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      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Maryland Homicide Defense Lawyers

      With Law Offices in Bowie, Waldorf, Frederick, Lexington Park, and Rockville

      Aggressive Defense of Murder/Manslaughter Charges

      A criminal charge can quickly change the course of your life. At Alpert Schreyer, our aggressive representation begins from the moment you hire us.

      If you’re reading this, you may be facing a homicide charge of some kind. If so, you’re undoubtedly worried about losing your relationships, your job, your freedom. You’re looking for someone who can answer your questions and help defend you from your charges.

      We are here to help with free legal advice. Call our Maryland homicide defense attorneys today.

      Don’t put it off because you’re worried about having to pay up front for the answers you need. Let us answer your questions in a free legal consultation today.

      Aggressive Defense of Murder/Manslaughter Charges

      At Alpert Schreyer, we believe that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a zealous and complete defense. Our homicide defense attorneys have practiced law in Maryland for more than four decades and handled thousands of criminal cases.

      We stay on the cutting edge of the legal profession by attending the seminars of top attorneys across the country. Our clients benefit from this commitment to ongoing education as we leverage advances in defense law for the benefit of their cases.

      Our Maryland homicide defense attorneys review every case carefully to better understand our clients’ needs and the circumstances surrounding each case. We understand the law and know the judges and prosecutors who help administer it every day throughout Maryland. We know what judges want.

      Our Maryland homicide defense attorneys are highly rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Super Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers. We have the skill and experience you need to fight your homicide charges.

      Representation at Bond Hearings

      The Maryland homicide defense attorneys of Alpert Schreyer are skilled at making compelling arguments at bond hearings. We excel at reducing our clients’ bail or getting it eliminated entirely. Our attorneys will marshal the facts to show the judge you are not a flight risk or a threat to the public or witnesses in the case. In many situations, we can get clients released on their own recognizance (ROR). This means they are released without being required to post money or collateral. They are taken at their word that they will show up for future court hearings and trial.

      Collecting Evidence

      When it comes to your defense, we do not simply accept the state’s version of events. We have the knowledge and experience to gather evidence ourselves — particularly the hard-to-find evidence that can make the difference between winning a case and losing it.

      • We have the experience to track down witnesses who would rather not be found. We find out their side of the story and subpoena them so they must show up in court to testify under oath at trial.
      • We examine physical evidence and review the state’s chain of custody. Often, the evidence is compromised because the state cuts corners when collecting it. Compromised evidence is unfair to the defendant and must be thrown out.
      • We bolster your alibi by interviewing witnesses and seeking new evidence, such as proof that you were at a store or at an ATM when a crime took place.

      Attacking the State’s Evidence

      In addition to building a defense, we work aggressively to get key pieces of the state’s case thrown out of court. State and federal constitutions place limits on how the police can collect evidence and how the state can use it. Often, the state violates these rules.

      It’s critical to have a Maryland homicide defense attorney who will object when the state is violating your rights through errors in procedure. With someone watching every move the state makes, improperly collected evidence can be suppressed, preventing it from being used against you.

      Our Maryland Homicide Defense Attorneys Have Successfully Suppressed:

      • Incriminating statements and confessions made by defendants that the police collected without fully giving required Miranda warnings
      • Incriminating statements and confessions obtained by police coercion in violation of the Due Process Clause
      • Physical evidence collected without a search warrant or applicable extenuating circumstances
      • Second-hand gossip and other hearsay the state tries to introduce at trial
      • Unduly prejudicial guilt-by-association or character evidence the prosecutor attempts to smuggle into the trial in violation of the state’s rules of evidence
      • Inflammatory statements in cross-examination or closing arguments as the prosecutor tries to get an edge in violation of Maryland’s rules of evidence

      To successfully convince the court to throw out evidence, lawyers need experience, attention to detail, and an ability to think quickly on their feet. The Maryland homicide defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer possess all these qualities and are prepared to use them in your defense.

      When we can’t get the court to throw out evidence, we will attack its credibility. For example, we methodically cross-examine the state’s witnesses to uncover hidden biases and bring contradictions to the attention of judge and jury.

      We have successfully cross-examined hundreds of witnesses in our careers. We have the keen perception to catch seemingly honest witnesses in lies and half-truths, impeaching their credibility.

      Andrew D. Alpert

      Founding Partner

      Michael J. Schreyer

      Founding Partner

      Michael Berman

      Attorney

      Negotiations and Plea Bargains

      At Alpert Schreyer, we are committed to achieving the most favorable result possible for our clients. Sometimes, however, the best possible outcome is a plea bargain, if available. We are fully prepared to take all cases to trial, but we also are ethically bound to explain to you the likely outcome of taking your case to court.

      By taking a plea bargain, you might, for example, agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the prosecutor’s recommendation of a lighter sentence, allowing you to avoid time in jail. There are circumstances in which a plea bargain is your best option, depending on your life circumstances and the strength of the state’s evidence.

      At Alpert Schreyer, we will help you fully understand the consequences of pleading guilty so you can make an informed choice. Many factors go into such a decision, including your criminal history and whether you want to risk going to trial. Although we can help you think through the consequences of accepting a plea, the choice would ultimately be yours.

      The Results of a Successful Defense

      The fact that you are facing homicide charges does not mean your trial will end in prison and monetary fines. A successful defense can end in many ways. It all depends on the circumstances of your case and the potential penalties you face. Read on to learn about some potential outcomes of a homicide trial.

      Found Innocent

      If the jury finds that you did not commit any form of crime, they will declare you innocent of the charges. This means there are no penalties, and you will not have a criminal record created — no matter what had been previously claimed. For people facing charges of multiple crimes, it is possible to be innocent of some charges and guilty of others. This can result in fewer penalties.

      Decreased Penalties

      Our Maryland homicide defense attorneys have an unparalleled understanding of criminal law and are committed to knowing more about our clients’ cases than the prosecutor. We bring specialized skills to bear in identifying mitigating factors that can result in the reduction or dismissal of your charges.

      One of the ways to have charges reduced is by proving the circumstances of the crime do not fit the criteria for the charge. For example, it may be possible to prove the crime does not qualify as a felony but is in fact a misdemeanor. Successfully making this argument can save you years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

      Probation

      Rather than prison time, a plea deal and other negotiation techniques can result in a defendant being sentenced to probation. During this time, a defendant will be able to live outside prison as long as he or she follows specific guidelines. At the end of probation, he or she will be free from obligation and may even have some charges wiped from the record.

      Get Your Questions Answered in a Free Legal Consultation

      Our experience in Maryland homicide defense has shown us that being charged with a crime is often as much a financial crisis as it is a personal one. That’s why we offer free case evaluations to potential clients. Don’t wait, contact us today, and get your questions answered free of charge.

      Having Your Charges Fought by Former Prosecutors Makes a Difference

      Because these crimes are so serious, law enforcement and prosecutors must follow strict rules in how they investigate, charge, and prosecute homicide crimes.

      As former prosecutors, the Maryland homicide defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer know that law enforcement sometimes makes mistakes and may even misuse their authority. We understand law enforcement procedure for investigating and preserving evidence. We know what can go wrong and in which ways.

      We promise our clients we’ll use our expertise in investigative procedure to look for weaknesses and errors in their cases that can help us get their charges reduced or dismissed. We’re also committed to taking our clients’ cases to trial and providing an aggressive defense.

      Experienced Defense of Every Type of Homicide Crime in Maryland, Including:

      • Murder
      • Manslaughter
      • Attempted murder
      • Accessory to murder or manslaughter
      • Vehicular manslaughter

      Related Blogs

      DUI Homicide and Manslaughter

      The term “homicide” generally describes any unlawful killing of one human being by another. Like other states, Maryland separates homicides into different categories by type, with different penalties, depending on the circumstances of the incident.

      First-Degree Murder

      The most severe penalties are applied to those found guilty of first-degree murder. Section 2-201 of the Maryland Criminal Code defines first-degree murder as “a deliberate, premeditated, and willful killing” that may be committed in multiple ways, such as by lying in wait, by poisoning, or during the commission of one of a list of other felonies.

      Though the state of Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, punishment for a conviction of first-degree murder is severe, often carrying the penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

      Second-Degree Murder

      In Section 2-204, Maryland’s criminal law defines second-degree murder as “a murder that is not in the first degree under section 2-201.” Penalties for those convicted of second-degree murder are also severe, with the state imposing a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

      Manslaughter

      Manslaughter is a charge less severe than first- or second-degree murder, potentially resulting in 10 years in prison upon conviction.

      Manslaughter charges are defined as either “voluntary” or “involuntary.”

      Involuntary manslaughter refers to when a person’s negligence or carelessness causes the death of another. The defendant may not have been aware of the risk they caused, but they should have been. This crime is differentiated from voluntary manslaughter in that there was no intent to harm.

      Proving criminal negligence in an involuntary manslaughter case involves more stringent requirements than in a civil negligence case. In a criminal case, it must be shown that the defendant behaved in a seriously unreasonable manner or with gross negligence.

      In contrast, the charge of voluntary manslaughter means the accused intentionally caused the death of another person without forethought. This means there was no premeditation, and the death was the result of a provocation or the result of a fight, and happened “in the heat of the moment.” Thus, even though the killing was intentional or a likely outcome, the level of blameworthiness is mitigated by the person’s emotional state at the time.

      Vehicular manslaughter is gross negligence when operating a vehicle or vessel. It applies to a person who causes someone else’s death by driving or controlling a vehicle or boat “in a grossly negligent manner.” Though vehicular manslaughter is considered an involuntary manslaughter charge, it may fall into the category of vehicular homicide, depending on several factors, including whether the death occurred during the commission of a felony crime. A conviction for this charge is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

      Helping You Avoid Harsh Criminal Penalties

      As you can tell, under Maryland state law, a homicide charge will fall within a spectrum of severity. Whether you are charged with manslaughter, second-degree murder, or first-degree murder depends on the circumstances, as well as what prosecutors think they can prove to a jury.

      Penalties for homicide crimes at the felony level are often severe, involving decades of prison time and steep fines. There is also the potential for prosecutors to inflate charges to increase the penalties applied to a sentence. A few factors that will increase penalties in a homicide charge include:

      • The use of a gun in the commission of the crime
      • Injury to a law enforcement officer during the commission of the crime
      • When the murder took place during the commission of other felony crimes

      The serious nature of any homicide charge should not be undertaken without the assistance of a homicide defense attorney. At Alpert Schreyer, our experienced Maryland homicide defense attorneys can create an aggressive defense to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Our attorneys excel in minimizing the impacts of serious charges through examination of mitigating factors.

      Mistakes to Avoid in Your Homicide Case

      If you’ve been charged with any type of homicide, it’s important to be aware of and avoid the common mistakes below.

      Resisting Arrest

      Being arrested is a scary process that usually triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response. This reaction involves a surge of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the system. Even when not acted upon, the presence of these hormones in the bloodstream causes a jolt of energy and stamina.

      Originally used by early humans to outrun or fight off large predators, this ancient biological reaction still triggers the urge to flee. It’s your body’s way of trying to save you from a threat. Unfortunately, fighting or fleeing when being arrested will incur additional charges at best. At worst, someone could be killed — most likely you.

      While the fight or flight response is your body’s automatic reaction to stress, being aware of what’s happening biologically can help you resist this natural urge to run or fight. The safest thing you can do if you are arrested is comply with the requests of arresting officers and ask for your lawyer.

      Talking to the Police without a Lawyer

      We’ve gone over the importance of not fighting or running when you are arrested. The next step is to remain silent after the arresting officers read you your rights. If they don’t read you your rights, tell your attorney, as this is a critical breach of procedure that may result in your release, no matter what you’re charged with.

      Once your rights are read to you, take them seriously and remain silent. As the Miranda warning says, “Anything you say can and will be used in a court of law.” They are not looking to help you out of jail. They are looking for ways to keep you there. Make sure you take advantage of your right to a legal defense and reach out to our Maryland homicide defense attorneys right away.

      Waiting to Hire a Lawyer

      Another mistake people often make when arrested is failing to retain a defense lawyer right away. This is sometimes due to concern that doing so will make them look guilty. But if you’ve been charged with a homicide, the “cards are already stacked against you,” meaning the prosecution is probably several steps ahead of you already.

      Prosecutors are very protective of their conviction statistics. This means they are wary of filing charges they don’t believe will lead to a conviction. So, if they’ve arrested and charged you, they already think you’re guilty — and they think they can prove it. The sooner you hire an experienced homicide defense attorney, the better prepared that attorney will be to build the strongest possible defense.

      Our office prides itself on knowing more about your case than the prosecution. Knowledge is power, and the Maryland homicide defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer are committed to staying one step ahead of the prosecution.

      Being Late To or Skipping Court Appearances

      If you are released on bail until your trial, it is imperative that you show up for every court appearance on time.

      When you’ve been arrested and charged with homicide, you’re likely starting your case “on your back foot.” Under ideal circumstances, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But the officers of the court don’t know who you are as a person or all the great things you’ve done to help others throughout your life. All they know is that you’ve been charged with a homicide, and this can lead to the unconscious bias that “you must have done something serious to be charged with homicide.”

      If you are late to court — or worse, miss a court date, you can only damage the court’s opinion of you. When you work with Alpert Schreyer, we’ll get to work right away to try and reduce your charges or even have them dismissed. If necessary, we’ll fight for your rights all the way to court. But until your case is resolved pre-trial or it goes to trial, do your part to help neutralize the court’s opinion of you by showing yourself to be reliable and respecting of the court officers’ time. Be where you are supposed to be when you are required to be there.

      Talking To Family and Friends about Your Case

      When you’ve been released on bail, it’s tempting to seek comfort by venting to family and friends about your case. You may feel the pull to declare your innocence to them, whether in person or on social media. They, in turn, are likely to try to help by offering their advice. But because your loved ones probably don’t know much about the law, it’s best to ignore legal advice from anyone but your homicide defense attorneys.

      In addition, sharing details of your case with anyone but your spouse or legal team puts them in jeopardy of being subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify against you. Don’t put your relationships under this kind of strain. Save your legal discussions for your attorneys. You can come to us to vent and talk out your stress. We understand exactly what you’re facing, and we’re here for you.

      Fleeing

      Just as it’s natural to feel the jolt of the fight or flight response upon arrest, you may feel it again when released on bail. This is once again the body’s natural response to feeling threatened — in this case by a potential jail sentence. Once again, you must resist the urge to physically flee.

      This goes back to making the best possible impression on the court. Even when you’ve posted bond to get out until trial, they are trusting you to adhere to the law and show up for your court dates. If you miss a court appearance and the person who vouched for you by providing collateral doesn’t know where to find you, you’re headed for trouble.

      While there is sometimes a grace period in which to locate a person and get them to court, you are again gambling with the court’s opinion of you. And when it comes to a charge as serious as homicide, expect to be gambling with your freedom.

      You must assume that if you miss court and vanish, your bail will be revoked, and a bench warrant will be issued. This means you are now being sought for return to jail. It also means the loved one who vouched for you by putting up collateral is going to lose that collateral, whether it’s a house, a vehicle, jewelry, or another valuable. They may also be required to pay a bounty hunter’s fees to come and find you.

      Moreover, fleeing will make you look guilty — not just in court, but in the “court of public opinion.” You’ve got to remember that if your case goes to trial, it will be decided by a jury. If they discover you fled, they, too, may be biased to assume you are guilty, even though they are instructed not to make assumptions. Human nature being what it is, fleeing will only put you on the fast track to a guilty verdict.

      The best thing you can do if you’re released on bail is stay in town and communicate your concerns and questions to your Maryland homicide defense attorneys. We’re here to guide you through this and get you the best possible result.

      “This office will leave no stone unturned in trying to get the best possible result for our clients in court.”

      — Andrew Alpert

      Call Our Maryland Homicide Attorneys Today

      If you have been arrested on a homicide charge in Maryland, don’t roll the dice. We want to answer your questions and guide you to the best possible outcome. Call the Maryland homicide defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer today.

      Client Reviews

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      The attorney’s and paralegals are incredible. They are truly committed to understanding your case and serving you. However, I’ve personally worked with Mr. Berman and Mrs. Bowman through my entire process! I am so grateful for their passion, dedication, and professionalism. I haven’t worked with many attorney’s in the past, but I’m glad you all were recommended to me. You all are truly the best. Thank you so much!

      Viair Myles

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