Criminal Defense | Joyce & Associates, LLC

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The prospect of facing criminal charges can be daunting - facing the full power of the State of Maryland, as well as possible repercussions affecting not only your freedom and finances, but also your reputation and even your career.

If you are facing criminal charges of any sort - whether a seemingly small misdemeanor or a major felony - we are here to help you through every step of the process, from pretrial procedures and plea negotiations through trial, sentencing and post-conviction rights.   At every step of the process we will work diligently to prevent and/or minimize the negative impact criminal charges can bring to you and your family.

Know Your Rights:

  1. If you have been arrested or are in police custody, you have the right to an attorney.  You always have the right to an attorney, and are free to exercise that right.
  2. You never have to consent to a search.  Generally speaking, the police can only search your person or your property under a few limited circumstances: 1) you consent to the search; 2) the police have obtained a warrant; 3) the police have formed a “probable cause” to search your vehicle; 4) the police have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” to stop your person and perform a quick frisk of your clothing; 5) some type of illegal contraband is in “plain view”; 6) a search incident to arrest; and 7) a search performed for “exigent circumstances.”  If you are asked to a consent to search, decline unless presented with a warrant or explicitly told that a search may take place without your consent for one of the reasons above.
  3. If you have been charged with a crime, you have a right to counsel at every stage.  The law severely limits your time to exercise certain rights that may greatly assist your defense.  For example, you have only fifteen (15) days from your first appearance in Circuit Court to demand a “Bill of Particulars” demanding that the State provide a detailed allegation of the criminal conduct they have alleged you committed.  Obtaining counsel at the earliest possible moment is imperative.
  4. Even after a disposition (whether from a trial or a plea agreement), you have several important post trial rights.  Perhaps most important is your right to ask the court to reconsider your sentence; this request must be in writing and made within ninety (90) days, although the court can hold the request “sub curia” for years.  This can provide an important opportunity to prove yourself to the judge and seek a “probation before judgment” that will remove the conviction from your record.

The above is just a brief overview of some of your rights in a criminal matter.  Remember, your freedom is not the only thing on the line - a conviction for even the most minor criminal offense can have collateral consequences such as: a suspended driver’s license, an adverse impact on a professional license, prohibition from working in certain fields, loss of security clearance, loss of employment, detrimental impact on your family, and loss of other rights (such as the ability to possess a firearm).  As with every type of case we handle, our first question and our focus throughout is your end goal; for many, avoiding incarceration is the primary goal - for others, incarceration may be a minor concern when compared to the fear of conviction.


Fee arrangements are a complex issue and are handled on a case by case basis.  Often times, the charges that bring clients to our office have also left them financially strained.  For most criminal matters, from serious traffic offenses (e.g., DUI) through misdemeanors and up to felonies, we find that a flat fee billing scheme is often the simplest and most cost-efficient arrangement for our clients.  Our flat fee rates are set based on several factors, including: the severity of the charge, the court where the case will proceed, whether the client has a prior record that may make potential negotiations more difficult, and so on.  We can handle minor traffic offenses for as little $250.00, misdemeanors for as little as $1,000.00, and felonies for as little as $2,000.00.  Again, the precise cost of litigation depends on many factors and we are always willing to work with our clients to reach a fee agreement that does not cause more stress for you and your family in this difficult time.

The information and materials provided on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be used for legal advice on any matter. Joyce & Associates, LLC does not create any attorney-client relationship with the offering of this information. Readers of this site should not act upon any information provided them without seeking professional counsel. Any organizations with links or web sites leading to, or away from, this web site should not be considered as partners of Joyce & Associates, LLC and the opinions of these sites do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Joyce & Associates, LLC. You should not disclose any confidential information to us through this web site until you speak with an attorney at Joyce & Associates, LLC and receive authorization to do so. Any information you disclose to Joyce & Associates, LLC on this web site will not be provided, sold, or disclosed to any outside parties except when necessary to comply with the law or protect our property rights. In addition to the viewing of this web site, before deciding on hiring a lawyer, we encourage you to contact Joyce & Associates, LLC to receive free information on our services, qualifications, and experience. For more information concerning our web site, please contact us.

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