Thousands are charged with domestic violence in Maryland every year. A domestic violence conviction carries severe legal penalties, and can ruin your career and reputation.
Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are two separate and very serious charges in Maryland. Depending on the individuals involved and the severity of injury, the accused may face jail or prison time, not to mention a permanent violent crime conviction on their record. Contact us to discuss your options to secure the best result possible.
Shoplifting / Retail Theft
Depending on the value of the items stolen, shoplifting in Maryland can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony—resulting in high penalties and even prison time. A shoplifting charge on your criminal record can also make it extremely difficult to get a job in the future.
Drug crime is a blanket term, including (but not limited to) trafficking, possession, and the sale and manufacturing of controlled substances. These charges carry harsh penalties in the state of Maryland, and have life-altering effects for the accused.
Driving with a BAC above .08 is illegal in the state of Maryland. Without a good DUI attorney, driving under the influence can lead to steep fines, a suspended license, or even jail time. When charged with a DUI, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Burglary is defined as entering someone else’s property with the intent of committing a crime. The term conjures up images of men in ski masks creeping into residential homes, but many other types of properties are included, such as watercraft, businesses, and warehouses.
Because it’s a relatively common charge, people in Baltimore often mistakenly think a DUI conviction is “no big deal.” But a DUI, in addition to being expensive, will have a long-lasting effect on your career and livelihood.
But a charge is not a conviction. Many believe a DUI is an open and shut case for the prosecution—another common misconception. In many cases, police make mistakes during an arrest, or the technology used to determine BAC proves unreliable. Our law office will examine every individual DUI case from top to bottom to tailor your criminal defense strategy.
Retail Theft and shoplifting occur when an individual knowingly removes an item from a store without paying for it. It is generally charged as a misdemeanor for first offenders, with a fine as high as $2,500 and up to 364 days in jail. If the items stolen are valued at more than $150, the accused can be charged with a class 3 felony, with a maximum fine of $25,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
Perhaps the worst penalty for shoplifting, though, is the black mark that it will leave on your permanent record. Shoplifting charges can make it very difficult to find work, as employers often automatically exclude applicants with theft related charges.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery, though often lumped together, are two separate crimes in the state of Maryland. Assault is defined as the act of unreasonably frightening another individual and making them think harm will come to them. Battery is when a person makes unwanted physical contact with another individual. The contact must be considered intentional (meant to be offensive or harmful) or reckless.
Our state does not take assault and battery charges lightly. In 2013, the city of Baltimore issued almost 5,000 different assault convictions. Many factors determine the severity of the charge, like the level of injury to the victim and who the victim was. Assault and battery against certain law enforcement officials, for example—like police, emergency medical responders, and parole officers—can come with significantly harsher punishments. The same is true if the victim is handicapped, over the age of 60, or a public transportation official.
An assault conviction can have serious consequences, including time in prison, a substantial fine, and a tarnished criminal record.
The war on drugs created severe penalties for drug-related crimes, like possession, selling, manufacturing and traffic. Drug crimes, according to Maryland officials, are the number one reason offenders are sent to prison.
Though recent laws have reduced the punishment for marijuana, Maryland’s drug laws remain some of the harshest in the nation. The maximum sentence for possession of a controlled substance (a misdemeanor) is a $2,500 fine and 4 years in prison.
The severity of your penalties will depend on the drug involved, the amount (measured by weight), and the intended use. Trafficking, selling, and manufacturing are all more serious crimes than possession. Individuals who are accused of manufacturing, selling, or distributing certain drugs, such as LSD or PCP, face sentences of up to 20 years of incarceration plus a possible fine of $20,000. Those facing charges of manufacturing, selling, or distributing Schedule I or II narcotics—like heroin and cocaine—are looking at up to 20 years of imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.
The law in Baltimore takes special notice of assault and battery that occurs between two individuals who have an intimate relationship. Though domestic violence is most commonly associated with spouses and significant others, there are a few other relationships the law considers to be “intimate.” This can include roommates, family members, and ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. There are also many activities beyond physical violence that may be considered violent, like stalking, threatening, and economic deprivation.
In addition to the legal penalties, a conviction can wreak havoc on your personal life, branding you with the humiliating label of a domestic abuser. It’s extremely important to contact a discreet and thorough criminal defense attorney to ensure a favorable outcome for your trial.
Like many other criminal charges, the circumstances surrounding this crime weigh heavily when courts determine the punishment for burglary. For example, if the property entered is a dwelling (i.e., a place used for lodging like a house or apartment), the crime is taken far more seriously than a burglary of a nonresidential structure.
Robbery involves taking another person’s property by force, normally classified as a Class 2 felony in Maryland. Again, the situation surrounding the crime plays a significant role in the charge and conviction. If the robbery was committed in a place of worship or a school, it can be upgraded to a Class 1 felony. The same is true for robbery committed against an elderly person.
At The Law Offices of David B. Shapiro, we have successfully helped Baltimore citizens with all kinds of charges to craft a strong defense and get the best possible outcome in their case, often getting charges reduced, and sometimes having them dropped altogether. To start building your defense today, fill out our simple online case evaluation form, call 410-576-9100, or email DShapiroLaw@aol.com