Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Howard County Criminal’

2020 Best Lawyers in America

Just announced today that I have been selected again.

Harford County Not Guilty- Video Schtick

Client was acquitted today of all charges including the minor traffic charges. It was an interesting case as there was CCTV from the Sheriff's Office video-taping my client leaving a restaurant and walking to his car.  He meanders along is a zig zag pattern so they believe he is drunk and an officer goes out to catch him before he leaves the parking lot.  He is too late so he follows my client who drives exceptionally well with only a drift onto the turning lane when there was no other traffic on the road and the same to the shoulder.  Both of these occurred on curves.  The officer approximated his spped at about 50 in a 40.  He used radar but the prosecutor could not get that into evidence except for probable cause.  There was a battle over the radar, that was a complete waste of time because the case was about the DUI not the speed.  Some fights are not worth it.  The prosecutor is relatively new so I understood why she fought everything, but in the future she will move on.  He pulled into a parking lot where the right rear tire of his truck climbed the corner of the sidewalk.  It was a narrow entrance and snuck on him as the officer turned on his emergency light bar.

Now we had talked about the case because I expected to be trying a jury trial in Harford County starting yesterday but that case was postponed.  We agreed my client did well on the SFSTs and I thought his walking outside the car and standing during the tests rebutted any inference that his zig zagging was alcohol related.  The video did not show the extent of the swaying or slurred speech that the officer testified wrote in his report and testified to on direct. The State decided not to use the video.  The judge asked me if I was putting it in, but I said not yet.  

Because on direct examination- for the third time in recent acquittals- the State left out SFST evidence that was crucial, the judge dismissed the DUI and most of the minor charges, but held in the DWI based on what the officer described about the entire episode from CCTV to the SFST performance.  I called the police officer as MY witness.  I introduced the video and asked him ONLY about the parts where he said my client swayed or his speech was slurred.  He said the swaying was there but the judge didn't see it and the video is the best evidence.  I then had the audio played (it did not work during the SFSTs) when the client was in the police car as the in-car audio worked.  His speech was clear, intelligent, and there was NO slurring of any kind.  Now the State got to cross the officer.  She tried to go into the areas she missed on direct examination that I had pointed out on my Motion at the end of the State's case and the judge sustained my objections because I NEVER came near those areas and her questions were beyond the scope of what she was allowed to ask.  

Read more ...

Cecil County Not Guilty

It is extremely rare when a judge takes a case away from a jury and acquits the defendant.  It happened last week in the Circuit Court for Cecil County.  This was a DUI involving a high breath test.  The client's career depended on the outcome.  He suffers from an extreme medical condition where whenever he eats, he regurgitates the food and has to chew it again and again. He was just coming from dinner when stopped for speeding.  The receipt from the restaurant showed one beer and all that he and his family had eaten.  He explained his GERD issue to the arresting officer, who told him it was not an issue.  Well, it is an issue!  We hired Ronald Henson, PhD. to testify that the breath machine would basically add the alcohol coming from his stomach into his esophagus to the alcohol from his deep lungs and give an unreliable and high reading.  The mouth alcohol detector, if working, would not differentiate because of the constant amount of alcohol interfering with the deep lung air.  

Read more ...

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???  

Read more ...

All Information Submitted to Us is Kept Strictly CONFIDENTIAL

If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Maryland, get a FREE consultation for your case. Just complete the form and submit it to us, or Call 24 hours a day at 866-435-2795.

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

Office Location