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Monday, April 14, 2014

Dundalk Maryland Lawyer G Randolph Rice Jr. 410-288-2900

Dundalk Maryland Lawyer Randolph Rice's latest video blog.  Call the office if you have a new matter and need legal help in Dundalk, Maryland. 410-288-2900.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What is a Stet in Maryland | Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

FAQ Blog: Stet in a Maryland Criminal Case

In our latest video blog, Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., explains;
  • What is a Stet;
  • What does a Stet means;
  • What happens after a case is marked Stet in Maryland?
  • How do I get a Stet in a Maryland criminal case?
  • Can I expunge a Stet?
  • When can I expunge a Stet?
If you have been charged criminally or with a serious traffic offense in Maryland, call attorney Randolph Rice, at 410-288-2900 or email him for immediate legal help and to discuss a Stet.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Maryland Theft Lawyer | Theft Less Than $1000 | Theft Less Than $100

Theft Lawyer Maryland - G. Randolph Rice, Jr.

Maryland Theft Law - FAQ

The theft laws in Maryland are codified under Maryland Criminal Law Code §7-104.  If you have been charged with theft or facing theft charges in Maryland, call attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr. at 410-288-2900 or you can click here to email him directly for immediate legal help.

Maryland Theft Lawyer
G. Randolph Rice, Jr
410-288-2900
Maryland Theft Lawyer

If you need a theft lawyer in Maryland, call criminal defense attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr. at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help.

What is theft in Maryland?  You can be charged with theft in Maryland under a number of different scenarios.  Below are a the most common theft scenarios in Maryland:
  1. Unauthorized control over property. This means a person may not willfully or knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control over property, if the person: (1) intends to deprive the owner of the property; (2) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or (3) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.
  2. Unauthorized control over property by deception. This means a person may not obtain control over property by willfully or knowingly using deception, if the person: (1) intends to deprive the owner of the property; (2) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or (3) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.
  3. Possessing stolen personal property. This means a person may not possess stolen personal property knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it probably has been stolen, if the person: (i) intends to deprive the owner of the property; (ii) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or (iii) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.  The key to this section is that you believed that probably was stolen. This is one of the more common theft crimes in Maryland, people receive an item and then try to pawn the item and it turns out the item is stolen.  The State will try and prove that the Defendant knew or should have known the item was stolen based on factors such as; where they obtained the item or how much they pawned the item for. 
    1. In the case of a person in the business of buying or selling goods, the knowledge required under this subsection may be inferred if: (i) the person possesses or exerts control over property stolen from more than one person on separate occasions; (ii) during the year preceding the criminal possession charged, the person has acquired stolen property in a separate transaction; or (iii) being in the business of buying or selling property of the sort possessed, the person acquired it for a consideration that the person knew was far below a reasonable value.
    2. In a prosecution for theft by possession of stolen property under this subsection, it is not a defense that: (i) the person who stole the property has not been convicted, apprehended, or identified; (ii) the defendant stole or participated in the stealing of the property; (iii) the property was provided by law enforcement as part of an investigation, if the property was described to the defendant as being obtained through the commission of theft; or (iv) the stealing of the property did not occur in the State.
    3. Unless the person who criminally possesses stolen property participated in the stealing, the person who criminally possesses stolen property and a person who has stolen the property are not accomplices in theft for the purpose of any rule of evidence requiring corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice.
  4. Control over property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake. This means a person may not obtain control over property knowing that the property was lost, mislaid, or was delivered under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient or nature or amount of the property, if the person:
    1. knows or learns the identity of the owner or knows, is aware of, or learns of a reasonable method of identifying the owner;
    2. fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner; and
    3. intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when the person obtains the property or at a later time.
  5. Services available only for compensation. This means a person may not obtain the services of another that are available only for compensation:
    1. by deception; or
    2. with knowledge that the services are provided without the consent of the person providing them.
      1. Inference of intention or knowledge. Under this section, an offender's intention or knowledge that a promise would not be performed may not be established by or inferred solely from the fact that the promise was not performed.
If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer in Maryland a theft case, call attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 to schedule a free legal consultation.

Penalty for theft in Maryland (Jail and Fines)

  1. A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of at least $1,000 but less than $10,000 is guilty of a felony.  If convicted, the person is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both; and shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services;
  2. A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of at least $ 10,000 but less than $100,000 is guilty of a felony. If convicted, a person is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both and shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.
  3. A person convicted of theft $100,000 or more is guilty of a felony is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both and shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.
  4. A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $ 1,000, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or a fine not exceeding $500 or both and shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.
  5. A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $100 is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.


Repeat Offender and Enhanced Penalties for Theft in Maryland

Anyone in  Maryland who has two or more prior convictions under the theft statute and who is convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $1,000 is guilty of a misdemeanor and: is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both and shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

For the court to impose that penalty the State's Attorney must serve notice on the defendant or the defendant's counsel before the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or at least 15 days before trial that (i) the State will seek the penalties and (ii) lists the alleged prior convictions.

Failure to pay for motor fuel after dispensing in Maryland

If a person is convicted in Maryland of the violation "failure to pay for motor fuel after the motor fuel was dispensed into a vehicle", the court shall: (i) notify the person that the person's driver's license may be suspended under §16-206.1 of the Transportation Article and (ii) notify the Motor Vehicle Administration of the violation.

There is a statute of limitations for failing to pay for motor fuel after dispensing in Maryland. A prosecution for a violation shall be commenced within 2 years after the commission of the crime.

There is also a special jurisdiction and venue rule for failing to pay for motor fuel in Maryland. A person who violates this section by use of an interactive computer service may be prosecuted, indicted, tried, and convicted in any county in which the victim resides or the electronic communication originated or terminated.


If you've been charged with any section of the theft laws in Maryland, call attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help.

Police Investigating Subway Robbery in Catonsville

Baltimore County Police Investigating Robbery

Baltimore County Police are investigating the robbery of a Subway store in the 5300 block of Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville.

On January 26 at approximately 8:06 p.m., two suspects approached the store’s manager outside the store and forced him inside. Once inside, the suspects took cash from the safe and fled the scene.
  • Suspect #1: Black male 35-45 years old, 5’11”, 200 lbs, wearing a black puffy coat and a black beanie cap with a brim and a white snowflake pattern. 
  • Suspect #2: Black male 25-35 years old, 5’11”, 180 lbs, wearing a black puffy vest, black hooded sweatshirt and dark colored jeans. This suspect was armed with a handgun.


Anyone with information on this incident or the suspects is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-887-2017 or 410-307-2020, or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers

Click here to read more for the Baltimore County Police: Police Investigating Subway Robbery in Catonsville

Monday, March 24, 2014

Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) in Maryland (MD) - FAQ Answered by a Maryland Criminal Lawyer

Probation Before Judgment or "PBJ" in Maryland

If you need a Maryland criminal lawyer or traffic lawyer, call attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 or email him directly for immediate legal help.

What is a Probation Before Judgment?

Maryland Criminal Procedure § 6-220 defines probation before judgment as follows:

§6-220. Probation before judgment

(b) In general.
(1) When a defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is found guilty of a crime, a court may stay the entering of judgment, defer further proceedings, and place the defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions if:
(i) the court finds that the best interests of the defendant and the public welfare would be served; and
(ii) the defendant gives written consent after determination of guilt or acceptance of a nolo contendere plea.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, the conditions may include an order that the defendant:
(i) pay a fine or monetary penalty to the State or make restitution; or
(ii) participate in a rehabilitation program, the parks program, or a voluntary hospital program.

(3) Before the court orders a fine, monetary penalty, or restitution, the defendant is entitled to notice and a hearing to determine the amount of the fine, monetary penalty, or restitution, what payment will be required, and how payment will be made.

(4) Any fine or monetary penalty imposed as a condition of probation shall be within the amount set by law for a violation resulting in conviction.

(5) As a condition of probation, the court may order a person to a term of custodial confinement or imprisonment.

(c) Participation in treatment and education programs.

(1) When the crime for which the judgment is being stayed is for a violation of § 21-902 of the Transportation Article or § 2-503, § 2-504, § 2-505, § 2-506, or § 3-211 of the Criminal Law Article, the court:
(i) before imposing a period of probation, may order the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to evaluate the defendant in accordance with § 8-505 of the Health - General Article;
(ii) if an evaluation was ordered under item (i) of this paragraph, shall review the evaluation before imposing a period of probation; and
(iii) shall impose a period of probation and, as a condition of the probation:

1. shall require the defendant to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment or education program approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, unless the court finds and states on the record that the interests of the defendant and the public do not require the imposition of this condition; and

2. may prohibit the defendant from operating a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock system under § 27-107 of the Transportation Article.

(2) When the crime for which the judgment is being stayed is for a violation of any provision of Title 5 of the Criminal Law Article, the court shall impose a period of probation and, as a condition of probation, require the defendant to participate in a drug treatment or education program approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, unless the court finds and states on the record that the interests of the defendant and the public do not require the imposition of this condition.

(d) Conditions under which probation before judgment prohibited. Notwithstanding subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a court may not stay the entering of judgment and place a defendant on probation for:

(1) a violation of § 21-902 of the Transportation Article or § 2-503, § 2-504, § 2-505, § 2-506, or § 3-211 of the Criminal Law Article, if within the preceding 10 years the defendant has been convicted under § 21-902 of the Transportation Article (this pertains to prior DUI convictions) or § 2-503, § 2-504, § 2-505, § 2-506, or § 3-211 of the Criminal Law Article, or has been placed on probation in accordance with this section, after being charged with a violation of § 21-902 of the Transportation Article (this means if you received a PBJ for a DUI in the past 10 years, you are not eligible for another PBJ within that 10 year period proceeding) or § 2-503, § 2-504, § 2-505, § 2-506, or § 3-211 of the Criminal Law Article;

(2) a second or subsequent controlled dangerous substance crime under Title 5 of the Criminal Law Article, except that the court may stay the entering of judgment and place a defendant on probation for possession of a controlled dangerous substance under § 5-601 of the Criminal Law Article if:
(i) the defendant has been convicted once previously of or received probation before judgment once previously for possession of a controlled dangerous substance under § 5-601 of the Criminal Law Article;
(ii) the court requires the defendant to graduate from drug court or successfully complete a substance abuse treatment program as a condition of probation; and
(iii) the defendant graduates from drug court or successfully completes a substance abuse treatment program as required;

(3) a violation of any of the provisions of §§ 3-303 through 3-307, §§ 3-309 through 3-312, § 3-315, or § 3-602 of the Criminal Law Article for a crime involving a person under the age of 16 years; or

(4) a moving violation, as defined in § 11-136.1 of the Transportation Article, if:

(i) the defendant holds a provisional license under § 16-111 of the Transportation Article; and

(ii) the defendant has previously been placed on probation under this section for the commission of a moving violation while the defendant held a provisional license.

(e) Waiver of right to appeal.

(1) By consenting to and receiving a stay of entering of the judgment as provided by subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the defendant waives the right to appeal at any time from the judgment of guilt.

(2) Before granting a stay, the court shall notify the defendant of the consequences of consenting to and receiving a stay of entry of judgment under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(f) Effect of violation of probation. On violation of a condition of probation, the court may enter judgment and proceed as if the defendant had not been placed on probation.

(g) Effect of fulfillment of conditions of probation.

(1) On fulfillment of the conditions of probation, the court shall discharge the defendant from probation.

(2) The discharge is a final disposition of the matter.

(3) Discharge of a defendant under this section shall be without judgment of conviction and is not a conviction for the purpose of any disqualification or disability imposed by law because of conviction of a crime.

(i) Custodial credit. If an individual violates the terms of probation, any time served by the individual in custodial confinement shall be credited against any sentence of incarceration imposed by the court.

Can I an expungement after a probation before judgment in Maryland?

Yes, but you must wait three (3) years after the end of probation.   That means if you receive a probation before judgment ("PBJ") and you are placed on three years of probation, you must wait another three years from the end of your probation to file for expungement in Maryland.

Does a PBJ go on my record?

A PBJ is not a conviction and if you are asked by a potential employer or school if you have been convicted, you can honestly answer, No.  However, the reality is that most employers and schools have the knowledge to look at the Maryland Judiciary Case Search.  If they look on that site, they will be able to search by your name and find any charges, what your plea was and what the outcome or disposition in the case.

A PBJ is not a bad outcome in most criminal cases as an alternative to a guilty, which you can never expunge from your record absent a pardon from the Governor of Maryland, which does not happen very often.

If you have been charged with a crime or traffic violation, contact the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Baltimore County Police Make Arrest in Dundalk MD 14 Year Old Murder-for-Hire Case





Man Charged in 14-Year-Old Dundalk Murder Case

Baltimore County Press Release: Reprint -  March 21, 2014

"Fourteen years after the murder of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski in her Dundalk townhome, Baltimore County Police homicide detectives have arrested and charged her boyfriend with hiring someone to kill her.

This week, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., 43, of the 1000 block of Englishman Harbour, Pasadena, 21122, was charged with first-degree murder. He was arrested in Anne Arundel County and is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Police have believed almost from the beginning of this case that Cooke, who was the victim's boyfriend and lived with her in the 2000 block of Codd Avenue, conspired to kill Ms. Bernadzikowski, but detectives have been unable to prove his involvement. A breakthrough came recently, when one of the co-conspirators -- Alexander Charles Bennett, 34, of Greeley, Colorado -- identified Cooke as the person behind the murder. Bennett is in the Baltimore County Detention Center, awaiting trial.

Bennett was charged with first-degree murder in January 2012 after police discovered DNA evidence linking him to the crime. The investigation shows that Cooke hired Bennett and another conspirator, Grant A. Lewis, also of Colorado, to kill Bernadzikowski. Cooke wanted to collect a $700,000 insurance policy he had purchased on the victim months earlier, police believe.

Lewis, 35, of the 2500 block of Locust Street, Denver, Co., was arrested in Baltimore this week and is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He is held without bail at BCDC.

The investigation shows that Cooke contacted Bennett and Lewis via the Internet and entered into a murder-for-hire agreement with them. Lewis was the middle man and remained in Colorado; Bennett traveled to Maryland and committed the murder, strangling Bernadzikowski and cutting her throat.

Homicide detectives do not believe there are any additional suspects in this case.

"We have been seeking justice in this case for a long time," said Police Chief Jim Johnson. "Our Homicide detectives deserve credit for never giving up on these cold cases. They never forget these victims and their families, and they tirelessly pursue leads over many years. This time, their work has paid off.""