1 Theft: Criminal Statute Theft Charges - What do They Mean for You? Being charged with theft is a daunting and scary experience. Sentencing for theft under (less than $1,000) can be up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both, plus restitution to the victim. Conversely theft over (greater then $1,000) is a felony charge carrying significantly steeper penalty. In addition to making the victim whole, this charge carries jail time up to 25 years and fines up to $25,000, or both. What Constitutes a Theft Charge Anyway? Theft is outlined in the Maryland Criminal Law statute titles through General definitions covered in include unauthorized control over property, either directly or by deception; possessing stolen property; possessing property that was lost, mis- laid or delivered by mistake; not paying for services; inference of intention (more deception); and failure to pay for fuel after dispensing it. Motor vehicle theft, addressed in 7-105, is defined as knowingly and willfully taking a motor vehicle out of the owner s lawful custody, control or use, without the owner s consent. This all makes sense. Have you ever heard of newspaper theft? Title informs that a person may not knowingly or willfully obtain or exert control that is unauthorized over newspapers with the intent to prevent another from reading the newspapers. The penalty for newspaper theft is up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or, you both. So be careful and don t steal your neighbors paper. And then, in 7-107, we have theft by bad check writing. Representing to someone that you have sufficient funds to pay for something by check when in fact you don t (i.e., you knew your check would bounce), can get you a theft charge and then depending on the amount of the check that was written varying penalties will apply. That Sounds Like a Mess, What Can I Do? Talk to a competent defense attorney. A defense attorney s job is to consider the facts of your case in comparison with the law in order to secure you the best possible outcome. In order to do that, they need to have good working knowledge of all the facts of your case, the law, and appropriate experience. 1. Advice. An attorney needs to be able to carefully listen to your side of the facts in order to give you a thorough assessment of your case. When you have been accused of a crime, of course you want to hear good news, but what you really need is honest information from an accomplished professional that you can trust. 2. Results. When you hire an attorney, you are seeking results. Criminal cases are not resolved within the confines of a mathematical formula. Understanding that, you need someone who has tried enough cases to reflect a track record of reliable performance. Do they work well with prosecutors, Judges, support staff and investigators? If it comes down to a trial, how do they do with a jury? Robinson & Associates How They Can Help Robinson & Associates is an experienced criminal law firm, representing defendants for over 20 years! They have the experience you need over 20 years! That is great reassurance when facing serious charges; we can help. Free consultation in a relaxed and pleasant environment to discuss your case. Available 24/7. Evening, weekends, through their website, calls from jail they re available any time you need them. If you are facing theft or other criminal charges, Contact Robinson & Associates today for an immediate and free consultation (410)
2 Assault and Battery: Criminal Statute Being charged with a criminal offense is an extremely scary experience for most people. In the State of Maryland, the crime of assault is commonly known as assault and battery. Maryland does not have separate charges for assault and battery. The types of assault charges in Maryland include the following offenses: Assault in the First Degree A person may be charged with this offense if they are accused of any of the following: Intentionally causing serious physical harm to another individual Attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person Committing an assault against another person with a firearm Serious physical harm is defined as an injury that causes permanent damage, disfigurement, loss of a limb, loss of organ or poses the risk of death to another person. First- degree assault is considered a felony offense and is punishable by up to 25 years in state prison. Assault in the Second Degree While this is a less serious offense than first- degree assault, a person can be charged with this crime if any of the following occurred: They attempted to or touched another person without their consent They attempted to or caused physical injury to another person This is considered a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $2,500. If convicted of this crime, the offense will not be eligible for expungement, meaning that it will remain permanently on the person s criminal record. If the person is charged with second- degree assault on a probation officer or law enforcement officer, the charged will be classified as a felony offense. The penalty includes not more than ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. Reckless Endangerment The crime of reckless endangerment is classified under the assault offenses in the State of Maryland. This offense is committed when a person recklessly causes serious physical injury or the risk of death to another person. Reckless endangerment could include such actions as throwing objects at another person, inciting violence, aggressive or reckless driving, discharging a firearm in public, setting explosive devices or tampering with heavy machinery. This is considered to be a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to five years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. Assault by Attempted Poisoning It is against the law in the State of Maryland to attempt to poison another individual. A person can be charged with this crime if they willfully and knowingly caused another person to ingest bodily fluid by force or threat of force without the person s consent. The criminal code defines bodily fluid as blood, feces, seminal fluid or urine. This is considered to be a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of up to $2,500. Assault by Poisoning Water/Food Contamination It is a crime in the State of Maryland to intentionally contaminate food, water supplies or beverages. According to code, a person is guilty of this offense if they willfully and knowingly contaminate, attempt to contaminate or conspire with others to contaminate a source of water supply, which includes such things as: brooks, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. This crime is considered to be a felony offense and carries a maximum of up to 20 years in state prison Possible Defenses For Assault Charge Quite often in cases involving an assault charge, the defendant may have acted in self- defense or the defense of another person. If you were attacked and fought back without using excessive force, this could be considered self- defense; if you fought back and did employ excessive force this is called imperfect self defense. In some cases, the accusation may be false and if there were no witnesses, this can bode well in the defense of your case. Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney When you are facing serious criminal charges, it is imperative that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at Robinson & Associates have over 20 years experience in defending clients against criminal charges. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at (410) Domestic Assault When you have been arrested on a charge of domestic assault, you are facing serious legal consequences. The court system in the State of Maryland is there to protect victims and may do so at the expense of innocent defendants. Judges can order you out of your house to protect a spouse and implement restraining orders to keep you from seeing your children if they deem in necessary to protect the kids. Once charges have been filed against a defendant, the case is assigned to a prosecutor or Deputy District Attorney. It is their job to represent the people of the State of Maryland. The victim cannot drop the domestic assault charges if they subsequently change their
3 mind about proceeding forward, meaning the State will prosecute the matter irrespective. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that the law is enforced and to protect the victim(s) from further abuse by the defendant. How Domestic Assault Cases Are Prosecuted When the prosecuting attorney examines the case, they will take into consideration the ability and desire of the victim to assist in pursuing prosecution. The case might be jeopardized due to fear of retaliation and/or threats made by the perpetrator. However, the ultimate decision as to whether or not the case will proceed remains at the discretion of the prosecutor s office. A conviction for a first- degree domestic violence offense carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in state prison. If convicted of a second- degree violence offense, you will be facing up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $2,500. When the case involves serious injuries inflicted upon the victim, the prosecutor may decide to charge the defendant with assault and battery in addition to any domestic assault charges. In this scenario, assault charges may result in a felony conviction on the defendant s permanent record. Mounting a Defense Against Criminal Charges In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Married couples often have arguments that escalate into a heated situation. Often times it may be your word against your spouse s. However, you can offer a solid defense by presenting any witnesses that were present at the time the altercation took place. Defense counsel may be able to impeach the credibility of your spouse s testimony if it conflicts with the statements that were given to the officers at the time of your arrest. The court may consider the person justified in their actions if they were in the process of protecting themselves against a perceived threat. The victim may have been harmed when the defendant employed self- defense measures in order to escape bodily injury from a drunken spouse. Once a case goes forward, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide who is telling the truth. It is important to maintain your composure during these proceedings and listen to the advice of your legal counsel. Getting Legal Help From a Criminal Defense Lawyer When you hire a legal professional to defend you, they will examine all the facts of the case in order to mount an appropriate defense to protect your rights. Criminal defense attorneys can explain how the judicial process works and what penalties you may be facing. Just because you have been arrested does not mean that the prosecutor will obtain a conviction. That is why it is important to retain experienced legal counsel immediately when you are facing criminal charges. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at (410)
4 Sex Crimes/ Rape 3-03 et. Seq. Charged with a Sex Crime in Maryland? Here's What You Need to Know Being arrested and charged with a crime is one of the worst experiences in life. If you are being charged with a sex crime, it can be much worse - having to tell your family and friends about what has happened to you can be very difficult. What is the best thing you can do if you find yourself in this situation? Get informed and get an experienced, aggressive Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you. This article will help you get informed about sex crimes. The first thing you need to know is what is a sex crimes in Maryland. Generally, a sex crime in Maryland occurs when a person commits a sexual act, has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person by force, without consent, or upon a child (age 14 or less). Let's discuss each part (element) of a sex crime separately. Under Maryland law, the term "sexual act" not only includes the acts of analingus, cunnilingus, fellatio and anal intercourse, but also includes the use of objects or any body part to penetrate the body, as well as any act that "can reasonably be construed to be for sexual arousal or gratification, or for the abuse of either party." You can see that this definition is very broad. Many people may not even realize that some of the things that they do can be considered a sexual act under Maryland law. The term "sexual contact" means an intentional touching of the victim's or actor's genital, anal, or other intimate area for sexual arousal or gratification, or for the abuse of either party. Under Maryland law there are three different types of acts that can be sex crimes: vaginal intercourse, sexual acts and sexual contact. Generally speaking, unlawful vaginal intercourse is charged as rape, unlawful sexual acts are charged as sexual offenses of the first and second degree and unlawful sexual contact is charged as sexual offenses of the third and fourth degree. Attempts to commit these acts are also chargeable under Maryland criminal law. Of course, committing a sexual act is not enough to get arrested for a sex crime in Maryland; the victim of the act has to be unwilling or unable to consent (agree) to the act. The specific crime that you can be charged with depends upon the degree of force used and the mental state of the victim. The most serious Maryland sex crimes are rape/sexual offense of the first degree, which has a maximum sentence of life without parole. To be convicted of rape in the first degree, a person has to engage in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act by using force or the threat of force while using a dangerous weapon, inflicting serious injury or in the course of committing a burglary. Rape/sexual offense of the second degree involves engaging in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act by using force or the threat of force without a weapon, or when the victim is mentally incapacitated or under the age of 14 years old and the perpetrator is more than 4 years older. The maximum sentence for second degree rape/sexual offense is 20 years. Unlawful sexual contact, which is sexual contact obtained through the use or threat of force, or when the victim is mentally incapacitated or under the age of 16, can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. What does this all mean? The laws in Maryland are very complex and are designed to protect people from unwanted sexual acts. Your life can literally hang in the balance over questions like the age of the victim and whether or not he/she was drunk at the time the sex occurred. If charged with a sexual offense, you need aggressive, experienced Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation
5 Check Fraud et. Seq. Handling a Check Fraud Charge Check fraud, in the state of Maryland, is considered to be a serious offense. There are essentially three different levels of check fraud, and which one applies in any given situation depends on the specific value of the goods or services that were paid for with the fraudulent check. For example, a fraud charge on a value of one cent to $100 is punishable by a fine and up to 90 days in prison. This charge is a misdemeanor. Charges on goods or services valued over $100 but under $500 are punishable by a fine and up to 18 months in prison. This charge is a misdemeanor. On the other hand, charges on any good or service totaling 500 dollars or more is considered to be a felony. The sentence for this is a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 15 years in prison. In all cases, in order for a person to be convicted of fraud, the prosecution must prove that the person charged knowingly issued the check with the intent to cancel it or otherwise invalidate it. Being charged and convicted of felony check fraud can have especially serious implications on the rest of a person's life. Specifically, people with felonies have limited voting rights, are stripped of their right to own firearms, typically have a hard time finding employment, and must live with the conviction on their criminal records for the rest of their lives. Even a misdemeanor charge can have serious consequences aside from the official punishments. A misdemeanor will stay on a person's record for the rest of his or her life. Furthermore, a fraud conviction tends to make a person come off as untrustworthy and can automatically disqualify a person from a job that involves handling money. Defense for Check Fraud The difficult thing about a check fraud charge is that, in many cases, those charged with the crime issued the fraudulent check unintentionally. They may not have realized that the check was bad, or they may have purposely canceled the check because they were unhappy with the goods or services that they purchased. In such cases, the defense would have to prove that the fraud was not intentional or that the defendant had a right to cancel the check. Being able to prove this, however, is not always easy. Fortunately, it is possible to hire a defense lawyer for these purposes. If you have been charged with fraud, then this is the first thing that you will want to do. Before you even think about speaking to police officers or other members of law enforcement who may be questioning you, tell them that you have no comments until you speak with a lawyer. This is your constitutional right, after all, and will prevent you from incriminating yourself which happens in the great majority of cases when speaking to the police without counsel. Upon meeting with a lawyer, you can explain your side of the story. From there, the lawyer will be able to advise you as to what the best plan of action in your case would be. Counsel can provide a myriad of options including getting your charges reduced from a felony to misdemeanor in those cases where a full blown trial may not be in your best interest. The key to success in any case is to retain the right lawyer for the job as early as possible. If you are facing a fraud charge, then you will want to start by scheduling a free, no- obligation consultation with Robinson & Associates by giving them a call at(410) today.
6 Identity Theft Definition Identity theft is the act of stealing the identity of someone else. A name and social security number are used to obtain credit cards, utility services and other benefits in someone else's name. The stolen personal information can be used to run credit card charges, open bank accounts or drain the victim's bank accounts and receive medical treatment. Types of Theft There are a number of different types of thefts including Tax- related theft, medical theft and child theft. Tax- Related The IRS keeps track of citizen's with their social security number. When the IRS finds a discrepancy between declared income and reported income, they will notify the person. This is usually when an investigation will start to find out if an identity has been stolen. Medical Medical theft is when an identity is taken for medical services. The alleged identity thief will obtain a social security number, service provider card and medical health plan in the victim's name. A bill for medical services not received or a call from a debt collector can start alarm bells ringing. Once it's been established that the person's identity has been stolen, an investigation will start. Child This is the most common type of theft. Often, a child's social security number can be taken at a variety of places for many reasons. Parents should be vigilant in finding out why the social security number is needed, and what it will be used for in the future. Collection calls and bills for services in the child's name should be investigated. Sometimes, the perpetrator is one of the child's parents. Laws and Jail Time in Maryland Under Maryland Criminal Code 8-301, if the amount in controversy is less than five hundred dollars, the crime is considered a misdemeanor and the punishment is a fine up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 18 months in jail. If the money stolen is over $500, it is considered a felony and carries a fine of $25,000 or a prison term of not more than 5 years. Along with the jail term and fines, the defendant could be ordered to pay restitution to the courts and victim. This would include attorney fees, administrative court costs and any debts incurred. Criminal Defense Based on the type of crime and severity, an attorney must be vigorous in the defense of their client. Theft can be difficult to prove without appropriate admissible evidence and conviction is never a guarantee. The prosecutor must have solid evidence that theft did in fact occur, and that the defendant was the one who committed the crime. In some cases, it can be a hard crime to prove with substantial evidence, but theft charges must always be defended aggressively. Anyone under investigation for theft should consult an attorney immediately. There's a better chance for successful defense when a lawyer is brought into the early stages of the investigation. If you are being investigated for theft or you've been charged with the crime, contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at We have been aggressively defending theft cases for over 20 years.
7 Violation of Probation Probation is a favorite tool of criminal courts. It provides an alternative to jail time and allows the court system to save time and court costs, because it is usually offered as part of a plea bargain and prevents the need to go to trial. People are often willing to accept plea bargains and probation instead of entering a plea of not guilty. In these cases, evidence generally implicates them in a crime and they desire to avoid the harsh results that a full blown trial may bring. Defendants in these cases may be eager to accept probation instead of a trial and/or jail; but sometimes they may not grasp the full requirements of probation which when not followed, results in a violation. If unable to satisfy the various conditions of their probation sentences, especially if required to make regular payments bad things can result. Violation of probation is a serious charge that can result in swift action from the Judge that placed you on probation. Many judges and prosecuting attorneys are uninterested in hearing your side of the story and simply enter a guilty verdict, ordering you to serve any suspended time immediately. Probation requirements tend to be strict, and violating any one of the conditions of your probation can result in immediate action. Your violations may include: Missing a meeting with your probation officer Not fulfilling work or education requirements Failing to fulfill community service hours Drinking alcohol Using drugs or failing a court- ordered drug test Possessing drugs or firearms These are all common probation requirements, and the courts offer little leniency on these conditions. Unfortunately, the real world often gets in the way of your ability to fulfill these requirements. You may be unable to find a job or be admitted to an education program because of your arrest record. Your landlord may evict you from your home, leaving you with no time to get permission to move from your probation officer. You may be fired or laid off from your job and unable to pay fines and restitution. You may be unaware of someone's criminal record and continue to be friends with them. Friends or family members may have drugs or firearms in your presence. Your drug test may register a false positive from medications you take or foods you eat. Despite your best efforts, you may commit a violation of probation unknowingly. Unfortunately, the courts are rarely understanding of economic hardships or other emergencies in your life. In a case of violation of probation, defendants must seek experienced legal counsel. Defendants who are not adequately prepared to provide evidence in their favor are likely to be unable to convince a judge to continue their probation. Judges often add more probation time, add more burdensome fines or may simply order you to serve time in jail. The legal team at Robinson & Associates understands the severity of your charge. We are ready to defend your rights to keep you out of jail. Our firm has more than 20 years of experience defending people from a variety of criminal charges. It is important to act quickly if you are facing a violation of probation charge in Maryland. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. The criminal defense attorneys at Robinson & Associates will provide you with an immediate case evaluation and consultation for free. They will explore your legal options and make sure that you know your rights. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at
8 Charged with Resisting Arrest? In the state of Maryland, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor charge that can be punishable by up to twelve months in prison. Generally, a person can be charged with resisting arrest any time he or she physically struggles against an officer attempting to do his lawful duties. This can include struggling when being placed in handcuffs, when placed into the back of a police car, or when being put into a holding cell. While resisting arrest is a relatively common charge in Maryland, in a large number of cases, a person resists arrest so as to protect themselves against what they believe to be excessive force or illegal arrest by the police. After all, in situations when an officer is using excessive force, citizens may have a right to protect themselves. Unfortunately, fighting a resisting charge can be difficult. This is especially true because it essentially comes down to the arrested person's word against the police officer's word. In nine cases out of ten, when the defendant does not have adequate legal defense, the judge will rule in favor of the officer, after all, the courts reason, if the police something it, it must be true, right? The police don t lie right? This is also a difficult charge to fight due to the fact that there is often a fine line between what can be considered excessive force by a police officer and what is reasonable force necessary to complete a lawful arrest. Furthermore, there is a fine line between what can be considered resisting and what can be considered an instinctive reaction to an officer's force. Fighting a Resisting Charge If you have recently been arrested and charged with resisting an arrest, then the best thing you can do is to fight the charge and take the matter to court with an experienced and capable lawyer. Having even a misdemeanor resisting charge on your record can complicate the rest of your life, making it difficult to land a job or even be able to rent an apartment. These days, employers take criminal records very seriously, and even a misdemeanor can be grounds for refusing to hire somebody. Not to mention, resisting an arrest is punishable by up to one year in prison in Maryland. Therefore, if you end up being found guilty of the charge and have priors on your record, there is a good chance that the penal system will send you to prison. This can truly impact your life, cause you to lose your job, and even separate you from your family and friends. Hiring a Lawyer While fighting a resisting charge is not easy, the good news is that by having a qualified lawyer on your side, you will have the best chances of being able to win your case. A knowledgeable lawyer will know all of the ins and outs of Maryland's laws regarding resisting an arrest and thus will be able to prepare and present a compelling case in front of a judge when it comes time for your day in court. As a result, you will have the best chances of being able to have your charges lessened or perhaps even dropped altogether. Of course, when hiring a lawyer to help you fight your resisting charge, you do not want to hire just anybody. Instead, you will want to find a lawyer who focuses in criminal law. They should have specific experience and proven success when it comes to fighting such charges. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation. Being charged with any crime is an unpleasant experience however proper representation can turn that all around. Call Robinson & Associates today at (410) to schedule a free legal consultation.
9 Trespassing Charges in Maryland Trespassing on another person's property is a civil offense that is taken seriously in the State of Maryland. Specifically, trespassing is defined by Maryland law as entering another person's property without consent from the owner or legal authority. Even though trespassing is a civil offense, it is still charged as a misdemeanor. As a result, those who are convicted of a trespass charge may have the charges on their records for the rest of their lives; any time a criminal background check is run by an employer, landlord, or anybody else, the charge will surface and serve as a constant reminder of the event. If convicted of a trespassing charge, a person may face significant fines or jail time. A first time offender, for example, can expect up to a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail. The punishment becomes more serious for repeat offenders. They can expect up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, particularly when the second offense occurs less than two years after the first one. One of the common defenses of those who are charged with trespassing is that the person was not aware that they were trespassing at the time of their arrest. Unfortunately, this kind of claim is typically not taken seriously by members of law enforcement, who take a firm stance that "ignorance of the law is no excuse." However, the fact remains that many people charged with trespassing were not aware of their wrongdoing at the time; they may have been attempting to get somewhere else and made a wrong turn, or they may have mistakenly thought that they were allowed on the property for other reasons. Dealing with a Trespass Charge Being charged with trespassing can be difficult. Even though it is a civil charge, it is still a misdemeanor and thus should be taken very seriously. It is important to understand that, if you have been arrested and charged with trespassing, you have every right to fight the charge in court. It is perhaps even more important to realize, however, that you will not have much of a chance of success when it comes to your day in court without counsel. Fortunately, if you have been charged with trespassing, you can find and hire a dedicated lawyer who has specific experience when it comes to fighting these charges. Such a lawyer will be able to get the specific details of your case through a consultation with you and will then be able to develop a strong case for your innocence. Whether this was your first trespassing charge or not, having a quality defense lawyer on your side can truly make all the difference when it comes to the outcome of your case. You may be able to get your charges dropped entirely or have them lessened. In this sense, having a lawyer on your side can keep you out of jail and save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If you desire a free consultation on your case contact Robinson & Associates at (410)
10 False Arrest/Imprisonment in the State of Maryland One of the most traumatic experiences that can occur in a person's life is a false arrest for a crime that was not committed. A false arrest can have a lasting negative impact on all aspects of a person's life - - including his or her personal and professional or work life. A person who has been the victim of a false arrest in Maryland must fully understand his or her rights as well as what must be done to protect those rights following this type of illegal arrest. What is False Arrest/Imprisonment in Maryland? An improper arrest occurs under a number of circumstances in the State of Maryland. This type of illegal arrest occurs when a person is taken into custody without probable cause to support the arrest or when a person detains a person in a room/place without their consent and against their will. What this means is that a law enforcement or judicial officer takes a person into custody when that law enforcement officer knows or reasonable should have known that no legitimate grounds existed for the arrest. In basic terms, what this means is that a law enforcement officer arrests someone he or she knows or should know with some due diligence is not responsible for a crime or there exists no legal basis to take the person into custody. In other words, the law enforcement officer may have failed to undertake a proper investigation before taking a person into custody. Another instance in which an improper arrest might occur is when a Maryland judge signs an arrest warrant despite not being provided with appropriate information to support a finding of probable cause by the judge. Probable cause is the legal standard necessary to support a judge issuing an arrest warrant in the first place. The Need for Speed in Protecting Rights A person who believes that he or she has been subjected to an improper arrest or imprisonment, by law enforcement or by a private citizen must move with all deliberate speed to obtain appropriate legal representation. Depending on the charge lodged against a person in these circumstances, he or she might end up incarcerated. In addition, the criminal justice system can move swiftly. An attorney is important to interject the claim of improper arrest and lack of probable cause to support the charge at the earliest possible moment in these proceedings to fully protect a wrongly accused person's rights and interest. Documenting the Incident A person best protects his or her rights and interests by fully documenting in writing the circumstances surrounding a wrongful arrest as soon after it occurred as is reasonably possibly. A fact finder such a judge or jury may give considerable deference to documentation made contemporaneously with the happening of such an event. The Aftermath of a False Arrest In the aftermath of an illegal or wrongful arrest, a person put in this position may have the ability to take civil action against the individuals and entities that were involved in the incident. Legal representation is needed to pursue a claim and a lawsuit for wrongful arrest in the state of Maryland. Protecting Legal Rights with Proper Legal Representation A Maryland criminal defense attorney can offer a person invaluable assistance in dealing with the criminal side of a wrongful arrest case. The Law Offices of Robinson & Associates, an experienced criminal defense firm can assist in dealing with wrongful arrest cases. A free, no obligation in initial consultation can be scheduled today by calling
11 Defending an Arson Charge in Maryland Arson is a very serious charge in the state of Maryland. Those convicted of arson most likely end up in jail, even if it is a first offense. After all, this is a major felony that results in the malicious destruction of another person's property. In Maryland, there are four different types of Arson that a person may end up with, depending on the specifics of the situation. The most serious charge is first degree Arson (6-102); this is the felony resulting from a person setting fire to a property or dwelling where at least one other person is present. The consequences of a conviction include up to thirty years of prison and up to a $50,000 fine. Second degree Arson 6-103, while still a felony offense, is charged when a person sets fire to a dwelling or property with nobody else inside. A conviction on this charge can result in up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. Lesser charges may be classified as what is known as "malicious burning." These also come in first and second degree charges, with the latter being classified a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. Whether a malicious burning charge is considered first or second degree depends on the value of the property destroyed in the fire. Defending Arson Charges Being charged with arson can be a very scary experience. In the days leading up to one's court date, it can also be a very stressful one. After all, if convicted of such a crime, it is likely that one will end up spending years in prison. Being in prison can be bad enough, as one will lose employment and lose touch with family and friends while behind bars. At the same time, however, finding a job or living a normal life can be difficult after getting out of prison. After all, not many employers are willing to hire felons. If you have been charged, then you may be wondering what you can do to fight the charge and to have the best chances of success in court. You may be feeling hopeless and as though nothing you do or say is going to get the judge to see things your way. Regardless of whether you actually committed the crime or not, the fact remains that you will need a team of dedicated and knowledgeable legal experts on your side if you want to have any chance of having your charges lessoned or emerging from the charges without a conviction. The best thing that you can do is to retain experienced as quickly as possible. Counsel will be able to gather evidence from your case, investigate and present a compelling case in front of a judge or jury to afford you the best chances of a not guilty or reduced charges, allowing you to get on with your life. In some cases, you may even be able to have your charges dropped altogether. It all depends on the specifics of your case and the level of dedication that your lawyer has. When it comes to retaining a qualified lawyer for your case, you do not need to look any further than Robinson & Associates. They know what it takes to handle such a case, and they are pleased to sit down and offer a free consultation on your case. Call (410) today to find out more or to schedule your consultation.
12 Murder If you are currently facing murder charges, it is imperative that you contact a trusted and experienced homicide attorney. Homicide is one of the most serious of crimes in the eyes of the law as it can result in life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole, depending on the facts of any given case. As you may be aware, the laws in Maryland regarding capital punishment are being repealed. As of October 1, 2013, a jury cannot sentence someone convicted of homicide to death, but the penalties can result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Currently, in the state of Maryland, a person accused of homicide can be charged with any of the following: 1. Felony Murder The actual charge will depend on the circumstances. In some cases, a suspect can be charged with first degree homicide even if he or she did not intend to kill the victim. This is the case if the unintended killing happens as the result of committing another felony. In some cases, similar circumstances will call for a felony murder charge which carries a lesser penalty. 2. Manslaughter Manslaughter is also not premeditated. This charge often results from acts of extreme negligence including driving under the influence (DUI). Crimes of passion often fall under this charge but not uniformly. Manslaughter also involves intentional action but when the act of killing someone was not the intended result of the reckless action. 3. Vehicular Homicide Vehicular Homicide occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle in a reckless manner which results in someone else's death. Some DUI cases can also result in a vehicular homicide charge. 4. 2nd Degree Homicide 2nd degree homicide is commonly the charge when someone willfully behaves in a dangerous manner that results in taking someone's life. Second degree homicide is generally not premeditated; it happens intentionally through one s actions but without premeditation, meaning the defendant did not plan for the result ahead of time rather only intended for the murder on the spur of the moment. If you fire a gun in the air and the bullet hits and kills a passerby, for example, the act may often result in a 2nd degree homicide charge. 5. 1st Degree Homicide 1st Degree homicide is premeditated and deliberate. It is the intentional killing of another person with malice aforethought, planning and execution. The substantial difference from 2 nd degree murder being the planning ahead of time to commit the homicide. Murder Defense There are a number of ways to defend various homicide or manslaughter charges and the circumstances will determine how a lawyer or defense team will proceed. Some of the options may include: Justifiable Homicide Was the homicide committed out of self- defense? Was the suspect's life in danger at the hand of the victim if he or she did not use lethal force to repel an attack? Excusable Homicide This occurs when a suspect is found legally insane. If the accused can be shown to suffer from incurable mental illness that keeps them from understanding the difference between right and wrong, a defense attorney will attempt to argue an excusable homicide defense. Another instance where a defense attorney would be likely to argue this angle would be in instances of long- term abuse. Was the suspect a victim of repeated domestic violence, rape, or other crimes? If so, there is a possibility that this approach could work in his or her favor. Scientific Evidence In this case, an attorney will use DNA, forensics, reconstruction, ballistics and other scientific avenues to exonerate his or her client of the crime. No matter what the charge or the defense strategy, when you hire Robinson & Associates to represent you, you can be assured that we will fight aggressively to prove innocence. We will examine every detail of your case and build a solid defense. If you are seeking legal representation for a murder charge, contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at
13 Busted for Intent to Distribute Drugs in Maryland? Here's What You Need to Know et, seq. Although a lot of places in the United States have legalized some drugs (like marijuana), Maryland is not one of them at the present time; we are just now legalizing for medical purposes. However, check back in a few short years after the tax revenue administration sees how much revenue other states are making from the sale of this drug and I am sure you will find a different position from the Maryland State legislature. You can be arrested and charged with intent to distribute drugs for anything that is illegal in Maryland - including marijuana and prescription drugs. Depending upon the type of drug you are caught with, you can face a very long prison sentence if convicted. If you are not caught with hard street drugs (drugs that are considered Schedule I and II drugs by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration), the maximum sentence is usually up to five years; if they are hard drugs, you could face up to 20 years. The penalties for drug distribution are enhanced (increased) under special provisions of Maryland law about persons that have large quantities of drugs are arrested for intent to distribute drugs. There are special "volume dealer" and "drug kingpin" provisions in Maryland criminal law that states that anyone that is caught with large quantities of drugs (see amounts below) can be sentenced to jail for not less than five years and fined not more than $100,000 (volume dealer) or sentenced to jail for years and fined up to $1,000,000 (for drug kingpin). A drug kingpin is a person who organizes, supervises, finances, or manages as part of a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, transport in, or bring into the State: - 50 pounds or more of marijuana; grams or more of cocaine or any mixture containing a detectable amount of cocaine; - 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as "crack"; - 28 grams or more of morphine or opium or any derivative, salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer of morphine or opium or any mixture containing 28 grams or more of morphine or opium or any derivative, salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer of morphine or opium; - 1,000 dosage units or more of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or any mixture containing the equivalent of 1,000 dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide; - 16 ounces or more of liquid phencyclidine or 448 grams or more of any mixture containing phencyclidine; grams or more of methamphetamine; or any mixture containing 448 grams or more of methamphetamine. As you can see from the above list, the law is very specific about the amount and type of drugs that can put you at risk for being called a drug dealer and consequently subject you to a much longer prison sentence. You should also know that you can be charged with intent to distribute drugs for selling or giving away prescription drugs. Many people do not understand that it is a crime to give their prescription drugs to someone else, but in Maryland it is considered a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. If you are arrested and charged with intent to distribute drugs, you need the help of an aggressive and experienced Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney. There is much to consider in these types of cases such as did the person possess the drugs, are they in fact drugs, did the police properly obtain and execute a warrant to secure the alleged drugs, can the government prove they were drugs, were they the defendant s drugs, did the police properly hand the chain of custody after the arrest? Contact Robinson & Associates as soon as practicable following an arrest for an immediate and free consultation
14 Motor Vehicle Theft The definition of theft in general in any state is the intentional taking and carrying away the property of another person with the intent to never return it and therefore deprive the owner. A defense to the charge of theft is that the person who took the property reasonably believed it belonged to him or her. When the property that is intentionally taken is a motor vehicle, there are more specific definitions of the crime of theft. According to the criminal code in the state of Maryland, a person may not knowingly and willfully take a motor vehicle out of the owner's lawful custody, control, or use without the owner's consent. The code defines an owner as someone who has lawful possession of the car. If the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that someone has done this, that person is guilty of the felony of motor vehicle theft. The term motor vehicle is self- explanatory and applies to all vehicles that have a motor including: Automobiles Trucks. Boats. Buses. Motorcycles. Snow mobiles. Golf carts. Mopeds. The penalty for a first time offender may be up to five years in prison or a fine up to $5,000 or both imprisonment and a fine. In addition, the convicted felon will have to either restore the vehicle in the exact same condition it was in when it was taken, or pay the owner the amount equal to what the full value of the vehicle was at the time it was stolen. Motor vehicle theft may also be charged under the general theft section of the Maryland criminal code for stealing property valued at more than $1,000. The penalties under this section are harsher than under the specific motor vehicle theft statute and can result in a sentence of more than 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 depending on the value of the stolen vehicle. In addition, the vehicle must be returned in the condition it was in when it was taken, or it must be paid for. If you have been arrested or charged with this offense, you must know that there are serious consequences to any felony conviction even if you avoid spending time in custody. A felony on your record may affect your ability to get a job or any type of bank loan. It can even be an obstacle to obtaining housing. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and determine what defenses may be available to you under the law that may help you avoide a conviction. For example: You truly believed you had a right to use the vehicle. The vehicle belonged to your spouse with whom you were living at the time you drove the vehicle. You sincerely believed you had an ownership interest in the vehicle and the right to take and control it. If you have been arrested or charged with motor vehicle theft, you need the assistance of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense law firm. Contact Robinson & Associations for an immediate and free consultation. We have more than 20 years of experience handling criminal matters and are available to you 24 hours a day seven days a week. Call us at (410) We will meet with you, review the facts of your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.
15 Fighting Traffic Citations in Maryland In Maryland, points are assessed on one's driver's license for most moving traffic violations. The number of points assessed for each violation can vary greatly depending on the severity of the offense. For example, failing to stop at a stop sign can yield two points on a driver's license. On the other hand, a more serious violation, such as driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, can result in five points being placed on one's license. Upon receiving eight or more points on a license, it is possible to have it revoked for a period of time determined by a the MVA or at an MVA hearing. Furthermore, accruing twelve or more points on one's license is cause for revocation in the state of Maryland. Not only can having points on one's license ultimately lead to revocation or suspension, but this can also cause one's car insurance rates to rise. Each time a person is convicted of a traffic offense in Maryland, it is reported to the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles. From there, the offense is placed on the person's driving record and his or her car insurance company is notified. Some insurance companies will forgive first- time offenses for minor violations, but repeat citations or serious offenses can result in a significant rate hike that can cost the driver hundreds of dollars in increased premiums per year. Not to mention, being convicted of a traffic violation also typically means having to pay a substantial fine or penalty for the ticket. These can range anywhere from $100 to over $500 or more, depending on the offense and the specific situation. Fighting a Traffic Citation What many people do not realize upon being pulled over and issued a ticket, however, is that they can be fought in court and all drivers have a chance of winning such a case if taken to court. While police officers are well- trained as to state traffic laws, the truth remains that they can be overzealous and/or make mistakes. If you have been issued a traffic citation and you believe that it was a mistake on the officer's part, then you may very well wish to take the matter to court. After all, why voluntarily succumb to the added points on your license in addition to the fines and penalties if you do not have to? If you plan on fighting your traffic citations in court, then you will want to begin by hiring a lawyer who focuses on Maryland traffic law. This is important because counsel must be very familiar with the ins/outs of the Maryland traffic code. As a result, you will have an increased chance of success when it comes time for your day in court. The last thing that you want to do is to attempt to represent yourself in court. After all, if the police officer ends up showing up in court that day, all that is left is your word against the officer's. In 99.9% of these cases, the judge will side with the sworn officer of the law rather than the citizen. Fortunately, by having a lawyer on your side, you have a much better chance of being able to have the judge see that the officer may have made a mistake or failed to do something that was required. There are many different ways in which your case could work out if you take the time to hire a lawyer who focuses in traffic citations. In an ideal scenario, you will be able to have your charges dropped altogether. However, this is not always the case. Instead, you may have your charges reduced instead. It all depends on the specifics of your situation, such as your previous driving record and the circumstances around this citation. Fighting a traffic citation is not easy; this is why having a dedicated and experienced lawyer is so important. Contact Robinson & Associates for a free consultation by calling (410)
16 Possession of a handgun/ Wearing & Carrying and Use of a gun in the commission of a felony et. Seq Unlike many states in the union, Maryland is an anti handgun state; that is, it is nearly impossible to secure a concealed handgun permit from the governing body which is the Maryland State Police. Maryland definitely does not want its citizens carrying guns around on the street. Interestingly enough however, the folks that should not be carrying guns around have absolutely no problem securing a fire arm and carrying it around as necessary. Maryland has however implemented some touch firearm laws to combat what it perceives to be a gun epidemic in the country. Here is how the gun laws work in Maryland. If caught wearing or transporting a gun in violation of the law and subsequently convicted of that charge, the punishment is a misdemeanor which calls for a minimum of 30 days in jail for a first offense and not more then 3 years. Thus for a first offense it is important to try to secure a result other then a conviction, for example probation before judgment because the punishment upon conviction does not allow the judge any discretion not to place the defendant in jail for a period of time. There are a number of circumstances where a person may not be guilty of transporting a weapon illegally. For example, a person may move a weapon from their house to the gun shop, or perhaps to their work, or to a gun show. Under these circumstances the gun must be unloaded and moved an enclosed container. The law also would not apply if a person was successful in obtaining a permit to carry a weapon to and from specific locations like the office to the bank for example. However, if the person was carrying the weapon outside the specific confines/limitations imposed on the permit, it would be same as not having a permit at all. For a second violation of carrying/wearing a firearm in public, the result is a harsh 3 year minimum in jail; maximum 10 years. These penalties are for the transportation of the weapon only. If the Defendant is taking part in any type of crime of violence (as defined in of the Correctional Services Article) or felony and possesses a firearm at that time (whether the firearm is operable or not), there is 5 year mandatory sentence to be imposed solely for the possession of the weapon and that is on top of any time given for the commission of the underlying crime. Moreover, the person may not be eligible for parole in less than 5 years for handgun offense. For each subsequent crime, the sentence shall be consecutive to and not concurrent with any other sentence imposed. Needless to say, Maryland is very strict with handgun laws and violations generally and when combined with other offenses it gets very serious. If you or a family member has been charged with such an offense it is important to contact Robinson & Associates at as soon as possible for a free consultation regarding the facts of your case.
17 DUI Arrest in Maryland In Maryland there are very strict laws in place against drunk driving and driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Specifically, the blood alcohol limit for a driver over the age of 21 is.08% BAC (Blood alcohol content). For those under the legal drinking age, the legal blood alcohol limit drops to just.02% BAC which is the equivalent of one drink. One reason for this is that some products and/or over the counter medicines such as cough syrup and lozenges, can actually cause a blood alcohol reading to register up to.02%. Commercial drivers, on the other hand, have a legal blood alcohol limit of.04% when behind the wheel. An officer who believes a person is driving under the influence or drunk driving will pull the driver over based on that suspicion assuming he has a reasonable belief to feel as if the driver is breaking the law. Following the stop, the officer will generally ask the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests to determine whether the driver is intoxicated. These roadside gymnastics include taking a look at the driver's eye movements (HGN- horizontal gaze nystagmus test) in addition to other ridiculous coordination exams. If a PBT is available to the officer at that time, it may be administered to the driver for a preliminary reading of his or her blood alcohol level by measuring the driver s exhaled breath; this test is not admissible in Court against the driver. If the PBT comes back above the legal limit, the cop uses that number as part of his probably cause and the driver is generally arrested and charged with a Maryland DUI/DWI or drunk driving among other charges. It is the driver's right, however, to refuse a PBT and there is no penalty for refusing this particular test. However, this test is different then the breath test performed at the station where there are MVA and other legal consequences for refusing to take the test after being properly advised of your rights under DR15. The DR15 rights are required to be read in their entirety to the driver before being asked to blow in the machine. The law states that the driver must be informed of their rights to blow or not blow before being asked to do so. In light of the fact that all Maryland drivers are deemed to have given their consent to blow at the time they obtain a drivers license, the reason for the reading of the rights is so the driver will know exactly what the administrative penalties will be upon the refusal to blow. At present the penalty is 120 days suspension of one s license or the interlock on the car for one full year at the driver s expense. Conversely, if the driver does blow and the number is.08% or more, on faces a suspension of the license for between 45 days and 90 days depending on the number that is blown. The good news is the suspension for blowing an illegal number into the machine can be modified for work purposes where as the suspension for refusing to blow cannot be modified for work except for obtaining the interlock. There is one benefit to the interlock, notwithstanding the financial side of the equation, you are free to drive without limitation day or night, versus the work modified license which is only good for work purposes. Fighting a Maryland DUI/DWI or Drunk Driving Charge Driving under the influence charges in Maryland can bring huge consequences that can impact the rest of your life. A first DUI is a misdemeanor charge and carries the potential for jail up to one year. A conviction on this charge stays on ones record for life and results in 12 points on the license. With a second conviction for DUI in a 5 year period of time, there is a minimum of five days in jail. Subsequent DUI charges (more then two) in a 5 year period of time will result in a mandatory ten days in jail. See Fines & Penalties Transportation Article, Imprisonment Defined. For each DUI conviction there will be 12 points assessed thus loss of license is always a potential consequence. A DUI conviction will show up on a person's record any time a criminal background check it run, contrary to popular belief. Any kind of criminal charge can make it difficult to get a job or to get approved for other things that require a person to pass a criminal background check. Furthermore, a recent DUI resulting in probation can prevent a person from being able to own/possess a firearm in the State of Maryland. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI the consequences are significant and long lasting; consequently it is important to contact a qualified and experienced attorney right away to begin working on your case. A qualified and experienced lawyer may be able to help you get your charges reduced or dropped especially if this is a first- time offense for you. First offense or not, many DUI cases can be won for a variety of reasons which may not be immediately apparent. It is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately. If you are looking for a lawyer to fight your Maryland DUI charge, then contact the DUI defense team at Robinson & Associates. You can schedule a free, no- obligation consultation with their team of dedicated and experienced lawyers by calling (410) right now. We are always available. Resisting Arrest Charges of resisting arrest are complicated, because they are rarely the only charge filed against you. They usually occur when you are under arrest for another charge and show any signs of trying to stop an officer from placing you in handcuffs, in the back of a police car or in a holding cell.
18 People who are charged with resisting arrest in Maryland most often face charges of robbery, assault, drug- related offenses, sex crimes, driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Juveniles committing other offenses at the time of the arrest are also often charged with resisting. People who do not expect to be arrested are frequently charged with resisting. They are often surprised by an officer appearing at their home, work or other place to declare that they are under arrest. This sometimes happens when a person has outstanding warrants following unpaid parking tickets, a failure to appear in court or another charge. People who do not believe they committed a crime may be charged with resisting because they do not wish to be arrested for something they did not do. Resisting arrest is one of the most common criminal charges in the state of Maryland. There are many cases where it is an unfair charge, including when the arresting officer used excessive force and the defendant tried to defend himself. Even raising your hand to prevent an officer from striking you can result in a charge of resisting. People who are being arrested must obey an officer's instructions, but people are allowed to reasonably defend themselves when an officer is using force when he has no cause to do so. Unfortunately, in many cases court officials believe arresting officers rather than defendants. When your case goes to court, an adequate defense is crucial to your success. Many defendants do not wish to hire an attorney because they believe there is no way they can win the case against them. They simply listen to the advice of their public defender and plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge. However, this is not always the best course of action. If you are charged with resisting arrest, you can still win your case and receive a not guilty verdict. The prosecuting attorney must be able to prove: that your arrest was legal that the arresting officer identified himself as a police officer that he did not violate any of your rights that you were resisting that your resistance was not in response to excessive force. It is not always possible to prove these things, but before that becomes clear in trial, many defendants accept plea bargains because they do not have adequate counsel. Accepting a plea bargain in exchange for lesser charges will go on your criminal record as a guilty plea, making many aspects of your life much more difficult. When facing a charge that you resisted arrest, an experienced legal team can get your charges dismissed. Judges and prosecutors take this charge very seriously and will develop an aggressive case against you. To be prepared, you must have a defense that is willing to fight for your rights every step of the way. The attorneys at Robinson & Associates are prepared to defend your case in court. We have over 20 years of practice defending our clients from a host of criminal charges. Our goal in most cases is to have the charge that you resisted arrest dismissed entirely. We will work to prove that the charges against you are unfair and unfounded or that officers acted unfairly or illegally to detain and arrest you. Do not let baseless charges ruin your record. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at We provide quick case evaluations to inform you of your rights and are ready to get to work on your case immediately.
19 Escape: Criminal Law (Escape in the first degree- Escape from confinement) A person who has been lawfully arrested can be charged with escape in Maryland for unauthorized leaving of legal custody or from confinement; unless he or she has permission to do so from a law enforcement or judicial officer. It is considered a felony in Maryland to escape from confinement and carries an additional term up to 10 years. Legal custody can have several different forms. A person does not have to be in jail or prison or with a law enforcement officer to be considered in legal custody. Escape in the 2 nd Degree (Criminal Law Article) Unauthorized leaving of legal custody means more than breaking out of a jail or prison. A person can be charged for leaving a specified area if they are on a pretrial commitment, have a temporary release order, or are under custodial confinement or home detention. A person in a work release program or a halfway house who does not return from work or errands on time may be charged. They may also be charged if they go off course while on their way to or from work. This is considered escape in the 2 nd degree and is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum of 3 years in addition to the underlying charge. This charge can be easy to run into because it applies if one is late for a turn- in detention, misses an appointment on home detention, or fails to meet with pretrial as directed. Of course, anyone on house arrest or home detention who decides to visit the next- door neighbor can find themselves arrested and charged unless a probation officer or other legal authority authorizes the visit. Tampering with an ankle or wrist bracelet, or any GPS device used to track movement, can result in charges. This would be in addition to charges for destruction of property or theft that would result from damaging or removing such a device. Any charge of escape results in additional court appearances, at minimum. Even if a person violates a pretrial commitment and is acquitted of the original charge, he or she would still have to serve any sentence if convicted of that charge. If a person is arrested in Maryland and held awaiting extradition to another state, escapes from custody in Maryland, and is later apprehended in another state, that person would still be responsible for the charges in Maryland whenever the charge in the other state is resolved. Time is not added to a sentence for another crime because of escaping. The charge is a separate charge and a separate conviction. Escaping will undoubtedly result in a violation of probation or parole. If a person is under a custodial confinement arrangement, violation of probation could result in an escape charge under some circumstances. It is important for anyone in legal custody to understand the conditions imposed by a custody order or arrangement. The order will explain where the person in custody may or may not go, as well as when a person may or must be at certain places. A person who violates the terms of a pretrial commitment may be jailed until trial. Juveniles can be charged if they leave a group home or any facility authorized to hold juveniles by the Department of Juvenile Services. Most charges are brought about because of carelessness or lack of planning on the part of the defendant who is expected to be at a particular place at a particular time. If charged with escape call Robinson & Associates at for a free consultation on your case.
20 Prostitution Charges in Maryland (Criminal Law , et. Seq.) In the state of Maryland, prostitution is defined as any act involving sexual favors that results in one person receiving compensation for the act. A similar charge is that of solicitation, which involves a person offering another person money in exchange for sexual favors. The only real difference between these two charges is that the former is only charged if the sexual act was committed before the arrest occurred. In either case, the charges are very serious, as both are considered misdemeanors in Maryland. Specifically, a person convicted of prostitution, even a first offense, can face up to 10 years in prison in addition to fines and penalties. Not to mention, once jail time is served, the charge stays on a person's record for the rest of their lives. There is no way to have a conviction removed from a person's record. Having such a charge show up on one's criminal record can not only prevent a person from being able to land a job, but such a charge can be embarrassing. Maryland law enforcement has been running more prostitution stings than ever before, which has resulted in a much larger number of charges than in years past. In such situations, officers go undercover and will proposition people who they believe to be prostitutes for sex, or visa versa. The problem with such stings is that they are not always done lawfully, which can result in innocent people being charged with crimes that they did not necessarily commit or even have any intention of committing. Charged with prostitution? If you have been arrested and/or charged with prostitution, it is important to realize that you have rights. If you were arrested as a part of a police sting, then you may understandably be feeling as though you were unfairly targeted or possibly entrapped into the situation. Either way, no matter what the specifics of the case are, the fact remains that you need to do everything you can to build a good defense and protect yourself against these charges. If a proper defense to the case is developed early there are ways to fight such charges to the point that you may be able to get them dropped or reduced to a solicitation or pandering charge, which are both classified as misdemeanors. At the same time, fighting such a charge is not something that you should attempt to do alone. Instead, it is necessary to retain the guidance and representation of a strong, dedicated legal team. They will be able to review the specifics of your case as well as your past record as a way of putting together a compelling case to present in court. A team of lawyers will fight for your rights and give you the best chances of a favorable outcome for your case. No matter the evidence you may have against you, a lawyer who focuses in such charges will be knowledgeable of the laws regarding prostitutes in Maryland and will be able to use them to prove your innocence or mitigate your case. Such a lawyer may be able to find loopholes that apply to you or may even be able to determine that the police sting was conducted unlawfully. If you believe that you might benefit from a free consultation regarding your case, call the defense team at Robinson & Associates at (410) today to schedule your free legal consultation.