The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland

What You Can Expect When Suspected of Drinking and Driving

The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in MarylandIn Maryland, when a police officer pulls you over, regardless of the reason, the officer may ask if you have been drinking. If you answer affirmatively, or if the officer has reasonable cause to belief that you are impaired, he will likely ask you to step out of the car and take a field sobriety test. You don’t have to take the test. All field sobriety tests are voluntary, and there’s no legal penalty for refusing to take one. That doesn’t mean, though, that the officer can’t take you into custody and escort you to the police station, where you’ll be asked to submit to a blood-alcohol-content test (there are penalties for refusing to take that test).

There are four field sobriety tests a law enforcement officer may administer. These are referred to as “standardized field sobriety tests,” which means that they must be administered following a specific procedure. If proper procedure isn’t followed, then test results cannot be used to take you into custody. The four tests are:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus—The officer asks you to focus on some item in his or her hand, such as a pen or flashlight, and watches for a jerking motion in your eyes.
  • The one-leg stand—The officer makes you stand on one leg for a specific period of time.
  • The walk-and-turn—The officer asks you to walk heel-to-toe away from the officer and back.
  • The portable breath test—The officer asks you to blow into a portable breath test kit. (In Maryland, portable breath test results are not admissible to show blood alcohol content.)

Experienced Baltimore County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people charged with drunk driving in the metropolitan Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for over 30 years. Attorney Smith has been selected as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and has earned AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in online client reviews. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive and methodical approach to the defense of drunk driving and other criminal charges. He’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your traffic stop and detention to confirm that all procedures were correctly followed and that your constitutional rights were not violated. He’ll review police reports and interview all witnesses in order to make the most persuasive arguments in your defense.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment.We handle drunk driving prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Challenging the Validity of DUI Breath-Testing Devices

New York Times Study Finds Problems with Machines and Results

Child Abuse in MarylandWhen police pull you over and suspect you’re driving under the influence or while impaired, it’s common for them to administer a breath test and use the results in a criminal prosecution. However, a 2019 study by the New York Times found that those tests, long considered an essential tool in DUI and DWI enforcement, are less than reliable.

According to the Times investigation, even though companies that sell breath-testing equipment claim they’re “precise to the third decimal place,” tens of thousands of breath tests are ruled inadmissible in court every year. In New Jersey and Massachusetts alone, more than 30,000 breath tests were ruled invalid in 2019 due to administration errors or poor oversight by law enforcement agencies. The Times found that police departments often fail to properly calibrate the machines, causing readings that are 20% or more higher than actual levels. The study also found that many police departments have no procedures in place for maintaining breath-testing equipment. Furthermore, computer experts contend that many of the machines have significant programming defects in their software.

Experienced Baltimore County Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of people charged with drinking and driving in the metropolitan Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for more than three decades. Attorney Smith has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and has received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. A Maryland Super Lawyer, he’s also respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith will zealously protect your rights at any stage of a criminal matter, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation to confirm that law enforcement officers had probable cause and that your constitutional rights were not violated. Smith will carefully determine the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense.

Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland

Grounds for license suspension and the penalties for driving on a suspended license

Driving on a Suspended License in MarylandThe Maryland Department of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has the legal authority to temporarily suspend your driving privileges for a number of reasons:

  • Accumulation of 8 or more points on your driving record
  • Failure to pay a fine related to a traffic citation
  • Conviction for driving under the influence or while impaired

The penalties for operating a motor vehicle when your license has been suspended

Whether the suspension was appropriate or the result of a mistake, whether you intentionally drove with a suspended license or were unaware of the suspension, the state of Maryland can impose severe sanctions. You could face anywhere from two months to a year in jail, pay a $1,000 fine, or both. You also can expect points added to your driving record.

Experienced Baltimore County Traffic Court Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided sound counsel to people facing traffic court challenges in Baltimore and across Maryland for more than 35 years. He’s been listed as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and earned AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO. Long named a Maryland SuperLawyer, he’salso AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to criminal defense, looking at the actions of law enforcement officers throughout the process. He’ll confirm whether there was probable cause to pull you over and whether you were properly notified of your constitutional rights. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation, talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and traveling to the scene of the traffic stop, if appropriate.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Child Abuse in Maryland

How Does Maryland Law Address Maltreatment of Minors?

Child Abuse in MarylandUnder the criminal statutes in Maryland, it is against the law to emotionally or physically abuse minors. The covered forms of abuse include improper sexual conduct. Furthermore, certain professionals and third parties, such as social workers and medical personnel, are required by law to report actual knowledge or even reasonable suspicion of child abuse.

Child abuse is defined as “physical or mental injury of a child under circumstances that indicate the child’s health or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of being harmed.” Telltale signs that a child has been subjected to illegal abuse include the following:

  • Tentative or nervous behavior where the child is consistently withdrawn, fearful, or worried that something bad is going to happen;
  • Unexplained and frequent cuts, bruises, or other injuries, particularly bruises that have patterns or are repeatedly in the same place; or
  • An unwillingness by the child to touch or come in close contact with others.

The Consequences of Arrest and Conviction

Child abuse is a felony in Maryland and can result in significant fines, incarceration, and a permanent criminal record. A conviction also may result in a court order denying access to minor children or allowing only supervised contact with minor children.

Experienced Baltimore County Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the metropolitan Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 35 years. He has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars (the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s also highly regarded by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO. Attorney Smith takes a strong approach to the defense of any criminal charge, aggressively representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial. He’ll verify that law enforcement officers had probable cause and confirm that your constitutional rights were safeguarded. A proven trial attorney, he’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

DUI and DWI in Maryland

The Difference Between Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated

DUI and DWI in MarylandIn the state of Maryland, unlike many states, there’s a legal distinction between DUI,or driving under the influence, and DWI—driving while intoxicated. Conviction on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol requires evidence of a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. To be charged and convicted of the lesser offense of driving while intoxicated, there’s no requirement of a specific BAC—prosecutors must show only that you were impaired by alcohol and that it affected your ability to drive. It’s also important to understand that you need not be operating a motor vehicle on the road to be charged with DWI; you need only be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle while the car’s engine is running.

Experienced Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of DWI/DUI defendants across the greater Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for over 35 years. A recipient of AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also maintains a perfect 10.0 (Superb)rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s been chosen as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and long been listed as a Maryland SuperLawyer. He’s also received accolades from his colleagues in the legal profession, earning an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith aggressively defends clients on any criminal charge. He’ll be with you throughout the legal process, from investigation to arrest and arraignment to trial, if necessary. He’ll ensure that law enforcement officers had probable cause andthat your constitutional rights were not violated. A highly respected trial attorney, he’ll conduct a detailed investigation of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment.We handle DUI-DWI cases in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Possession of Illegal Drugs in Maryland

How Does Maryland Define Possession?

Possession of Illegal DrugsIn Maryland, as in all states, the possession of certain controlled substances is a violation of the law. That includes not only “street drugs,” such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin, but also prescription medication. Maryland has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, treating the offense like a moving violation. Accordingly, marijuana is no longer classified as a controlled dangerous substance under Maryland law.

The Definition of “Possession” Under Maryland Law

The Maryland drug statute makes it illegal to:

  • Possess or administer to another person any controlled dangerous substance (CDS). It is permissible to possess or administer a CDS if you have a valid prescription for the drug.
  • Possess or try to possess a CDS through any of the following means:
    • A false or counterfeit prescription
    • The use of false information, such as name or address
    • Any type of fraud, deceit, or act of misrepresentation

Experienced Maryland Drug Possession Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the metropolitan Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 35 years. A recipient of AVVO’s coveted Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and is a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer. Smith is highly respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to the defense of any criminal charge and will be at your side throughout the legal process, whether you are merely under investigation or actually arrested and charged. He’ll investigate whether law enforcement officers had probable cause and confirm that your constitutional rights were protected. A proven trial attorney, he’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case, so he can make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment.We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Domestic Violence in Maryland

What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Violence in MarylandUnder Maryland law, certain criminal acts can be prosecuted as domestic violence when committed against a household or family member. Those crimes which can qualify as domestic violence include:

  • Simple or aggravated assault;
  • Stalking or harassment;
  • Sexual assault, including rape;
  • Child abuse or violence toward a vulnerable adult; and
  • Any act causing serious bodily harm or a reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm.

Maryland applies the concept of domestic violence broadly, including actions between current or former spouses; individuals who cohabitate; parents and children; stepparents and stepchildren; and anyone else related by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Experienced Maryland Domestic Violence Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of experience to men and women throughout Baltimore County and across the state of Maryland who have been arrested for or charged with domestic violence. Attorney Smith is AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System and has been named a Maryland SuperLawyer. A recipient of AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigator and was listed as a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith will tenaciously protect your rights in any criminal matter, whether you are under investigation or already arrested and charged. He’ll verify that there was probable cause for arrest and that all your constitutional rights were respected. He’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most persuasive arguments in your defense. Smith is a proven trial attorney with the skill, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights in any criminal matter.

Frederick County Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith online or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle criminal matters in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Understanding Implied Consent During a Maryland DUI/DWI Stop

Do You Have to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test When Stopped for Suspected DWI/DUI?

Understanding Implied Consent During a Maryland DUI/DWI StopWhen you’re stopped by a law enforcement officer, it’s fairly common for them to ask if you’ve consumed any alcoholic beverages. If you have and answer truthfully, the officer may ask you to take a blood alcohol test to determine if you are over the legal limit. If you test positive, it can be used against you in a criminal prosecution. Can you refuse to take the test? What are the legal consequences if you choose not to submit to a breath test?

In Maryland, as in other states, the legal concept of implied consent applies when you get behind the wheel of a car. Under this principle, simply by operating a motor vehicle, you are deemed to agree to submit to a blood alcohol test if requested by a police officer. Nonetheless, you still can refuse to take the test (and cannot be forced to do so), but you will face specific consequences:

  • Your driver’s license will be seized, and you will be issued a 10-day temporarylicense. Your license can be suspended for up to two years; and
  • Your refusal to take a breath test is admissible in court and may be used by the jury to determine guilt.

Experienced DWI/DUI Defense Attorney in Baltimore County

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to individuals in Baltimore County and across the state of Maryland who have been arrested for or charged with impaired driving. Attorney Smith has been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System and has been listed as a Maryland SuperLawyer. An honoree of the AVVO Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO. He was named a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith will aggressively protect your rights in any criminal proceeding, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial, making certain there was probable cause and that all constitutional guarantees were followed. He’ll carefully investigate the details of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense. He’s a highly experienced trial attorney, with the skill, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights in any criminal matter.

Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith online or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle criminal matters in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Tips for Minimizing the Impact of a Speeding Ticket in Maryland

Ways to Potentially Limit the Consequences of a Citation

Tips for Minimizing the Impact of a Speeding Ticket in MarylandIt happens to many of us at one time or another. You’re behind the wheel and running late, distracted by any number of things. Without even knowing it, you let your speed creep up. Suddenly there are flashing lights in the rearview mirror, and you’re being pulled over for speeding. Unfortunately, such a ticket can put points on our driving record and lead to higher insurance premiums. Here are some things you can do to minimize the impact of a speeding ticket:

  • Ensure that all licenses and insurance documents are up to date—A police officer initially may be willing to give you a warning. However, if your license is expired or has inaccurate information, or your insurance documents are incomplete, the officer may be less accommodating.
  • Treat the officer with courtesy—You don’t want to do anything to put the officer in a bad mood. Be courteous and answer the officer’s questions without being too talkative. To the extent you can, answer questions “yes” or “no.”
  • If you receive a ticket, immediately contact an experienced traffic ticket lawyer.
  • Be willing to enroll in and complete a driving course.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Baltimore County

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the state of Maryland. Attorney Smith is AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System and has been named a Maryland Super Lawyer. A recipient of AVVO Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigation attorney and was named a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith will aggressively protect your constitutional rights in any criminal proceeding, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial, if necessary. He’ll carefully investigate the details of your traffic stop or citation, so he can make the most compelling arguments in your defense. Smith is a proven trial attorney, with the experience, skill, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights in any criminal matter.

Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our office at 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We handle criminal prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Steps for Getting a Protective Order in Maryland

How to Get a Court Order Restraining the Actions of Another Person

The Steps for Getting a Protective Order in MarylandDo you need to take legal action to limit another person’s contact with you? In the state of Maryland, you can obtain a protective order through either the District Court or Circuit Court in the county where you live. Before a court will issue such an order, you must show how you might be subjected to abuse by the restrainee. That requirement can be met by showing one or more of the following:

  • Actual physical violence in the past—hitting, kicking, shoving, punching, biting, or throwing objects at you
  • Threats or actions that reasonably put you in fear of imminent serious injury
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment
  • Mental injury to a child

To qualify for a protective order, a person must fall into one of the following categories:

  • A current or former spouse of the abuser
  • A cohabitant of the abuser
  • A person related to the abuser, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A person who has had a child with the abuser
  • A person who has been involved in a sexual relationship with the abuser within one year of the petition for a protective order
  • A parent, stepparent, or stepchild, provided they have lived with the abuser for at least 90 days in the last 12 months
  • Any vulnerable adult

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Baltimore County

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of experience to criminal defendants throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland. A recipient of the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO and was named a 2012 Top-RatedLawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith is AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System and has been named a Maryland Super Lawyer. He’ll fight for your constitutional rights in any criminal proceeding, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial, if necessary. He’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your arrest and detention in order to present the strongest arguments for your acquittal. He’s a proven trial attorney, with the experience, skill, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights in any criminal matter.

Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our office at 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We handle criminal prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101