At the MacDonald Law Office, with offices in Ocean City and Salisbury, Maryland, we are committed to helping clients with types of criminal defense matters. We have experience with all types of different procedural petitions to help you with any aspect of a case.
Violation of Probation
If you have been charged with violation of probation you should have a lawyer represent you for this proceeding. You will be scheduled for a violation of probation hearing in front of your sentencing judge. The judge can send you to jail for violating your probation. But the judge does not have to give you all of your suspended jail time. And, you have the right to defend yourself against the allegations made by the Division of Parole and Probation at this hearing.
You can also plead not guilty and force the prosecution to prove your guilt with evidence. You will need a good attorney to challenge the prosecution's case. There are often good defense available to charges of violation of probation. Andrew and Cynthia MacDonald routinely represent clients charged with violation of probation. If we can't get your charges dismissed we will plea bargain with the prosecution and try to get you the best possible sentence.
Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS)
Are you an out of state offender under the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) who is facing charges of violation of probation? If these charges involve the State of Maryland, the lawyers at the MacDonald Law Office can help you protect your rights.
If you were convicted outside of Maryland and your probation or parole supervision was transferred to the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, your case falls under the ICAOS. If you were convicted in Maryland and your probation supervision was transferred to another state for supervision, your case falls under the ICAOS.
In these circumstances, you have special rights under the ICAOS Rules. Most likely, the sending state has obtained an arrest warrant, the receiving state has place you in custody and commenced extradition proceedings against you. This is improper and a violation of your rights under the ICAOS. Very few lawyers in the country are even aware of the special rights afforded to alleged probation and parole violators under the ICAOS. At the MacDonald Law Office, criminal defense attorney Andrew MacDonald will help you protect your rights under the ICAOS and has experience successfully challenging attempts to arrest, detain, and extradite offenders subject to the ICAOS.
Modification of Sentence
A judge can modify a criminal sentence if a Motion to Modify Sentence is filed within 90 days of the sentencing A defense attorney can ask that a judge hold a motion for modification of sentence sub-curia for a longer period of time so that a defendant can advise the judge later of his progress in certain areas (for example drug treatment). The judge may schedule a court hearing for purpose of taking evidence and hearing argument regarding the motion.
You can hire a different attorney to represent you for a motion for modification of sentence then represented you for trial. A good defense attorney can draft a persuasive motion for modification and argue convincingly in court. Andrew and Cynthia MacDonald regularly represent clients for the specific purpose of modification of sentence. To be sure, judges are usually reluctant to modify a sentence. However, we can advise you on the likelihood of success of such a motion in your case and tell you the best way to achieve a reduction of sentence.
Criminal Appeals, Post-Conviction Petitions & Corim Nobis Petitions
Andrew and Cynthia MacDonald also represent clients for criminal appeals and post-conviction petitions. If you were convicted in the District Court of Maryland you have the right to appeal that conviction within 30 days. Upon appeal, the district court case will go to the circuit court for a trial de novo (new trial). You get a do-over and start with a clean slate. If you are sentenced to jail time in the district court you should attempt to convince the district court judge to give you an appeal bond so you can get out of jail pending your appeal.
If you are convicted in the circuit court, you have 30 days to file an appeal to the Court of Special Appeals. In addition, if you are convicted and serving a prison sentence you may have the right to file a petition for post-conviction relief even if you were unsuccessful on your appeal or the time period for filing an appeal has expired. A post-conviction petition can be used to reverse a conviction on the grounds that your fundamental constitutional rights were violated during the prosecution of your case. Common grounds for post-conviction relief are incompetent representation by a defense attorney or prosecutorial misconduct.
Finally, if you are not currently serving a prison sentence you may be able to challenge a criminal conviction in a Corum Nobis petition. A conviction can be reversed under Corum Nobis if your fundamental constitutional rights were violated during the prosecution of your case and you are suffering indirect prejudice as a result of the conviction.
For example, non-U.S. citizens facing adverse immigration consequences as a result of a criminal conviction may use Corum Nobis to challenge an old criminal conviction. Grounds for Corum Nobis relief include an involuntary guilty plea, failure to provide an interpreter, incompetent trial attorney, and prosecutorial misconduct. The MacDonald Law Office has successfully represented clients in Corum Nobis petitions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.