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As an Aggressive Baltimore Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney I have represented hundreds of people charged with Sex Offenses. Many of these case deal with adults (typically men) having sexual contact with underage victims (typically girls) – so call Statutory Rape Cases – although Maryland Law does not use that specific terminology. The basic rule is that if a child is under the age of 16 – which is the age of consent in Maryland – it is illegal for an adult who is at least 4 years older than the child to have an form of sexual contact with the child. These crimes are prosecuted very aggressively throughout Maryland and typically result in jail time as well as requirement to register as a sexual offender for 15 to 25 years or even for life.

What makes these cases even more difficult to defend is that they are so called “Strict Liability” offenses, which means that it does not matter if the adult was aware that the child was underage. This applies even in circumstances in which the child affirmatively lies about or conceals her age. As unfair as this may sound, it is the law in Maryland and in many other states. It also does not matter who initiates the sexual contact. The adult will be held liable even if he was aggressively pursued by the child to have sex. I successfully resolved a case that falls into this latter description last week in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Here are the facts:
Continue reading › Maryland Criminal Attorneys represent hundreds of individuals in the District and Circuit Courts each year. Perhaps the most important skill that a criminal defense attorney must possess is the ability to evaluate the strength of the State’s case against the defendant. Too often I witness attorneys pleading people guilty in cases where there are strong defenses. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true and all too often I see attorneys taking cases to trial where there is no hope of an acquittal. When this happens defendants are almost invariably sentenced more harshly than they otherwise would have been had their attorney negotiated a plea bargain. This is why it is critically important for any criminal defendant to make sure that the attorney that represents him is a criminal specialist with sufficient experience to know whether to pursue a trial strategy or a plea.

I witnessed this scenario play out in court last week where a defendant charged with armed robbery faced overwhelming evidence of his guilt, including that the entire crime was captured on crystal clear surveillance video. The plea offer was 10 years to serve. For reasons I do not understand, the defendant’s attorney took the case before a Baltimore County Jury that, after deliberating for less than 30 minutes, returned the inevitable guilty verdict. The judge then sentenced the client to 20 years to serve, 10 years longer than he was offered in return for a guilty plea. Sometimes when this occurs it is the result of poor representation by the attorney but sometimes it results from a defendant refusing to accept the advice of his attorney. This case reminded me of one of the most striking examples from my career of a defendant refusing to heed his attorney’s advice. The case took place in Baltimore City Circuit Court a few years ago. Here are the facts:
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Maryland DUI/DWI Attorneys with decades of experience often find and successfully pursue defenses that less experienced attorneys find or even bother looking for. Unfortunately, many inexperienced DUI attorneys or attorneys who really specialize in areas of the law other than criminal defense, never look beyond the breathalyzer result, particularly in first offense cases that don’t involve an accident or any injuries. The thinking is that the first offender will in most cases receive probation before judgment (PBJ) anyway so why bother? The person won’t go to jail and will not get points on his or her license so a PBJ is really as good as a not guilty or a dismissal. I beg to differ.

Aggressive and Experienced DUI Attorneys
know that there is a world of difference between a PBJ and a not guilty verdict. First of all, even if the client does receive PBJ, he or she will almost certainly be required to pay fines, attend alcohol counseling and serve a period of supervised probation. There may be other time consuming and costly requirements placed upon the client as well such as community work service, AA meetings and shock trauma visits to name just a few. Moreover, the PBJ can NEVER be expunged from the person’s record so even though the defendant will not have points assessed by the MVA, a record of the PBJ will always be kept which means that if the person ever gets charged with DUI again – even many years later- the stakes will be much higher as he will be a repeat offender.

And on top of all of this, in a garden variety first offense there is little risk to the client in not accepting the plea bargain offered by the State as there is cases involving accidents or repeat offenders. I say this because most judges will grant the defendant PBJ even after a trial in which the defendant is found guilty, so in my view you may as well take a shot at the not guilty if you have any possible defense at all. There is really nothing to lose. Here are the facts of the case I had last week:
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Assault Cases are among the most common cases Aggressive Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys handle. These are among the most serious cases that we see, particularly when the case involves significant injury or a vulnerable victim. The maximum penalty for just misdemeanor Assault, known as Second Degree Assault is a whopping 10 years! Of course people do not often the maximum penalty for this crime, but people are regularly incarcerated for assault cases in Maryland.

I had a case in Baltimore County last week involving a fight between two women. Prison was a distinct possibility for my client in the event of a conviction as the so called victim in the case was both seriously injured and at least claimed to be a vulnerable victim. Here are the facts of the case.
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I have often written about the perils of hiring unqualified. Perhaps it is due to the current economic conditions, but I am increasingly seeing attorneys whom I know are NOT criminal specialists handling criminal cases, including serious felonies in the Circuit Court. I think that people who are not experienced in dealing with attorneys think that a lawyer is a lawyer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like doctors, many lawyers specialize in various areas of the law including criminal defense. It seems like a pretty obvious point that the lawyer specializes in one area is going to develop more expertise in that area than a so called “general practitioner” who often handle cases in as many as a dozen separate areas of the law.

I have in many instances throughout my career been hired by people who have belatedly figured out that their attorney simply did not know what he or she was doing. Sometimes that realization comes before any real damage has been done and sometime only after. Here is a specific case involving domestic violence and handgun offenses that I took over from another lawyer who was in over his head:
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As an Aggressive Criminal Attorney and former prosecutor with 20 years of experience, I have been involved in the prosecution of hundreds of cases involving the possession and distribution of Child Pornography, on both sides of the aisle. These are very serious offenses that almost invariably result in the incarceration of defendants who are convicted.

Because the Child Pornography is almost always distributed and downloaded from the internet, there is dual federal and state jurisdiction to prosecute these cases. Often the mere threat of a federal prosecution is enough to convince defendants charged in the state system to accept plea bargains because the penalties in the federal system are draconian and mandatory. Anyone charged with these very serious charges needs to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them. As I said, I have handled many of these cases. Here are the specifics on one I handled recently.
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As an Aggressive Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney I have handled more of these Continental Arms Gun Range Cases that any other attorney that I am aware of. Last week I handled two of theses case in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Both defendants were facing mandatory 5 years prison terms – neither served a day in jail and both received unsupervised probation.

I have blogged about these cases several times in the past noting that in my view, these cases represent the worst in law enforcement and are in many ways counterproductive to main objective of law enforcement which is, of course, to keep the community safe. The reason for my belief that these cases are in fact counterproductive stems from both the simple fact that these cases are prosecuted in the first place, and this fact is compounded by the “scorched earth” tactics utilized by the police to investigate them. More on that later but here are the facts of the cases:
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As an Aggressive Baltimore Maryland DUI Attorney I have handled literally thousands of DUI cases both as a former prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I have written several times in this blog that it is extremely difficult these days to secure a not guilty in a DUI case on the issue of whether in fact the client was under the influence or impaired. I have won more than my fair share of DUI trials over the last 15 years since I left the State’s Attorney’s Office but the overwhelming majority have been on technical issues such as an illegal stop or the State’s inability to prove that my client was the operator of the vehicle.

I published a blog last week about a DUI trial that I won on the impairment issue but that was only one of two that week. I won a second on this issue in spite of the fact that my client had 3 recently consumed beer cans in the car when he was stopped and told the police that he would not do the field sobriety tests because he “would fail them”. That case was scheduled in the District Court for Baltimore County last Friday. Here are the facts:
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As a Baltimore Maryland DUI/DWI Lawyer, I have handled more than 5,000 DUI cases. I have blogged many times about the new laws that have been passed in recent years, particularly the DUI Per Se law, making it increasingly difficult to get Not Guilty verdicts for clients in these cases. More often than not, if the police have probable cause for the stop, it is a relatively easy matter for prosecutors to prove the balance of their case. particularly if the person submits to a breathalyzer and the result is .08 or greater.

I represented a client in Baltimore County District Court this week whose case proved to be one of the exceptions to the rule. In spite of the fact that she blew a .15 on the PBT at the scene, I secured her not guilty verdicts on each of the alcohol related offenses. Here are the facts:
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Sexual assault and child pornography. These words have thus far been missing from the discussion concerning former Hopkins doctor Nikita A. Levy’s alleged filming of his patients in various states of undress. A general discussion of the case reported by the Baltimore Sun can be found here. Dr. Levy’s alleged actions constitute a form of sexual assault against every patient he filmed in this manner. Moreover, Dr. Levy (and potentially others) are guilty of possessing, manufacturing and distributing child pornography to the extent that any of the victims were under age 18.
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