Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Category: Criminal Defense

Harford County Not Guilty, and Respect Before and After, Unlike Baltimore City

The client in this case was only stopped at 1:00 AM for speeding.   The SFSTs were done in insanely cold and windy conditions next to an open field.  My client was without a coat. He asked to be taken to a reasonable location to do the SFSTs but the officer declined.  He admitted on the witness stand to 5 drinks over the course of the evening social event beginning at 6 PM.  There was no reason for any of the alcohol to be in his system at 1:00 AM as he stopped drinking at 10:30 PM.  He was and is physically unable to take a breath test.  His truthfulness as to the amount consumed was important for his credibility.  Some lawyers are put off by the number of drinks, but it is not how many, but when they were consumed in relation to the driving.  

After he was acquitted the officer came up to me in the hallway and wanted to know what he could do better.  I am not giving away my Schtick, but I told him that in these weather conditions, he should have taken him indoors or under some cover.  The MDTA officers offer that when the weather is poor.  I then told him to go out and get me some more business.  He laughed and shook my hand.  He then turned to my client and they shook hands.  The officer in this case drove my client home from the police station, and they chatted about things other than the DUI on the way.  Unlike the rudeness that has unfortunately occurred in Baltimore City for years where the police have alienated the citizenry, it does not have to be that way.  There was zero animosity between my client and the officer.  My client understood why he was charged and the officer understood why my client was acquitted.  If either one of them needed a ride from the courthouse, the other would have provided it.  Do you think that happens in Baltimore City.  I am sick and tired of hearing about how many times black men have been asked to lay down on the street and been asked questions about guns and drugs.  A BUSINESS OWNER, FATHER OF 2, HOME OWNER, SCHOOL AGE DAUGHTER IN PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN THE CITY, is stopped 3 weeks ago by 2 Baltimore City police officers as he leaves a friend's house in West Baltimore.  The friend and his family are not criminals.  He is questioned, he is asked to consent to a search of himself and his car, and he refuses.  He is scared, and as he walks away a Sgt. runs up behind him, and he thinks the 3 police are going to throw him to the ground.  He is again asked about drugs and his refusal to consent to a search.  He stands his ground and they write him a ticket (police encounter document) and he is allowed to leave.  He calls me scared to death because he got this ticket.  I explain it is just proof of the police interaction with a citizen that they are required to write.  I demand the ticket and for him to give a  written step by step report because I am not going to let this pass.  He is so worried about how nuts I am going to go that he will not provide it.  I am sure that anybody reading this who is not black and does not live in Baltimore City has never encountered this type of behavior, nor have your children.  It is unfathomable to think that a county, any county, police officer would treat a member of your family this way.  If you saw your son or daughter laying flat on a sidewalk so that they could be asked about guns and drugs, I would be crazy busy handling assault on police officer cases in the counties.  This is why citizens in Baltimore City do not cooperate with the police and why it is open season for drug dealing or shootings in these areas.  The police don't respond to burglaries and car thefts without multiple calls in Baltimore City.  Law abiding people are ignored when they are victimized.  And now they need the Justice Department to come in and train the police how to be police!  What the hell are they doing at the police academy???  

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American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys????

I get a pamphlet mailed to me that says I can be a Founding Member of this organization if I send in a check or give them a crfedit card number.  They explain all their resources that I already have, and which all attorneys should have already.   I look on-line to see who the memebers are and I had to laugh.  I see someone that I have never seen do a DUI.  In fact when he came into court last week on a non-DUI, he walked up to me and another attorney and asked us if we knew what the penalty was for his client's alleged crime.  I asked him if maybe he should have known that before he came to court, and he got flustered and asked angrily asked if I could say it any louder so that his client could hear that his lawyer had no clue about the case. He is a Founding Member, so it is about sending in the $$$, not competence.  The outside of the brochure claims you'll get the training and expertise to "Command and Get Higher Fees."  First, you should really have to become a "real lawyer" and at least know how long your client can go to jail after you screw up the case before you get a title.  Don't hire anyone just because they are a member of some "club," that only requires a check or credit card to join.  I am doing my part in their endeavour by putting the brochure out for recycle.

Visiting Canada

Entry into Canada with a DUI is a problem.  If you have pending plans to go to Canada you should contact the consulate to make sure you are eligible for entry or can receive permission to enter.  Here is the the Canadian Government policy regarding admission into Canada with a DUI:


Operational Bulletin 389 – February 27, 2012

Cost Recovery Fee Exemption for Temporary Resident Permits Issued to Foreign Nationals who are Inadmissible on Criminality Grounds

This Operational Bulletin has expired. Please refer to ENF 4 (PDF, 1.10 MB) for current information.


A public policy was recently approved with respect to the entry of foreign nationals (FNs) who are inadmissible on A36(2) criminality grounds. Specifically, the policy allows the grant of a one-time fee exemption for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for certain offences, including offences such as driving while impaired (also known as driving under the influence (DUI)). 


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to provide operational guidance on issuing a one-time fee-exempt TRPto a foreign national who is inadmissible on A36(2) criminality grounds and who meets the conditions set out in the public policy (see Instructions). 


Where an officer is of the opinion that it would be justified in the circumstances for an inadmissible FN to become a temporary resident, a TRP may be issued to enable the FN to enter and/or remain in Canada under section 24(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Section 25.2 of the IRPA authorizes the Minister or delegated officers to grant an exemption from the payment of applicable fees where the Minister is of the opinion that public policy considerations warrant it. 

On January 13, 2012 the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism issued the public policy considerations that in his opinion justify the granting of a one-time exemption from the TRP processing fee that is required under section 298 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) for FNs who meet the conditions of this public policy.

These instructions are to be considered an interim measure to facilitate the entry of these FNs until a more permanent measure is established. Additional instructions will be offered once a permanent measure comes into force or this public policy is revoked by the Minister. 


As of March 1, 2012 the public policy exemption would apply to an FN to whom a TRP is being issued at a port of entry (POE) or a visa office abroad, who is inadmissible solely on the grounds of “criminality” under section 36(2) of IRPA, and who:

  1. was convicted of an offence and received no term of imprisonment as part of the sentence imposed; and
  2. has had no other convictions or committed any other acts that would render the person inadmissible.

To facilitate these circumstances and overcome the inadmissibility, a delegated authority should consider issuing a TRP. If choosing to issue a TRP, the delegated authority can now exempt the fees associated with the issuance of this document. The delegated authority should counsel the foreign national that the next time they seek to enter Canada, the fee exemption will not apply and that they should look into potential mechanisms to overcome their inadmissibility.

This public policy fee exemption does not apply to persons convicted of child pornography or a sexual offence. This authority has been delegated to CIC immigration authorities at visa offices abroad and to Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Border Service Officers, Inland Enforcement Officers and Regional Program Officers in their immigration functions for POE examinations only. 

When issuing a TRP in these circumstances, the cost recovery code M31 on the TRP screen in the Field Operations Support System is to be used. This code will automatically generate the following information on the TRP


This public policy does not apply to FNs who are already in Canada. 

Further information


For further information or questions regarding the changes outlined in this OB, please contact Operational Management and Coordination at

Baltimore City NG

Well I got out while the sun was still shining.  The Court was so accommodating.  All the cases in the morning and afternoon except trials were moved to other judges.  They do this elsewhere and I don't think I have ever seen it done in Baltimore City before. It allowed me to get started before lunch and finish in the afternoon, not the evening.  It also took the cooperation of the State's Attorney's Office to bring in help to handle the other courtrooms.  This has been a common practice FOREVER in every county.  I can remember judges in the City refusing to take cases from another courtroom because they were from another courtroom.  No more!  Having been a prosecutor in Baltimore City and practicing there for years, it was really nice to watch this happen.  It takes the pressure off the trial judge, who can now focus on the trial and not on the other 18 cases that were moved this morning and the other 15 moved this afternoon. 

This was the 5th trial date.  Although I know lawyers who add an "appearance" fee for each postponement, I won't do it.  It penalizes people who hire a "real" lawyer, and who expect a trial when there are legitimate issue.  I like trying cases so I just don't care if I have to come back.  I just reschedule my conflicts, and the courts never deny me a postponement because I ask for the postponement as soon as I get a trial notice that is a conflict.  They can move the case back a week or sometimes to the same week.  You want to screw around with the "system" and try to get postponements at the last minute,  the judges are going to make you be in 2 places at the same time; and then the client gets rolled over on a guilty plea because the lawyer has to be elsewhere, or they pray a jury trial when it is totally unnecessary (and I am sure they want to charge more money for that).  Judges know who these "scofflaws" are and they don't get any respect during a trial either.  Now to the case:

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Triple Teamed in Anne Arundel County and Still a NG

Well, I wound up with three prosecutors today.  The 2 new and the Division Chief.  It was fair because the new prosecutors were not familiar with all the legal issues that could be raised to support their side.  This was a non-video stop with a trooper who tried to volunteer every opinion he could muster.  I had a recently appointed judge who had been a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney and knew the law.  In fact, she left the bench after argument to read some cases.  As another attorney remarked to me, "she is a breath of fresh air," although this county's District Court judges are a great group to try cases with.  The Division Chief did not jump in until  the end of the probable cause testimony.

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Contact Information

  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
  • Fax: 410-823-0610

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