Pleading Guilty to a Ocean City, Maryland DUI Charge

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Many of those who are convicted of a DUI are offered a plea bargain. This means there is an offer for a lesser charge, or other concession from prosecution, if the defendant states that he was guilty. It is very difficult for those who are charged with a DUI to know and understand if their plea bargain is truly a good deal - only an experienced DUI attorney can help you to determine the right choice to make: plea or fight.

 

Many who plead guilty without the advice of an experienced DUI attorney may not truly realize the consequences of their plea. The first thing to realize about pleading guilty is that you are waving all of your Constitutional rights in your case! This means that any right, such as your right to remain silent or your right to a trial, are forfeited.

 

After pleading guilty, you are convicted of the offense against you. Many fail to realize this simple fact: a guilty plea is the same as a conviction. After you have chosen to plead guilty, it will be extremely difficult for you to withdraw your guilty plea. This means that it is essential to understand the possible penalties that you face when pleading guilty. In Maryland, a first offense DUI charge can land you with up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine and license suspension of up to 6 months, with a minimum of 45 days.

 

Portner & Shure has seen many cases in which clients had a good chance to fight their DUI charge in ways that the client did not even realize. There are also often offers for unfair plea bargains when a defendant faces their charges alone as opposed to alongside an attorney with an aggressive reputation. An attorney from Portner & Shure will help explain to you the mitigating and aggravating factors of your particular case and guide you to determine the best course of action to take.

 

An attorney who has seen countless DUI cases understands that there are many ways to succeed in a case, from getting a client a better plea deal, a lesser punishment, to even getting a "not guilty" finding. The complexities that are involved with a DUI case are too many to count. It is advised that you seek the counsel of a knowledgeable DUI attorney and have them review your case to discuss your options.

 

One of the best aspects of Portner & Shure is that they offer a risk-free consultation for clients. This means that an experienced DUI attorney will speak with you about your case for free. Furthermore, Portner & Shure is able to help clients who do not speak English or speak English as a second language. Our trained multilingual paralegals work closely with our highly-ranked attorneys to help clients who speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese. 

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Being injured at work can be one of the most painful, disruptive, and confusing events that can happen in a person's life. If you are unable to work, the loss of income can be extremely burdensome on an injured worker and their family. If you don't have health insurance, you may not know how to pay for medical treatment. And if you've sustained a permanent injury, you may wonder how you'll ever make ends meet in the future. Worrying about these issues on top of dealing with pain can be overwhelming.

An injury at work does not have to become a crisis. If you retain an experienced attorney from the get go, your attorney can help you get disability benefits, medical treatment, and even a lump sum award if you've sustained a permanent injury. This way, you can focus on your recovery.

One of the greatest values of retaining an attorney is that you will have someone who is on your side to protect your interests, financial and medical, every step of the way. If you've never made a workers compensation claim before, you may not realize that it can be an extremely adversarial process. The workers compensation insurance carrier is in the business of staying in business. That means they have an interest in avoiding compensating you if there is any colorable basis to deny your claim. The following are some of the most common reasons that workers compensation claims are denied - and how hiring an experienced attorney can prevent these things from happening to you.

Injured workers' claims are frequently denied on the basis that a causal connection is lacking, i.e., the injuries were preexisting. For example, you may have been in a prior motor vehicle accident and sustained a disk herniation in your lumbar spine, and then you reinjured your back at work. Although you may have been asymptomatic for years and working without any pain prior to the injury at work, the claim may be denied on the basis that your pain is actually related to the prior accident, not the injury at work.

An attorney can help you in a number of ways. First, if you haven't retained an attorney, most likely, you're being evaluated by a doctor who was hired by the insurance company. Your attorney can set you up with a doctor of your choice to examine you and provide an unbiased opinion as to the cause of your injuries. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company using your doctor's opinions to attempt to get your claim accepted. If the insurance carrier still refuses to accept the claim, your attorney can file issues on your behalf and a hearing will be set before an unbiased commissioner where your attorney will submit your doctor's opinions and will argue on your behalf.

Sometimes, an injured worker's claim is initially accepted and you receive some medical treatment and temporary total disability benefits (TTD). But then the checks stop coming. The insurance carrier justifies this for a variety of reasons. For example, their doctor has cleared you for light duty. If you don't go back to work light duty, your TTD benefits may be denied. But what do you do if there is no light duty available at your job? Or maybe their doctor has cleared you for vocational rehab, a program designed to strengthen you to get back to work. If you don't complete the program, your TTD benefits may be denied. What if you try to complete the program, but you simply are not well enough to do so? Or what if you can't drive to rehab because of the pain medication you're taking?

Again, your attorney can help you by setting you up with an unbiased doctor. If, after examining you, your doctor feels that you are unable to perform light duty, or not well enough to do vocational rehab, your doctor can write a report to that effect. Your attorney can then use your doctor's report to file issues on your behalf and obtain an order forcing the insurance carrier to pay your benefits.

At a time when it may feel like no one is on your side, hiring an attorney to be your advocate is one of the smartest things you can do to take control over your recovery.

If you or a family member has been injured as a result of an accidental injury at work and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on work accidents, please feel free to contact our office or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

You've just been pulled over for speeding on I-95. As the officer approaches your vehicle, you think you're done for. You may have prior traffic citations, but you're not sure how many points you have on your license. You think: am I going to lose my license? What do I do now?

First, relax. There are a number of strategies you can use to protect your driving record. Your control over the outcome starts with the traffic stop itself. Be cooperative and polite with the officer. The officer has the power to lower your citation to a reduced speed in court (which means fewer points and a lower fine), and the officer will be much more inclined to do so if you were polite and cooperative.

Two, retain an attorney. If you've been given a serious traffic citation, you could be facing fines of up to $500 and loss of your driver's license. An attorney can protect your rights at trial by holding the officer to the requirements of the law. For example, an officer must prove four things in order to use a radar speed reading against you in court. The officer must show (1) that the equipment was properly tested and checked, (2) that it was manned by a competent operator, (3) that proper operative procedures were followed, and (3) that proper records were kept. See Fitzwater v. State, 57 Md. App. 274 (1984). At trial, an attorney can cross-examine the officer on these topics and attempt to have radar evidence of your speed excluded from trial.

An attorney can also negotiate with the officer on your behalf. The officer is much more likely to agree to reduce your citation if you have an attorney representing you. If you choose to plead guilty, an attorney can also argue to the judge to reduce your speed, resulting in fewer points and a lower fine, or to grant you probation before judgment, which results in zero points added to your license. An attorney can also help you get a probation before judgment expunged from your record, leaving you with no record of the citation.

If you wish to have a trial on your ticket, be sure to request one within 30 days by checking the "Request a Trial" box on the return to court copy of your citation. You may also "Request a Waiver Hearing" to plead guilty with an explanation in court. If you request a trial, the officer is required to appear, however, you can still choose to plead guilty at the hearing. If you elect to request a waiver hearing, the officer will not be required to appear, however you will be able to argue to the judge for a reduced sentence.

Knowing how many points you are facing before you get to court may reduce your anxiety over the citation. You can look up your citation on Maryland's schedule of fines and points here - www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/criminal/dccr090.pdf. Whether you are in danger of losing your license will depend on the number of points you have accumulated in the last two years. At 5-7 points, you can complete a Driver Improvement Program to keep your license. At 8-11 points, your license will be suspended, however, you may request a hearing with the MVA to contest this. At 12 points, revocation proceedings will be instituted.

If you, a family member or someone you know has been charged with a crime, convicted of DUI / DWI, or if you would like more information on criminal defense, please visit us on the web at http://portnerandshure.com

 

 

The attorney's at Portner & Shure are notorious dog lovers. In fact, we are known for our occasional Cutest Dog Photo Contests! Although we love all dogs, we understand and respect the possibility that any dog can cause an injury through biting, no matter how small or gentle we believe them to be.

Even good dogs become aggressive when their territory, food, or young are threatened. Sometimes accidentally or unknowingly stepping on or harming a dog could trigger a bite. The truth that we do not forget is that no matter how well trained or how well behaved our dogs are, the possibility of biting is always there.

Because of this, we take steps to prevent our dogs from biting:

1)      Train: This is crucial in taking control of your dog and preventing dog bites. Teaching your dog to remain composed in different settings and situations will make strides for preventing a potential lawsuit. Having an obedient dog will give you more control when your dog is feeling threatened or scared.

2)      Socialize: Exposure to other dogs and other people from a young age will teach a dog how to be comfortable around others. By exposing them do these different groups, your dog will learn how to react.

3)      Leash: In order to maintain a level of control over your dog, it is essential that you use a leash. This is especially true for large dogs.

4)      Warn: Be sure to have clear signs around your property such as "Beware of dog." Make sure the signs are clearly written and visible. This will alert passers-by that your dog is in your yard or in the vicinity.

5)      Vaccinate: If your dog does bite someone, you may face more serious punishment if your dog has not had updated rabies shots. 

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Many of our clients later admit that they were reluctant to contact an attorney since they believed that their injuries were minor. This is a mistake that many people make when they have been injured in an accident. Clients are sometimes unsure if they should contact an attorney after an accident.

If you have been in an auto accident and you suspect, even if only slightly suspect, that you have been injured, it is essential to seek medical attention. Many injuries from auto accidents take time to manifest, and only a doctor can determine the extent of your injuries. Doctors can help assess X-Rays and MRIs to see injuries that may not be evident to you because the injuries cannot be seen. Many injuries from auto accidents require medical attention and treatment. If your medical doctor finds that your accident has caused an injury that needs to be treated, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney. 

If you are still feeling hesitant or unsure, the most experienced attorneys will be able to guide you risk-free. Clients who do not know if their injuries are sufficient to pursue a case should call an experienced attorney for a consultation. Reputable attorneys will offer a consultation for free to help clients determine if their case is worth pursuing. 

The knowledgeable attorneys at Portner & Shure are able to help clients with a free consultation, especially those clients who do not speak English or speak English as their second language. The attorneys at Portner & Shure are able to assist clients who speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese. We have experienced multilingual paralegals on our staff that speak these lanuages natively. This means that you will be able to freely express the extent of your auto accident injuries, concerns, and questions to a paralegal who speaks your language and works closely with the attorneys. We take pride in being able to make our clients feel comfortable and allow them to fully understand their legal claim.

Our attorneys are amongst the best in the area. In fact, we have been recognized by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The National Top 100 Trial Attorneys, and have been featured in TIME magazine's 2013 Excellence in Law. Feel confident in contacting a top-ranked firm risk-free. Our knowledgeable lawyers take pride in helping clients understand their case, and help them determine their case potential.

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You've just been pulled over for speeding on I-95. As the officer approaches your vehicle, you think you're done for. You may have prior traffic citations, but you're not sure how many points you have on your license. You think: am I going to lose my license? What do I do now?

First, relax. There are a number of strategies you can use to protect your driving record. Your control over the outcome starts with the traffic stop itself. Be cooperative and polite with the officer. The officer has the power to lower your citation to a reduced speed in court (which means fewer points and a lower fine), and the officer will be much more inclined to do so if you were polite and cooperative.

Two, retain an attorney. If you've been given a serious traffic citation, you could be facing fines of up to $500 and loss of your driver's license. An attorney can protect your rights at trial by holding the officer to the requirements of the law. For example, an officer must prove four things in order to use a radar speed reading against you in court. The officer must show (1) that the equipment was properly tested and checked, (2) that it was manned by a competent operator, (3) that proper operative procedures were followed, and (3) that proper records were kept. See Fitzwater v. State, 57 Md. App. 274 (1984). At trial, an attorney can cross-examine the officer on these topics and attempt to have radar evidence of your speed excluded from trial.

An attorney can also negotiate with the officer on your behalf. The officer is much more likely to agree to reduce your citation if you have an attorney representing you. If you choose to plead guilty, an attorney can also argue to the judge to reduce your speed, resulting in fewer points and a lower fine, or to grant you probation before judgment, which results in zero points added to your license. An attorney can also help you get a probation before judgment expunged from your record, leaving you with no record of the citation.

If you wish to have a trial on your ticket, be sure to request one within 30 days by checking the "Request a Trial" box on the return to court copy of your citation. You may also "Request a Waiver Hearing" to plead guilty with an explanation in court. If you request a trial, the officer is required to appear, however, you can still choose to plead guilty at the hearing. If you elect to request a waiver hearing, the officer will not be required to appear, however you will be able to argue to the judge for a reduced sentence.

Knowing how many points you are facing before you get to court may reduce your anxiety over the citation. You can look up your citation on Maryland's schedule of fines and points here - www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/criminal/dccr090.pdf. Whether you are in danger of losing your license will depend on the number of points you have accumulated in the last two years. At 5-7 points, you can complete a Driver Improvement Program to keep your license. At 8-11 points, your license will be suspended, however, you may request a hearing with the MVA to contest this. At 12 points, revocation proceedings will be instituted.

If you, a family member or someone you know has received a speeding violation or would like more information on defending your driving record, please visit us on the web at http://portnerandshure.com

 

Many already know that the right to remain silent from the much-quoted Miranda rights. It is important to remember that every person who is interrogated while in custody must be given their Mirandarights. An interrogation is when the police act or speak in a way they know will reasonably elicit an incriminating response, and being in custody means that the individual does not feel free to leave.

 

The right to remain silent originates from the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and later outlined in the caseMiranda v. Arizona. In order to invoke your right to remain silent, it is not enough to simple refuse to speak. This means that simply remaining silent may be used against you in the court of law. In order to prevent this, the interviewee must actually state that they are not speaking because they are invoking their right to remain silent.

 

For those who do not speak English or speak English as a second language, it is absolutely essential that they learn to say "I would like to use my right to remain silent" in English so that they can protect themselves from self-incrimination. This is more important for those who do not speak English or speak English as a second language because the speaker may not fully understand the words they are speaking and accidentally give information that can be used against them.

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When you first receive a traffic ticket, it is important to understand the offense with which you are charged along with the consequences you may face. In Maryland, there are two types of traffic violations: Minor and major.

Minor Traffic Violation:

If you have been charged with a minor traffic offense, such as speeding, you may choose to pay the fine or contest the ticket in court. If you choose to pay the fine, you are admitting guilt for the charge and may rack up points in the point system set by the MVA.

 The Maryland point system is a way for the state of Maryland to examine your driving record and determine what type of punishment is appropriate for you. If you accumulate five points on your record within a two-year period, the MVA will set up a conference to assess your driving record. If you accumulate eight points, your license may be suspended. If you have questions about your ticket or how many points is assigned to your violation, ask the police officer who issued the ticket or consult an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you look at your options.

 Instead of paying the stated fine, you may choose to contest your minor traffic violation ticket by going to court. Your court date will be on the ticket. A car accident lawyer can help you examine the surroundings of your violation and see if you have a chance to fight against your charge. If you do not pay the fine and do not show up for your court date, your driver's license will automatically become suspended. If you are caught driving with a suspended license due to failure to pay for a ticket or appear in court, you face a 60-day jail sentence and a $500 fine. Do not ignore your ticket simply because it is a minor violation.

 Major Traffic Violation:

 Major traffic offenses are traffic violations that could put you in jail if you are convicted. If you are charged with a major offense, you are required to come to court and do not have an option to simply pay a fine. Along with your ticket, you will receive a summons from the court in the mail stating the date, time, and location of your trial. It is advised that you seek legal counsel, and you must do so before the date of your trial - the earlier the better. 

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After an auto accident, many of our clients are scared and confused by the overwhelming legal process. Clients come to us with worries of their case that arise from every angle. We always tell our clients that the most important step is recovery and treatment. Any stress or anxiousness with regard to their case can only hinder their ability to recover. The attorneys at Portner & Shure make sure that clients focus on their treatment while we, the professionals, take care to pursue every avenue for compensation.

 

While most attorneys rarely look beyond the obvious opponent, the other party to the accident, the attorneys at Portner & Shure take a closer look at accidents to ensure that every party is held responsible for the accident. Besides the other driver, we look to parties such as the automobile manufacturer who may have produced or assembled a faulty vehicle, the parts manufacturer who may have produced a faulty part used in the vehicle, and the government who may have failed to maintain or may have constructed a poorly designed road.

 

Recently, General Motors recalled 8.5 million vehicles due to ignition switch problems. These recalls came too late after 13 drivers and passengers had died due to these issues. Now, the CEO of the manufacturing company that produced the ignition switches claims that he holds no responsibility for the deaths. It is easy for auto accident attorneys to provide a cursory look and choose the easiest way to process your case in an assembly-line manner, but the attorneys at Portner & Shure take the extra step to closely examine all avenues of compensation so that you, the client, can recover from your injuries. 

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After a car accident, it is wise to call the police so that they can make a report of the accident. In the report, the officer will jot down information such as where the accident occurred, who was involved, witnesses that were present, the extent of the vehicle damage, the injuries sustained by the parties, and, sometimes, which party was at fault. This is very helpful when it comes time to determine liability later on, but what happens if the police report is incorrect? Or worse, what if the information on the report points to you as the one who is liable?

There are many ways in which one can handle a tricky police report, but it is wise to contact an experienced auto accident attorney to take care of the situation for you. When the police report is working against you, your case is beyond a cut-and-dry case and it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer to assist the situation.

The first step in handling an incorrect police report is to make a request to have the report amended. This request would include a statement of facts of the pertinent details of the accident and your attorney would ask that your version of the incident be attached to the original report. It will be entirely up to the officer's discretion whether or not to include your version of events into the report, so it is essential that an attorney make the request for you. 

If the police report suggests that you are the party at fault, your attorney can take steps to defend you. Your lawyer can attack faults on the report like information that was taken from the other party or an unreliable witnesses. Another way to fight a police report is to attack the experience and training to analyze skid marks or vehicle positioning.

The attorneys at Portner & Shure are ranked amongst the best in Greenbelt, Maryland and around the DC Metro area. In fact, Jonathan Portner is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, has been featured in TIME magazine's 2013 Excellence in Law, and is a member of The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers organization. We strive to listen and communicate with our clients through our multilingual paralegals and provide the best legal services with our knowledgeable attorneys and legal team.

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