Maryland Man Found Guilty in Murder-for-Hire

Defendant Put Out Contract in Drug-Related Matter

Maryland Man Found Guilty in Murder-for-HireA 36-year-old Maryland man has been convicted in federal court of a number of crimes, including murder-for-hire, related to the deaths of three people in rural Pennsylvania in 2016. Kevin Coles, a native of Hagerstown, is alleged to have put out a contract on his girlfriend, Wendy Chaney, after he learned that she was cooperating with federal authorities in a criminal investigation into a drug distribution operation he ran. Authorities say that Coles worked through intermediaries to recruit and hire members of the Baltimore gang known as the “Guerilla Family,” who traveled to a barn in rural Pennsylvania, where they found Chaney, zip-tied her hands behind her back and shot her in the head. Two others, who happened to be at the farm when the killers found Chaney, were also killed.

AV-Rated Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has more than 30 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of DWI/DUI defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland. He has been awarded an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System by fellow members of the Maryland bar for more than 34 years. He has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers as well as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including cases involving prosecution for violent crimes. He will aggressively protect your constitutional rights and fully investigate your case to determine whether police and prosecutors follow proper procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll carefully interview all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Effective Maryland Criminal Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Baltimore Police Cleared in Fatal Shooting

State Attorney’s Office Finds “Probable Cause” of Serious Harm

Baltimore Police Cleared in Fatal ShootingThree Baltimore law enforcement officers, all still current members of the force, will not face prosecution for the death of a 35-year-old man on February 21, 2021. The officers were in pursuit of the victim, Benjamin Tyson, believing him to be a suspect in the shooting of a 23-year-old man earlier that night. When police approached him on the ramp of the Harbor Parking Garage, they say he pulled out a gun. They responded with gunfire, killing him almost instantaneously. Police believe that Tyson could not fire at the police officers because his gun had jammed.

The State’s Attorney’s Office conducted an extensive investigation of the case and concluded that the officers had “probable cause to believe their lives were in imminent threat of serious harm or death.”

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Lawyer

For over three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has protected the constitutional rights of criminal defendants across Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland, including people charged with assault or other violent crimes. SuperLawyers has named him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also listed him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan has maintained an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than 34 years. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an honor earned by less than 4% of all attorneys in Maryland. He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A respected trial attorney, Jonathan has a thorough understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure, and has considerable experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal cases. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Aggressive Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Potential Penalties for Drunk Driving in Maryland

The Possible Consequences of a Conviction for DUI or DWI

The Potential Penalties for Drunk Driving in MarylandIn Maryland, as in other states, when you have been arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence (DUI) or while impaired (DWI), you will be subjected to both an administrative proceeding and a criminal prosecution. The administrative proceeding will be conducted by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), whereas the criminal prosecution will take place in the state court system.

The purpose of the administrative hearing is to determine the status of your driving privileges. You must request a hearing with the MVA within thirty days of your arrest or your license will automatically be suspended. Furthermore, if you don’t want your license suspended before the administrative hearing, you must ask for the review within 10 days of the traffic stop. In some situations, in lieu of suspension, you may ask the court to allow you to participate in the state’s ignition interlock program. The judge will have the discretion to grant or deny that request.

The objective of the criminal prosecution is to establish guilt or innocence and determine criminal sanctions. The penalties for conviction may include fines of $500 to $5,000, as well as jail/prison terms ranging from two months to five years.

AV-Rated Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has more than three decades of experience successfully protecting the rights of DWI/DUI defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland. He has been awarded an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System by fellow members of the Maryland bar every year since 1988. He has also been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers as well as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has holds Martindale- Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including allegations of DUI and DWI. He will aggressively protect your constitutional rights and fully investigate your case to determine whether police and prosecutors follow proper procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll carefully interview all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Results-Oriented Maryland DWI/DUI Defense Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

DWI or DUI? What’s the Difference in Maryland?

What Are the Requirements? What Are the Potential Penalties?

DWI or DUI? What’s the Difference in Maryland?In many states, the terms “DUI” and “DWI” are used interchangeably to refer to virtually any charge involving drinking and driving. In Maryland, however, they refer to two distinction violations of the law.

Drive while impaired, or “DWI,” is the least serious of the drunk-driving offenses in Maryland. A person will generally be charged with driving while impaired if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .07%, but below .08%. In those situations, the decision to charge a person with a DWI is typically based on other signs of impairment, including the failure of a field sobriety test or visible evidence or impaired driving. Conviction on a DWI charge can lead to a 60-day jail term and a $500 fine for a first conviction, with the jail term extended to 12 months for subsequent convictions.

Driving under the influence (DUI), on the other hand, involves a traffic stop where the driver registers a BAC of .08% or higher. A first-time offender may potentially face a fine of $1,000 and a one-year jail sentence, and penalties for subsequent convictions may be as high as $5,000 and five years in prison. A DUI conviction will also typically lead to the accumulation of points on your driving record, which customarily leads, in turn, to increased insurance premiums.

Proven Carroll County Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

For more than 30 years, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has tenaciously fought for the rights of criminal defendants across Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland, including people charged with DWI or DUI. SuperLawyers lists him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan carries an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review

Rating System every year since 1988. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, given to less than 4% of all attorneys in Maryland. He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A respected trial attorney, Jonathan brings an extensive knowledge of Maryland criminal law and procedure to every case, as well as considerable experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal cases. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Attorney

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

What to Do When You Have Been Stopped for Suspicion of Drunk Driving

Minimizing the Potential Consequences of a DUI in Maryland

What to Do When You Have Been Stopped for Suspicion of Drunk DrivingWhen you have been pulled over in Baltimore or anywhere in Maryland and police suspect that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of a blood alcohol test and a DUI charge:

  • Stay calm and be polite—You don’t want to give the police officer any obvious reason to ask that you take a blood alcohol test
  • Remember that the officer must have probable cause to pull you over—It’s okay to ask why you were stopped. The officer must have observed you driving erratically, or must have seen some other traffic or motor vehicle violation.
  • Let the officer do most of the talking—Respond to the officer’s questions with short and succinct answers. Don’t volunteer any more information than is necessary.
  • Stay in your car—The officer may ask you to get out of your vehicle, so that he or she can conduct field sobriety tests. You do not have to do this. Politely say no. You can be arrested, whether you take the tests or not, so there’s little benefit to you in doing so.
  • Decline to take a roadside breath test—By law in Maryland, you can refuse to take a roadside test. Furthermore, your refusal to take the test cannot be used against you in court. If you are taken into the police station, you can still refuse to take a breath test, but the consequences of doing so are more severe.

AV-Rated Montgomery County DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings over 30 years of proven experience to DWI/DUI defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland. He has received an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System from other members of the Maryland bar every year since 1988. Jonathan has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers and has been designated a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has holds Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including driving while impaired and driving under the influence. He knows how to protect your constitutional rights and will carefully investigate your case to confirm that police and prosecutors follow all required procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll aggressively question all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most persuasive arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Results-Oriented Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Controlled Dangerous Substances in Maryland

The Maryland Laws Governing Illegal Drugs

Controlled Dangerous Substances in MarylandThe state of Maryland takes a somewhat unique approach to the criminalization of illegal drugs, identifying an illegal drug as a “controlled dangerous substance,” or CDS. All controlled dangerous substances are then categorized into 5 schedules, based on the recognized medical value and the likelihood of abuse. Those which are most susceptible to misuse and have the least proven medical benefit fall under Schedule I, and those with the most medical value and least risk of addiction or abuse are in Schedule V.

The Penalties Associated with Controlled Dangerous Substances

As a general rule, the penalties are most severe for crimes involving Schedule I and II drugs, and become less onerous with Schedule III, IV and V substances. For example, conviction of a Schedule I offense may result in up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of as much as $25,000. The most severe penalties for Schedule III, IV and V crimes is five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Proven Baltimore Drug Crimes Lawyer

For more than 30 years, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has zealously protected the rights of criminal defendants across Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland, including many people facing prosecution for DWI or DUI. SuperLawyers lists him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan has received an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, given to less than 4% of all attorneys in Maryland. He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A proven trial attorney, Jonathan brings an extensive knowledge of criminal law and procedure to every case, as well as considerable experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal matters. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Greater Baltimore Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Consequences of a Repeat DUI/DWI Conviction in Maryland

Potential Penalties for Subsequent Drunk Driving Convictions

The Consequences of a Repeat DUI/DWI Conviction in MarylandIn Maryland, if you are arrested, charged with and convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), and you have a previous conviction for the same offense within the last five years, there are two immediate consequences:

  • Your driving privileges will automatically be suspended for one year
  • At the completion of your suspension, you will be required to have an ignition interlock installed in your car for a period of one year

What Is an Ignition Interlock?

An ignition interlock requires that the submit to a blood alcohol test before your car will operate. When you have an ignition interlock installed, you must breathe into the device before you can start your car. If you test above the accepted level set on the device, your engine will not turn over.

AV-Rated Carroll County Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings over 30 years of proven experience to drunk driving defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland. He has received an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System from other members of the Maryland bar every year since 1988. Jonathan has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers and has been designated a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has holds Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including driving while impaired and driving under the influence. He knows how to protect your constitutional rights and will carefully investigate your case to confirm that police and prosecutors follow all required procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll aggressively question all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most persuasive arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Proven Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Potential Consequences of a First DUI/DWI Conviction in Maryland

The Penalties for First-Time Drunk Driving Offenders

The Potential Consequences of a First DUI/DWI Conviction in MarylandIn Maryland, when you have been pulled over and taken into custody for drinking and driving, you may be charged with driving while impaired (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), or both. You can only be convicted of one of those offenses.

If your blood alcohol content is less than .08%, but you exhibit other signs of impairment, a police officer may book you for DWI. If your blood alcohol content is .08% or above, you can be charged with DUI.

For a first-time conviction of driving while impaired, the penalties include up to two months of incarceration and a maximum fine of $500. Your driving privileges may be suspended for up to six months (a year, if you are under the age of 21) and you will have 8 points added to your driving record. For an initial conviction for driving under the influence, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 in fines and serve up to a year in jail. Your license can be revoked for up to six months and you will accumulate 12 points on your driving record.

Proven Baltimore DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

For over three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively fought for the rights of criminal defendants across Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland, including many people facing prosecution for DWI or DUI. SuperLawyers lists him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan has received an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, given to less than 4% of all attorneys in Maryland. He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A highly respected trial attorney, Jonathan brings an extensive knowledge of criminal law and procedure to every case, as well as considerable experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal matters. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Greater Baltimore Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland

Are They Reliable? Are They Admissible?

The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in MarylandIf you have been pulled over in Maryland, and the police officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be asked to submit to a number of different “field sobriety” tests, including:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test, where the officer will ask you to follow an object with your eyes, looking for a twitching or “nystagmus”
  • The one-leg stand test, where you must balance on one leg for a period of time
  • The walk-and-turn test, where you will be asked to walk heel-to-toe and make changes in direction

In independent tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the one-leg stand had a 65% accuracy rate and the walk-and-turn and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests had 68% and 77% accuracy rates, respectively. Nonetheless, these tests have been admissible in court for many years, though defense attorneys are allowed to inform a jury of the accuracy rates.

AV-Rated Frederick County Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of proven experience to DUI and other criminal defendants across the Baltimore metropolitan area and throughout the state of Maryland. He has been AV-rated (the highest rating possible) by his fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. Jonathan has been named among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers, and has been cited as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, conferred upon less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges. He knows how to protect your constitutionally guaranteed rights and ensure that police and prosecutors follow all required procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll carefully question all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most persuasive arguments at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Baltimore, Maryland DUI Defense Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Use of a Portable Breath Test in a Maryland DUI Prosecution

Can Prosecutors Introduce the Results as Evidence to Obtain a Conviction?

The Use of a Portable Breath Test in a Maryland DUI ProsecutionWhen you have been pulled over by law enforcement officers, one of the first questions you’ll often be asked is “have you been drinking”? Regardless of how you answer, the police officer may ask you to submit to a roadside blood alcohol test. Typically, they’ll tell you that the results are not admissible in court, so there’s no risk in taking the test. Is this true? Can you refuse to take the test?

While it is technically true that the results of a roadside BAC test are not admissible in court, voluntarily giving one can be a bad idea. Why? Because a police officer must have probable causes to detain or arrest you for drinking and driving. In many instances, the officer will have to make that decision based on circumstantial evidence—it’s rare that the officer will actually see you drinking while you are driving. Accordingly, if you voluntarily take the test, the officer can use it as part of the decision-making process, and may subsequently arrest you. You may then be brought back to the police station, where you will be required to submit to a BAC test that may be admitted in court.

You are under no obligation to take a roadside BAC test, and the officer cannot use your refusal as a reason to arrest you or make you submit to any subsequent test. The officer must make that decision based on other observations of your behavior.

Effective Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

For more than 30 years, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has repeatedly obtained positive results for criminal defendants in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland, including many individuals who have been charged with drinking and driving. SuperLawyers places him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan’s colleagues in the legal profession have given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. He has also been the recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an honor earned by less than 4% of all attorneys listed there. He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s the Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A proven trial attorney, Jonathan has long been highly regarded by clients and colleagues for his extensive knowledge of criminal law and procedure, as well as his skill and experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal matters. He will carefully gather and preserve evidence, and can quickly verify that law enforcement officers have followed constitutional procedures.

Proven Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Greater Baltimore Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore 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