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Annapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

Annapolis, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Amplifying the Voices of Our Clients

Experienced legal representation is often the key to a successful outcome in a criminal case. While the facts of each case are different, the attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. bring more than 30 years of experience to each case they defend. Our attorneys are zealous advocates that are dedicated to protecting the rights and freedom of our clients. We will work closely with you to prepare the strongest possible defense.

To start the process of building your defense, call (855) 954-4141

District Court

Many cases begin in the District Court. There are two District Courts in Anne Arundel County, located in Annapolis and Glen Burnie. District Court criminal cases are heard and decided by a judge. This is because there are no jury trials in District Court. If a person is found guilty in District Court, they are entitled to a De Novo appeal and a new trial in the Circuit Court.

Circuit Court

The Anne Arundel County Circuit Court is located in Annapolis. Many cases are transferred from the District Court to the Circuit Court. This is because if a person is charged with a crime that carries a potential sentence of 90 days in jail or more, they have the absolute right to a jury trial. Criminal cases in the Circuit Court are decided by a jury. In lieu of a jury trial, a person can waive their right to a trial by jury and have their case heard and decided by a judge.

Possible Outcomes in a Criminal Case

People mistakenly believe that criminal cases only end with a finding of guilty or not guilty.

There are five possible outcomes to a criminal case in Maryland, including:

  • Not Guilty: A jury or judge renders a verdict of not guilty which means an individual is acquitted.
  • Guilty Verdict: A jury or judge renders a verdict of guilty.
  • Nolle Prosequi: The charges are dismissed by the prosecutor.
  • Stet: Maryland criminal courts have an active docket and an inactive docket. A stet occurs when a prosecutor makes a motion to place a criminal case on an inactive docket. This does not mean the case is dismissed. Essentially, the case has been indefinitely postponed. For a case to be placed on the stet docket, an individual must waive their right to a speedy trial.
  • Probation Before Judgement (PBJ): A criminal conviction in Maryland is comprised of a finding of guilt and the imposition of a sentence. A PBJ is an alternative legal disposition that is not considered a conviction. This is because a PBJ is only comprised of a finding of guilt. A person can still serve a jail sentence and receive a PBJ, typically the remainder of the sentence is suspended. A person must waive their right to appeal to accept a PBJ.

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution guarantees individuals that are accused of crimes many important rights including:

  • The Right to Remain Silent: An individual cannot be forced to testify at their own trial. An individual can also refuse to speak with the police. If a person chooses not to testify, their silence cannot be used as evidence of guilt.
  • The Presumption Of Innocence: When an individual is charged with a crime, they are legally presumed to be innocent. To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The Right to A Fair Trial: If a person is charged with a crime, they have the right to have their case decided by an impartial factfinder (a judge or jury).
  • The Right to Confrontation: A person has the right to face and confront their accusers and any witnesses during a trial.
  • The Right to Compulsory Process: A person can subpoena their own witnesses and force them to testify in court.
  • The Right to Testify: A person can testify in their own defense.
  • The Right Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police seized the evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment, a person can argue that the evidence should be excluded.

Mistakes To Avoid

People are often their own worst enemy. Naturally, in criminal cases, people make the mistake of thinking that the police want to help them and choose to talk to them. If the police want to talk to you regarding a criminal matter, they either think you are a witness or are involved in the crime. Accordingly, it is best not to talk to the police. The police only want to talk to people to obtain additional information or evidence.

Another mistake people make is allowing themselves to be intimidated by police and prosecutors. As a result, people quickly accept a plea deal with the implied promise of leniency. A wiser course of action is allowing an Annapolis criminal defense attorney to review the evidence. A review of the evidence may reveal that the prosecutor may not be able to prove their case.

Defenses That Could Work

Every criminal case is different. As such, there is no one size fits all defense. Instead, a careful review of the evidence is required. To be convicted of a crime, the prosecutor must prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, the prosecutor must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A review of the evidence may reveal that the prosecution may not be able to prove their case.

Representation Portner & Shure, P.A., Can Provide

The attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A., have been defending individuals accused of crimes in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for more than 30 years.

Our attorneys' practice areas include:

  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • DUI
  • Drug Crimes
  • Theft
  • Traffic Defense
  • Prostitution

Because of our dedication to our clients and the results we have obtained, our attorneys have built an excellent reputation. This can be seen with the numerous 5-Star reviews written by former clients and the awards our attorneys have earned. In 2020, the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized Portner & Shure as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms.”

To schedule a free consultation regarding your Annapolis criminal case, contact us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). In fact, we routinely represent criminal clients who speak only Spanish, Chinese, or Korean in Annapolis and throughout Anne Arundel County.


  • “From day one the phone call to this law firm was very attentive”

    - M.W.
  • “Highly recommend”

    - H.K.
  • “Answered all of our questions”

    - E.M.


  • We offer legal representation in English, Spanish, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, & Chinese languages.
  • We have aggressive litigation tactics, skill, and passion.
  • We have offices in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
  • Over 30 Years of Experience Serving Clients
  • We have received countless 5-star Google & Facebook reviews.
  • We have recovered over $400 million on behalf of our clients.

When you hire Portner & Shure, you can expect more from your representation. In addition to getting an attorney, you will get a committed advocates you has your best interests at heart.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Attorneys of America
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • 5-Star Google Reviews
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Maryland Association for Justice
  • 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award 2016-2021
  • 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award 2016-2021
  • American Association for Justice
  • Avvo Rating Top Attorney
  • Avvo Superb Rating Top Attorney
  • US News & World Report Best Law Firms 2019
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum - Jonathan Portner