Best Maryland Criminal Lawyers

Getting arrested, or charged with, a crime in the state Maryland can be a very scary, and overwhelming experience. Even minor offenses, like misdemeanors, can carry consequences like jail time, fines, probation, or a potential criminal record. If you’re trying to navigate the criminal justice system on your own, it’s extremely difficult. Having an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

Skilled Maryland criminal lawyer know the laws, prosecutors, and judges, and can work with you through the process while fighting for your best interests. Your criminal attorney will examine the evidence, and charges against you, look for any constitutional violations by police, build the best possible defense for your case, negotiate with the prosecution, for reduced penalties, and provide you with legal representation you in court hearings and go to trial if necessary.

Every case is unique, some of the most common criminal charges filed in Maryland are DUI, drug crimes, theft crimes like shoplifting or burglary, assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, weapons charges, probation violations, and traffic offenses. If you’re looking for a Maryland criminal attorney, we can help you.

DUI/DWI Defense

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI or DWI) is one of the most common criminal charges in Maryland. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% for drivers 21 years old, or older, and any amount for drivers under 21. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, or blood test, it can also lead to enhanced penalties. Potential consequences for a DUI conviction include:

The Spodek Law Group’s team of Maryland criminal lawyers can help get charges reduced, or even dismissed by challenging the validity of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the breathalyzer, and whether the officer correctly administered field sobriety tests. Common defenses in Maryland DUI criminal defense cases include:

  • Lack of probable cause for the initial stop – this means officer didn’t witness the traffic violations or signs of impairment, consequently, the stop was illegal.
  • Failure to properly administer field sobriety tests – errors like not following NHTSA standards could invalidate the results of the tests.
  • Faulty or uncalibrated breathalyzer machine – if the machine used wasn’t properly maintained per regulations, it’s possible BAC results could be inaccurate.
  • Medical conditions – conditions like diabetes, or acid reflux, can mimic signs of intoxication and cause inaccurate breath test results.
  • Medication side effects – prescription and over-the-counter meds can also explain the impairment.
  • Involuntarily intoxication – slipping drugs into someone’s drink could lead to intoxication against their will and create a legal shield for you.

Having a skilled Maryland DUI attorney who will investigate the circumstances of your arrest and build defenses can result in charges being reduced to reckless driving, or even dismissed entirely in some cases, helping avoid the penalties of a DUI conviction for the rest of your life.

Drug Crime Defenses

Maryland state laws impose harsh punishments for drug offenses like possession, distribution, manufacturing, and the trafficking of controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Even if you’re only possessing small amounts of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, MDMA, methamphetamine, and prescription meds without a valid prescription, this can result in many months or years behind bars.

The most common charged drug crimes in Maryland include:

When you hire a drug crimes attorney at the Spodek Law Group, he or she can challenge the validity of searches resulting in the discovery of drugs, faulty drug testing procedures, illegal traffic stops, and chain of custody issues. Common defenses to Maryland drug charges include:

  • Illegal searches and seizures – if the police officer who did the search didn’t have probable cause, or a warrant, then any drugs and paraphernalia obtained during investigations may not be admissible in court. This could destroy the prosecutor’s case overnight.
  • Invalid field drug tests – the tests are unreliable and have high error rates, so the drugs may not be illegal substances.
  • Insufficient chain of custody – gaps in documenting the handling of drug evidence could raise doubts about the samples.
  • Misidentification – just because drugs were found in your car, or home, doesn’t mean they belong to you.
  • Duress – being forced to transport or sell drugs under threat removes criminal intent.
  • Entrapment – you were improperly induced by police into committing a drug offense that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.

By analyzing the details of your case, a Maryland drug crimes lawyer can get charges reduced or dismissed, get sentences lowered, or work out favorable plea bargain. You should never take the risk of handling serious narcotics charges alone, or with an overworked public defender. Hire your own private attorney today.

Theft Crime Defenses

Despite how common they are, many people underestimate the legal ramifications of common theft offenses in Maryland such as:

  • Shoplifting (Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 7-104) – Value under $100 is a misdemeanor with fines up to $500. Over $100 can be a felony with up to 3 years in jail.
  • Theft – Misdemeanors have maximum 18 month jail terms. Felonies can mean up to 15 years in prison depending on value stolen.
  • Burglary – Forced entry with intent to commit theft, or crime, inside carries up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Robbery – Using threats, or force to steal from a person – up to 15 years imprisonment.
  • Financial crimes like embezzlement and credit card fraud – lengthy jail terms and huge fines.

It’s very important to hire a private Maryland criminal defense lawyer who is an experienced theft crimes. He or she can work on your behalf to help:

  • Raise reasonable doubt over whether you intended to steal, or knew items, were stolen.
  • Help protect your rights if you are improperly searched or detained by police.
  • Negotiating drug diversion programs to avoid conviction and jail time.
  • Help explain to the court any mental health issues which led to the behavior.
  • Help get restitution to the victim to reduce penalties.
  • Explaining mitigating circumstances like financial hardship or addiction issues to the court.
  • Advising whether to take a plea bargain or go to trial.

You should never leave something as serious as a theft accusation to chance. An attorney can defend your rights every step of the way.

Assault and Domestic Violence Offenses

Facing accusations of violence can disrupt family relationships, lead to loss of employment, and result in lengthy incarceration. Charges like assault, battery, and domestic violence are vigorously prosecuted in Maryland. Typical penalties include:

Common defenses a skilled criminal attorney may pursue in assault and domestic violence cases include:

  • Self-defense – Responding with proportional force to an imminent threat can be justified.
  • False accusations – Statements from the alleged victim may be exaggerated or outright false.
  • Mistaken identity – Evidence may point to a different perpetrator being responsible.
  • Mental incompetence – Psychological issues may negate criminal intent.
  • Provocation -Sometimes certain actions could mitigate charges if they provoked a response.
  • Pushing for counseling programs instead of jail time in cases with hope of rehabilitation.

The costs of being convicted and imprisoned for violent offenses are extremely high. An assault lawyer’s in-depth knowledge of prosecutors and trial strategies can prove invaluable.

Sex Crime Defenses

The stakes are tremendously high when accused of sex crimes like rape, child molestation, indecent exposure, distribution of child pornography, and statutory rape. Simply being charged with a Maryland sex crime can ruin family relationships, end careers, and lead to decades behind bars:

Skilled sex crime defense attorneys can analyze flaws in the prosecution’s case, including:

  • Consent issues – such as previous relationship history, communications, body language etc.
  • Credibility questions regarding the alleged victim or witnesses.
  • Police misconduct during investigations violating rights.
  • False allegations stemming from custody disputes, mental issues, revenge or other motives.
  • Unlawful searches leading to questionable evidence being discovered.
  • Seeking alternative sentencing options when appropriate such as counseling.

With so much at stake, speaking with an experienced sex crimes lawyer should be a top priority when facing disturbing accusations that could put you on the sex offender registry if convicted. An attorney’s negotiation and trial skills could make the difference in avoiding decades in prison and permanently rebuilding your reputation.

Probation Violation Defenses

Many charges like drug offenses or DUIs end with probation sentences instead of jail time. However, violating any conditions of probation triggers a violation proceeding where judges can impose the original suspended sentence. Common probation infractions include:

  • Failed drug or alcohol tests
  • Missing mandatory counseling sessions
  • Failed to report to probation officer
  • Nonpayment of fines
  • Traveling outside allowed jurisdictions
  • Subsequent arrests for new crimes

Before the court revokes probation and orders incarceration, a dedicated criminal lawyer can:

  • Negotiate reinstatement of probation by explaining mitigating factors behind the violation.
  • Request sentence modification to better accommodate rehabilitation.
  • Challenge inaccuracies in alleged violations.
  • Coordinate additional counseling or treatment programs.
  • If necessary, directly appeal revocation by focusing on procedural errors.

Rather than accepting probation revocation as a foregone conclusion, meet with an attorney to explore all options to either restore probation or seek alternative penalties. Even if the violations did occur, skilled lawyers can sometimes either avoid jail time or have the sentence significantly reduced by negotiating with prosecutors and judges.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

As illustrated throughout this article, experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys have a wide array of tactics to defend clients and mitigate penalties. Key times to seek legal representation after being accused of a crime include:

  • During police questioning – Never talk to police without your lawyer present to avoid self-incrimination. Invoke your right to remain silent.
  • Before court hearings – Prosecutors often make initial plea deals at first appearances. An attorney can negotiate a favorable resolution.
  • If police seek search warrants – Lawyers may be able to argue against allowing warrants to search property for evidence.
  • Following indictment – Grand juries approving charges means prosecutors are ramping up the case. Time to mount a vigorous defense.
  • After arrest – Don’t delay. Immediately start developing your legal strategy. The defense may involve crime scene investigations, witness interviews, subpoenas, and research.
  • If offered a plea bargain – Lawyers can advise whether the deal is advantageous compared to potential trial outcomes.
  • During trial – Relying on seasoned litigators to present evidence, question witnesses, adhere to rules of procedure, and argue to the jury is essential.

No matter what stage of the criminal justice process you’re facing, consulting with an attorney protects your rights every step of the way. Defending yourself pro se against experienced prosecutors is extremely unwise as the stakes are so high. As explained throughout this article, top criminal lawyers are able to get charges reduced or dismissed, negotiate better pleas, minimize penalties, and win trials through skillful advocacy far more often than non-lawyers.


Facing criminal charges in Maryland can be daunting. However, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers understand how to build the strongest case possible on your behalf and achieve the best outcomes. This article provides an overview of key defenses, laws, and penalties surrounding some of the most common Maryland offenses like DUI, drug crimes, theft crimes, domestic violence, sexual offenses, and probation violations. We also discussed many reasons why promptly hiring an attorney to protect your rights is so critical. Don’t go it alone against the complex criminal justice system. Consult with an expert MD criminal lawyer as soon as possible about creating a customized legal defense to avoid the devastating consequences criminal convictions can bring to your freedom, finances, and reputation.