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Criminal Defense

The standard of proof in criminal law is the highest there is for a reason. Though the death penalty is no longer a possibility in the state of Maryland, it still exists in the federal courts. The concerns on the State level are typically fines, incarceration and restrictions and requirements imposed for the duration of probationary periods. However, the consequences of a criminal case can reach far beyond the sentence the judge imposes and affect areas such as job security, gun rights and immigration status.

When interacting with the criminal justice system, it is just as important to understand the rights you are giving up when pleading guilty as it is to understand the defenses available to you based on the circumstances of your case. Perhaps entering a plea of not guilty, and proceeding with a trial on the merits, is the best way forward. Each step of the way, there are important decisions to be made. Having a strategy at the outset can set you up for the best possible outcome.

Serious Traffic

This area of law encompasses all “Must Appear” traffic infractions – as its title suggests, you must appear in court to address it.

There is only one citation in this category that does not carry the possibility of incarceration. It is referred to as driving while suspended subsection (h). This violation currently carries a maximum penalty of $500 and/or the possibility of 3 points on your record. Serious traffic stretches from here all the way to a DUI which can carry up to one year of incarceration as well as 12 points and $1,000 fine.

In relation to the effect your traffic case may have on your license to drive, it is important to be aware that you may have the option to request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings. This could mitigate the effects that the result of your case has on your driving privileges. Typically, you will have a limited period during which to request the hearing.

In these cases, asking the right questions and reviewing the evidence are important steps to securing the best result.

Minor Traffic

The good news is, there is no chance of incarceration with minor traffic. The biggest concerns here are typically points affecting your driver’s license and high fines.

When people receive traffic citations, they often just pay them and move on. But when you pay a traffic ticket, you effectively plead guilty to the infraction. By doing so, you incur any points associated with the citation. Too many points in too short of a period may negatively affect your license up to suspension or revocation. Depending on the violation, you could be looking at 6 points for a single violation or a fine of $1,000 and if you are a CDL holder, a minor traffic charge can have a major detrimental effect on your privilege to retain the CDL.

You have a right to force the State to prove their case before incurring any penalty. Even when the State can prove its case, it is quite possible you are a good candidate for a PBJ, which allows the judge to find you guilty but saves you the points on your record.

For these reasons, it can be valuable to speak with an attorney before paying the ticket without thought. Another benefit of minor traffic cases is that an attorney may appear on behalf of its client. This way, you don’t lose time having to come to court for your appearance.

Automobile Accidents

When you’re involved in a car accident that isn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Although it can be a headache in the short term to take the time to go to the hospital and get yourself checked out after a collision, the effects of even a minor physical issue can be exacerbated if they go unaddressed. It is important to take care of yourself today to protect your future.

Whether it is best to settle your case, go to trial on it – or even whether you have a case at all – are crucial questions that can be addressed by a competent and practiced attorney.

Workers Compensation

Unfortunately, all kinds of accidents happen at work from the minor to the most severe. If you’ve been injured at your place of employment, you may want to consider a workers’ compensation claim.

The requirements for workers’ compensation vary depending on a variety of factors including the state you’re in. But generally, workers’ compensation plans cover disability care costs, lost wages, medical expenses as well as death benefits. It can be worthwhile to speak with an attorney to determine whether you are eligible. This may be a crucial step to getting back on your feet after an unexpected injury.

Medical Malpractice

These cases can be doubly confusing as they involve not just legal jargon but medical terminology as well. But this is what it all boils down to: medical professionals are required to provide a minimum level of care. When they perform below this level, the law holds them accountable for any damage the provider has caused the patient. As in many areas of law, timing is crucial as there are deadlines, called statutes of limitations, involved in these kinds of cases.

Excessive Force

Just like it sounds, the law protects against any unreasonable use of force – that is, force that is greater than what a reasonable law enforcement officer believes is necessary. When excessive force is used, it is a constitutional violation. By nature, these cases tend to involve serious injury. Consulting with an attorney to determine whether a claim is appropriate can be an important first step to moving beyond the negative interaction.