Articles Posted in Assault

For many people, “let’s meet up for a drink” is a frequent first-date proposal. Mixing alcohol and dating may be common but also presents risks, particularly when it comes to sexual contact and disputes regarding consent. If you find yourself facing charges for something that was actually a consensual sexual encounter, be sure to retain a knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense lawyer right away. Whether or not alcohol was involved, the right legal team can help you put on the effective and complete defense you deserve.

J.J. was one of those sex crime defendants. In August 2020, law enforcement officers in Anne Arundel County pulled over a woman they suspected was driving while intoxicated. When the officers approached her, the woman was upset and told them about her date with J.J.

According to the woman, she blacked out during the date and, when she regained consciousness, she found J.J. sexually attacking her. The man, however, maintained (and testified) that the entire encounter was completely consensual. The state brought charges of second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense, fourth-degree sexual offense, and second-degree assault.

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Hearsay evidence is generally inadmissible. Hearsay evidence also can be incredibly harmful to an accused person in a criminal case. It can fill in crucial gaps in the state’s case or work to bolster the credibility of a key prosecution witness. Hearsay evidence doesn’t just exclude itself; it requires a well-timed and well-articulated motion by the defense. When it comes to accomplishing this and other crucial goals of your defense, make sure you have a skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyer advocating for you.

The theft and assault case of a Baltimore-area woman is a good example. S.S. was on trial for assault and for stealing $300-$500 of merchandise at a party supplies store.

The case arose after the store’s assistant manager allegedly spotted the accused woman stuffing numerous party favor balls into a “really big purse.” The manager confronted S.S. at the store’s exit, at which point the accused allegedly kicked the manager in the leg. Later, S.S. allegedly punched a cashier in the face.

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In a criminal case, it’s not always getting an acquittal. Sometimes, that outcome simply isn’t “in the cards.” Even when it’s not, you still need the right Maryland criminal defense lawyer on your side to protect your rights and ensure you get justice. Even if a conviction is unavoidable, it’s still important to fight back against overcharging or excessively long prison sentences, which can make a world of difference.

There are lots of things that Maryland law says you have the right to present in the sentencing phase of your case. Getting as much of this before the court as possible can be crucial to leaving with a fair sentence.

In D.M.’s assault and burglary case, the court found him guilty of home invasion, burglary, assault, and reckless endangerment. Immediately after the jury returned its verdict, the trial judge sought to proceed directly to sentencing, but the defense asked for a postponement.

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In 2000, an American rock band achieved international commercial success with a song entitled “All the Small Things.” The song saluted the many small things the songwriter’s partner did that were integral to fostering the relationship’s success. A successful criminal defense, much like a successful friendship or couples relationship, is the result of dedication, commitment, and acute attention to detail. Things that might seem small may ultimately be what lead to a successful end result. That’s why, whenever you or your loved one is facing charges, it pays to have skillful representation from an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer.

To illustrate what we mean, consider this recent first- and second-degree assault case from Frederick County.

During jury selection, the prosecution used a peremptory challenge on a Black man. (A peremptory challenge is one where the side advancing it need not provide a reason for wanting the potential juror excused.)

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For an agreement to be legally binding, certain things must be true. Generally, both sides must have agreed to the agreement’s terms knowingly and voluntarily, free from improper coercion, duress, or fraud. That’s true whether you’re entering into a commercial sales contract, a marital settlement agreement, a plea deal, or an agreement to give the police a statement or confession (and waive your constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona.) In each scenario, the standard for invalidating an agreement is different. If the police or a prosecutor deceived your underage child to get you to waive your Miranda rights then, with the help of a skillful Maryland criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to get your agreement or statement thrown out.

Situations involving juvenile suspects are particularly complex and present unique opportunities to get the statement tossed, as one Edgewood homicide case demonstrates.

Three days after the victim’s death, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15-year-old J.B. The teen’s parents asked five times to meet with their son, but they were turned down each time.

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One of the most potent elements of your criminal defense can be the cross-examination of the witnesses who testify against you. That cross-examination may shed critical light onto the witness, revealing them to be something less than believable and trustworthy. When a witness tries to avoid answering your questions on cross-examination, it pays to have a skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney on your side, as that witness’s failure to answer may entitle you to have the witness’s entire testimony thrown out.

S.C. was on trial for his alleged actions during a dispute with the mother of his baby son. The woman, despite the presence of an order of protection she had against S.C., voluntarily chose to text him and ask him for money. She subsequently agreed to meet him and accompany him to a hotel room. While at the hotel room, the woman smoked marijuana and agreed to spend the night with S.C.

The next morning, the woman and S.C. allegedly became embroiled in an alleged physical altercation that was the basis for the charges the state brought against S.C.

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A successful defense in a criminal case involves many things. One of these is keeping inadmissible evidence out of your trial. That can include excluding inadmissible hearsay testimony that potentially harms your case. To do this, and to make sure that your rights are fully protected throughout the process, it pays to have an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney on your side.

Winning these kinds of hearsay arguments can be nuanced. Consider the felony case of J.S., who was on trial for assaulting his partner, S.B. In June 2019, the pair became involved in a dispute at their home in Cecil County. Police responded to the home and interviewed both the man and the woman.

During the man’s trial, the prosecution put one of the police officers on the witness stand. Under questioning from the prosecutor, the officer stated that the alleged victim told him that, before the officer arrived at the home, she had made plans to go to dinner with her mother, but that the accused had told her she was not free to leave the home and had pointed a gun at her head.

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One of the most basic concepts underlying criminal trials in this country is the notion of fundamental fairness in the process. One element of that fundamental fairness is having your guilt or innocence determined by a jury of your peers. Toward that end, the law says that the prosecution cannot engage in racial discrimination in the jury selection process. When it comes to protecting your rights, before, during, and after your criminal trial, make sure you have a skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyer advocating for you and protecting you from this and other forms of unfairness.

One of the most essential tools in the criminal defense attorney’s “toolbag” when it comes to thwarting racial discrimination in the jury selection process is something called a “Batson challenge.” (That name comes from the 1986 U.S. Supreme Court case of Batson v. Kentucky, in which a Black man was convicted by an all-white jury after the prosecutor struck all of the Black potential jurors during voir dire.)

To give you an example of what the Batson challenge process looks like, we have a recent assault and theft case from Cecil County. B.B., a Black man, was on trial for second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, and conspiracy to commit theft.

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As body cameras are becoming more and more common among law enforcement officers, bodycam video footage will continue to become more and more common in criminal trials. If you are someone facing criminal charges, it is important to recognize that, just because something was recorded by a police officer’s body camera, that doesn’t necessarily make it admissible against you in your trial. There may be a variety of different reasons why an officer’s bodycam video footage would be inadmissible but, to keep that proof out, you have to know how to mount a successful objection. When it comes to achieving success in this and other tactical maneuvers in your case, it pays to have an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer on your side.

An assault case from Baltimore demonstrates how the hearsay rule may be a powerful weapon in your case where the state wants to use police bodycam footage. In that case, R.B., the defendant, was facing charges that he attacked D.K.

The state did not call the alleged victim as a witness, presumably because the prosecution team could not locate him. The prosecution tried to get around the problem posed by the alleged victim’s absence by introducing into evidence the video footage from the bodycam worn by the local police officer who responded to the scene of the alleged crime and interviewed the alleged victim. In that footage, the police sergeant asked the alleged victim what happened, and he presented his version of events which, unsurprisingly, portrayed himself as innocent and the accused as the sole aggressor.

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“Ex post facto” is a phrase that often gets overused… and misused. Many people may recall learning about ex post facto laws in junior high or high school civics and government classes, but may not really understand what the phrase truly means. Unskilled “jailhouse lawyers” often apply it incorrectly in appeals they file. On the other hand, a valid ex post facto argument, when in the hands of a skillful Maryland criminal defense attorney, can be a powerful constitutional claim in your criminal case.

To get an idea what a valid ex post facto situation looks like, there’s the case of E.H. from Prince George’s County. In 2011, E.H. was convicted of first-degree assault and weapons charges. He received a sentence of 25 years.

Under Section 8-507 of Maryland’s Health General Article, the inmate had, at that time, an “essentially unrestricted right” to seek commitment to the Department of Health for substance abuse treatment. In December 2017, E.H. applied for such a commitment. The judge denied the man’s request, but told him to try back in about a year. “I fully intend to grant this petition at some point,” the judge said from the bench.

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