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Seth Okin, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Maryland criminal justice system can be complex, intimidating, and unforgiving in the absence of experienced legal counsel. Investigative agencies and prosecutors have a tremendous amount of resources at their disposal, and you should expect the government to exercise all of those resources in order to obtain a conviction.  If you are facing criminal charges, it is in your best interest to contact a Maryland criminal lawyer. Such an individual is specifically trained in crafting legal defenses and advising individuals on the most appropriate course of action to take with respect to criminal charges.

The immediate consequences of a conviction might include fines or imprisonment, but it is important to understand that those may not necessarily be the only ramifications. More specifically, a criminal conviction can entail a variety of collateral consequences. For instance, certain offenses may result in the loss of professional license, while others may jeopardize a person’s ability to secure a loan or obtain employment. Moreover, a criminal conviction invariably entails a certain stigma, which can jeopardize relationships with family members, friends, and professional acquaintances. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have handled a myriad of criminal cases, and as such, will have a strong familiarity with what a person is going through when facing criminal charges. Moreover, such an attorney will understand the legal strategies that can be utilized as a way of minimizing the potential for conviction.

Maryland criminal defense attorney Seth Okin is committed to assisting those who have been implicated by the law. Mr. Okin understands what is necessary in order to construct a strong defense, and the various nuances of the Maryland criminal justice system. In addition to being barred in the state of Maryland, Mr. Okin is a member of the Baltimore County Bar Association, the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Okin’s wealth of experience is complemented by his drive to foster a strong attorney-client relationship, and his passion to work tirelessly in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for his clients.

Practice Areas

Mr. Okin is well-versed in handling a variety of criminal charges, and has a wealth of experience in helping his clients navigate the Maryland criminal justice system. As a Maryland criminal defense attorney, Seth Okin has seen first-hand the types of arguments and strategies that will prevail in court, and the tactics employed by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors. Below is a brief summary of some of the criminal violations in the state of Maryland, the statutory penalties, and why it is imperative to retain legal representation skilled in the respective areas of the law. He handles cases ranging from serious penalties to bench warrants for failing to appear for a court date.

Assault

In the state of Maryland, the crimes of assault (the threat of imminent harmful or offensive contact) and battery (the physical act of harmful or offensive contact) are not distinct crimes. In this jurisdiction, the crimes are merged, as noted in Section 3-201(b) of the Maryland Criminal Code. Thus a person who commits battery is in violation of the same criminal statute that prohibits assault.

That being said, there are two different types of assault that you can be charged within the state of Maryland. As codified under Section 3-202, a person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she “intentionally cause[s] or attempt[s] to cause serious physical injury to another” or does so with a firearm. Violation of this law constitutes a felony and is punishable by up to twenty-five years imprisonment. A felony conviction entails a number of collateral consequences, thus making it paramount that you retain experienced legal counsel if you are facing such charges.

The other type of assault that is punishable under Maryland law is assault in the second degree. Second degree assault is considered less serious than first degree assault, and as such is prosecuted as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Any unwanted physical contact or the placing of a person in reasonable “fear of imminent bodily harm” is considered a second degree assault. In short, you can be charged with assault in the second degree even if the person’s actions do not result in physical injury to the victim. Per Section 3-203 of the Maryland Criminal Code, second-degree assault is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment.

While less serious, second degree assault is not to be taken lightly, and it is invaluable to have an experienced Maryland assault lawyer as legal counsel. Such an attorney will be able to determine if there are any affirmative defenses that are applicable to your case, and will scrutinize the evidence that law enforcement has obtained and that which the prosecution seeks to introduce against you.

Domestic Violence

While the crime of domestic violence is not explicitly codified under the Maryland Criminal Code, a number of different types of criminal conduct can be considered domestic violence. Crimes such as assault (Sections 3-202 – 3-203), stalking (Section 3-802), harassment (Section 3-803), and sexual offenses (Sections 3-303 – 3-324) can all be considered a crime of domestic violence depending upon the specific circumstances of the situation. These crimes entail serious penalties, and can jeopardize your freedom and livelihood. Moreover, a conviction for a crime of domestic violence carries a stigma that can be debilitating with respect to personal and professional relationships.

It is especially important to retain a lawyer well versed in handling domestic violence cases if you have been charged with violating a protective order or a peace order. Being able to construct a credible defense in such a situation necessitates an attorney with specific knowledge of how domestic violence is treated in the Maryland criminal justice system.

Drug Charges

Possession, distribution, and sale of controlled dangerous substances are enterprises that can result in stiff legal penalties including fines, incarceration, and other collateral consequences. If you are facing such charges, it is valuable to retain a Maryland drug lawyer for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, investigative agencies and prosecutors have access to a tremendous amount of resources, and will employ all available means if they are seeking a conviction. Thus, having experienced legal counsel at your side throughout the entirety of the criminal case will ensure that there is a “level playing field” so to speak. Secondly, such an attorney will be well versed in the tactics utilized by law enforcement that led to your arrest. This is important, because law enforcement personnel must conform to a certain standard of behavior that is consistent with your constitutional rights. Depending upon the circumstances, the evidence that is necessary to convict you of a drug crime may have been acquired in a manner inconsistent with the protections afforded to you under the law. Maryland drug lawyer Seth Okin will be able to assess the facts of your case and determine the most appropriate and viable defense strategy specific to your individualized circumstances.

One of the most common drug charges in the state of Maryland is misdemeanor possession. As defined under Section 5-601 of the Maryland Criminal Code, a person will be guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she “possess[es] or administer[s] to another a controlled dangerous substance, unless obtained directly or by prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of professional practice” or “obtain[s] or attempt[s] to obtain a controlled dangerous substance, or procure[s] or attempt[s] to procure the administration of a controlled dangerous substance” through certain means (see Section 5-601(a)(2)). The state typically offers a diversion program for a misdemeanor possession charge, whereby an individual agrees to drug education classes in return for full dismissal of the criminal charge that he or she is facing. However, such an option may not always be available. This reaffirms the fact that it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer if you are facing such charges.

DUI and DWI

The decision to drink-and-drive is one that can be costly, not only for the driver, but also for other individuals on the road. As such, law enforcement personnel in the state of Maryland are vigilant in watching out for drivers who are under the influence. They will not hesitate to pull an individual over if they have the reasonable articulable suspicion that such person has been drinking. If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI, it is normal to have questions and concerns. You may be uncertain about the legal penalties that can be levied against you and the status of your driving privileges. In such a situation, an experienced attorney like Seth Okin can be invaluable. Mr. Okin has represented numerous individuals implicated by DUI and DWI charges, and has an intimate understanding of how such cases are handled in the Maryland criminal justice system.

DUI and DWI penalties vary significantly depending upon whether or not it is your first or subsequent offense. The maximum penalty for a first conviction includes incarceration of up to one year, and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000. By contrast, if a person is convicted for a third offense, he or she will be facing a three year period of imprisonment, and/or a fine of $3,000. Moreover, a person arrested for DUI or DWI will have to contend with the revocation of driving privileges.

Mr. Okin understands that the penalties and stigma of a DUI or DWI have the potential to seriously jeopardize a person’s livelihood. As such, he is committed to obtaining the best possible result for his clients, given the particular circumstances of the individual case. Contact Seth Okin today for a free initial consultation of your case. He is ready and willing to protect your rights and shoulder the burden of navigating the often complicated and unforgiving criminal justice system.

Gun Charges

While there exists a federal constitutional protection that affords individuals the right to bear arms, this right is qualified by numerous federal and state laws. By nature of the fact that handguns and other firearms have the capacity to inflict a tremendous amount of bodily harm, violations of weapons provisions are prosecuted with vigor – both in the state of Maryland and in other jurisdictions across the United States.

The penalties for unlawfully “wearing, carrying, or transporting” a handgun will depend upon whether it is the person’s first or subsequent offense. As defined under Section 4-203(c) of the Maryland Criminal Code, there are mandatory minimums in place. For a first offense, an individual will be facing a minimum of 30 days imprisonment and a fine of $250. The mandatory minimum is enhanced to 90 days imprisonment if one is unlawfully in possession of a handgun on public school property. More information pertaining to the prohibitions and penalties associated with handgun possession can be found by visiting Section 4-203 of the Maryland Criminal Code, here.

The statutory provisions are complex, and the legal penalties can be even more difficult to understand when a weapons crime is compounded with another substantive offense, such as assault or robbery. As a Maryland criminal defense attorney, Seth Okin has a detailed understanding of the provisions governing weapons crimes, and what is necessary in establishing a credible defense.

Sex Crimes

Rape and sexual offenses are both covered under Title 3, Subtitle 3 of the Maryland Criminal Code. A criminal charge for either is a tremendously serious matter, and requires a dedicated defense attorney who has a strong understanding of this area of law, and is prepared to take a case to trial. Every county in the state of Maryland has a prosecutorial unit solely dedicated to the prosecution of rape and sexual offenses, and one should expect that unit will exercise all available resources to obtain a conviction. The particular nature of these crimes carries a very real stigma upon conviction, and a host of collateral consequences. If you have any suspicion that you are under investigation for rape or a sexual offense, or are going to be charged, it is important that you be proactive and contact a skilled attorney.

Theft

Property crimes are taken seriously in the state of Maryland, and the crime of theft is no exception to this fact. According to Section 7-104, it is illegal for a person to “willfully or knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control over property” if the person “intends to deprive the owner of the property,” “willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property,” or “uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.” The unlawful taking of another person’s property can result in both fines and imprisonment, and can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Like other criminal offenses, the misdemeanor-felony gradation is premised upon the severity of the conduct. With respect to theft, this applies to the valuation of the property taken by the individual. In the state of Maryland, a person convicted of property theft of $1,000 or more will be guilty of a felony. Any amount less than $1,000 will constitute a misdemeanor, and entails lesser penalties. Another determining factor with respect to criminal penalties is whether or not it is your first or subsequent offense. For instance, Section 7-104(g)(4) of the Maryland Criminal Code states that if a person has two or more prior, misdemeanor theft convictions, upon conviction that person will be subject to a maximum of five years imprisonment or a fine of $5,000, or both.

As you can see, the crime of theft is not taken lightly in Maryland, and by virtue of this fact an attorney is instrumental in such proceedings.

Traffic Violations

While the penalties for traffic violations are relatively minor in comparison to those of the aforementioned offenses, there is a definite benefit to retaining an attorney if you are charged with a traffic offense. If you elect to pay the fine associated with a traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt, and as such, demerit points may be assessed against your license. By retaining legal counsel, you will be taking an active step in preserving your driving record. Such an attorney can appear in court and contest the charge.

In many instances this is unequivocally in your best interest. Some examples of this include driving on a suspended license, driving an unregistered vehicle, and driving without insurance. It is possible that you could face imprisonment if convicted of one of these violations – a reality that underscores the importance of having a Maryland traffic attorney. Seth Okin has practiced criminal defense in the state of Maryland for a number of years, and he is ready to protect the freedom and driving ability of those charged with a traffic offense.

Probation Violations

Probation violations are taken very seriously, and almost always result in incarceration without a skilled criminal defense attorney representing you. If you have already committed a crime and been placed on probation, breaking any conditions imposed on you by the judge will result in heavy legal penalties and fines. Seth Okin has experience representing defendants accused of violating the terms of their probation, and handles each case with a focus on providing quality results.

Seth Okin in His Own Words

Below are several links to question-and-answer pages excerpted from an interview with Seth Okin in which he discusses the various criminal cases that he handles.

How We Can Help Our Clients

Consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the legal ramifications. Fines and jail or prison sentences are immediate legal consequences. Though these penalties are considered paid upon completion, certain aspects of the conviction linger. Lengthy probation can affect one’s freedoms and privileges and can mandate time-consuming treatment programs and community service. A criminal conviction carries a stigma that can have a devastating impact on one’s relationships with family members and friends. A criminal record can inhibit employment opportunities or student status, and can make it difficult to secure housing or a financial loan.

Losing immigration status, security clearance, and custody of your children are all possible outcomes of a conviction that can impact you for a lifetime. To help you avoid conviction or minimize the impact of a criminal conviction, consult a qualified lawyer to discuss your defense options.

An experienced lawyer understands the severity of a criminal charge and the lingering effects of a criminal conviction. Criminal defense attorney Seth Okin is dedicated to providing quality legal representation to those charged with crimes in Maryland. Handling minor misdemeanors as well as complex felony cases, Seth Okin will treat your case with discretion and will diligently build the strongest defense possible.