Salisbury Criminal Defense Attorneys
Advocating on Behalf of the Criminally Accused for 25+ Years
People often discuss their legal and constitutional rights in vague and elusive ways. If you are accused of a crime, however, these rights become critical. A criminal conviction can lead to jail time, the loss of your employment, and a permanent record.
You are innocent until proven guilty. The moment you are accused of a crime, it may feel like you are fighting an uphill battle to prove your innocence . People who are accused of crimes oftentimes find themselves facing off against experienced police officers and aggressive state attorneys, which can be more than intimidating. An accused individual has the right to remain silent, to counsel, a speedy trial, and the presumption of innocence. To defend your rights, you must work with a law firm that is just as experienced and aggressive on your side.
The Salisbury criminal defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have successfully represented clients in criminal matters in Wicomico and Worcester County courts for more than 25 years. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure, P.A. as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms.” Let us use our experience to your advantage.
If you have been accused of a crime or find yourself under criminal investigation, contact Portner & Shure, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation. To get in touch with us, call (855) 954-4141 or submit an online request form today.
The Maryland Criminal Justice System
The criminal process typically begins when someone is arrested or summoned to court. Criminal matters in Maryland are adjudicated in both the District Court and the Circuit Court. The primary distinction between the two Courts is that there are no jury trials in the District Court. Jury trials are held exclusively in the Circuit Court in Maryland.
Burden of Proof in Criminal Cases
Many people who are accused of a crime believe that they have to prove their innocence. This is inaccurate. The presumption of innocence is guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
The burden of proof rests on the state of Maryland. The state must prove that, beyond a reasonable doubt, you are guilty of the crime of which you are accused. Whether the state of Maryland can meet this burden depends on the circumstances and evidence surrounding the case.
One of the best ways to overcome the State’s case is to have an experienced criminal defense attorney conduct a thorough review of all of the state’s evidence. Discovery may yield the potential defenses and arguments that apply.
What Happens at a Criminal Trial in Maryland?
Once a criminal case makes it to trial, the accused individual will be asked how they would like to plead, which only has two options:
- Not guilty
If you plead not guilty to a criminal charge, then you are fundamentally telling the state of Maryland that they must “prove it.” This means that the state will have to provide sufficient evidence to prove their cases and overcome any of your potential defenses.
During the trial, your potential defenses are defined by the facts of your case and the state’s evidence. For instance, you can put forth an “evidentiary defense” and argue the state has insufficient evidence to prove its case. You also can put forth a “factual defense,” and argue the circumstances were not as the state presented them. Finally, you can put forth a “legal defense,” like a Fourth Amendment search issue.
It is important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney review your case to determine if any defenses are possible, and their likelihood of success. If deemed applicable, your attorney will put them before the Judge.
Commonly, people think that a criminal case can only end in a finding of guilty or not guilty. This is not actually the case.
In Maryland, there are five potential outcomes, or dispositions, in a criminal matter:
- Not Guilty (Dismissal)
- Nolle prosequi: This is essentially a dismissal by the State’s Attorney.
- Stet: The State’s attorney can request to place a criminal matter on the Court’s “stet” or inactive docket. Although the case has not been dismissed, it is no longer being actively prosecuted. Notably, to accept a stet disposition, the accused must give up their right to a speedy trial.
- Probation before judgment: In Maryland, this is not considered a conviction. To understand the disposition of a probation before judgment, it is essential to understand the legal definition of a “criminal conviction” or a “criminal judgment.” A criminal conviction is both a finding of guilt and the imposition of a sentence. Thus, in this context, if the accused is found guilty but never sentenced (i.e., placed on probation), they are not legally “convicted” under Maryland law.
Criminal Defense Services in Salisbury, Maryland
The knowledgeable attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have tirelessly advocated on behalf of clients in criminal matters in Wicomico and Worcester County, Maryland for more than 25 years. We understand the potential consequences of a conviction and will work through your case to determine how to best mitigate or eliminate them.
Our criminal defense practice areas include:
In addition to our countless excellent reviews from prior clients, our reputation in the legal community is illustrated in the numerous awards our attorneys have earned throughout our decades of practice. Let us advocate for you or your family. Call (855) 954-4141 right away.
“He cares for his clients with his whole heart!”- Former Client
“I recommend them 100%”- Anon
“It worked out great”- E.N.
We have offices in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
We are top-10 rated lawyers.
We have received countless 5-star Google & Facebook reviews.
We have recovered over $350 million on behalf of our clients.
We offer legal representation in Spanish, Korean & Chinese languages.
We have aggressive litigation tactics, skill, and passion.
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.