing is that the Defendant must stay out of trouble. If the Defendant stays out of trouble for the full period set by the Court, the charges will be dropped. In other words, the case will come off the shelf where it has been sitting and will be disposed of.

Once the probation has been terminated and the matter is resolved, the defendant should look into having his or her record expunged so that no evidence of the matter ever taking place can be found. A common question is whether prospective employers can see a PBJ when doing a background check. The answer is that during the probationary period, yes, it will be visible on the person's record. However, once the matter has been expunged, there will be nothing to find during a check of a person's record.

For these reasons, a probation before judgement, under most circumstances, is a good result and one that should be strongly considered. What Is Probation Before Judgement, do you think you qualify?

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represents individuals facing criminal charges throughout the State of Maryland. Accepting a limited number of cases, we are able to devote the time, energy and resources to achieve the best results possible for each one of our clients.

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The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder

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Baltimore City
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
229 N. Howard Street, Suite 201
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Baltimore County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
The Woodholme Center
1829 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Prince George's County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
8713 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Main Office:   (410) 528-1177
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