Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorney
Have You Been Charged With A Crime in Baltimore Maryland?
When you need a criminal lawyer Baltimore. You don’t want to be charged with a crime and you don’t want to ‘need’ a criminal lawyer. But if the unthinkable happens and you make a mistake in life, we are here to help. We are Baltimore criminal lawyers that care about our clients and their futures. We understand that people have momentary lapses in judgment. That’s okay, we believe in forgiveness and that’s one of the ways we run our law firm.
We’ve all made mistakes in life. We know that people make decisions as a response to what others have done or outside influences. Such as drugs, alcohol or mental health obstacles in their lives.
How Can We Help
We are lawyers first, but we are also our client’s support system. Our criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore don’t look at each case as ‘How do we get you out of trouble?’ Instead, we look at it as ‘How do we help you not make this mistake again and better your life from this incident.’ Maybe that’s what makes us such great Baltimore criminal defense attorneys.
Our lawyers care and we want to ensure you don’t have one mistake ruin the rest of your life. We have always said, “Just because you’ve charged with a crime, doesn’t mean you’re a criminal.” We mean that. Life has bumps and we know you can get past them. Let us help get you past those tough times and get back to a normal life.
Important Question for a Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer
- what evidence does the State have against me?
- who are the witnesses in my case?
- what are the penalties for the crimes I have been alleged to have committed?
- what are the fines if I am convicted?
- who will the Judge be in my case?
- what is the process from arrest to trial?
- where do I appear in Court?
- why was I charged with these crimes?
- how do I beat the case?
- am I going to jail?
Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorney
There are 4 levels of Courts in Maryland. The lowest level is the District Courts. Next is the Circuit Courts. The appellate courts are the Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals.
The trial courts are the District and Circuit Courts. Each county in Maryland has at least one District Court location and one circuit Court location. Some counties, like Baltimore County and Baltimore City, have three criminal District Court locations each. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, then your case will be heard in the District Court.
If you are charged with a felony, then your case will start in the District court for a preliminary hearing and then can be forwarded to the Circuit Court. This can happen if the District Court find probable cause or a grand jury indicts your case.
Criminal Cases by the Numbers
According to the Maryland Judiciary, in 2015 there were 77,590 criminal case filed in the Circuit Courts in Maryland. And 188,535 criminal cases filed in the District Courts of Maryland. Those cases were disposed of as follows:
- 31,487 cases resulted in a guilty
- 6,438 individuals were found not guilty
- 13,905 received a probation before judgment (PBJ)
- 15,394 were forwarded to the Circuit Court for prosecution
- 78,992 were marked nolle prosequi by the State
- A Stet was entered in 24,881 of those cases
- Dismissal occurred in 1,575 cases
- And 367 resulted in an “other” outcome
Each case is different and there is no way to predict to an outcome. However, we can plan for your case and provide a roadmap as to the best actions to take pending the trial date. You should consult with the knowledgeable criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. It is certainly preferable to have a case dismissed or nolle prosequi entered, and that is something we fight for in every case.
Steps to Take After Being Arrested or Charged in Baltimore, MD
- Don’t talk to the police: Talking to the police, in most cases, is a bad idea. This doesn’t mean you should be disrespectful to the police. The complete opposite of that. You can respectfully say “I don’t want to make any statements without the presence of my lawyer.”
- Write Down What Happened: One of the hardest things to do is remember something in details months, even years later. Even the smallest details can be important in the defense of your case. That is why it is so important to write down every detail you can remember from the alleged crime. Write down everything from before to after the event, making sure to note every detail. Who was there, where did it happen, what was said? These small details can prove crucial at trial.
- Witnesses: Witnesses are the best evidence in most cases. The State will rely on their witnesses and what they say they saw. However, witnesses don’t always testify as to exactly what they saw. They may see something and then analyze that information and tell a story based on their past experiences. That story may not actually be what they saw and therefore their story may not be accurate when it comes to your case.
- Evidence: Evidence can be something like a photograph or DNA. It can also be fingerprints left at the scene. Most evidence of this type requires an expert to analyze and determine if they can be linked to a person or the crime. We will find every shred of evidence that can help your case.
- Electronic Evidence: Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have become part of our everyday lives. This is also a tool the police use to prove cases against individuals. We are seasoned in the use of technology in criminal prosecutions and we know how to use it to your advantage in a criminal case.
Common Baltimore Crimes
Criminal charges can vary from a simple misdemeanor to a serious felony or multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. There are hundreds of criminal laws in Maryland. Some of the most common include:
- Assault: You can be charged with either first degree assault or second degree assault in Maryland. Assault is the unlawful touching of another. But you can also be charged with assault if you attempt to touch another or you try to assault someone else and you’re unsuccessful.
- Burglary: Burglary happens when an individual breaks into a home or business and commits a theft or other crime. A burglary conviction can results in jail and lengthy probation.
- CDS or drug possession: Drug possession and drug distribution are common crimes and depending on the jurisdiction, are taken seriously by the State’s Attorney and Judges. We have resources to help you kick the drug addiction and live a clean life.
- Theft: Taking from another. If you take something and you don’t have permission then you can be charged with theft. However, a lot of theft cases are misunderstandings.
- Robbery: Robbery is another form of theft, but you have to take the item with force or with a weapon, then you could be charged with armed robbery.
- Bench Warrant: If you missed your trial date and the Court issued a bench warrant. Speak with our Maryland bench warrant lawyer today to discuss your options.
Contact Experienced Baltimore Criminal Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime. You believe you are going to be charged with a crime. Or you think you are the subject of a criminal investigation by State, local or Federal law enforcement, then contact an experienced Baltimore criminal lawyer today. Call our office at 410.288.2900 to speak with a Baltimore lawyer and schedule a free consultation. The lawyers with the Law Offices of Randolph Rice know how to get a criminal case resolved with the best possible outcome. Randolph Rice is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Baltimore County Bar Association and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association. He is ranked by Super Lawyers as a Maryland Rising Star and Lead Counsel Rated. In addition, he has received a Superb Ranking from Avvo and a 10 out of 10 rating.
Maryland Criminal Laws
The Maryland criminal laws are found in the Maryland Criminal Law Code. These statutes along with case law define activity in the Maryland that is illegal. In addition to the criminal laws, there are specific rules that dictate how cases are prosecuted or evidence is admitted. The Rules of Evidence are some of the most helpful things to know when defending a client. Certain rules may preclude evidence from being admitted thus helping a defendant in their case.
When choosing a Baltimore criminal lawyer, you want to retain someone with the knowledge of the current criminal laws in Maryland. As mentioned before, there are hundreds of laws, but some of the most commonly used sections of the code are the rules:
Maryland Criminal Procedure 6-220(b)(1) – Probation Before Judgment
“(b)(1) When a defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is found guilty of a crime, a court may stay the entering of judgment, defer further proceedings, and place the defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions if:
(i) the court finds that the best interests of the defendant and the public welfare would be served; and
(ii) the defendant gives written consent after determination of guilt or acceptance of a nolo contendere plea.
(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, the conditions may include an order that the defendant:
(i) pay a fine or monetary penalty to the State or make restitution; or
(ii) participate in a rehabilitation program, the parks program, or a voluntary hospital program.”
Maryland Rule 2-248 – Stet
“(a) Disposition by stet. On motion of the State’s Attorney, the court may indefinitely postpone trial of a charge by marking the charge “stet” on the docket. The defendant need not be present when a charge is stetted but if neither the defendant nor the defendant’s attorney is present, the clerk shall send notice of the stet to the defendant, if the defendant’s whereabouts are known, and to the defendant’s attorney of record.
Notice shall not be sent if either the defendant or the defendant’s attorney was present in court when the charge was stetted. If notice is required, the clerk may send one notice that lists all of the charges that were stetted. A charge may not be stetted over the objection of the defendant. A stetted charge may be rescheduled for trial at the request of either party within one year and thereafter only by order of court for good cause shown.
(b) Effect of stet. When a charge is stetted, the clerk shall take the action necessary to recall or revoke any outstanding warrant or detainer that could lead to the arrest or detention of the defendant because of the charge, unless the court orders that any warrant or detainer shall remain outstanding.”
Maryland Rule 4-247 – Nolle Prosequi
“(a) Disposition by Nolle Prosequi. The State’s Attorney may terminate a prosecution on a charge and dismiss the charge by entering a nolle prosequi on the record in open court. The defendant need not be present in court when the nolle prosequi is entered, but if neither the defendant nor the defendant’s attorney is present, the clerk shall send notice to the defendant, if the defendant’s whereabouts are known, and to the defendant’s attorney of record. Notice shall not be sent if either the defendant or the defendant’s attorney was present in court when the nolle prosequi was entered. If notice is required, the clerk may send one notice that lists all of the charges that were dismissed.
(b) Effect of Nolle Prosequi. When a nolle prosequi has been entered on a charge, any conditions of pretrial release on that charge are terminated, and any bail bond posted for the defendant on that charge shall be released. The clerk shall take the action necessary to recall or revoke any outstanding warrant or detainer that could lead to the arrest or detention of the defendant because of that charge.”
Why Choose Attorney Randolph Rice?
Criminal charges are complicated and your freedom and reputation is on the line. You don’t want something that is going to follow you around for the rest of your life. Attorney Randolph Rice is a former prosecutor. He has been representing clients charged with crimes since 2009. Over the years he has defended thousands of individuals in everything from simple misdemeanors to attempted murder and felony drug cases.
- Randolph Rice is committed to the trust and seeking the truth in your case
- You will be represented by criminal lawyer Randolph Rice and he will provide you with the best possible outcome and explain how we achieve the result you want in your case.
- He will answer all of your questions and return your phone calls. We want you to be able to get in touch with your lawyer at all times. That’s why our phones are answered every minute of everyday.
- We want you to get what you pay for, that means a flat fee in all criminal cases. The price you’re quoted is the price you pay for your case.
Don’t go to Court Alone
Don’t make the mistake we see so many defendants make when we’re in Court. We watch everyday as people appear in Court and plead to charges they would otherwise been found not guilty.
We will fight for your rights and freedom. Call the office at 410.288.2900 or 1-800-470-RICE to schedule a free consultation. You will meet with attorney Randolph Rice and review the statement of charges, discuss your background and leave the office with the confidence that your matter will be handled with the utmost respect and professionalism.
Don’t Take Chances. Hire the Best
See what our other clients have to say in our reviews and testimonials section.
What Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost?
We believe in transparency when it comes to legal fees. That means we charge flat fees for all criminal cases. We also offer payment plans. Flat fees mean that you pay one price for your case, no matter how many times we have to appear in Court or if you select a trial by jury or we can negotiate a dismissal of the charges. Since the day we started, we offer free consultations. If you have questions about the cost for representation, just call us and schedule a free meeting to talk about your case and what it will cost to defend your case.
Our Lawyers Know the Law!
The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice know the law and keep current with all new Constitutional case law and statutes. Whether the U.S Supreme Court made a ruling on search and seizure or the Maryland Court of Appeals has create a new procedure for arrests. We keep current so we can use the new laws to help defend your case and protect your freedom.
Experience Matters in Criminal Defense
We have represented thousands of clients charged with criminal offenses in Maryland. From doctors, lawyers, police officers, former NFL & MLB players, union members, we have defended every type of criminal charge. Let our experience and knowledge of the criminal laws in Maryland go to work for you.
Am I Facing Jail Time?
This may be one of the most common questions we hear from our clients. While no lawyer can promise that you will avoid jail time, we can make some general and statistical predictions. For clients with no record and a case without exacerbating circumstances, we keep 98% of our clients from facing jail time. In the Circuit Court, it can be harder to predict with such accuracy the chances of avoiding jail time. The reason for this is, Circuit Court case are typically more serious and thus the potential for jail time can be higher.
What Will Happen?
We all want certainty in our lives. We can’t plan for the future unless we know what is around the corner. This is never more true when facing criminal charges. Should I take that job? Should I buy that house? Should I make that move? When facing criminal charges, the future is up in the air. We can walk you through the process, provide probabilities and devise a plan for how to resolve your criminal case with the best possible outcome. Criminal cases can end in a number of different ways including; nolle prosequi, dismissal, not guilty, stet, guilty, mistrial and judgment of acquittal. We will explain all possible outcomes and how to achieve a realistic result for your case.
Let Us Worry About Your Criminal Case
Everytime we meet with new clients, they tell us how worried they were. But as they are leaving the office, they always say how much better they feel knowing they have an experienced criminal defense lawyer protecting them. That is what we do, we protect you, we make sure you know what is coming and help you make the best decisions when you appear in Court.
What Sets Us Apart from the Other Criminal Defense Lawyers?
We care and we mean it. You hear that all the time from every person that is trying to sell you something. We live here and we want you to be happy. We go above above and beyond the average lawyer would do to make sure you get the best outcome for your criminal defense. We want you to be happy and understand what is happening and make the most educated decisions for your case. We return phone calls, we have a 98% return rate during business hours and return all weekend phones call before or on Monday. We answer your questions and we do what we say we’re going to do. We appear in Court on time and prepared for your case. We argue the law and press witnesses that don’t tell the truth.
Criminal Defense Lawyers You Can Trust
We are trial lawyers, which means we are ready for trial if we don’t like what the State is offering. Have a trial lawyer representing you in a criminal defense case is imperative. You don’t want a lawyer that is only looking to plead your case out. You want a lawyer that is willing to go all the way with either a bench trial or jury trial. We are those kind of lawyers and we will fight to the end for your rights and freedom. You want a lawyer you can trust and is protecting your best interest, who won’t let you get steamrolled by the Government.
Criminal Attorney Near Me – Randolph Rice
If you’re facing criminal charges, call our office today at 410.288.2900 or email us to schedule a free consultation. We have two locations, one in Baltimore/Dundalk and the other in Towson/Lutherville. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your criminal case and learn how our criminal defense lawyers can put your mind at ease.
When should you Hire a Baltimore Criminal Defense lawyer?
A successful criminal defense begins as close as possible to the time of arrest. The battle is not only to avoid fines or incarceration or to get charges reduced or dismissed — it’s also to keep your record as free as possible from information that can harm your future: like getting a job, or pursuing a higher education.
Do not harm your criminal case by discussing anything with the authorities without the protection of a criminal defense attorney by your side. It is in your best interests to hire a criminal defense attorney in Maryland to represent you as soon as possible. If you believe that you may be charged with a crime, get a lawyer! Don’t wait for the formal arrest, call my office at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help.
What does a criminal lawyer do?
- Protect your rights at the outset
- Review the evidence and determine what is inadmissible or inaccurate
- Investigate to find witnesses and documents that help your defense
- Negotiate to reduce the charges
- Negotiate to dismiss the charges
- Interview possible witnesses for the prosecution for errors and exaggerations
- Review documents of the prosecution for flaws and omissions
- Determine what experts may be needed for the defense and get them on board
- Negotiate a plea settlement with the prosecutor
- Try the case, if necessary, before a Judge or jury
What is The Arrest Process for Criminal Charges in Baltimore?
When a person is placed under arrest, a criminal case begins. To be “under arrest” means that you are in police custody. An arrest is simply the exercise of police authority over a person.
An arrest DOES NOT depend on the use of handcuffs or other physical restraints. A police officer only needs to advise a criminal suspect that he or she is under arrest. The suspect may voluntarily submit to the officer without the use of physical force for an arrest to be complete.
What are the Possible Outcomes of a Criminal Case in Baltimore?
- Stet – According to Maryland Rule 4-248, on the motion of the State’s Attorney, the Court may indefinitely postpone trial of a charge by marking the charge “stet” on the docket. The Defendant does not need to be present when a charged is stetted but in that event the clerk shall send notice of the stet to the Defendant. A charge may not be stetted over the objection of the Defendant.
- Nolle Prosequi – According to Maryland Rule 4-247, the State’s Attorney may terminate a prosecution on a charge and dismiss the charge by entering a nolle prosequi or as referred to in the courtroom, a nolle pros. The Defendant need not be present, but the clerk shall send notice to the Defendant.
- Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) – According to Maryland Rule 6-220, when a Defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is found guilty of a crime, a Court may stay the entering of judgment, defer proceedings, and place the Defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions. In other words, the guilty finding is struck and a probation before judgment is entered in the Court record. Thus, is you are ever asked, “have you been convicted of a crime?” you can answer no, since the guilty was struck before being entered.
What can Cause an Arrest?
There are many different situations and scenarios that may lead to a person’s arrest. Most often, arrests fall into three main categories.
- The Police Officer Observes a Crime: If a police officer sees someone commit a crime, the officer may arrest that individual. These types of arrests are typically serious traffic offenses and DUIs but can also occur any time law enforcement witnesses a crime taking place.
- Probable Cause: When a police officer weighs the facts and circumstances of a situation and has reasonable belief that a person is about to commit a crime or has already committed a crime, an arrest may occur. The officer’s reasonable belief allows the arrest based on probable cause.
- Arrest Warrants: If a judge or magistrate issues an arrest warrant, this gives law enforcement to make an arrest. Warrants are usually issued after a law enforcement officer submits a sworn statement that outlines the reason for the arrest.
Arrest warrants generally include:
- A description of the alleged crime
- The person suspected of committing the crime
- The known addresses of the suspect’s home, school and/or employer
- Written permission for the law enforcement officer to arrest the suspect
If you believe criminal charges are pending or you’ve been charged, contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 or 800.470.RICE to schedule a free consultation.
Crimes Against a Person
- Assault – First Degree
- Assault – Second Degree
- Sexual Crimes
- Abuse Crimes
- Stalking & Harassment Crimes