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Maryland Criminal Practice Areas

I handle all sorts of criminal, traffic, and peace and protective order cases in Maryland.  The below articles are about some of the charges that I deal with every day.  Not every offense or type of case that I handle is covered here, but many are.  Whether or not there is an article here that is about your case, I can help.

You may be feeling a lot of anxiety or concern about your legal problem.  Sometimes, this can make people wait too long to reach out to a good lawyer.  Even when there is not a legal deadline in your case, there are often things that should be done immediately.

You do not have to wonder what comes next or what needs to be done.  I have handled hundreds of cases in Maryland over many years. I can usually give you a good idea of what to expect from the beginning.

Tell me your story.  Call me at (301) 556‑8709, because you do not have to face your legal problems alone.


Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor in Maryland punishable by up to 3 years in jail and a fine of $5000. In order to resist arrest in Maryland, the officer must be making a lawful arrest, and you must refuse to submit to the arrest by force. Resisting arrest may show up on your Maryland charging document as "Resist/Interfere with Arrest", CR 9-408(b), and/or CL 9-408(b). Unfortunately, resisting arrest, and also 2nd degree assault on an officer are sometimes charged improperly by officers against people . . . .

Some crimes and civil offenses are not necessarily prohibited by Maryland law at the state level, but are prohibited by counties and cities within Maryland. Some of these offenses are prohibited by local laws in every county in Maryland in some form or another, though often with varying penalties and scope, while others only exist in certain jurisdictions. These offenses are sometimes rarely enforced, and poorly drafted, despite the fact that significant criminal penalties can attach to them. Whether you . . . .

Urinating or defecating in public in Maryland is unlawful, prohibited under a patchwork of civil and criminal county laws with different definitions and widely varying penalties.  While urinating and defecating in public is almost universally prohibited, there is no Maryland state law against public urination or defecation in public generally outside of the public transportation context, though other Maryland criminal laws regarding indecent exposure and the like may also be charged in these . . . .

There are multiple forms of Maryland criminal trespass charges, but all forms of criminal trespass in Maryland are jailable. The two most frequently charged forms of criminal trespass in Maryland are trespass on posted property, and wanton trespass on private property. They both have the same penalty structure. The first violation carries a sentence of up to 90 days and $500, the second violation within two years of the first violation is punishable by up to 6 months and a fine of $1000, and a . . . .

Visual Surveillance in Maryland is only a crime in fairly limited circumstances, but the charges are often misunderstood due to the fact that the name covers a lot more than the law does. Police often mistakenly believe that people have broken the law against visual surveillance, and sometimes court commissioners and judges make the same mistake. I can help. Call me at (301) 556-8709 because someone else's mistake shouldn't be allowed to destroy your life. Visual Surveillance in a Private Place (CR . . . .

Reckless endangerment is the crime of recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or injury to another person. It's punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of $5000. I have experience successfully defending others from these serious charges, and I can defend you too. Maximum Penalty For Reckless Endangerment Reckless Endangerment: misdemeanor, 5 years and $5,000 A Maryland reckless endangerment charge tends to come up two different ways. The first is when the reckless endangerment . . . .

When you are charged with a crime in a state and an arrest warrant is issued, it is possible that you might be arrested in another state. At that point you are called a fugitive, because you were arrested in a state other than the one in which the warrant was issued. This is frequently an unfair characterization, as you may not have any idea that the warrant exists, much less any intent to flee. Nonetheless, fugitives are treated more harshly than others that are arrested on a warrant, as they are much . . . .

Stalking accusations are often thrown around irresponsibly in order to tarnish someone's reputation, get them fired from their job, or to have them put in jail. In common usage, virtually anything can be described as stalking, including totally innocent behavior. The crime of stalking is a misdemeanor in Maryland punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of $5000. While stalking accusations are fairly common, particularly in peace order and protective order cases, many of the things that people . . . .

Harassment is a crime in Maryland, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 dollar fine for a first offense, or up to 180 days and a $1000 dollar fine for a second or subsequent offense. It is also one of the offenses that can be the ground for the issuance of a Peace Order in Maryland. It's important not to take these charges lightly, as they can be used dishonestly to attempt to use the legal system against someone who has not actually committed a crime. I have won harassment cases time and time . . . .

Maryland burglary charges usually involve breaking and entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. In Maryland, first degree burglary, second degree burglary, and third degree burglary are felonies. Fourth degree burglary is a misdemeanor. Because burglary offenses are often serious felonies involving theft or violence, the charge itself can cause damage to your reputation or the loss of your job, and a conviction could result in a lengthy term of imprisonment. If you are not a citizen, being . . . .

There are two major types of warrant in Maryland, either of which may result in your arrest. There are arrest warrants, which are secret, and bench warrants, which are not. I have years of experience dealing with both types of warrant, and I can often get them withdrawn, so that you are never arrested at all. Even when the warrant cannot be recalled, I can help ensure that your arrest warrant does not become a lengthy jail sentence. In the event that you are arrested, I can convince judges and court . . . .

You may be held in contempt of court if you disrupt the operation of a court, or if you fail to obey a court order. Contempt of court in the presence of the judge is sometimes punished immediately, but contempt is usually handled in a separate hearing, where I can present an effective defense on your behalf. Contempt proceedings often come up in the context of a peace order or protective order that was allegedly violated, but they can occur in other sorts of cases as well. Criminal and Civil . . . .

When your Maryland criminal or traffic case is over, you may not want a future employer or other prying eyes to see the charges on your record. Let me expunge your record for you. Even if you are not eligible for expungement, I may be able to reverse your conviction, help you procure a pardon, or change the disposition of your case so that you are eligible for expungement. There are seven potential outcomes to each criminal charge in Maryland. The state could refuse to prosecute your case and drop . . . .

After you or a loved one is arrested in Maryland, the court commissioner and/or judge may require you or your family to pay bail before you can be released pending your trial date. Without proper representation, they may set the bail at a level that you and your family are unable to afford. I can often get a commissioner or judge to set a low or nonexistent bail bond amount, reduce bail that has previously been set too high, allow you an unsecured bond so you do not have to pay anything to get out of jail, . . . .

With my effective legal assistance, Maryland assault charges can often be resolved in a way that preserves your freedom and your good name. There are many defenses available, and alternatives to conviction can frequently be negotiated, including getting the charges dropped entirely. I also can often expose lies or inconsistencies in the accuser's testimony, which I can use to convince a prosecutor to drop the charges, or to help a judge or jury reach a favorable verdict. Assault charges are often dealt . . . .

A violation of probation is a serious matter, one that could easily result in jail time without effective legal representation. If you are found to have committed a violation of probation (VOP), you may be imprisoned for part or all of the portion of your sentence that was suspended when you were first placed on probation. You may also lose the benefit of any previous finding of probation before judgment. I can help you avoid these serious consequences. Probation Violation Summons or Warrant When your . . . .

If you have entered a guilty plea or have been found guilty of a crime, you may be able to overturn your conviction or change your sentence with an appeal. Maryland appeals must be filed within short time limits after your case is over, and the help of a lawyer is essential. Even if you are not eligible for an appeal, there are other ways to reverse or expunge older cases that do not involve appeals. Contact me immediately if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your case, or if you think that you may . . . .

A petition for a Maryland peace order or protective order must allege specific criminal acts as the basis for the order. I can effectively defend you against the issuance of a Maryland peace order or protective order, and against any related criminal charges, including harassment, assault, stalking, trespass, violation of a peace order, or violation of a protective order. A final peace or protective order can also damage your reputation and may result in the loss of your job, even if no criminal charges . . . .

You may have received a temporary peace order or a temporary protective order from the local police. This means that someone filed for a restraining order against you, and a temporary peace order or temporary protective order was issued without hearing your side of the case. This can cause great injustice in between the time that the temporary peace order or temporary protective order is granted, and the final hearing. As your lawyer, I can both modify the terms of the temporary order, and defend you at . . . .

I have helped many people beat their drug charges outright, and I can help you too. It's always stressful to be charged with possession or distribution of illegal drugs or paraphernalia, but it's a lot less stressful when you have someone on your side with experience winning these cases. While drug charges can be serious and lead to a jail sentence, an effective defense can result in an acquittal or a deal that keeps you out of jail and preserves your reputation. You need an effective attorney to assert . . . .

Oxycodone (as contained in OxyContin or Percocet) is a Schedule II drug that is illegal to possess in Maryland without a prescription. The police pursue these crimes aggressively, and they sometimes charge perfectly law-abiding individuals simply because they do not take the time to investigate whether the person is actually authorized to possess oxycodone. Even a single errant Percocet pill stuck in a car seat can cause big problems, and can even lead to a jail sentence if handled the wrong way. It . . . .

Getting charged with possession or distribution of heroin or another narcotic can be one of the most scary and intimidating things that can happen to a person. I've kept hundreds of regular people in Maryland just like you out of jail. You need to preserve your life, your job, your relationships, and your record, and I can help you do that. I have negotiated to get cases dismissed before trial, excluded the government's evidence at trial, and exploited little known areas of the law to secure a verdict . . . .

Maryland drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and manufacturing charges are particularly serious.  Prison sentences can be lengthy, and significant mandatory minimums are in place for more serious offenses. All of these crimes are felonies. There are likely to be details about your case that I can exploit to keep you out of jail or get your case dismissed.  I have kept hundreds of people out of jail, and I have beaten these charges for other people. Call me at (301) 556‑8709 so . . . .

Maryland has a variety of levels of drug offense for possession of illegal drugs, which vary depending on the amount and type of the substance. In Maryland, illegal drugs are called CDS, short for "Controlled Dangerous Substance." Except for marijuana possession under 10 grams, all Maryland drug possession offenses are criminal, jailable offenses prohibited under CR 5-601. Possession of CDS - Not Marijuana For purposes of drug possession in Maryland, as long as the quantities involved are not gigantic . . . .

Maryland drug paraphernalia crimes often involve items with a lawful use, and generally require more than mere possession of the item. There must be some indication that the item is intended for use with an illegal drug, which in Maryland is referred to as a controlled dangerous substance, or CDS. At times, this can be provided by the item itself, but more often it is provided by the facts and circumstances surrounding the item. One of the ways that a lawyer can defend you from these charges is to . . . .

Maryland fraud crimes can result in serious penalties, even for relatively small dollar values. A bad check or credit card fraud of only $501 could result in a sentence of up to fifteen years, and being permanently branded as a felon. Forgery of a check for even $1 is a felony with a sentence of up to 10 years. Even if you avoid a lengthy sentence, having a felony conviction impacts your right to vote and your right to own a gun, and can make it very difficult to find housing or employment. I can help make . . . .

Maryland has a variety of criminal false statement and false reporting laws, covering multiple varieties of making a false report or statement to police officers, and other officials. The best way to avoid running afoul of these laws is to simply not speak, and to assert your fifth amendment right to remain silent. Unfortunately, if you are already facing criminal charges for a Maryland false statement or false report offenses, you are going to need my help to resolve your case in a way that keeps your . . . .

Forgery of private documents is a serious crime in Maryland. It is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $1000. It is a serious charge that requires a lawyer. I can handle these serious charges for you, protecting your freedom and employment. Call me at (301) 556‑8709, because your reputation is important. One of the most common types of forgery or counterfeiting charged in Maryland is CL § 8-602, Counterfeiting or Forgery of Private Documents. . . . .

A bad check offense can destroy your reputation and result in serious penalties, even if the check has a very low dollar value. Any conviction for a bad check offense can make it very difficult to find housing or employment, as it is an offense that indicates to people that you cannot be trusted. Passing or issuing a bad check with a value of only $500 is a felony, and can result in a sentence of up to fifteen years. Bad check charges all have a mens rea, which means that you must know or intend that . . . .

If you are accused of committing any form of credit card fraud in Maryland, you may also be charged with any number of crimes that cover the same behavior. Many credit card crimes are also charged as theft or identity theft. Under Maryland's identity theft statute, a credit card number qualifies as personal identifying information, and the identity theft statute is often read by court commissioners to cover the behavior of people who merely use another person's credit card, even if they do not . . . .

Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order, Disturbing the Peace, and Obstructing or Hindering Passage are types of disorderly conduct in Maryland, all punishable under the same statute. These Maryland charges are misdemeanors, with a maximum sentence is 60 days of imprisonment and a $500 fine. Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order charges are sometimes misused by police officers dissatisfied with your behavior as a way to make . . . .

Maryland has a variety of theft crimes, which share the same penalty structure. The maximum sentence varies with the value of the property involved, but can also depend on the number of prior convictions for theft crimes. The sort of theft crime committed does not change the maximum sentence at all. For example, someone who possesses stolen property worth $7,000 could be charged with a felony and would be subject to the same maximum sentence as the person who stole that property. Also, part of the penalty . . . .

When a car is stolen or taken or used without authorization in Maryland, it is often charged as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor with a minimum sentence of 6 months and $50, and not more than 4 years and $100. The minimum sentence only applies for a conviction, and does not include probation before judgment. Like other theft offenses, part of the penalty is that the property must be returned, or if that is not possible, the owner must be compensated for the value of the . . . .

Robbery in Maryland is the crime of theft by force, violence, or placing in fear of violence. Robbery is much more serious than a plain theft. It is a crime of violence, and has much higher maximum penalties. In order to be guilty of robbery in Maryland, there must be a theft, by force or threat of force. The force involved does not have to be particularly significant, but there does have to be some force. For example, if someone snatches someone's purse, there is usually going to be a tug on their . . . .

In Maryland, the crime of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and/or stealing its contents is referred to, somewhat strangely, as "rogue and vagabond". Being a rogue and vagabond is a misdemeanor in Maryland punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment. There are two ways to be guilty of being a rogue and vagabond. First, you can be guilty if you possess a burglar's tool with the intent to use the tool to break and enter a vehicle. The second is to be in or on a motor vehicle with the intent to steal . . . .

The articles below discuss various Maryland traffic charges and driver's license issues of interest to motorists residing in Maryland, or passing through the state.  Whether you are trying to avoid points that would drive up your insurance costs, keep your license, or avoid incarceration, a good lawyer can make a big difference. Many people do not even know what the consequences of their actions are with respect to traffic charges, and only find out weeks later after they get a suspension notice from . . . .

In places under Federal jurisdiction, the United States government may charge you with either Federal crimes, or a violation of Maryland state laws. Military bases and other similar government installations are generally under Federal jurisdiction, putting traffic tickets and other violations issued in those places under Federal jurisdiction. If you are stopped by an officer, you may receive a citation that says “United States District Court Violation Notice” at the top. These citations are often . . . .

You may have been pulled over by a police officer only to find out that your driver's license is suspended, or received a notice from the Maryland MVA notifying you of a suspension, leaving you to ask, "Why is my Maryland driver's license suspended?" There are many reasons that your driver's license might be suspended, but whatever the reason might be, I can help get you back on the road. I can also defend you from the suspension on the notice at a hearing, and defend you against any underlying charges . . . .

Maryland speeding tickets under TA 21-801 and TA 21-801.1 have a highly variable point structure. A speeding ticket under TA 21-801.1 can be either 5, 2, or 1 points. Maryland speeding violations under 21-801 that carry either 1 or 3 points. There are also a few other types of speed related violations in Maryland discussed below. Speeding violations can increase your insurance rates, reset or suspend your provisional license, delay your driver's test if you have a learner's permit, and add up to cause . . . .

A Maryland learner's permit is a type of driver's license that allows the holder to drive, but only with proper supervision. Maryland learner's permit holders caught driving without required supervision are often driving alone, but even if you are not by yourself, there are still requirements that must be met. The driver must be seated beside someone supervising them, who must be age 21 or older, and who must have been licensed for at least three years in any state to drive that class of vehicle. No . . . .

Driving without insurance is a crime punishable by as much as one year of jail and a fine of $5000 for a first offense and as much as two years of jail and a $2000 fine for a second offense.  A conviction can also add five points to your Maryland license.  Five points are enough to markedly increase your insurance rates, require a driver improvement program even if you have no other points.  If you do have other points, or if you accumulate more in the future, a conviction may also result in your . . . .

Points will be assessed against you if you are convicted in court for the violation listed on your traffic ticket, or if you admit the violation by paying the preset amount shown on the ticket. Maryland points stay current for two years. Points can raise your car insurance rates by far more than the fine on the ticket, and they can also result in your driver's license being suspended or revoked by the MVA. As you accumulate certain preset levels of current points, the Maryland Motor Vehicle . . . .

As a provisional driver's license holder in Maryland, you are at risk of having your license suspended or worse, even if you have only ever had two minor traffic tickets. Provisional license holders also face stiff insurance rates, based on their provisional status, age, and inexperience. The best way to avoid the high insurance rates and stiff MVA penalties as a provisional license holder is to fight each and every traffic ticket in court. Even if you have already paid the ticket or entered a plea of . . . .

Driving with a suspended, canceled, refused, or revoked license in Maryland can have serious consequences, but I can help you avoid them. Just because your license was suspended doesn't mean that you are guilty. I have helped hundreds of other people just like you with charges in Maryland courts, and I can help you too. The state has to prove that you knew you were suspended and drove anyway in order to convict. While they are allowed to infer your knowledge without any direct evidence that you knew you . . . .

In Maryland, driving an uninsured vehicle or allowing one to be driven is a jailable offense. It carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000 for a first offense. A second offense of driving an uninsured vehicle is punishable by up to two years in jail and $2,000. It also has five points, which can raise your insurance rates in the future, and may lead to license suspension and revocation as you accumulate more points. Even though these potential penalties seem daunting, don't panic. . . . .

Driving without a license in Maryland could subject you to harsh penalties, particularly if you are a repeat offender, or if you do not have a license because you have been convicted of another crime. For a first offense, you could be jailed for up to 60 days and fined up to $500. For a second or subsequent offense, you could be imprisoned for up to a year, and fined $500. A driving without a license ticket also carries a penalty of five points. Even if you do not have a license, an accumulation of . . . .

In Maryland, all drunk driving charges are serious. DUI and DWI are both jailable offenses, and they can both lead to your license being suspended or revoked, even for a first offense. I have helped many people successfully navigate these charges without going to jail or losing their license, and I can also help you. You don't have to plead guilty. I have beaten field sobriety tests, I have caused MVA cases to be thrown out, and I have made judges disbelieve the testimony of police officers. I know the law . . . .

It is unlawful to drive in Maryland if you are impaired by drugs or alcohol to the point that you cannot drive a vehicle safely. While the law is different depending on whether the drug is an illegal drug (also called a "controlled dangerous substance" or "CDS"), or a legal drug, it is unlawful to drive while impaired by either. I can defend you from these serious charges. Driving while impaired by drugs or CDS offenses can result in the loss of your ability to drive, and criminal penalties including . . . .

Maryland prohibits public intoxication and public consumption of alcohol outside of designated places, even if you are not operating a vehicle. While there are many laws prohibiting drunk driving, Maryland also has a number of alcohol laws that apply more generally. Public Intoxication Public intoxication in Maryland is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days and a $100 fine. Maryland's public intoxication law does not necessarily require you to be intoxicated by alcohol, or to be intoxicated at all. . . . .

Depending on what happens with your Maryland DUI or DWI case, you might be required to have an ignition interlock in your car, particularly after the changes in Maryland law that took effect on October 1, 2016. I can help you avoid ignition interlock requirements and suspensions that might otherwise be caused by your DUI or DWI case, your breath test, or your failure to complete a breath test. Call (301) 556-8709 today, because you need to stay on the road and out of jail. The duration of the . . . .

If you elect to participate in the Maryland ignition interlock program, you might receive a violation notice in the mail. I can challenge and overturn these violations. Each violation extends the duration of the interlock restriction on your license and the program by one month. If you get violations during four monitoring periods you will receive a “Final Notice and Removal From Program” letter. Unless you successfully challenge the alleged violations at a hearing, you will be removed, and the . . . .

Drunk driving in Maryland when you are under the drinking age of 21 has a special set of consequences different from those for an older driver. Courts and administrative law judges often see age as a factor that makes the offense more severe, and there are penalties written into the law for DUI and DWI that are harsher than those that an older driver would face. I have helped many people with their DUI and DWI charges, and I can help you navigate and avoid the special problems that come with being under . . . .

A Maryland Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol Per Se charge means that you are accused of driving or exercising actual physical control over a vehicle and testing as .08 or above in a test of breath or blood afterward.  It is one of Maryland's three major drunk driving offenses, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine for a first offense. Unlike the other two Maryland drunk driving offenses, Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol charge or a Driving While Impaired charge, . . . .

Maryland driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) charges are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine for a first offense.  Along with a possible jail term, it can also affect your license status, leading to a suspension or even a revocation of your license if it is not dealt with correctly.  You also were probably charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol per se and the lesser offense of driving while impaired by alcohol, two other related jailable offenses that you . . . .

Maryland driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI) charges are punishable by up to two months in jail and a $500 fine for a first offense.  Even though driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI) is the lesser offense of the typical Maryland drunk driving charges, it carries a possible jail term and can also affect your license status, leading to a suspension or worse if not handled properly.  You may also be charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or driving while under the influence of . . . .