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James N. Papirmeister, P.C.

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Criminal Defense Archives

Why do defendants accept plea bargains?

Maryland residents may be aware of that it is their right to be considered innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law. This is why many who are facing criminal charges may decide to put their case in front of the legal system and protect their rights in that manner. However, there are some instances in which this may not always be the best option and it may be possible to protect and advance one's rights in another manner.

Criminal convictions can affect immigration status

Maryland residents may be aware of their constitutional rights and what to do in case they are facing criminal charges, but what they may not know is that they may not be able to avail various avenues of relief if they are residents but not citizens. American noncitizens who are convicted of committing aggravated felonies may find themselves facing harsh consequences including deportation.

The role of expungement in criminal law

Often times, not just in Maryland but across the country, charges are filed against people and then dismissed at a later date. Or, the accused went through the criminal justice system but was found not guilty (acquitted). In these instances, and others mentioned below, a criminal record might still exist. This criminal record can affect education and employment opportunities for those who have it. It might be possible, however, to have a criminal record expunged in certain instances, lessening the long-term consequences of a brush in with the law.

Counsel can help protect defendant's rights in pretrial hearings

When someone in Maryland is facing criminal charges, they may be so overwhelmed by the criminal justice system that they do not realize they have certain constitutional rights that they can avail. One of them is the right to counsel, whether it is during litigation or even before litigation begins, in the pretrial stages.

Is Maryland's cash bail system constitutional?

Pretrial detention is a concept many people are familiar with, albeit under a different name. When an accused is detained prior to a criminal trial, this is known as pretrial detention. This can take place because either the crime committed requires pretrial detention by statute or the accused cannot afford the bail payment. Some Maryland lawmakers are now questioning the constitutionality of the cash for bail system, claiming it could potentially violate the accused's right of due process.

What are the different categories of crime?

Our readers in Maryland may have heard of the terms "felony" or "misdemeanor" in conjunction with criminal charges. Although many may use these terms interchangeably, the reality is that they are very different levels of crimes, with different consequences for those who face the accusations.

Two Maryland residents face serious drug charges

Drug crimes, like most crimes, vary in the range of their severity. They can be misdemeanors, such as lesser crimes like simple possession, or they can be felonies, which include more serious crimes such as intent to distribute. Penalties vary according to the nature of the crime. Felonies carry mandatory prison sentences and fines that can be significant depending on the type of offense. Perhaps the most serious drug charge in Maryland is that of a "drug kingpin," who according to Maryland Code is someone who is an organizer, financier or manager who acts as a co-conspirator in a conspiracy to manufacture, dispense, transport or distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

Fighting sexual abuse charges to avoid long-term consequences

Although most people accused of committing crimes are generally viewed with distrust and dislike throughout Maryland, those who are accused of committing crimes against children are perhaps the most despised. Child abuse and other crimes involving children have the ability to fuel public sentiment-people feel very strongly about them, and the assumption of "innocent until proven guilty" may not be afforded to people accused of committing these crimes in the community.

The law against child pornography and its penalties in Maryland

Few criminal accusations charged in Maryland have the negative connotations as those that involve children. Compounding the possibility of long-term consequences in and outside of the legal arena are those that have to do with child pornography. When a person is facing these allegations, it can be a difficult time in a multitude of ways. It is important that there is a strong plan for a criminal defense to avoid the harshest penalties and combat the allegations.

Mount an aggressive criminal defense from the onset

When Maryland residents find themselves facing criminal charges, they often find many aspects of their life changes as a result -- their colleagues, friends and even family members may view them differently even before the case ever goes to trial. At this time, facing the criminal justice system may seem like a lonely, complicated and never ending process.

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