Our Attorneys Fight for Victims in Maryland Every Day
Have You Been Charged with a Crime in the Baltimore Area?
Protect your rights. Call an experienced Baltimore criminal defense lawyer who can fight to keep you out of jail and get your charges dropped and dismissed.
If You’re Facing Criminal Charges in Baltimore, MD
Maryland’s criminal justice system convicts thousands of defendants each year. Many of these people spend time in jail and pay high fines because of minor offenses. Our Baltimore criminal defense lawyers fight to protect our clients’ rights and keep them out of jail. If you are facing charges for property crimes, violent crimes, drug crimes, or other offenses in Maryland, don’t become another statistic. Call our law offices today to set up a free legal consultation and learn more about how your case will proceed.
Should I Talk to the Baltimore Police Without a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Police are trained to gather the information that they can use in court. In many cases, police are looking to get as much information as they can, and their questions and interview styles are designed to get that information out of you. If you were accused of a crime or think that you could be under investigation, it is vital not to talk to the police without your lawyer.
If you’ve been arrested and you are in police custody, police have to warn you about your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. These Miranda warnings put you on notice of your rights – and you should always take advantage of those rights. An interrogation can be incredibly stressful, and the goal is to make you say more than you want to. Once you ask for a lawyer, all interrogations must stop, and police may not ask you any more questions until you have an attorney with you.
If you haven’t been arrested yet, you likely won’t be warned about your right to remain silent. When police officers pull you over or stop you under suspicion of a crime, it may be hard to say no. Be polite – but be firm. It is well within your rights to tell the police officer that you want to speak with your lawyer before answering any questions. Anything you tell the police could be used as evidence against you, so it is vital not to give up any information. Even if you are completely innocent, it is your right to refuse to answer questions if you don’t want to answer them.
When Should You Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you think you could be facing criminal charges, call a lawyer immediately. It is always better to have an attorney in your corner as early as possible. Most people wait until they’ve already been arrested before they think about calling a lawyer. In some cases, you may not have any prior notice of the case against you – but if you have the chance to call a lawyer before the police start searching your house or taking you to the station for questioning, your lawyer can start protecting your rights earlier.
If you’ve been arrested and taken to jail, you should use your “one phone call” to get a lawyer. Tell a loved one to call our law offices or call us directly to start getting the help you need. Our lawyers can stand between you and the police, working to protect you from any attempts to give up your rights, confess to the crime, or expose evidence the police would otherwise be unable to find. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free legal consultation
We Can Help Protect Your Rights
Randolph Rice is a former District Attorney who has been working as a criminal defense lawyer for over a decade. His experience and the experience of the other criminal defense lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can mean the difference between facing an aggressive prosecutor on your own and putting up a fight to avoid jail time. Our attorneys work to protect our clients’ rights and fight to get charges dropped and dismissed.
Criminal Hearings and Trials in Baltimore
A criminal case can take months to resolve as it passes through the courts. These cases are often very complex, with multiple hearings and potential court dates to attend. Our attorneys can help you each step of the way.
Your first time before a judge is often the arraignment. This is the first time you will hear the charges against you, and it is when you will enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” in your case. This is also the first stage where your attorney can stand up and represent you in court.
A preliminary hearing is like a miniature trial, but instead of trying to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor or police officer just needs to prove that they have “probable cause” to continue with the charges. This will be the first chance to hear most of the evidence against you, and our attorneys can work to challenge the case and get it dismissed right away if the evidence is too weak.
If you have been arrested and sent to jail, you may be able to get out on bail while you await trial. Keeping our clients out of jail is one of our primary concerns, and we can work to argue for pre-trial release so that you can continue working at your job, tending to your family, and building the case to beat the charges at trial. Bail should only be denied entirely in a small number of cases, and our lawyers fight to convince the judge that this is not one of those cases and that you will return for trial without needing to be locked up.
Many cases are won and lost on the evidence available to the prosecution. If the police illegally seized evidence, searched you or your home without a warrant, or illegally forced a confession out of you, our attorneys can work to block that evidence from being used in court. In some cases, evidence suppression might leave the government without enough evidence to prove their case, making dismissal the only option.
If your case isn’t dropped or dismissed before trial, our lawyers will fight the case in front of a judge and jury. In jury trials, a jury of your peers gets to decide whether they believe the prosecution’s evidence or not, and the prosecution must prove each element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. Our lawyers will work to pick apart the prosecution’s case, making them work for each element, all the while pointing out flaws in their case that the jury can point to as reasonable doubt for an acquittal.
If you are convicted at trial, we will work to argue for reduced charges. In many cases, you may be able to stay out of jail if you can be sentenced to probation instead of jail time. This could allow you to keep your job and stay with your family as long as you follow other restrictions, such as checking in with a probation officer, passing drug tests, and remaining free of further crime.
Getting Criminal Charges Dropped and Dismissed
Is it possible to get Baltimore criminal charges dropped or dismissed? Throughout your case, there are many opportunities to have charges dropped or dismissed. When charges are dropped by a prosecutor, it means that the prosecution has decided that the charges do not apply to your situation or that they can’t prove those charges. When a charge is dismissed by a judge, it means that the prosecution has not provided enough proof that you committed the crime. If the charges are dismissed once a trial has already started, this means that you are “acquitted” and that the police and prosecutors cannot refile the charges against you.
Our attorneys’ ultimate goal is to see your charges dropped or dismissed. In many cases, the best way to have this happen is through an agreement with the prosecution. Sometimes, judges and DAs are willing to allow defendants to have their charges dropped if they provide community service, attend crime-prevention classes, or go to anger management or drug and alcohol abuse classes. You may also be able to get charges dropped or dismissed by pleading guilty to lesser offenses, which may help you avoid jail time. Our attorneys will work to find all possible avenues to have your charges dropped and dismissed without having to take your case all the way to trial – but if trial is necessary, we will not back down.
DUI/DWI Charges in Maryland
Charges for drunk driving in Maryland come in two types: driving while impaired (DWI) charges punish drivers who are under the effects of alcohol, even if they are below the “legal limit,” while driving under the influence (DUI) charges punish drunk drivers and drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration over .08% for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
DUI charges can happen to anyone. If you drive drunk, there is always a chance you could get pulled over. If you are stopped and arrested on suspicion of DWI or DUI, you could end up facing severe penalties, including jail time, heavy fines, and license suspensions. Our attorneys are experienced at handling drunk and drugged driving charges in Maryland, and we may be able to work to fight your case.
Charges for Property Crimes
Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s criminal defense attorneys represent defendants charged with any type of property crime. Theft and destruction of property (“malicious destruction”) are some of the most common property crimes in MD. Charges and penalties for these crimes can vary depending on what was stolen or destroyed and how much it was worth.
In addition to these charges, our lawyers also represent people in cases of more serious property crimes, such as trespassing, burglary, and arson. These offenses can often lead to more serious penalties because they include severe violations of other people’s property rights or serious risk of injury and death.
Charges for Violent Crimes
Our attorneys understand that violent crimes like assault often carry some of the highest penalties and lead to jail time. Violent offenders are frequently put in jail, which can be one of the worst ways to stop people from reoffending. If you are facing charges for a violent crime, our attorneys will work to protect your rights and get penalties reduced, ideally keeping you out of jail.
Other serious crimes of violence may involve kidnapping, murder, and attempted murder. These are some of the most serious criminal charges that Maryland has laws for. Our attorneys do not stand down from a challenge, and we will work to block evidence and fight charges, even for serious crimes like these.
One of the most common areas of crime that puts people behind bars is drug offenses. The drug crime defense lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have defended numerous people from drug charges, from simple possession to drug trafficking and manufacturing. Our lawyers are experienced criminal defense attorneys that understand the intricacies of these cases and how to protect our clients during trial.
Maryland has “decriminalized” some minor marijuana charges, but these charges still carry monetary fines. Our lawyers can work to help beat these charges and protect you from unnecessary fines and penalties as well.
Criminal Charges Involving College Students
The Baltimore area has several colleges. Our attorneys often represent college students facing charges that could threaten their educational career or hurt their future. Charges of drug possession and underage drinking are extremely common on college campuses, as are charges of drunk driving, theft, and other minor crimes.
Our attorneys also represent students accused of sexual assault and rape on college campuses. These accusations are often based on difficult circumstances, but they do not always rise to the level of a crime. Our lawyers work to ensure that you get a fair trial, and we fight to stop unnecessary charges and challenge the evidence against you.
Our Baltimore juvenile defense lawyers work to defend minors charged with crimes as well as adults. The juvenile justice system is structured differently than the adult system, with a focus on rehabilitation and an understanding that minors are not always as culpable for the crimes they commit because they are still children.
Our attorneys work to ensure that your child’s rights are protected and that the courts do not take unnecessary measures to put your child through juvenile probation, crime prevention programs, and juvenile detention for minor offenses or missteps. In most cases, these charges will be sealed and would not affect your child’s future, but continual involvement in the juvenile justice system can set your child up for future crime as an adult.
Expungement and Sealed Records in Baltimore
If you have older criminal charges on your record, you may be eligible for expungement. Expungement can be used to seal your old records so that they will not show up on a criminal background check and cannot be used against you when seeking a job, loans, or other benefits.
Our attorneys can explain how expungement works and how to get your records expunged and sealed in Maryland. In most cases, the criminal conviction needs to be a few years old, depending on the charges you faced. You typically must also have already paid all fines and served all sentences to get the conviction expunged from your record.
If You’ve Been Arrested, Our Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
Hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case can help protect your rights and fight the case against you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience fighting a wide range of criminal defense cases, getting our clients the help they need to stay out of jail and beat the charges against them.
Investing in a criminal defense lawyer is an investment in your freedom and your future. In some cases, you may be able to take advantage of free public defender services, but these attorneys are often swamped with cases and may not be able to pay close attention to your case and your individual needs. Our attorneys are available to work on your case and spend individual time fighting to protect you and your rights. For a free legal consultation and to learn more about what our Baltimore, MD criminal defense lawyers can do for you, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.