Monthly Archives: September 2011

Chain of Custody in a Maryland Drug Case

What is the Chain of Custody? After seizing a controlled dangerous substance from a defendant (or car, a house, or some other location) the arresting police officer will usually field test the drug and then bag it up, writing the officers initials or other markings on the sealed bag as identification. From that point, the […]

Right of Self-Defense for Assault in Maryland

Facing a charge for first degree assault, second degree assault or a related offense can be an intimidating, confusing, and stressful predicament. One may look back on the incident and feel as if he did not do anything wrong. Or one may feel that she was only protecting herself from harm. If it is a […]

I received a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) in my Maryland case, and need an expungement right now! Do I have to wait three years?

Not necessarily! Although technically you have to wait three years before being eligible to expunge a PBJ, there is a “good cause” exception. If a defendant can demonstrate a good cause reason for an early expungement, the Court has the discretion to grant an expungement before three years have elapsed. A few examples are if […]

Can a Guilty Conviction be Expunged in Maryland?

Unfortunately no, outside of a pardon from the governor. If a judge enters a disposition of guilty after a plea or trial, that guilty conviction cannot be expunged. That does not mean all hope is lost, however. Because a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) is eligible for an expungement, a defendant would first need to convert […]

Criminal and Traffic Case Expungements in Maryland

What is an expungement? An expungement is the deletion and removal of all court and police records related to a defendant’s charges and case. A person who has been charged with a criminal act or incarcerable traffic offense may be eligible to have those records expunged. If eligible, an expungement can be hugely beneficial to […]

Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Maryland Bail Review Hearing?

The short answer is yes, hire a lawyer! You want an attorney by your side every step of the way when facing a serious criminal charge. In Maryland, after a person is arrested and a commissioner determines that person should be held on bond, that person is entitled to a bond review hearing in front […]

Maryland Disorderly Conduct v. First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech

In most jurisdictions, including Maryland, there are certain illegal acts that qualify as “quality of life” crimes. You may hear of crimes called “disorderly conduct” or “disturbance of the peace.” Typically these crimes consist of creating a disturbance, causing a scene, or behaving in a certain manner that disrupts the public. However, these crimes come […]

First Time Marijuana Possession – Are Drug Diversion Programs Available in Maryland?

Marijuana Possession in Maryland Despite recent pushes across the country to legalize medicinal marijuana and focus law enforcement on other drugs such as cocaine and crack, the fact remains that possession of marijuana in Maryland is still a crime. Possession of Marijuana is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of 1 year incarceration and/or […]