Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Essex Criminal’

Where is the Anne Arundel County Car Video

Hide the ball trick does not work.  Three years ago I wrote a Blog about a police officer who I caught lying in his FIRST CASE!  I have kept the video from that case on my IPad and the original tape and written report in a binder waiting to see if I would get a "return match" with this officer.  Well a few months ago a new client comes in and I recognize the officer's name, walk over to file boxes across from my desk, grab a blue binder sitting on top of them, and open it to the first stack of papers and tapes and it is the same guy.

There is no mention of a video in this client's paperwork but I KNOW there is one.  We get to court 2 weeks ago and when the officer arrives I ask him where is the video.  He tells me he and his supervisor looked for it, but the DVD in the car must have been full and the stop was not recorded.  I remind him who I was and he remembered his first case.  I don't believe him and move to dismiss the case and explain to the Judge, the prosecutor, and a courtroom of police, lawyers, and defendants that I have him on video and on paper committing perjury in 2014 and I don't believe for a moment that the video in this case does not exist.

After 2 recesses and the Judge ordering the prosecutor to personally speak to the supervisor, THERE IS A VIDEO!  However it is housed in a building that will require an hour to drive to and find.  The case is reset to today to give me my video.  Did anyone reading this get it?  I didn't either. Instead of the officer bringing it to court, a supervisor somewhere else emailed the State that he had it and would get me a copy next week.  The judge was too through with this bullshit, and gave the State 40 minutes to get it to court as she had ordered 2 weeks ago.  The new prosecutor on the case calls the supervisor who sent the email, but he is no where to be found, nor is the video.  

Without the video she is going to give me an inference that the video would be  favorable to my client.  Now the police report description of my client's field tests was not bad and incredibly vague (meaning he did really well).  At that point we agree to plead to 2 payable citations and pay $115.50 fines and costs.  The officer is probably happier than my client as he dodged a blood letting on cross-examination.  I blogged before to make sure you retain a lawyer who will watch the video.  Make sure you retain one who will DEMAND the video.

You Pay Peanuts You Get a Monkey

That is a phrase my former partner used years ago when he set a fee and the potential client said he or she knew a cheaper lawyer.  I started writing this a couple months ago but thought I would finish it today.  The particular case that generates this was an Ex Parte involving an allegation of Child Abuse.  The mother filed it in Somerset County as that is where it allegedly occurred.  The mother lives in Howard County.  The judge found no abuse and dismissed the Petition.  The statute allows ONLY for an appeal to be filed in the County where the original Petition was heard.  You cannot  file a valid new Petition elsewhere, only Somerset County has jurisdiction- it is in black and white in the statute.  The mother files a NEW Petition in the Circuit Court for Somerset County and it is heard and Dismissed by the trail judge as only an Appeal is allowed.  The mother then files an Appeal.  The Appeal will the be heard in Circuit Court, unless you have paid peanuts.

The mother now files a new Petition in Howard County. The mother also hires a lawyer in Howard County.   Instead of dismissing the improperly filed Howard County Petition (that is virtually verbatim of the Somerset County Petition) and taking his lazy ass to Somerset County to try the Appeal which is de novo ( meaning a new trial), he dismisses the Somerset County Appeal.   I emailed the lawyer the night before and explained the law to him and he emails back stating he did not need me to educate him.  Apparently he did.  I wanted to save my people from driving all the way from Somerset to Ellicott City. We show up and the judge dismisses the Howard County petition because she has no jurisdiction to hear it- jurisdiction is in Somerset County for the Appeal only that he dismissed! 

It gets worse, we walk out of courtroom and try to make arrangements for the return of the child, and the lawyer says he is filing a NEW PETITION based on newly discovered evidence.  Well we come back a week later and not only is there no newly discovered evidence, the evidence he claims he had was bizarre and unbelievable.  Before I could move for dismissal, he does.  All he had to do was go to Somerset County and he could have retried the Appeal with the original evidence and anything else he thought he might have.  My guess is he did not want to drive there.  He is one of the low fee advertising lawyers.  I took him to task years ago for not doing his own work and relying on the list serve to save his clients.  He even called me at home incredulous that I had given him a public spanking.  He deserved it then and deserves it now, but I will not use his name.  Just remember my former partner's admonition.   

 

Maryland Super Lawyers

I have once again been fortunate to make the lists.  As I wrote in the past, it does not mean anything unless you do the work for each client.

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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  • 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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