Baltimore, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer
Convictions Are Always Damaging – Fight Them!
Baltimore City Police and prosecutors aggressively prosecute people that are accused of committing crimes. The Baltimore City Court system can be a confusing and harsh process, which makes everything worse when you are the one being prosecuted. If you or someone you love has recently been charged with a crime in Baltimore, preparing a strong legal defense could be the best way to obtain a favorable outcome.
Representation by an experienced Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense attorney can help you prepare a strong defense. For more than 25 years, the award-winning attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have defended the rights of people accused of crimes in Baltimore City.
Call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Maryland’s Judicial System
There are two trial Courts in the State of Maryland:
- District: In the District Court, criminal cases are decided by a judge.
- Circuit: In the Circuit Court, criminal cases are decided either by a judge or jury.
If a person is charged with a crime that carries a potential penalty of 90 days or more, they are entitled to a jury trial. If an individual is found guilty at trial in the District Court, they are entitled to a completely new trial in the Circuit Court.
An Accused Individual’s Rights
Nowhere more do peoples’ legal rights matter than in a criminal case. Accordingly, a person who is charged with a crime is entitled to the presumption of innocence. The State of Maryland has to prove an accused individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A person who is accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial before an impartial fact-finder, i.e., a judge or jury.
At trial, a person who is accused of a crime is entitled to confront their accuser and any witnesses testifying against them. Further, during all phases of a criminal case and trial, a person has the right to remain silent. The United States Constitution also protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Finally, people who are accused of crimes have the right to be represented by effective counsel.
How the Criminal Justice System Works
The criminal justice system is a cold, confusing, and intimidating process. The Baltimore City Police and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City routinely overcharge people without clear reasoning. When a person is arrested, they later learn that they are being charged with every conceivable crime possible. Police and prosecutors do this with the hopes that people quickly plead guilty for a lesser sentence.
Police and Prosecutors do not want a Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense lawyer to review their evidence and identify legal issues or possible defenses. However, when a person pleads not guilty, they are challenging the State of Maryland to prove their case. Depending on the facts of a case and the evidence, this may be relatively simple or exceedingly difficult for the State of Maryland.
Legal Issues & Defenses in Maryland Criminal Cases
A variety of legal and factual defenses can be used in a criminal case. The applicability of these defenses depends on the facts of an individual case.
The most common defense is lack of evidence or a failure by the prosecution to prove their case. A review of evidence may reveal that a witness or victim may be lying or lacks credibility. Relevant evidence may be excluded before trial if it was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. To determine which defenses are available, you should allow a thorough review of the evidence by an experienced Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense lawyer.
Outcomes to Criminal Cases
There are five possible outcomes to a criminal case in Maryland:
- Not Guilty: – A judge or jury acquits a criminal defendant.
- Guilty: A judge or jury convicts a criminal defendant.
- Nolle Prosequi: This is a dismissal of the case by the prosecutor.
- Stet: A criminal case is placed on an inactive docket. The case is not dismissed. Instead, the case is not being actively prosecuted by the prosecutor. For a case to be placed on the stet docket, an accused individual must waive their right to a speedy trial.
- Probation Before Judgement: In Maryland, a conviction is a finding of guilt and the imposition of a sentence. If an accused individual is found guilty but never sentenced, they have not been legally convicted under Maryland State law. An accused individual can have a sentence imposed but the sentence is either stricken or suspended and instead placed on probation. Because the sentence has been suspended or stricken, the accused has not been legally convicted. To accept Probation Before Judgement, an accused individual must surrender their right to appeal.
Services Portner & Shure, P.A. Can Provide
A Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense attorney can help you or a loved one build an effective defense. The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been zealously representing clients from Maryland’s Hispanic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean communities for criminal matters in Baltimore City Courts for more than 25 years. We know how to investigate the law and facts surrounding your case to prepare an effective defense.
Portner & Shure, P.A.’s practice areas include:
- Drug Crimes
- Traffic Defense
Our track record of success recently resulted in The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recognizing Portner & Shure, P.A. as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms.” We can fight for your rights and your future.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Baltimore criminal case, call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.