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Vigorous Defense Against Felony & Misdemeanor Charges

To effectively defend yourself from a serious criminal charge, you should get representation that is just as serious. Our Bel Air, Maryland criminal defense attorneys from Portner & Shure are capable of defending your rights against misdemeanor and felony charges. A conviction could lock you away for years, ruin your reputation, and drain your finances, so we work diligently to make certain you are given the best possible outcome.

Call (410) 286-1999 to connect with a criminal defense attorney right away.

Maryland’s Judicial System

Maryland has two trial courts: the District Court and the Circuit Court. Jury trials are held in the Circuit Court only. If you are charged with a crime that carries a penalty of at least 90 days in jail, you are entitled to a trial by jury, which means you would end up before the Circuit Court. If you are found guilty at the lower District Court, though, you can arrange for a completely new trial in the Circuit Court.

An Accused Individual’s Rights in Maryland

The United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights guarantee individuals who are accused of crimes certain rights.

Your prominent rights after being accused of a crime are the rights to:

  • Be legally presumed innocent
  • Fair trial
  • Representation during all phases of a criminal case
  • Remain silent
  • Not self-incriminate
  • Be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Confront your accusers in court

Legal Issues & Defenses to Criminal Charges

The facts of every criminal case are unique to that case in particular. Nonetheless, several different defenses might apply to your case. A review of the prosecution’s case may reveal that there is insufficient evidence to prove the case, or it can reveal that a witness or the victim may be lying.

Aside from the evidence, an alibi defense might work to your advantage. An alibi effectively argues that you could not possibly have committed the crime in question because there is proof that shows you were not at the scene of the crime. In such a case, you will be arguing that you were elsewhere, not necessarily to prove that the crime never happened.

Our Bel Air criminal defense lawyers might also want to consider a Fourth Amendment defense. In this strategy, we can try to get the evidence against you thrown out for being collected in an unlawful search.

Possible Outcomes to a Criminal Case

There are five possible outcomes to a Maryland criminal case:

  • Not guilty: A judge or jury returns a verdict of not guilty.
  • Guilty: A judge or jury returns a verdict of guilty.
  • Nolle prosequi: This is a Latin term that translates to “unwilling to pursue,” which means the prosecutor is calling for the case’s dismissal.
  • Stet: A criminal case is placed on an inactive docket, but it is not dismissed. Instead, the case is not being actively prosecuted by the prosecutor. For a case to be placed on the stet docket, the accused must waive their right to a speedy trial.
  • Probation before judgment: In Maryland, a conviction is a finding of guilt and the imposition of a sentence. If the accused is found guilty but never sentenced, they have not been legally convicted. However, they can still be “punished” by being placed on probation will certain rules and requirements. The accused must waive their right to appeal to be eligible for probation before judgment in Maryland.

Services Portner & Shure, P.A. Can Provide to Bel Air Criminal Defendants

Our experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been zealously representing clients for criminal matters in Maryland Courts for more than 30 years. We make appearances regularly in Harford County Courthouses to protect the rights of our clients in all sorts of criminal cases.

Portner & Shure, P.A.’s practice areas primarily include:

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

Want another reason to hire us for your case? The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure, P.A. as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms.” Not many in the area can make that claim!

Contact us online or call (410) 286-1999 to start your defense in Bel Air.


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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.

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