Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Harford County Criminal’

Howard County Possession with Intent Case First for Judge

I was recently retained by a client to represent him in a Modification of Sentence for Possession with Intent.  I did not represent him in his original case, and he was dissatisfied with his then attorney.  The Motion to strike the guilty finding and enter a Probation before Judgment had been in the Court file for almost three years, and probation is about to expire.  The facts of the case were not great because there were aggravating circumstances that were pretty unique.  However the judge had allowed the Motion to sit when he could have denied it 3 years ago.

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DUI and Criminal Defense Practice in 2017

As technology use becomes prevalent in law enforcement, we are seeing more and more video interaction between police and clients.  The more recent Blogs cover some of these cases.  Body Cam footage has been extremely valuable in the defense of cases.  Car video has always been helpful.  It is simply amazing how unprepared police witnesses are in the courtroom when there is a video.  Often the prosecution does not have time to review the videos in many of the cases. Of course, if you are inexperienced or not very interested in the nuances of Field Sobriety Testing or Search and Seizure, these videos serve no purpose and the client is short changed.  Words matter, and what the police say during an encounter is critical to the defense of any case.  There are no shortcuts to defending people accused of an offense.  You cannot hide a conviction or a Probation Before Judgment from employers.  I get calls every week from people who cannot get a job because of a conviction and/or a probation and want to know if I can undo what their original lawyer did.  The answer is usually "no" because there is not sufficient evidence that the original trial counsel meets  

the test for providing inefficient assistance of counsel.  You have one chance to get it right. I do not win every case or try every case, but I prepare to do so, and make sure the client gets every protection allowed by our Constitution and laws.  In the coming months lawyers in MD will be able to brand themselves as "Specialists" without a standardized criteria.  I expect that a lawyer who has represented 1 client in a DUI and done nothing else may think himself a specialist because he has only practiced that kind of law- 1 case.  Your case that brought you to this site is the biggest thing in the world for you at this time.  It is why you are on the internet researching lawyers and calling every name you find.  You will get letters from dozens of lawyers who solicit business by buying the list of people charged with any type of criminal offense- DUI is a criminal offense.  You have to select someone who is going to care about your case and your future.  I have a reputation for straight talk and being aggressive in preparing you for the case.  I insist on treatment as every judge in Maryland EXPECTS the client to be evaluated and in treatment.

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Health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

This issue has nothing to do with whether you voted for President Trump or Ms. Clinton.  Obama care may be a disaster, my premiums skyrocketed like yours.  There were 4 needed features- coverage of pre-existing illnesses, children remaining on a parent's policy until age 26, mental health coverage, and drug abuse coverage.  Over the years it has been incredibly difficult to get mental health and drug abuse treatment for clients even when insured.  Health care policies limited coverage and paid a low percentage.  Only the wealthy could afford residential treatment for their child.  That changed under our present health care system.

The title above is a newspaper headline of an article that explains how poor people on Medicaid will lose their mental health and drug coverage.  It will no longer be mandated.  I am not debating the merits of the Republican proposal versus the mess we now have, but the loss of this coverage is going to decimate a population that is growing everyday. West Virginia counties sued opioid distributors today "for shipping inordinate quantities of opioids into the state in violation of a West Virginia law."  They have filed suit against drug distributors as well as Walgreens and CVS.  The merits of the law suit are not the purpose of this Blog either.  We unfortunately have a massive substance abuse and mental health crisis in this country and it is not subsiding.  People need help. This is a sad situation and I thought I would put it out there for people to think about.  These are not people born to do evil or born to hurt others.  Mental health issues represent genetics as does substance abuse for many who find themselves in that abyss.  Whatever the reason they need the help President Trump promised to continue for these problems, and hopefully the next headline will read "does not" instead of "would."

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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Harford County Criminal Not Guilty

I had a drug trial in the District Court this morning.  When I tried to point out the flaws to the prosecutor, I was met with an abrupt, "if you think I am going to drop this case, the answer is no."  I asked about the cocaine charge since there was no cocaine detected at the State Police Crime Lab, and I was told he was trying all the counts.  That actually saved my client $30.00 because you have to pay for the expungement if one of the charges is dismissed by the State.  The State wanted the drug evidence there so we had to wait until another trooper retrieved it from Perryville.  The drugs were in a Garmin GPS box.  The drugs included the co-defendant's prescription bottle.  The evidence from the trooper was that my client and his 4 passengers were at a music festival and had to rush to leave because of a storm.  A passenger threw a cigarette out the window that struck the trooper's car.  He smelled marihuana when he got to our vehicle, but none was recovered. Everyone told the trooper they just threw things in each others' bags.  The closed GPS box was in my client's duffel bag.  When Mirandized and asked about it, he denied knowing it was there or what was in it.  When the co-defendant, who was also found with suspected drugs on his person and in his duffel bag, was asked about the GPS box with his Adderal, he said he would not answer any questions about the contents of the box.  

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  • 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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