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Baltimore Felony Lawyer, Maryland

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Charles L. Waechter Lawyer

Charles L. Waechter

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Criminal, Traffic, DUI-DWI, Felony, Internet

Baltimore Criminal Defense Law Firm If you face criminal charges, an experienced and respected defense lawyer can help protect your rights, evaluat... (more)

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Charles  Waechter Lawyer

Charles Waechter

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Bel Air Criminal Defense Law Firm If you face criminal charges, an experienced and respected defense lawyer can help protect your rights, evaluate ... (more)

Charles  Waechter Lawyer

Charles Waechter

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Annapolis Criminal Defense Law Firm If you face criminal charges, an experienced and respected defense lawyer can help protect your rights, evaluat... (more)

Wendy A. Cartwright Lawyer

Wendy A. Cartwright

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Divorce & Family Law, Misdemeanor, Felony, Contract, Juvenile Law

I have had the privilege of being in private law practice in Maryland for the last 19 years. I was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Howard S. Ch... (more)

Caroline M. Kang

Criminal, DUI-DWI, Felony, Traffic, White Collar Crime
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Marshall T. Henslee

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Michele M. Cinque

Criminal, DUI-DWI, Federal, Felony, Juvenile Law
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Timothy Joseph Sullivan

Criminal, Ethics, Federal Appellate Practice, Federal Trial Practice, Felony
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Carlotta Ann Woodward

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LEGAL TERMS

PLEA BARGAIN

A negotiation between the defense and prosecution (and sometimes the judge) that settles a criminal case. The defendant typically pleads guilty to a lesser crim... (more...)
A negotiation between the defense and prosecution (and sometimes the judge) that settles a criminal case. The defendant typically pleads guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer charges) than originally charged, in exchange for a guaranteed sentence that is shorter than what the defendant could face if convicted at trial. The prosecution gets the certainty of a conviction and a known sentence; the defendant avoids the risk of a higher sentence; and the judge gets to move on to other cases.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES

Circumstances that increase the seriousness or outrageousness of a given crime, and that in turn increase the wrongdoer's penalty or punishment. For example, th... (more...)
Circumstances that increase the seriousness or outrageousness of a given crime, and that in turn increase the wrongdoer's penalty or punishment. For example, the crime of aggravated assault is a physical attack made worse because it is committed with a dangerous weapon, results in severe bodily injury or is made in conjunction with another serious crime. Aggravated assault is usually considered a felony, punishable by a prison sentence.

HUNG JURY

A jury unable to come to a final decision, resulting in a mistrial. Judges do their best to avoid hung juries, typically sending juries back into deliberations ... (more...)
A jury unable to come to a final decision, resulting in a mistrial. Judges do their best to avoid hung juries, typically sending juries back into deliberations with an assurance (sometimes known as a 'dynamite charge') that they will be able to reach a decision if they try harder. If a mistrial is declared, the case is tried again unless the parties settle the case (in a civil case) or the prosecution dismisses the charges or offers a plea bargain (in a criminal case).

CAPITAL CASE

A prosecution for murder in which the jury is also asked to decide if the defendant is guilty and, if he is, whether he should be put to death. When a prosecuto... (more...)
A prosecution for murder in which the jury is also asked to decide if the defendant is guilty and, if he is, whether he should be put to death. When a prosecutor brings a capital case (also called a death penalty case), she must charge one or more 'special circumstances' that the jury must find to be true in order to sentence the defendant to death. Each state (and the federal government) has its own list of special circumstances, but common ones include multiple murders, use of a bomb or a finding that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

CRIMINAL INSANITY

A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to ditinguish right... (more...)
A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to ditinguish right from wrong. Defendants who are criminally insane cannot be convicted of a crime, since criminal conduct involves the conscious intent to do wrong -- a choice that the criminally insane cannot meaningfully make. See also irresistible impulse; McNaghten Rule.

EXCLUSIONARY RULE

A rule of evidence that disallows the use of illegally obtained evidence in criminal trials. For example, the exclusionary rule would prevent a prosecutor from ... (more...)
A rule of evidence that disallows the use of illegally obtained evidence in criminal trials. For example, the exclusionary rule would prevent a prosecutor from introducing at trial evidence seized during an illegal search.

PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecu... (more...)
One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged.

MENS REA

The mental component of criminal liability. To be guilty of most crimes, a defendant must have committed the criminal act (the actus reus) in a certain mental s... (more...)
The mental component of criminal liability. To be guilty of most crimes, a defendant must have committed the criminal act (the actus reus) in a certain mental state (the mens rea). The mens rea of robbery, for example, is the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property.

HABEAS CORPUS

Latin for 'You have the body.' A prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in order to challenge the authority of the prison or jail warden to continu... (more...)
Latin for 'You have the body.' A prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in order to challenge the authority of the prison or jail warden to continue to hold him. If the judge orders a hearing after reading the writ, the prisoner gets to argue that his confinement is illegal. These writs are frequently filed by convicted prisoners who challenge their conviction on the grounds that the trial attorney failed to prepare the defense and was incompetent. Prisoners sentenced to death also file habeas petitions challenging the constitutionality of the state death penalty law. Habeas writs are different from and do not replace appeals, which are arguments for reversal of a conviction based on claims that the judge conducted the trial improperly. Often, convicted prisoners file both.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Charles and Drake v. State

... Drake and Charles were tried together before a jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on charges stemming from the death of Bryant Jones and were convicted of second-degree murder and use of a handgun in a felony or crime of violence. ...

Lee v. State

... A jury sitting in Baltimore County convicted Christian Darrell Lee, appellant, of first-degree felony murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, and three counts of use of a handgun in the ...

Goldsberry v. State

... A. Second Degree Felony Murder Predicated on Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. ... Consequently, appellant asserts that second degree felony murder predicated on attempted robbery with a deadly weapon is a "non-existent form of felony murder." We agree. ...