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As a Former Baltimore Prosecutor and current criminal attorney I have been involved in the prosecution of hundreds of child sex offenders. The disgraced and now deceased Johns Hopkins Gynecologist, Dr. Nikita Levy, would have likely faced prosecution under multiple federal and state criminal statutes had he not apparently committed suicide. The police are conducting an investigation that could potentially lead to charges against others if they either conspired with him to collect the images without the knowledge of the victims or if the materials were distributed to by others. In addition to many other areas of practice at STSW, we have a Practice Area Exclusively Dedicated to the Protection of Victim’s Rights.

Among the most serious charges that could have been filed against Dr. Levy and anyone who may have participated with him in these crimes, are charges involving the possession, distribution and manufacture of child pornography. According to news reports, many of his long time patients sent subsequently sent their daughters to him for gynecological care. Assuming any of the large cache of photos allegedly found in his home, turn out to be of minor victims, these statutes have undoubtedly been violated.
Continue reading › a media-generating stunt, the Journal News, a suburban paper in Westchester County, NY, accessed state public gun permit records, compiled the names and addresses of gun owners in three New York Counties, and then posted an online map identifying and marking on the map all of the gun permit holders in each county, with their home addresses. (New York state law requires that the identity of gun permit holders be made public.) Wisely citing safety concerns, Putnam County officials, however, refused to release to the Journal News their gun permit holders’ personal information.
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Recently there have been unprecedented fines and prison terms handed down by judges in Maryland and nationwide for Clean Water Act violations and other environmental crimes. On December 5, 2012, Judge Stagg of the Western District of Louisiana sentenced John Tuma, a former general manager of Arkla Disposal Services, to 60 months in prison, 36 months probation thereafter, and a $100,000 fine for violations of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Tuma worked at Arkla’s Shreveport, Louisiana wastewater treatment facility where he allegedly oversaw the discharge of untreated wastewater. Based on those allegations, a federal jury convicted Tuma on 3 counts of violating the CWA, 1 count of conspiracy to violate the CWA, and 1 count of obstructing justice with respect to the EPA’s inspection of the Arkla facility. Tuma has appealed the conviction and sentencing.
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As Aggressive Maryland Criminal Attorneys, the Criminal Defense Team at STSW represents scores of defendants each year who face Mandatory Sentences that must be served without parole for violating Narcotics and Firearms Laws. I have written about many of these cases in the past as they tend to be among the most difficult cases that criminal defense attorneys confront. A few weeks ago I represented three members of a family who had been charged with Trafficking Narcotics with a Firearm.

In addition to this count, the father was also charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Handgun. Both of these counts carry Minimum Mandatory Penalties of five years in prison without the possibility of parole. Needless to say it was a very serious case. Here are the facts:
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Aggressive Maryland Criminal Attorneys and Domestic Attorneys are frequently confronted with the issue of whether or not Domestic Violence Protective Orders or Peace Orders can be expunged. This is an extremely important question given how readily available court information now is on the internet. Anyone with a computer or even a smart phone can bring up Maryland Judiciary Case Search and find out a person’s entire legal history in seconds. This information is available to potential employers and undoubtedly costs people job opportunities on a daily basis.

That is, of course, unless the person has been able to get the court records expunged. Under the criminal code a person is entitled to have any case expunged that resulted in either a Nolle Prosse, a Dismissal, a Stet or a Not Guilty Verdict also called an Acquittal. There are exceptions to this general rule such as a situation in which a person has a subsequent conviction or has pending charges. In these instances, expungement is typically not permitted even in the case of an acquittal, as unfair as this may seem. But what about a Domestic Violence Protective Order or a Peace Order? Are these civil orders subject to being expunged from a person’s record:

Unfortunately the answer is no. Expungement is available only in criminal cases and only in the limited circumstances that I outlined above. What is available is a process called “Shielding”, but it is also available only in limited circumstances and is not nearly as complete a cleansing of the record as is expungement.

I have blogged my times about the need to hire and Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Attorney if charged with a criminal offense in Maryland. I usually begin these blogs by positing the question, “Did you hire the right lawyer”. The reason for this is that so many people do not inquire into the experience and qualifications of an attorney before hiring him or her. Sometimes the lack of qualifications is a basic as the lawyer is simply not a criminal attorney but instead is a divorce lawyer or a personal injury lawyer. Sometimes it is lack of experience in a particular type of case or in the jurisdiction in which the defendant is charged.

Hiring the wrong lawyer is obviously a mistake regardless of the type of case at issue, but in a criminal case, the mistake can cause lifelong negative consequences. Unfortunately I witness this happening in court virtually everyday. I recently resolved an assault case that is a good example of this. Here are the facts:
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As an Experienced and Aggressive Criminal and DUI Attorney I have successfully defended hundreds of people who were charged with DUI and DWI in Maryland Courts. As most people are aware these laws are being more strictly enforced by the police and more aggressively prosecuted by the State every year. Nowadays, repeat offenders, including second offenders routinely go to jail if convicted.

I successfully represented a second offender in Harford County last week. The State was seeking a 30 day jail sentence for this single mother of two. Needless to say this would have been a devastating result for her. Here are the facts:
Continue reading › the most difficult cases that Maryland Criminal Attorneys find themselves involved in are These cases are always tragic but they become even more so when the person who is killed is a passenger and close friend or family member of the driver.

Most of these cases involve young people who are out together and are using alcohol and/or drugs. These cases also typical involve excessive speed or other dangerous driving. The driver is almost always a decent person without a record who never intended to hurt much less kill anyone. I concluded a particulary tragic case like this in Baltimore County Circuit Court this week. It was, in all honesty, among the most difficult and emotionally taxing cases of my career. Here are the facts:
Continue reading › a Baltimore Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney I have represented dozens of people who have been charged with being in possession of a handgun after being convicted of a felony, a crime of violence or any other disqualifying crime. Many of these prosecutions have been meritorious cases in which the defendant had a serious criminal record, knew full well they were prohibited from possessing a handgun and chose to carry a weapon on their person or in their car in spite of that knowledge. These charges are serious and are prosecuted aggressively by every State’s Attorney’s Office in the State. Quite often the prosecutors reasonably choose to seek the mandatory five year without parole sentence against defendants who have serious felony convictions or convictions or crimes of violence.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who many years in the past were convicted of what they at least thought was a very minor misdemeanor and they legitimately did not know that they were prohibited from possession a handgun. To make matters worse, in many of these cases the defendant did not even possess a weapon in the way most people interpret the term “possess” and instead get charged for doing something like shooting a weapon they do not own at a shooting range. I have represented many people over the years who have been charged in these so called “gun range” cases most every one of which should never be prosecuted, but I was recently hired in perhaps the most outrageous one I have ever seen involving an active duty combat soldier in our Armed Forces. Here are the facts:
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As an Aggressive and Experienced Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney, I have handled thousands of felony narcotics cases including Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS and Distribution of CDS cases. These cases are serious matters in and of themselves with the potential of serious incarceration for a defendant. These cases become exponentially more serious when handguns and/or other firearms are seized along with the drugs.

Narcotics trafficking with firearms charges subject a defendant to an additional 20 year jail term on top of any sentence for the Felony CDS charges. More importantly, these charges carry a MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE of five years in prison without the possibility of parole. In most instances, prosecutors reserve these charges for the worst and most violent offenders. Occasionally however, a prosecutor pursues these charges against defendants who don’t appear to fall into that category. I successfully defended a case in Baltimore County Circuit Court last week in which narcotics trafficking with firearms charges were pursued against 3 defendants who most certainly did not represent the worst of the worst violent drug dealers. At least that is my opinion. I found the decision to pursue a “five no parole count” against these defendants troubling to say the least, but I became even more troubled when I learned the details of how the police came to suspect these men as well as the nature and extent of the investigation into them. Here are the facts (as always I will be somewhat vague where necessary to protect my client’s anonymity and privacy).
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