CALL DAY & EVENING
443-944-5705

Will I Need to Admit Everything to My Defense Lawyer?

Eastern Shore Criminal Case

After being arrested, you may be worried that you’ll have to tell your defense attorney everything about what happened for them to be able to effectively represent you. However, this may not be the case. Here’s what you should know. 

Some Attorneys Don’t Want to Know the Whole Story 

While attorney-client privilege protects you from consequences should you tell your attorney the whole truth, this may not necessarily be the best course of action. Depending on your case, your lawyer may want you to keep some things under wraps, like specific details of alleged events, so they can avoid culpability themselves. 

Other Lawyers Would Rather Avoid Surprises 

Alternatively, some attorneys want all the information they can get their hands on so they aren’t surprised by any new information months into your defense or worse, in the courtroom. 

During your initial consultation with your legal representation, ask what approach they prefer. Do your best to stay within the guidelines set by your attorney, if any. If your lawyer wants as many details as you are willing to discuss, go ahead and let them know everything, even if you think it gives the prosecution a slam-dunk case against you. 

Understand What Your Attorney Can’t Do & What They Have the Responsibility to Do  

If your lawyer knows that you’re guilty of a crime due to your own admission, they cannot allow you to testify to a different version of events and cannot offer evidence that supports an untrue narrative. This is often why attorneys don’t want to know for sure whether or not “you did it.” If they genuinely have no knowledge of whether or not you’re actually guilty, these standards do not apply.

If you are guilty, you may still benefit from going to trial. If the prosecutors in your case refused to offer you a fair plea deal or otherwise negated your rights during their arrest and investigation, your attorney may be able to argue for the dismissal of your case based on these merits alone. 

Were You Arrested For a Crime? Get the Zealous Legal Defense You Need Today 

By retaining a criminal defense lawyer quickly after your arrest, you can increase your chances of receiving a successful verdict. Your reputation and rights are at stake and you can’t afford to wait. Contact Britt Criminal Defense today to get help from an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney by calling 443-944-5705.


What Is Alternative Sentencing in Maryland?

Eastern-Shore-Arraignments

If you are convicted of a crime in Maryland, you may not necessarily go straight to jail. Depending on the crime you were found guilty of and your criminal history, you may be offered an alternative sentence. 

An alternative sentence is a penalty designed to do less harm than jail time but provide you with an equal opportunity to become rehabilitated. Here’s what you should know about alternative sentencing in Maryland and how to get the legal help you need after being charged and convicted of a crime. 

Types of Alternative Sentences 

There are many different types of alternative sentences besides jail. Some of the most common include:

  • Conditional and unconditional suspended sentences. A judge can choose to suspend sentencing either with no stipulations, or they can suspend sentencing depending on whether or not the defendant fulfills conditions determined by the judge. 
  • Probation. Probation allows defendants to live and work in the community under certain conditions, such as regularly reporting to a probation officer, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, etc. 
  • Fines and restitution. Instead of jail time, you may be ordered to pay fines to the court and/or restitution to the victim. 
  • Deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication is similar to a conditional suspended sentence and also has some overlapping themes from probation. If the defendant fails to meet the criteria set forth by the judge, adjudication may proceed. 
  • Community service. You may be ordered to complete a number of hours of community service in lieu of or in addition to other penalties imposed by the court. 

In some cases, a judge may create a new alternative sentence for you based on the circumstances of the crime you were convicted of and the evidence available in your case. Judges in Maryland have the authority to issue creative sentences that they believe will be more effective at rehabilitating the defendant and reducing recidivism. 

Get Help from a Skilled Salisbury, MD Criminal Defense Lawyer Today 

At any point after being arrested for a crime, you have the right to retain legal counsel — even before you answer a single question asked by police or other law enforcement agency officers. By retaining an attorney as quickly as possible, you can increase the chances that you will be issued an alternative sentence instead of jail or prison time. 

Contact Britt Criminal Defense today to get help from an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney by calling 443-944-5705. 


Which Incarceration Alternatives Might I Be Eligible For?

new

Being charged with and convicted of a crime is frightening and many people assume they’re going to be incarcerated for at least a short period of time after all is said and done. However, this isn’t necessarily true in every case. 

Some defendants are eligible for alternatives to jail time depending on the circumstances of their case. Here are some potential alternatives and how to secure trustworthy legal advocacy today. 

Payment of Restitution or Fines  

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or minor offense that primarily caused financial impact to the victim(s), you may be ordered to pay restitution instead of being sent to jail. Restitution is designed to compensate the victim(s) for the value of the property damaged or lost during the commission of the crime, and the court may impose punitive fines as well. 

Rehabilitation for Drugs, Alcohol, or Anger Management   

A judge may also order followup support for offenders who may be struggling with addiction or anger management problems. For example, a drunk driver may be ordered to attend driving safety and alcohol counseling classes, while a domestic violence offender may be required to go through extensive anger management counseling. 

Serving Your Community   

Community service is one of the most common alternatives to a jail sentence, especially for first-time offenders who don’t have a criminal record or were convicted of a misdemeanor. Most often, community service is ordered along with another penalty, such as the payment of fines and mandatory counseling or therapy. 

House Arrest 

House arrest is an alternative form of incarceration that involves the defendant being ordered to stay at home and wearing a special monitor that alerts law enforcement if the defendant leaves the approved area. This is generally preferable to jail time, however, not all defendants are eligible for this particular incarceration alternative. Typically, the crime must be non-violent and the defendant a first-time offender. 

How to Get Help Staying Out of Jail After Being Convicted of a Crime 

A seasoned criminal defense attorney is your best ally not only when it comes to reducing or eliminating the charges against you, but also petitioning for the least severe penalties if the former isn’t successful. Your lawyer can help negotiate incarceration alternatives that keep you out of jail, allowing you to continue living a relatively normal life. Contact Britt Criminal Defense for a consultation to discuss the details of your criminal case now at 443-944-5705.


Should I Take the Stand In My Criminal Case?

Eastern-Shore-Arraignments

Most seasoned lawyers actively discourage their clients from taking the stand in their criminal cases, despite what you may see in movies and on television. It’s unnecessary for the defendant to give a statement and doing so may open up more opportunities for the prosecution to weaken your case or make you appear guilty in front of the jury. Here’s how to get the legal assistance you need fighting criminal charges. 

It May Be Dangerous to Be Cross Examined 

If you take the stand to testify in your criminal case, this means that you are also subject to what is known as cross examination. Being cross examined can hurt your case if the prosecution is able to ask you questions that get you upset or flustered, regardless if they have very little evidence to prove their claims. 

You Don’t Need to Make a Claim of Innocence 

You don’t need to make a claim of innocence when you go to court to defend yourself against criminal charges, contrary to popular belief. Under the law, you are presumed innocent of the crimes you are accused of until the prosecution brings forward enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt. For this reason, it’s usually not necessary for a defendant to testify to prove their innocence.  

The Jury’s Perception of Who Has the Burden of Proof May Change 

That said, jurors may still think that the defendant should actively provide evidence that they’re not the perpetrator of the crime they’re being accused of. This is often the case when a defendant offers testimony in their own defense, and it can be detrimental to your chances of a successful verdict.  

Another Helpful Defense Strategy to Use Instead 

A more successful defense strategy against being accused of the crime is to weaken the prosecution’s case. By omitting evidence from court, jurors will have a more difficult time proving that you committed the offense beyond a shadow of a doubt. For example, evidence obtained during an illegal search is likely dismissable. 

Arrested for a Crime? A Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Is Your Best Defense 

Waiting to get legal help after being arrested and charged with a crime can cost you your future. You need experienced advocacy to ensure that your rights are protected at all times during the Maryland criminal process. Contact Britt Criminal Defense for your initial consultation to discuss your case details now at 443-944-5705.


Burden Of Proof

Eastern-Shore-Defense

In Order To Convict, The Burden Must Be Met

In all states in the U.S., a certain burden of proof must be met to convict someone of a crime of which they are accused of committing. In cases where someone stands trial for a crime, the burden of proof must be high, as the consequences of a conviction are harsh. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of burdens of proof and how they may apply to your case. 

Guilty by a Preponderance of the Evidence 

Assuming guilt by a preponderance of the evidence is considered the lowest burden of proof that must be met. Essentially, this means that after weighing the evidence, the crime having been committed and the defendant has been the perpetrator is considered more likely than unlikely. 

Guilty by Clear and Convincing Evidence 

To determine guilt by clear and convincing evidence, the prosecution must bring forward evidence in such a way that a judge and/or jury have a strong belief or conviction that the crime occurred as presented by the person accused. While this is a higher burden of proof than determining guilt by a preponderance of the evidence, it is not the highest-burden used for criminal proceedings. 

Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 

The highest standard of proof in a criminal proceeding is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the defendant is “innocent until proven guilty” and the judge and/or jury begin the case with the assumption that the defendant is innocent of the charges against them. 

However, as the trial proceeds, the evidence presented by the prosecution must convince the judge and/or jury that the defendant is indeed guilty and that no doubt of innocence continues to exist after fully examining all available evidence.  

I’ve Been Arrested for a Crime — Do I Need a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer? 

If you were charged with a crime, your future and reputation are on the line. The prosecution will need to meet the burden of proof to pursue a conviction, and you’ll need experienced legal help to defend yourself. The prosecution must be able to prove that you committed the crime you are charged with without reasonable doubt; if not, the charges must be dismissed. 

Contact Britt Criminal Defense today to learn more about the burden of proof a prosecutor must meet to convict you or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Call now at 443-944-5705.


What Are the Most Common White Collar Crimes in Maryland?

white-collar-criminal-defense

Understand the most common white collar criminal charges assessed in Maryland and learn what you can do to decrease your chances of a guilty verdict after an arrest. 

Embezzlement 

Embezzlement is an illegal financial activity that involves a person who manages corporate funds using their position within a company to misappropriate those funds. For example, an accountant may find a way to set up small transactions to their own bank account and hide the paper trail by falsifying documents. Or, a politician may use campaign funds to cover personal expenses.

Ponzi Schemes 

A Ponzi scheme, named after famous conman Charles Ponzi in the 1920s, is a type of fraud that attracts new investors and uses those funds to pay previous investors. This scheme relies on the belief that investors are receiving a portion of profits from sales or service when in reality, other investors putting money into the company are the source of the funds.

Corporate Theft 

Corporate fraud is a blanket term that encompasses multiple white-collar crimes like falsifying financial documents or insider trading. Most corporate theft cases revolve around accounting schemes intended to deceive company investors about the financial status of a company. Someone in the company will edit company performance data, which results in the attraction of new investors who believe the company has greater value.

Bankruptcy Fraud 

Bankruptcy fraud usually occurs when a business files for bankruptcy but attempts to hide property or other assets to avoid liquidation. Since the bankruptcy court can only liquidate non-essential or non-exempt assets, they must “forgive” or discharge the remaining debt. When a company fraudulently misrepresents assets, debt that could be paid is discharged, ultimately amounting to theft. 

Extortion 

Extortion is the gaining of money or property by nearly any kind of force or threat of harm, damage to property, slander, or negative government action. Extortion is a felony in all 50 U.S. states and can result in serious penalties. Extortion also includes blackmail, which is the threat of exposing damaging or embarrassing information about a person to individuals who have the power to use the information to harm that person.

Arrested for White Collar Crime? Contact a Maryland Defense Attorney Today 

If you were charged with any of the above or another white collar crime in Maryland, you face serious penalties, including fines and incarceration. A criminal defense lawyer can help you strategize effective legal defenses, such as lack of intent or entrapment. Call Britt Criminal Defense today for a consultation at 443-944-5705. 


What Are the Most Effective Defenses for Serious Crimes?

criminal-defense

If you’re convicted of a felony like a drug trafficking or even murder, life will never be the same. Prison time, fines, mandatory counseling, and other penalties become the new normal. It’s critical that you mount the most effective defense possible. Here are some potential defense strategies that your attorney may choose depending on the circumstances of your case: 

Mistaken Identity 

If you were charged with a crime because you were identified on video or by a witness, you may be able to argue mistaken identity. Perhaps the video wasn’t clear or the witness was so far away that they couldn’t possibly have had a good look at you. Or, perhaps you have identifying features (such as tattoos) that the perpetrator didn’t have or vice versa. 

False Accusations 

Often, charges are levied against someone in an attempt to gain control over them. For example, one partner can benefit in a divorce case if they accuse the other of domestic violence. Or, someone who committed a crime can frame someone else to protect themselves from getting caught. 

If you were falsely accused, you may be able to show that someone else had motive to report you as the perpetrator and they stand something to gain from it. 

Consent 

Many things that are considered crimes aren’t crimes when consent exists. For example, an individual may have given consent for a friend to come by their home later and pick up some tools from their garage. Then, they call the police to say that the friend came and burglarized their home. The alleged perpetrator can argue that no crime existed because consent was given. 

Lack of Evidence 

If there’s not much evidence against you or the evidence is mostly circumstantial in nature, your attorney may move to have the charges against you dismissed. For you to be convicted of a serious crime, there must be enough evidence against you to prove that you committed the crime without a shadow of a doubt. If not enough evidence exists, it will be difficult for the prosecution to prove their case.   

When to Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Were you arrested for a serious crime like murder, manslaughter, rape, grand theft, or another felony? Your reputation, career, and relationships are on the line. Protect your rights under the law by reaching out to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer. Call Britt Criminal Defense today for a consultation or to learn more at (443) 614-6881.