The Top 5 Reasons to Retain a Local Criminal Defense Attorney in Maryland

Criminal Defense in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County, MD

scales-of-justice
Being charged with a crime is serious. Your reputation, your finances and even your freedom may be at stake. So if you have been charged with a crime in Maryland, your first question may well be: “Which criminal defense lawyer should I retain?”

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether to retain a local criminal defense attorney, or whether you want to bring in a criminal defense attorney from out of town. The reference to “local criminal defense attorney” refers to someone with actual experience in the courtroom where you will be facing trial. Retaining a local criminal defense lawyer has some distinct advantages.

Here are the top five reasons why you should consider retaining the services of a local lawyer:

  • Reason #1: You should hire a local Maryland criminal defense attorney to defend you against criminal charges because each court has their local rules and customs that an out-of-town attorney may not be familiar with and may inadvertently jeopardize your defense.
  • Reason #2: You should hire a local attorney to defend you against criminal charges because a local attorney will likely have an established relationship with the court, and have earned a reputation for trustworthiness and ethical representation, which can help provide you with an excellent defense.
  • Reason #3: You should hire a local attorney to defend you against criminal charges because an attorney who is familiar with the tendencies of a judge and a court will be in a better position to evaluate your defense and properly advise you regarding taking the stand.
  • Reason #4: You should hire a local attorney to defend you against criminal charges because your attorney would be from the same area as the prosecuting attorney, and therefore in a better position to convey your side of the case more effectively and determine whether a favorable plea agreement can be reached.
  • Reason #5: You should hire a local attorney to defend you against criminal charges because if your case goes to trial, a jury of your peers will be selected, and a local lawyer may be in a better position to understand and communicate with those jurors than an attorney from out-of-town.

Of course, these reasons are all premised on having a local attorney who has experience, integrity and the proper attitude and caring to provide you with excellent representation and service.

Howard County, Columbia, and Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated former criminal prosecutor, with over 30 years of courtroom experience in numerous criminal courts throughout the Baltimore area, including Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County. He has handled thousands of criminal defense cases, and chances are excellent he has tried cases in the same courtroom, with the same judge, and knows the prosecuting attorney who will be handling your case. You can see what many satisfied clients have to say about the job he did for them. In addition, you can check the results in real cases he has handled.

Highly Rated Howard County Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in domestic violence, domestic assault, and other criminal cases — has earned him the recognition of the legal community, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Howard County.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offenses, domestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

Protective Order for Domestic Violence Overturned on Appeal

A protective order for domestic violence was entered by the District Court for Howard County against a 33 year old analyst after his estranged wife filed a petition requesting a restraining order based on alleged domestic violence and domestic assault. The husband appealed, knowing that he had done nothing wrong. Under Maryland law, an appeal is heard in the Circuit Court “de novo,” meaning a new trial as if the first one had never taken place. The client was represented by a different lawyer in the unsuccessful first trial, and knew he needed an experienced Howard County domestic violence lawyer for the appeal. That’s why he retained Jonathan Scott Smith, an aggressive former prosecutor with more than 30 years of courtroom experience with a track record of successful results.

Maryland family law permits a person to file a petition and obtain a protective order if there is clear and convincing evidence of “abuse.” Abuse means an act that causes serious bodily harm; an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; assault in any degree; rape or sexual offense; false imprisonment; and stalking. A court may grant a wide range of relief, including: an order to leave the home; an order not to abuse, contact, or harass; an order to stay away from the victim’s residence and work, and the children’s school and child care provider. In addition, the court may grant exclusive use and possession of the family home and vehicle, custody, child access, and emergency family maintenance.

In many cases, the protective order law is abused by people who want to end their marriage and manipulate the legal process to gain an unfair advantage in divorce and custody cases. In the current case, the wife acknowledged that she wanted out of the marriage. She filed for a protective order after leaving the family home, and admitted under cross examination that she not only wanted custody, but to have the child “all the time.”

The wife claimed a long history of alleged abuse and injuries. However, there wasn’t any corroborating evidence. Under extensive questioning by Mr. Smith, she admitted she had never been treated by a hospital or doctor; the police had never been called to the home; there weren’t any witnesses; and there weren’t any photographs of any injuries. In fact, the woman even admitted that she continued living with her husband and sleeping in the same bed after the last alleged incident of abuse. Her claims were also contradicted by testimony she had given earlier, and even by her own petition signed under oath.

The case was heard in the Circuit Court for Howard County. After hours of testimony and argument, the judge concluded that there wasn’t clear and convincing evidence of domestic violence and denied the protective order.

If you or a loved one are falsely accused of domestic violence or domestic assault, and someone is seeking a restraining order or protective order, call Jonathan Scott Smith now 410-740-0101 or contact his office online for immediate help.

Woman Cleared of Violation of Protective Order

Criminal Charges Brought for Violation of Protective Order

A 31-year old mother was charged with Violation of Protective Order and Telephone Misuse after her estranged husband claimed she repeatedly called and texted him in violation of an existing order of protection sought by the husband. In many domestic violence and protective order cases, the party who sought the protection order prohibiting all contact later initiates emails, texts, or phone calls. Then, when the person subject to the protective order responds to the contacts, the “victim” seeks criminal charges for violation of protective order. This is an abuse of the legal process and subjects many innocent people to arrest, criminal prosecution, having to post bail, and legal fees for a criminal defense lawyer.

What are the Penalties for Violation of Protective Order in Maryland?

Judges treat violations of protective orders very seriously. A conviction is a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the court can impose a fine up to $1,000.00 and imprisonment up to 90 days, or both.  For a second or subsequent offense, the court can impose a fine up to $2,500.00 and imprisonment up to 1 year, or both.
Charges for Violation of Protective Order Dismissed

In this case, as in many others, telephone records revealed that it was the husband who repeatedly initiated telephone contact with wife, and then engaged in back and forth communications. The case was heard in the District Court for Howard County.  The wife was represented by Columbia criminal defense lawyer and domestic violence attorney Jonathan Scott Smith of the Smith Criminal Defense Firm. Mr. Smith, a former prosecutor, has extensive experience in criminal law. He believes in aggressively defending domestic violence cases. The client refused all plea bargain offers. The prosecutor, after losing another case to Mr. Smith,  dismissed all charges.

Howard County Criminal Defense Attorney

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including numerous violation of protective order charges. With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Top Rated Columbia and Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in violation of protective order and other criminal cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal lawyers in Howard County.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in violation of protective order, other criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offensesdomestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

Woman Cleared of Violation of Protective Order

Criminal Charges for Violation of Protective Order
protective-order
A 31-year old Columbia woman was charged with Violation of Protective Order and Telephone Misuse after her estranged husband claimed she repeatedly called and texted him in violation of an existing protective order that had been sought by her husband. Every person accused of a crime, including criminal charges of violation of protective order, is presumed to be innocent and has the right to fight those charges.

What are the Penalties for Violation of Protective Order in Maryland?

If a person is convicted of violation of protective order in Maryland, they are subject to criminal penalties. The crime is a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the court may impose a fine up to $1,000.00 and imprisonment up to 90 days, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, the court may impose a fine up to $2,500.00 and imprisonment up to 1 year, or both. Judges treat violation of protective order charges very seriously.

Woman Cleared of Violation of Protective Order Charges

Jonathan Scott Smith of the Smith Criminal Defense Firm in Howard County, Maryland prepared a vigorous defense. On Mr. Smith’s recommendation, the accused woman refused all plea bargain offers. Mr. Smith obtained telephone records revealing that it was the husband who repeatedly initiated telephone contact with wife, and then engaged in back and forth communications. The husband’s conduct completely contradicted his claim that he was being harassed by his wife. The prosecution caved and dismissed all charges.

Howard County Criminal Defense Attorney

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including numerous violation of protective order charges. With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Top Rated Columbia and Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in violation of protective order and other criminal cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal lawyers in Howard County.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in violation of protective order, other criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offensesdomestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

ADDRESS :

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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101