Law Offices of Randolph Rice

JournalArchive

Jun 09
 

Are you heading to court soon? Do you have to appear before a judge? Are you facing charges for a crime? You probably have a lot on your mind. But one thing you shouldn’t forget is how to dress for court. It’s a very important consideration, one too many people neglect all-too-often.
 
Think about it: Courtrooms are very solemn, dignified places. Inside courtrooms, laws get enforced and people’s lives can be changed forever. The law is serious; it deserves respect. That means you have to dress right.
 
Does that mean you have to wear a three-piece suit or a ballroom dress? No!
 
Courtrooms are not formal dances or funerals. You should look appropriate and respectful, not dressy or showy.
 
WHAT TO WEAR: MEN
 
Men heading to court should dress at a minimum in “business casual.” Now, this doesn’t mean you can show up in sandals and a T-shirt. “Business casual” isn’t that casual.
 
According to Princeton University’s career services,business casual means “dress pants, a collared shirt and a belt,” as well as “blazers, tailored sweaters and leather shoes.”
 
Even better, men might consider wearing a suit and tie if they have one. It’s not strictly necessary, but suits look very nice, and they show that you are taking the court very seriously.
 
Few things are more offensive to judges and juries than someone who disrespects the court.
 
 
WHAT TO WEAR: WOMEN
 
Women should aim for stylish yet modest attire: Dresses and skirts that fall below the knee, nice blouses, jackets, suits for extra formality.
 
Footwear should be modest, as well—no open-toed sandals. High heels are not necessary but cannot hurt.
 
TAKING CARE OF YOUR CLOTHES
 
Almost as important as what you wear is what shape your clothing is in. If you show up in an expensive suit that is nonetheless wrinkled, stained or otherwise dirty, you’re not going to look much better than if you showed up in jeans and a football jersey.
 
A week before your court appearance, pick out the outfit you’re going to wear. If there are any stains or blotches on any of the clothes, you’ll have time to get them dry-cleaned before your court date arrives.
 
Iron your clothes well. For a quick tutorial in how to iron well, see this article at lifehacker.com.Iron your clothes the night before so that you’re not scrambling for time in the morning. Once you’ve ironed them, hang them up in a place where they won’t get ruffled or wrinkled again.
 
Make sure there are no rips, tears, missing buttons, loose threads or discoloration on any items of clothing.
 
 
GENERAL RULES FOR COURTROOM ATTIRE
SOME ADDITIONAL RULES TO FOLLOW:
 
Don’t wear baseball caps, bandannas, outrageous jewelry, sunglasses, gloves (for men), or any other unnecessary and distracting accessories.
 
Make sure your clothes fit. Baggy, hanging clothing is no good; neither is too-tight clothing. Many dry cleaning businesses will alter your clothing for an affordable price.
 
Again, pick out your outfit well ahead of time so you can have these changes made—don’t wait until the night before.
 
Dress neutral. Don’t wear loud, bright colors—orange jackets, rainbow skirts, or anything similar. Neutral, basic colors are what’s necessary. Suits should be brown, grey or black.
 
DO I HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY?
 
Not at all! In fact, as mentioned above, you want to avoid looking too dressy—the courtroom isn’t a ballroom. You want to appear clean, well-dressed and respectful.
 
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a new shirt or pants at the moment, you can still dress well—thrift stores and secondhand shops offer plenty of excellent clothing at affordable prices. Suits, shirts, pants, ties, dresses, skirts and other items of dress can all be found at stores like these.
 
 
WHY DOES IT EVEN MATTER?
 
It’s worth asking: Why is dressing up for the court even necessary? Well, as WikiHow explains, it’s important to portray yourself as “an upstanding, model citizen with only the best of intentions.” You want the judge and jury to see you as “someone who has steady employment and [is] a societal rule follower.”
 
It’s not hard to understand why. If you’re going before a judge and jury to try and convince them of your innocence, it’s going to be harder to take you seriously if you’re dressed sloppily, if your clothes are filthy, if you’re wearing a ripped T-shirt and jeans that are four sizes too large.
 
Anyone might look at such a style of dress and think, “Is the person who dresses like this really someone I can take seriously?” A good style of dress communicates that you yourself are a serious person worth listening to.
 
If you’ve been charged with a crime and you need legal representation, you should call defense lawyer Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900. Randolph Rice can help you develop your defense and figure out your next moves—including what you should wear!
Jun 08

Understanding The Various Types of Distracted Driving

 

Drivers are expected to pay careful attention to the surrounding obstacles as well as to do their best to avoid any situations that might result in an accident.
 
Each year, however, a large number of motor vehicle accidents are caused by drivers who speed while driving. To stay safe while driving, however, there are some important pieces of advice that drivers can follow.
 
One of the best ways to avoid an accident is to learn the three types of distracted driving, which can help drivers make sure that they do not engage in any of these behaviors.
 
It is also helpful for drivers to understand some of the other safety precautions that can be followed to avoid getting involved in a distracted driving accident.
 
1 – VISUAL DISTRACTIONS
 
One of the most common distractions on the road, visual distractions include things that take a driver’s attention as well as eyes off the road even for just a few seconds.
 
Some of the most common types of visual distractions include adjusting devices inside of the vehicle, looking at the screen of a phone, or looking outside the vehicle in a different direction from where the obstacle is located.

# 2 – MANUAL DISTRACTIONS
 
Manual distractions can exist or separate from visual distractions. This category occurs when a motor vehicle drivers take one or both of their hands off of the steering wheel.
 
Some of the reasons this occurs include texting someone and eating or drinking while driving. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that texting while driving is by far the most common type of manual distraction.
 
# 3 – COGNITIVE DISTRACTIONS
 
Cognitive distractions involve a person’s mind experiencing difficulties while driving. If a driver’s attention shifts to something else on the road, very serious accidents can occur. Some of the most common types of cognitive distractions include emotional stress, talking to another person in the vehicle, or using a person’s phone.
 
 
STEPS TO AVOID DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENTS
 
There are some important pieces of advice that drivers can follow to avoid becoming involved in distracted driving accidents, which include the following:
  • If you are driving or on the road, only use your cell phone for emergency purposes. If you do need to make a phone call while driving, pull over to the side of the road prior to making a call.
  • Idle or social conversation on cell phones should not take place while a person is driving. This type of behavior is against the law in many jurisdictions and can result in a person facing fines.
  • If you are tired, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Drowsiness greatly increases the chances that a person will become involved in an accident.
  • Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle. Driving with friends or too many people in a vehicle can create a very dangerous situation because drivers often focus on their friends rather than the road.
  • Never eat while driving. While eating while driving can seem like a time-saving measure, it can greatly increase a person’s chances of being involved in a very serious accident.
  • Multi-task outside of your vehicle. Trying to do more than one thing while driving greatly increases the risk that you will end up in an accident.

CONTACT A SKILLED ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
 
It is important that motor vehicle drivers avoid distracted driving because this can lead to very serious accident. If you are involved in an accident, no matter the cause do not hesitate to speak with a seasoned car accident attorney at the Law Office of Randolph Rice.
Jun 08

Fallen Tree on Your Car: Who’s Liable & Responsible for Injuries?

 

The story about the family did not actually happen, but serves as an example of evaluating the liability and responsibility is you are injured because a tree falls on you or your car.

WHO IS LIABLE WHEN A TREE FALLS?
 
As residents of Maryland braced for the third Nor’easter rains and prevailing winds brought tragedy to the small communities along the Mayo Peninsula.
 
According to the Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County Police Department the Turwood family were traveling with their two small children home from an evening in Annapolis when apparently a tree saturated from the excessive rains and snow fall from the third Nor’easter to slam the East Coast in a week fell across Central Avenue killing Samuel and Patricia Truwood.
 
DEATH THE SCENE
 
The Truwoods were pronounced dead at the scene. Their children were uninjured, but taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center for examination. Hospital spoken person announced that the two Truwood children, ages five and seven were released into the custody of their grandparents. Family and friends are devastated by this tragic accident that left these children without their parents.
 
Flooding during high tides Saturday from the powerful storm inundated roads, snapped trees and knocked out power to several thousand Peninsula residents. The tree that killed the Truwoods fell across Central Avenue striking the families’ vehicle and knocking out an electrical transformer that created a fire and blocked lanes, north and south bound for more than six hours. Traffic from the accident forbid resident from returning home or those leaving the small Chesapeake Bay waterfront communities until fire rescue workers and BGE could clear the road and restore power.
 
SERIOUS INJURIES
 
Witnesses at the scene reported that the Truwoods family was pulled from their vehicle by other travelers before the SUV was consumed by the fireball caused by the exploding transformer and ensuing fireball. Unfortunately, the fallen tree had already taken the lives of Samuel and Patricia when the eighty foot tree crashed through their windshield crushing the adult Truwoods.
 
The National Weather Service expected wind gusts of up to 40 mph (64 kph) in coastal areas Saturday, down from Friday’s hurricane-force gusts.“The primary remaining hazard is all the floodwater including the effects of the high tide with the continued onshore flow of the wind,” said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in Maryland. “The damaging winds we saw yesterday have calmed down just a bit. But it’s still going to be a windy day.”
 
But those diminished winds could not stop this tragedy and the devastation to the Truwood family and the communities along the peninsula.
 
 
RURAL ROADS IN MARYLAND
 
Like many roads in rural Maryland, Central Avenue is two lanes with no shoulder, lined with aged trees – beautiful to the eye, but often deadly when fallen. Roads are often poorly lit and prone to flooding in the slightest rain. So tree roots can stay saturated for days. These trees can fall without warning during and after storms when the ground is saturated and winds associated with those storms sway the tree tops. The Truwoods became victim to this storm.
 
The Truwoods were both long time residents of the Mayo Peninsula. Samuel, 32 was employed by the Social Security Administration in Baltimore and Patricia, 31 was a house wife and volunteer for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Both were graduates of South River High School and active in alumni programs. Samuel is also a graduate of Loyola in Towson, Maryland with a degree in Business Administration. The family regularly attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Loch Haven.
 
There is no information from the family as to funeral arrangements for the couple who had been married for ten years.
 
This Nor’easter has claimed the lives of twelve along the Eastern Seaboard whether by fallen tree or traffic accidents.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DEATH BY A FALLING TREE
 
Betty Baumann, 76, was checking the mail outside her Kingsville home Friday when she was struck by a falling branch and killed. Until the deaths of the Truwoods, Bauman’s was the sole reported death from the storm that knocked out power to nearly half a million customers across the state. The strong, gusty winds toppled trees and power forced major arteries closed and prompted Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency.
 
Utility crews and residents across Maryland continued to work Monday to address the roughly 30,000 outages that remained. Officials from Baltimore Gas and Electric said more than 395,000 customers had had their power restored.
 
WHO IS LIABLE WHEN A FALLEN TREE CAUSES A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
 
Your accident may have involved a fallen tree that was owned by a government entity, such as a federal, state, or local agency. Historically, citizens were not allowed to sue government entities for their negligent acts or omissions because the government was said to have “sovereign immunity.”
 
However, in modern times, federal and state governments have enacted laws that permit citizens to sue for damages resulting from their negligent conduct. However, these laws delineate special procedures, time limits, and monetary caps for negligence claims against the government.
 
If the fallen tree was owned by a federal agency, your negligence claim will be subject to the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Under FTCA, you have two years from when your negligence claim arose to file an administrative claim with the federal government.
 
The federal government will then have six months to make a determination regarding your claim. If your claim is rejected, or if the federal government does not pay the monetary damages you requested, you can proceed with a negligence lawsuit. If the federal government does not issue a finding within the allotted six months, you have the choice of waiting for their finding or proceeding with a lawsuit.
 
The law varies for private landowners. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals noted in Hensley v. Montgomery County, 25 Md. App. 361, 334 A.2d 542 (1975), cert. denied Hensley v. Mazza, 275 Md. 750 (1975) and cert. denied Hensley v. Montgomery County, 275 Md. 750 (1975) that “[t]o impose a liability upon the landowner, … must have shown not only that the tree constituted a danger to the lawful users of the abutting public road, but that the owner of the land upon which it stood was cognizant of the deteriorated condition of the tree or should have been cognizant of its condition.” The evidence showed that neither the landowner nor Montgomery County had actual notice before the accident that the tree that fell constituted a danger to anyone.
 
KNOWLEDGE OF DANGEROUS TREE
 
In the absence of actual knowledge by the defendants, the court considered whether the landowner had the duty to periodically inspect the trees that border roadways. The basic rule is the “rural rule”: landowners in rural areas do not have such a duty because of the practical difficulty of constantly inspecting trees in forests that abut roads. An exception is the “urban rule,” which is that in an urban setting, a landowner does have the obligation to know about the condition of the (few) trees on the landowner’s own property.
 
Hensley argued that the scene of the accident was more developed than a rural area and that the tree fell from a “suburban forest,” which would have imposed a higher duty on the landowner than under the rural rule. However, the Court of Special Appeals found that the accident in Hensley did not occur in a “suburban” setting, based on the size and type of the road on which Hensley rode and the amount of traffic on it.
 
Because the road where the accident in Hensley occurred was gravel and there was only modest usage of the road, the Court of Special Appeals held that it was appropriate to apply the rural rule to the facts in that case. It, therefore, affirmed that the landowner had no obligation to inspect and that she had no liability from the tree that fell from her property.
 
 
RURAL VS SUBURBAN PROPERTY AND FALLING TREES
 
In Bookhultz v. Maryland Midland Railway, Inc., 688 F.Supp. 1061 (D. Md. 1988), United States District Court Judge Frederic Smalkin considered the damage claim of John Bookhultz, who was struck by part of a dead tree while riding in an open gondola car of a train owned and operated by Maryland Midland Railway, Inc. Bookhultz sued the railway, which then filed a third party complaint for indemnity and contribution against the Horners, who owned the property that abutted the track. The Horners moved for summary judgment on the third party complaint, and the published opinion addressed that motion.
 
Judge Smalkin cited Hensley for the proposition that “an owner of rural or suburban forest land is not liable for damage done by dead tree limbs falling onto the property or persons of others unless the tree constitutes a danger to lawful users of abutting public roads and the owner is aware or should be aware of the tree’s deteriorated condition.
 
Essentially, even for decaying or dead trees, a landowner is not liable if (a) he has no notice of his tree’s propensity for harm and (b) his tree is rural or suburban/rural (in contrast to an urban tree).” Judge Smalkin noted that urban tree-owners are deemed to have constructive notice of dead or decayed trees, but that the duty on urban dwellers is an exception to the general rule that a rural landowner does not have the duty to inspect for dangerous trees.
 
In light of the rural nature of their property (the Horners’ property comprised approximately ten acres, eight of which were in a wooded, natural state), Judge Smalkin held that the Horners did not have a duty to inspect for dead or dying trees adjacent to the railroad track, and that it would be unreasonable to impose such a duty on them. Therefore, he issued an order granting the Horners’ motion for summary judgment against the railway on the third party complaint.
 
 
MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA CASES DIFFER
 
The Supreme Court of Virginia has recently reached results that are different from what the Maryland cases would suggest. In Fancher v. Fagella, 274 Va. 549, 650 S.E.2d 519 (2007), the Supreme Court of Virginia overruled the 1939 case that established the “Virginia Rule,” which imposed liability if, but only if, a tree or plant was “noxious.”
 
In Fancher, that court found that roots and branches of a sweet gum tree growing from the property of an adjoiner are a nuisance where they cause actual harm or the imminent danger of actual harm, and that forced removal of the tree was a possible remedy.
 
In Cline v. Dunlora South, LLC, 284 Va. 102, 726 S.E.2d 14 (2012), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that the owner of property within the City of Charlottesville from which a tree fell and crushed a passing car, causing permanent injuries to the driver, had no liability to the driver. This was so even though, according to the complaint, the setting was an urban environment, the tree had exhibited visible and open signs of decay for years, and the landowner should have known of the hazard created.
 
CONCLUSION
 
So, if your tree falls in Maryland, you may have liability depending on (a) where the property is located, (b) whether you knew that the tree was dead or dying, (c) whether you should have known about the danger, and (d) whether you had taken reasonable steps to prevent the accident. If vegetation grows from your property to your neighbor’s and causes harm to the neighbor’s property, the neighbor may cut back all growth to the property line, but the neighbor may not enter your property without your consent, may not require you to remove the offending plant, and may not recover monetary damages.
 
And who should pay for the cost of the removal of a fallen tree? From a reading of the cases cited above, the default answer would seem to be that each of the property owners should bear the cost of removal of the portion of the tree that ends up on that owner’s property.
 
However, the city-dwelling neighbor of the tree owner might argue (i) that the owner of the tree knew or should have known that the tree was dead or dying and likely to fall, (ii) that under the “urban rule” the owner of land in a developed area is liable for damages caused by falling trees, (iii) that the tree owner should have had the tree removed or at least attended to before it fell (at the expense of the tree owner), and (iv) that the owner of the tree should, therefore, pay all costs of removal after it fell.
 
However, liability does not give solace to the Truwood family and their children and the lives cut short by a fallen tree in a winter storm.
Jun 08
 

Drunk driving is illegal. However it is not illegal to drink and drive. Let me qualify that, it is illegal to drink too much and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. That means, that you cannot drink too much alcohol or consume a drug that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
 
If a police officer pulls you over and suspect that you have been drinking or that you are on a substance that impairs your ability to drive a motor vehicle, you will more likely be investigated and arrested for DUI or DWI. As a Maryland DUI lawyer we have represented hundreds of clients that have been charged with drunk driving in Maryland and have compiled the following six things to do if you’re pulled over for drunk driving.
 
#1 – PULL OVER SAFELY AND STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE
 
As soon as a police officer spots your vehicle and establishes a reason to make a traffic stop, that officer is collecting evidence for a future prosecution. If you are speeding or driving reckless or negligent, the officer will note the driving behavior in his report and it could be used against you in court.
 
So, if you see blue lights in your rearview mirror, stop the vehicle in a safe and orderly fashion without incurring any future traffic infractions. Do not get out of the car. Police officers are trained to react when drivers exit the vehicle immediately upon stopping and some recognize this as a threat. Remain in your vehicle and roll down your window just enough to hand the officer your license and registration.
 
#2 – PROVIDE YOUR LICENSE AND REGISTRATION
 
A police officer will ask for your license and registration as he approaches the vehicle. He may also ask you if you have been drinking or taking drugs prior to the stop. Provide the officer your license and registration and if asked, your proof of insurance. However, you do not have to answer any other questions that the officer may ask.
 
#3 – REMAIN SILENT
 
You are not required to answer any additional questions the police officer may ask you. This is protected under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution which grants you the right to remain silent and not self-incriminate yourself. Police officers are trained during a drunk driving investigation to pick up on vocal cues from the suspected drunk driver. That means if you are slurring your speech or have a Mushmouth and the officer will note this in his report and it could adversely affect you in the prosecution of the drunk driving charges.
 
#4 – BE POLITE TO THE OFFICER
 
 
Kindness will go a long way in making the drunk driving investigation a little less painful for you. The officers who arrest individuals for drunk driving will typically note in the report if you were polite and cooperative. They will also note if you are impolite and uncooperative and this could hurt you before the judge or jury. A belligerent arrestee may be used as evidence against you to show that you were impaired or intoxicated at the time of the arrest.
 
#5 – MAKE A DECISION REGARDING THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
 
If a police officer stops you and establishes probable cause then they may ask you to perform field sobriety test. You do not have to take the field sobriety test. These tests are intended to establish a criminal prosecution against you for drunk driving. The more evidence of police officer and the state has the easier it will be for them to prove that you were driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Therefore, if you do not take the field sobriety test then they have less evidence to use against you at trial.
 
#6 – TAKING THE BREATH TEST OR NOT
 
If a police officer establishes that you are driving drunk then they will more likely arrest you. Again, don’t panic when they place handcuffs on you, it is for their safety and a standard procedure for most police departments. The police officer will then transport you to the police station and ask you to submit to a breath alcohol test.
 
These tests are administered on a device that is calibrated to detect the presence of alcohol in your system. In Maryland, you are not required to take the breath test, however there are consequences to refusing. If an individual refuses to take a breath test then their license will be suspended for 270 days for a first offense and 2 years for a second or subsequent offense.
 
If you do like to take the test and the alcohol concentration is less than .08, then there are no administrative penalties against your license in Maryland. If you take the test and return an alcohol concentration result of .08 but less than .15 then your license may be suspended what you are eligible for a restricted or modified license. If you take a test with a result of .15 or more then your license will be suspended. For both the refusal and alcohol concentration result of .15 or more, you may have the option to participate in the ignition interlock program.
 
MARYLAND DUI LAWYER
 
Attorney Randolph Rice is a Maryland DUI lawyer and former prosecutor. He has represented drunk driving clients since 2009 and won numerous DUI and DWI cases returning a verdict of not guilty for clients. If you’re facing a DUI or DWI in Maryland and you need the assistance of an experienced drunk driving lawyer, contact his office today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.
Apr 11
                                   
If you’ve been charged with a crime, a misdemeanor, felony or traffic offense, then you’re probably going to need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. Criminal defense lawyers are attorneys that you hire to defend you against criminal charges. A criminal defense lawyer typically works by himself or within a larger law firm.

The fee to hire a criminal defense lawyer depends on a number of factors. Some of those factors may include the seriousness of the crime, the jurisdiction in which you’re charged, the past experience of the lawyer and the complexity of your criminal charges and the time and effort it will take to defend you.

HOW MUCH DOES A LAWYER CHARGE FOR A FELONY CASE?

In most jurisdictions, there are two types of criminal offenses; misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors, which are less serious and carry less jail time. And felonies which are more serious and typically the penalties are stiffer and the charges are more complex. For felony charges, criminal defense lawyer typically will charge more then he or she would charge for a misdemeanor.

It is not uncommon for an individual facing felony charges to also face one or more misdemeanor charges in their case. A lawyer may charge anywhere from $2,500 up to $25,000 depending on the severity of the charges for a felony. The higher-end are they more expensive the lawyer will charge is typically for the more complicated or more serious criminal offenses such as murder or rape. Because most of those serious offenses require a trial before a judge or jury, it will take the lawyer more time and effort to prepare and defend you.

DO LAWYERS HAVE PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes, most lawyers will offer some sort of payment plan for criminal charges. Unlike civil lawyers, criminal lawyers will typically charge a flat fee. A flat fee means the lawyer will quote the total cost for the entire representation of the case. This flat fee may include all motions and discovery as well as trial prep and actually trying the case before a judge or jury. Since most criminal prosecutions will take up to 6 months, lawyers will charge an initial fee to retain their services and then allow the client to pay the balance of the fee over a period of time. This is typically how lawyers offer payment plans in a flat fee criminal case.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO HIRE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY?

As discussed above, the cost to hire criminal defense attorney will vary depending on the severity of the charges and the complexity of the case. Less serious misdemeanors and traffic cases may cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500. Whereas, more serious and complicated felony cases will cost between $2,500 and $25,000 to hire a criminal defense attorney.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET AN ATTORNEY?

How much does it cost to get an attorney? It all depends on what kind of lawyer you need. If you’re facing a criminal offense then you need to hire hey criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, you may also hire criminal defense attorney, as criminal defense attorneys handle both criminal and traffic violations.

HOW MUCH DOES AN ATTORNEY COST TO HELP WITH A MISDEMEANOR?

Since misdemeanor cases are typically less complicated, then attorney cost to help with a misdemeanor would be less then a felony charge.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF A CRIMINAL TRIAL?

The average cost of a criminal trial will vary depending on the length of the trial and the complexity of the charges. Another factor that may dictate the cost to hire a criminal defense attorney is the experience at reputation of the lawyer. It is certainly possible to find a good criminal defense attorney that is only a few years out of law school.

However, an experienced criminal defense attorney with many years practicing law and dozens if not hundreds of trials will typically be more expensive in the end. However, as the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for.” That means a more experienced lawyer will typically provide a better product and a better result in your case.

You may pay a premium to have the best criminal defense attorney represent you. Another factor to consider is if a criminal defense attorney has experience as a prosecutor. Most criminal defense attorneys were once prosecutors and gain the experience and knowledge in that position of how the criminal justice system work. It is invaluable to hire a criminal defense lawyer that has been a prosecutor because they have exceptional an extraordinary knowledge of what the other side is thinking and how they will handle criminal cases.

FIND A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

The best way to find a criminal defense attorney Is to start on the internet. By searching for the best criminal defense attorney you will be provided a list to start your search. It is advisable that you meet with two or three attorneys before making a decision and settling on the one you want to defend you. During your initial consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, he or she will quote the total fee so that you can determine if you wish to hire that lawyer. If you have questions about criminal charges in Maryland, contact the law offices of Randolph rice today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer and for a price quote for your case.

CONTACT:

Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com
Website: http://ricelawmd.com
Blog URL: http://ricelawmd.com/blog/much-criminal-defense-lawyer-cost/

Apr 11
                          

 

This week marks the start of Major League Baseball season (2018) in the United States. With 30 major league baseball teams across the country starting their season this week, there are going to be just as many opening days in the home team’s city.
Follow these simple tips to enjoy the game and avoid arrest.
Major League Baseball certainly wants everyone to enjoy the opening day and have a good time but there are some tips to follow to avoid an arrest on opening day.
Some of the most common criminal offenses committed on opening day include:
  • drunk in public,
  • trespassing,
  • fans assaulting one another, and
  • Malicious destruction of property
  • Other minor and major misdemeanors and felonies in and outside of the ballpark.
We’re going to take a look at each offense and how you can avoid getting arrested on opening day.

 

                       

 

DON’T TRESPASS ON THE FIELD
While you may get excited about the game, it is illegal to enter the field of play for any major league baseball team on opening day or any other day during the season. Most stadiums and their administration will also ban an individual that enter the field during a game.
In addition to being banned from the stadium and the potential loss of season tickets for the trespasser, individuals may be charged criminally. Signs posted throughout the stadium prohibit trespassing on the field.
Typically, trespassing is the probation for a person entering or crossing over property that has been marked no trespassing. As an example, in Maryland, if a person is charged and convicted of trespassing they may face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $500.
If an individual has been previously convicted of trespassing they may face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In addition to being arrested and charged with trespassing, the stadium Authority will probably ban the person from ever entering the stadium again. Since Oriole Park at Camden Yards, is located in Baltimore City, Maryland, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office has jurisdiction to prosecute the cases when individuals trespass on the field.
As discussed in an article from 2012 in the Baltimore Sun, individuals have been banned for life for entering the park and playing field.

 

                     

 

PUBLIC INTOXICATION AT THE BALLPARK
There are various laws that punish public intoxication, which is being intoxicated or drinking too much in public and endangering the safety of others or causing a public disturbance.
If law enforcement believes that an individual is too intoxicated they may issue a citation, eject the individual from the stadium or charge the person with public drinking.
Public intoxication in Maryland is a misdemeanor which could land an individual in jail up to 90 days and require them to pay $100 fine.
It’s certainly no criminal offense to go to the game and enjoy a couple of alcoholic beverages. But at the prices of $8 a beer you can be an expensive endeavor as well as a costly one to your record and reputation if you’re arrested for public intoxication at the Ballpark.
                    

 

ASSAULT AND BATTERY AT A BASEBALL GAME
Assault and battery, or most commonly referred to as assault, is the physical offense of contact with another individual.
Assault can occur by slapping, hitting, or even spitting on another person.
Typically, assault occur when individuals have consumed too much alcoholic beverages and tempers flare. If the tempers overflow and the disagreement turns physical, then one or both of the individuals may be charged with second-degree.
If an individual is charged with assault at an Orioles game, they may be facing a misdemeanor offense and up to 10 years in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Since the ballpark will have many members of law enforcement with the Baltimore City Police in attendance for fan safety, if a person is accused of assaulting a police officer and cause serious bodily injury, then they’re facing a felony offense and could face up to 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine
                 

 

SCREENING AND METAL DETECTORS AT MLB STADIUMS
All MLB teams now screen all fans prior to entry by using metal detection and metal detectors. Fans are required to pass through a magnetometer or handheld device prior to entry to ensure there are no weapons are there dangerous devices brought into the stadium.
Ensure your safety and others and safe passage into a stadium by avoiding any type of prohibited items which may include firearms, knives or other types of weapons.
THROWING ITEMS ON THE FIELD DURING A BASEBALL GAME

Any individual caught throwing trash or other items on the field they also be ejected from the stadium. This was scene in Boston a couple of years ago when a fan threw a bottle that an Orioles outfielder.
Stadium authorities and officials have been known to not only eject the fan but also revoke their season tickets and ban them from attending any future baseball games.
Therefore, refrain from throwing items on the field, as this may result and a charge of assault or malicious destruction of property if it causes damage.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice want to remind everyone to have fun, stay safe and play by the rules when you visit a major league baseball stadium.
As baseball is our past time and can be enjoyed without committing a criminal offense or being charged with a crime.
Peanuts and popcorn are a lot better than the food served at the jail.

CONTACT:
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com
Website: http://ricelawmd.com
Blog URL: https://ricelawmd.com/blog/how-to-avoid-an-arrest-on-opening-day-for-mlb/

Apr 11
                                            
On March 17th, 2018, the Maryland legal community lost one of their greatest members. John Robert (“JR”) Francomano, III, was an incredible lawyer and even better friend and person.
I met JR as an intern with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office in 2005. After leaving New Orleans as a refugee from the floods of Katrina, I landed in Baltimore as an intern with the State’s Attorney’s office.
JR along with Rob Tully were the two lawyers I was assigned to watch, observe and learn how things were done. They taught me more than just the law, they showed me how to enjoy life and laugh at myself as well as everything around us.
JR graduated high school from Boys Latin and then Washington College. He attended Washington University in St. Louis and graduated with his J.D. in 1998.
He was an assistant State’s Attorney for Harford County from 1999 to 2000 and then joined the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office where he ascended to Chief of the narcotics unit in 2007.
In 2008 he began private practice with his father.
In my early days of private practice, JR was always there to help and offer assistance or a conference room or just a smile when I stopped by his office.
He was a fantastic golfer and a better storyteller on the links where I seemed to laugh more than hit a straight shot.
I have only great memories when I think about JR and the time we spent together becoming friends.
Losing JR was a shock to everyone and I know that we will all miss his enthusiasm for life and the great friendship he gave to all of us.
Click here to read his obituary.

 

CONTACT:
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com
Website: http://ricelawmd.com
Blog URL: https://ricelawmd.com/blog/remembering-john-robert-j-r-francomano-iii/
Apr 11
                                
 
Have you been hit by a car and you don’t know what to do now, our pedestrian injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can guide you through the legal process after being hit by a car. Being hit by a car can be one of the most traumatic accidents on a Maryland road. The reason for this is the speed of a vehicle and the force behind that moving car can cause serious external and internal injuries to the person who has been hit by the car.
 
Those injuries and damages can vary depending on the point of contact with the vehicle and pedestrian. A person struck head on with a car can be more serious than a graze by a vehicle. However, the impact will not determine the injuries sustained by the victim. The damages may include broken bones, a concussion, or serious internal injuries that lead to future complications. Because a pedestrian is not protected like they would be in a vehicle, the impact with a car can often throw the pedestrian over the top of the vehicle or a significant distance in the opposite direction of the point of impact.
 
MARYLAND PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT STATISTICS
It is not uncommon to get hit by a car, on average 2,830 people are struck by a vehicle in Maryland every year (between 2011 and 2015). As recorded by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the statistics for pedestrians on foot involved in crashes in Maryland are:
 
2011 – 103 fatal crashes, 2546 total crashes involving pedestrians
2012 – 95 fatal crashes with pedestrians, 2,848 total crashes with pedestrians
2013 – 110 fatal crashes with people, 2,766 total crashes with pedestrians
2014 – 103 fatal accidents, 2,903 total accidents with pedestrians
2015 – 99 fatal wrecks, 3,089 total accidents involving a pedestrian
 
SHOULD I SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT AFTER BEING HIT BY A CAR?
Yes, you should seek immediate medical attention if you’ve been hit by a car in Maryland. It’s advised that you or someone else contact the paramedics at the scene of the accident by dialing “911.” Since most accidents involving a pedestrian result in bodily injury. If the paramedics recommend that you be treated at a hospital, you should follow their instructions and be seen by a local hospital. Typically, after being hit by a car there will be lingering medical issues that will persist if not treated.
 
The hospital may keep you for a period of time to observe you’re injuries and determined if you are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital. You should also follow up with any medical recommendations and referrals, this may include orthopedic doctors or your primary care physician. After most pedestrian accidents, a medical professional order x-rays, CT scan or other imaging to determine if there are internal breaks or damages.
 
SHOULD I HIRE A LAWYER AFTER BEING HIT BY A CAR?
Yes, you should always speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer after being hit by a car. There are various rules and laws pertaining to the right of way for pedestrians. The first step is determining liability after you’ve been hit by a car. Liability refers to: “who is at fault.” As Maryland is a contributory negligence state, the law will determine if the driver is solely at fault or if the pedestrian contributed to the accident.
 
If it’s found that the pedestrian contributed to the accident, then he or she may not be able to recover for their damages. Experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you in establishing liability and fault after you’ve been hit by a car in Maryland. The second component of a pedestrian injury case is determining damages. Damages can range from the medical bills that were incurred after being struck by a car as well as lost wages and the pain and suffering incurred after the accident.
 
I WAS HIT BY A CAR WHAT, ARE MY DAMAGES?
Damages if you’re hit by a car can often times be serious. The reason for these severe damages is the wait and speed of a vehicle versus the body mass of the person head. Vehicles can range anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 pounds depending on the make and model, trucks can weigh more than a sedan or passenger car.
 
Because the weight of a vehicle is so great your body will not exert any force to slow down or stop that vehicle as it makes impact with your body. As opposed to a car accident, when two vehicles strike force of those vehicles will counteract and typically the individuals in the vehicle are protected. But since you are a pedestrian and have no protection that you will bear the full brunt and force of the vehicle that struck you.
 
CAN YOU SUE SOMEONE IF YOU GET HIT BY A CAR?
Yes, you can sue someone in Maryland if you’re hit by a car, but the circumstances and facts of the incident will dictate your success. Our skilled pedestrian injury lawyer will be able to advise if you have a successful lawsuit against someone if they hit you with her car.
 
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET HIT BY A CAR?
If you are hit by a car you should remain still and request medical attention. There may be injuries to your back or spine that could be exacerbated by moving your body. The paramedics will typically arrive on the scene and place you want a backboard which will immobilize your body and prevent any further damage or injuries. They will transport you to the hospital where various scans will be completed of your body to determine if your back or neck have been damaged and if it is safe for you to move.
 
I WAS HIT BY A CAR AND I NEED A LAWYER IN MARYLAND
If you’ve been hit by a car in Maryland then you need to speak with a pedestrian injury lawyer as soon as possible. The injury lawyers with the Law Offices of Randolph Rice have represented individuals struck by cars and suffered injury and damages because of the car wreck. Contacttheir office today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your ability to recover damages and file a claim for being hit by a car while walking or running.
 

CONTACT:
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com
Website: http://ricelawmd.com
Blog URL: http://ricelawmd.com/blog/what-to-do-if-i-was-hit-by-a-car/

Mar 21
                                                       

 

Not one of my clients in the past has ever wanted to be arrested for drunk driving. What I mean by that is, no one sets out to drink too much and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. There are a million scenarios in which people are charged with DUI in Maryland. Although a drunk driving arrest may be unfortunate, there are steps you should and can take when dealing with a DUI arrest.

STEPS AFTER A DUI ARREST

The first and most important step is to get help. Help may me be in the form of many fashions, support from friends and family, as well as legal help in the form of a DUI defense lawyer. There’s no need to throw your hands in the air and give up after a DUI or DWI arrest. If you take the appropriate steps after the arrest you can mitigate or even diminish the chances of serious consequences.
 
In Maryland, the consequences can come from two separate tribunals or governmental agencies. The first set of consequences comes in the form of administrative penalties to your privilege to drive. In Maryland, the courts and law have classified a driver’s license as a “privilege.” That means, you do not have an absolute right to drive a motor vehicle, however, you are granted a privilege by the state of Maryland to operate a motor vehicle.
 
The State has set out specific rules and regulations that come with this privilege. One of these rules and regulations is the “implied consent rule.” This means, when you receive a license or privilege drive or you operate a motor vehicle within the boundaries of Maryland, you implicitly consent to submit to an alcohol test if you’re suspected of drunk driving.
 
There are various consequences to submitting to a breath test or blood test as well as consequences to refusing this test. Those consequences may come in the form of a license suspension or the requirement to participate in the ignition interlock program.
 
The second set of consequences is what may happen when you go to court. The drunk driving laws in Maryland are specific and set forth the rules and procedures by which a person can be found guilty of DUI or DWI. In Maryland, there is a distinction between DUI, “driving under the influence,” and DWI, “driving while impaired.”
 
The distinction is in the form of the evidence required to find you guilty as well as the penaltiesthat may be imposed if convicted. The judges in Maryland are the ones that impose the sentence and penalties for drunk driving convictions. Unlike some jurisdictions and states, the jury does not dictate the consequences if you’re found guilty of drinking and driving.
 

PENALTIES AND SANCTIONS FOR DRUNK DRIVING IN MARYLAND

Judges in Maryland can impose various sanctions for convicted drunk drivers. Those sanctions may include fines, court costs, probation, either supervised or unsupervised, as well as various other conditions such as alcohol education and treatment, community service, and any other appropriate action the court feels is necessary to prevent a subsequent drunk driving incident. With the help of an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer, you may be able to avoid or mitigate the potential outcome after a DUI arrest.
 

LAWYERS THAT HELP DEAL WITH A DUI

If you’re charged with drunk driving and you need to know how to deal with the drunk driving arrest and everything after, you need to seek advice from an experienced DUI and DWI defense lawyer. Our DUI lawyer can guide you through the steps from preserving your privilege to drive to helping you prepare for trial and avoiding enhanced penalties and consequences. Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today if you’ve been charged with DUI in Maryland and learn how to deal with your DUI or DWI arrest.

CONTACT:
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com
Website: http://ricelawmd.com
Blog URL: https://ricelawmd.com/blog/deal-dui-arrest/
Mar 21
                                           
 
A drunk driving arrest can be alarming and make you worry about what will happen to your license and freedom as the trial date approaches. Most individuals who have been charged with a first time DUI often ask; do you go to jail for a first time DUI? It depends on the facts and evidence in each case to determine if you will go to jail for a first offense DUI.
 
DUI AND DWI IN MARYLAND
 
DUI and DWI are the acronyms for “driving under the influence” (DUI) and “driving while impaired” (DWI). They are used interchangeably and mean almost the same thing. The difference between DUI and DWI are:
 
The elements to prove the offense; and
The maximum penalty.
 
A DUI requires that a person drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This level of intoxication may be determined by clues observed by the police officer of the tests results from a breath or blood test. A DWI requires that a driver is impaired by either alcohol, drugs and alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance.
 
The penalties vary for each offense. A first offense DUI carries the maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $500 fine. Whereas a DWI carries the maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
 
WILL I GO TO JAIL?
 
Incarceration for a first offense DUI or DWI in Maryland is not unheard of, but there is a greater chance that a defendant will receive a probation before judgment (PBJ) for a first offense DUI in Maryland. With a PBJ comes the requirement of probation. That probation can be supervised or unsupervised. Either of these types of probation can last from 1 day to 3 years if handed down by a Maryland District Court Judge. A Circuit Court Judge may place a defendant on as much as 5 years of probation in Maryland. While jail is not the first punishment for a first time DUI, it has and can happen. If the defendant causes an accident, their blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than average DUI cases, or other exasperating circumstances, then a Judge may decide that jail is appropriate.
 
HOW DO I AVOID JAIL?
 
The best bet to avoid jail for a first time DUI in Maryland is to hire an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer. A lawyer advise the best course of action pending the trial date. That lawyer will also investigate your DUI arrest and determine if your case should be contested in a trial. A trial can be had before a Judge or Jury in Maryland. The Judge or Jury will determine if the State has met the elements of the crime and proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while impaired or under the influence.
 
WHAT TO DO AFTER A DUI ARREST?
 
There are a number of things you must consider after a DUI arrest. You have to make a decision regarding your license if it was taken by the police officer. You may have to elect to participate in the ignition interlock program or accept a suspension of your license. Drivers charged with DUI or DWI should meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine what steps they should take to improve their chances of staying out of jail when they appear in Court.
 
If you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 to schedule a free consultation.
 
CONTACT:
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423
Email: info@ricelawmd.com