Archives for May 2023

What Happens When Criminal Evidence is Illegally Obtained?

What Are Your Rights When Police Officers Violate Your Constitutional Rights?

what-happens-when-criminal-evidence-is-illegally-obtainedBecause they knew that criminal prosecutions could easily become politically motivated, our founding fathers were careful to ensure that the Bill of Rights contained specific language guaranteeing certain rights. Nonetheless, law enforcement officers will often seek to circumvent the rules, using illegal methods to gather evidence against you. What are your options when you have evidence that shows that police officers violated your constitutional rights?

The Most Effective Tool—A Motion to Suppress the Evidence

When you can show that law enforcement officers did not play by the rules, you have the right to file a motion with the court, asking that any evidence obtained through improper means be ruled inadmissible in court. Examples of when such a motion may be appropriate include:

  • When police obtain physical evidence without a warrant or with a warrant based on false representations
  • Where police use illegal wiretaps or similar efforts to gather evidence
  • Where law enforcement officers fail to provide the required Miranda warnings when taking you into custody

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than four decades of experience to criminal defendants throughout the Baltimore County area and across the state of Maryland. For more than 30 years, he has been consistently received an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System from his colleagues in the Maryland bar. He has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers and was designated a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has been the recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, an honor bestowed upon less than 4% of all lawyers nationwide.

Throughout his years in practice, attorney Smith has successfully protected the rights of individuals facing all types of criminal charges. He will zealously protect your constitutional rights, taking the time to carefully investigate your case and confirm that law enforcement officers and prosecutors follow proper procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll interview all key witnesses and preserve all relevant evidence, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments for your acquittal.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Aggressive Maryland Criminal Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for a free initial consultation. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

What Is Probable Cause in a Criminal Case?

What Must Police Have to Conduct a Search, Seizure or Arrest?

what-is-probable-cause-in-a-criminal-caseUnder the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, law enforcement officers must have “probable cause” to conduct any search or seizure. The United States Supreme Court has made a distinction between probable cause and “reasonable suspicion,” limiting the powers of police offers when their observations fail to meet the standard for probable cause.

What Is Probable Cause and How Does It Differ from Reasonable Suspicion?

The U.S. Supreme Court has defined probable cause to mean that a “reasonable ” person would believe, under the circumstances and with the same knowledge and observations, that a crime was actually being committed, had already been committed, or was about to be committed. A “reasonable suspicion,” on the other hand, has been identified by the court as a “unarticulated hunch,” or “common-sense” conclusion about human behavior in general. The court will commonly find only a reasonable suspicion where additional facts or circumstances are necessary to go beyond mere conjecture.

Why Is the Distinction Important?

The Supreme Court has held that an officer with probable cause may conduct a search or seizure, but that an officer who merely has a “reasonable suspicion” may detain and even frisk a suspect briefly, but may not conduct a search of his or her person or vehicle.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has protected the rights of criminal defendants in Maryland for more than 40 years, including people charged under Maryland law with child abuse. SuperLawyers has named him one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also cited him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Attorney Smith has been AV-rated (the highest possible) by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than three decades. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s prized Client Distinction Award, an accolade earned by less than 4% of all attorneys nationwide. He carries a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A well-known and respected trial attorney, Jonathan has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Contact an Aggressive Baltimore Lawyer to Protect Your Criminal Rights

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we aggressively advocate for criminal defendants throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland, including people charged with any type of child abuse. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101