U.S. Attorney Announces Formation of Drug Enforcement Task Force

Strike Force Targets Violent Crime in Baltimore

U.S. Attorney Announces Formation of Drug Enforcement Task ForceEarlier this month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland announced the creation of the Baltimore Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a combined effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to try to reduce drug-related violent crime in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Officials cited a dramatic increase in homicide in Baltimore—up nearly 17% compared to the same period a year ago—as one of the motivating factors. The AG’s office said it will work to identify individuals most responsible for drug-related violence and create partnerships to investigate and apprehend those persons. Officials hope to have all aspects of the strike force in place by the end of the year.

Experienced Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Attorney

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has worked hard to protect the rights of people facing criminal charges in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland. He has a thorough understanding of criminal law and procedure, and will take the time to fully investigate your case, gathering and protecting all relevant evidence, and confirming that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Smith has been named among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland by Super Lawyers, and was honored as a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine in 2012. He has held an AV rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988 and has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, an honor bestowed upon less than 4% of all attorneys listed there. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has identified him as one of the “10 Best Attorneys in the State of Maryland in Client Satisfaction.” He’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, awarded to less than 1% of all American lawyers who have obtained million dollar judgments, awards or settlements. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, counts him among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland. Attorney Smith also has a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a litigation attorney from AVVO and has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Effective Criminal Defense Lawyer throughout the Greater Baltimore Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we aggressively advocate for criminal defendants. Contact our office 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.

Baltimore Sees Dramatic Increase in Murder Rate in 2019

Police Say Homicides Up 16% Over 2018

Increase in Murder Rate in 2019Police officials in Baltimore released statistics earlier this month, comparing the number of homicides in the city over the first half of the year with each of the prior two years. According to the data, 171 murders had been reported in 2019, compared with 147 a year ago. The report also indicated a significant increase in the number of non-fatal shootings and attempted murders, up 28 percent over the last 12 months. As further evidence of the serious problem the city faces, Fraternal Order of Police representatives say the bloodshed has only intensified in the last two weeks, with 11 homicides in just 14 days.

Experienced Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

For more than 30 years, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people facing criminal charges in Baltimore and across Maryland. He has a thorough understanding of criminal law and procedure, and will take the time to fully investigate your case, gathering and protecting all relevant evidence, and confirming that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland by Super Lawyers, and was honored as a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine in 2012. He has maintained an AV rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988 and has also been the recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, an honor bestowed upon less than 4% of all attorneys listed there. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has identified him as one of the “10 Best Attorneys in the State of Maryland in Client Satisfaction.” He’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, awarded to less than 1% of all American lawyers who have obtained million dollar judgments, awards or settlements. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, counts him among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland. Attorney Smith also has a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a litigation attorney from AVVO and has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Effective Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Greater Baltimore Area

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

Maryland Senate Passes Bills to Change Marijuana Laws

Change Marijuana Laws

In late March, the Maryland Senate approved a law that would make a number of changes to the state’s marijuana laws. The bill, which nearly triples the amount a person would have to possess to face criminal charges, also makes driving under the influence of cannabis an offense similar to drinking and driving. Under the law, it would be illegal to smoke either as a driver or a passenger.

The law, if approved by the House and signed by the Governor, would make possession of less than an ounce a civil infraction. Under current law, a person can be charged with a criminal offense for possession of 10 grams (an ounce is approximately 28 grams).

In early April, the Senate also approved a proposed law that would provide specific benefits to minorities who want to become licensed medical marijuana growers and processors.

Highly Respected Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people facing criminal charges in Maryland. He uses a thorough approach to criminal defense, carefully gathering and safeguarding all evidence in your case. He’ll ensure that law enforcement officers followed proper protocols, so that your constitutional rights were not violated.

Attorney Smith is well-respected among clients and colleagues, earning recognition as a Maryland Super Lawyer, as well as an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the top rating possible). Honored as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine, he has also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He also holds a 10.0 Superb rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO.

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

We’ll aggressively protect your rights in a criminal matter Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We defend cases throughout Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Charges Dropped in Gun Possession Prosecution Involving Indicted Officer

Charges Dropped in Gun Possession Prosecution Involving Indicted Officer

The first repercussions of the indictment of seven Baltimore police officers on federal racketeering charges have been felt. Authorities say a number of pending criminal prosecutions were abandoned, as the credibility of the officers was perceived to be suspect. In addition, a man serving a three month sentence for gun possession charges was released from jail and all charges were dismissed.

Quinton McNeil, 22, was released from jail midway through a 90 day sentence, after prosecutors determined that the charges against him were based solely on the testimony of two of the indicted officers.

AV-Rated Ellicott City Criminal Defense Attorney

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively represented criminal defendants in Maryland for more than 30 years. He’ll be your advocate at all stages of a criminal prosecution, from arrest to arraignment to trial. He’ll fully investigate your case, looking at how police and prosecutors gathered evidence against you. He’ll review all police reports and question witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most effective defense at trial. He has the experience to negotiate a plea bargain, if that’s in your best interests. But he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your rights before a judge and jury. He’ll make sure that there was probable cause for any search or seizure and that you were properly advised of your Constitutional rights if taken into custody.

Because of his strong record and reputation for effective advocacy, he has been awarded 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. Smith was also recognized as a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and by Martindale-Hubbell.

Proven Montgomery County, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you face criminal charges, you want someone who will aggressively protect your constitutional rights. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Baltimore Police Officers Charged with Racketeering

A federal grand jury has indicted seven Baltimore police officers, all members of an elite task force, charging them with theft, extortion, fraud and filing false police reports. One of the officers has also been charged with trafficking drugs. Prosecutors say the seven men often made illegal traffic stops or engaged in illegal search and seizure, taking drugs and cash for personal use or to sell. The indictment alleged that many of the victims had not committed any crime, but were simply victims of wrongdoing by the officers. The indictment also alleges that the policemen submitted bogus overtime, often claiming to be working while they were on vacation. Between them, the seven officers allegedly took home around $400,000 in fraudulent overtime in just one year.

Many local criminal defense attorneys say the arrests jeopardize a number of convictions over the last few years. They say that any case these officers were involved in may be suspect, as the officers’ testimony will likely be considered unreliable.

Top-Rated Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully protected the rights of people facing criminal prosecution in Maryland. He takes a comprehensive approach to criminal defense, carefully gathering and preserving all evidence in your case. He’ll review police reports to ensure that police followed proper procedures and that your constitutional rights were not violated.

Attorney Smith is well-respected among clients and colleagues, earning recognition as a Maryland Super Lawyer, as well as an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the top rating possible). Honored as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine, he has also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He also holds a 10.0 Superb rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO.

Experienced Baltimore County Criminal Defense Attorney

Let us help protect your rights in a criminal matter. Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We defend people throughout Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Baltimore Police Investigate First Homicides of 2017

police-investigate

Just hours into 2017, Baltimore police are investigating two unrelated homicides.

Just after 3 pm, officers heard shots in the 1800 block of West Fayette Street. When they arrived at the scene, they found a 20-year-old male with fatal wounds to his upper torso.

Just two hours later, in the 1000 block of North Mount Street, another officer hear gunfire and saw a suspect running with a gun. He found an adult male with gunshot wound in a car nearby. The man was taken to a hospital, but died from his injuries.

The number of homicides in Baltimore decreased in 2016 from the year before. Officials reported 319 intentional killings in the city in 2016, compared with a record 344 the year before. In 2014, the city reported just 211 killings, the second lowest number in nearly half a century.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbia, MD

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has fought for the rights of criminal defendants in Maryland for more than three decades. Because of his record and reputation for effective representation, he has been awarded the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, based on an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He has a perfect 10.0 Superb rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO, and has also built an outstanding reputation with his colleagues in the legal profession, earning an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. Smith was also recognized as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

Baltimore County, Maryland, Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged or are under investigation for any type of crime, we can help. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Burglary Charges Filed Against Two Suspects

Burglary of Howard County Home Alleged
Burglary charges were filed against two men on Thursday, March 14, 2013, alleging that they committed a burglary of an Ellicott City home located in the 3700 block of Ligon Drive, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Christopher Michael Kelly of Columbia, and Luther Danny Davidson of West Friendship, were arrested by Howard County Police and charged with burglary, after the car they occupied was seen in the driveway of an Ellicott City home. A police search discovered evidence of the burglary, including stolen items, burglary tools, and a handgun.

What is Burglary in the First Degree in Maryland?

Under Maryland law,  a person may not break and enter the dwelling of another with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence. This is the definition of first degree burglary. The penalty for first degree burglary is imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.

What is Second Degree Burglary in Maryland?

There are two different violations that constitute second degree burglary. First, a person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to commit theft, a crime of violence, or arson in the second degree. If he does, he is guilty of a felony and the penalty is imprisonment not exceeding 15 years. Second,  a person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to steal, take, or carry away a firearm. This also is a felony, and the penalty is imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

Highly Rated Criminal Defense Attorney Howard County, MD

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of trial experience to criminal defendants in and around Howard County, Maryland. He has built an outstanding reputation with clients and colleagues. Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • Selected for “Top Attorneys in Maryland.”
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Attorney Smith handles a wide range of criminal matters including theft offenses, burglary, robbery and possession of stolen property.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Burglary Charges

If you are under investigation for burglary, or have been arrested and charged with burglary charges, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith will fight for you and aggressively protect your constitutional rights.

Contact Us

Call our office at 410-740-0101, or contact us online, to schedule an appointment. We represent people accused of burglary and other crimes throughout Maryland, including Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

Burglary Charges filed Against Man in Ellicott City Burglaries

Burglary Cases in Ellicott City Cause Police to Detain Suspect
Burglary charges were filed against 23-year-old Cornelius Antonio McRae, a Baltimore resident, in January, reported The Baltimore Sun. Howard County police arrested and charged McRae with multiple counts of burglary, assault and theft. Police identified him as a burglary suspect through records obtained from pawn shops in the area.

Howard County Police believe that most of the thefts occurred while the victims were sleeping and that McRae entered the homes through unlocked doors. The items stolen in the various burglaries, mostly occurring in December, 2012, were similar — credit cards, money, wallets, purses and electronic devices, including laptops.

Burglary Charges Filed Against Baltimore Man

Once police considered McRae a burglary suspect, they learned through the course of their investigation that he had been seen driving a stolen 2013 Honda. On-duty officers observed the unoccupied Honda in Columbia on January 6, near the location of a burglary that had just occurred. As they watched the vehicle, McRae walked up to it with a stolen purse in hand. Police approached McRae and he fled. Officers located him in a nearby dumpster with stolen items in his possession.

McRae has been charged with four counts of first-degree burglary, third-degree burglary and fourth-degree burglary, as well as theft and second-degree assault (he resisted arrest and injured a police officer in the process). He is currently being held on $300,000 bond in Howard County.

Burglary Statistics

FBI statistics reveal that there are approximately 2.1 million burglaries in the United States annually. About 75% of those are residential burglaries. Burglaries account for one quarter of all property crimes. There were 1,393 burglaries in Howard County in 2010, according to the Howard County Police Department.

What is Burglary in the First Degree in Maryland?

Under Maryland law,  a person may not break and enter the dwelling of another with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence. This is the definition of first degree burglary. The penalty for first degree burglary is imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.

What is Second Degree Burglary in Maryland?

There are two different violations that constitute second degree burglary. First, a person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to commit theft, a crime of violence, or arson in the second degree. If he does, he is guilty of a felony and the penalty is imprisonment not exceeding 15 years. Second,  a person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to steal, take, or carry away a firearm. This also is a felony, and the penalty is imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

Highly Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Maryland

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of trial experience to criminal defendants in and around Howard County, Maryland. He has built an outstanding reputation with clients and colleagues. Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Attorney Smith handles a wide range of criminal matters including theft offenses, such as burglary, robbery and possession of stolen property.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Howard County, MD

If you are under investigation or have been arrested and charged with a crime, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith will aggressively protect your constitutional rights. Call our office at 410-740-0101, or contact us online, to schedule an appointment. We represent people accused of burglary and other crimes throughout Maryland, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

 

 

 

Police Assault Case Causes Police Response to Editorial

Assault on Students at University of Maryland after Basketball

Police assault on students generated a post on the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) blog, in which the police chief characterized a Washington Post editorial as “exaggerated and misleading.”

On March 3, 2010, Prince George’s County police officers were videotaped beating Maryland student John McKenna with batons as McKenna and others celebrated a University of Maryland basketball victory over Duke University. PGPD conducted an investigation and two officers were indicted on first- and second-degree assault charges, as well as misconduct in office offenses. One officer was convicted and served a 30-day home detention sentence. The other officer was acquitted.

Editorial Criticizes Police Handling of Student Assault Case

In its response to the Washington Post editorial, which asserted that police “got away with” beating McKenna, Chief of Police Mark A. Magaw stated on the blog that:

  • What happened to McKenna was wrong.
  • The involved officers were identified, indicted and prosecuted.
  • The PGPD has taken “unprecedented steps” to improve discipline and training oversight.
  • The PGPD has completely overhauled the strategy and training to handle civil disturbances.
  • The PGPD is working in conjunction with the University of Maryland to ensure that “the mistakes of the past” are not repeated.

What is the Definition of Assault?

Maryland separates assault in two degrees: first degree assault, which is a felony; and second degree assault, which is a misdemeanor. Assault in the second degree happens when one person physically injures another. The injuries can be minor or cause physical injury, but not serious or permanent injury.

Second-degree assault also includes causing a reasonable person to fear imminent physical harm. This means that even if you did not physically touch another person but you caused them to have a reasonable fear of being hurt by you, you could potentially be charged with assault.

Battery, which is also considered an assault crime, means unlawfully, offensively touching another person without his or her agreement. In most situations, however, assault does refer to a fight or disagreement that has turned physically violent.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorney Howard County, MD

A Maryland Super Lawyer, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of trial experience to criminal defendants in Maryland. He has built an outstanding reputation with clients and colleagues.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience in assault and other criminal cases — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Ellicott City, Maryland, Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you need top-ranked criminal defense counsel for assault charges, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith will aggressively fight to protect your constitutional rights. Call our office at 410-740-0101, or contact us online, to schedule an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel 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