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Stephen Patrick Shepard
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Stephen Shepard’s Answers

242 total


  • Do you need an attorney to file a 8-505 for you?

    My husband is incarcerated on an armed robbery charge with a 55 yr sentence. He's been in for 12 years and he's looking for a 12-18 month program.

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your husband does not necessarily need an attorney to file a motion for an 8-505 evaluation. However, it would be extremely advisable to have an attorney assist your husband with such a motion because it is a very complicated motion which must meet certain statutory requirements in terms of content before a judge will even consider reviewing/granting it. Many attorneys offer free consultations and are not as expensive to hire as many folks may believe. Use Avvo's Find a Lawyer tool to search for a criminal defense attorney in your area and schedule several free consultations and choose the attorney who is the most qualified to handle an 8-505 motion (not all attorneys are) and who you feel most comfortable with. I hope that everything works out for you and your husband.

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  • How long does the process for record expungement take?

    Alcohol citation in 2006 Two marijuana possession charges - 2008/2009

    Stephen’s Answer

    The expungement process normally takes approximately 90 days from the date that the Petition for Expungement (and Waiver Form, if applicable) is filed. You should receive a an Order from the court advising you when the Petition for Expungement has been granted (or denied).

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  • I went to court for a unpaid ticket. the fine was for $90. once i pay the ticket or fine will my case be dismissed?

    i was pulled over for drivng without a license and didn't pay my fine as of yet. My prevous court date was adjourned due to me not having a lawyer. i would like to know if i can pay my fine and get the case dismissed

    Stephen’s Answer

    I am a bit confused by your question. Driving without a license is an offense which carries potential jail time and/or a substantial fine. Simply paying the fine in a driving without a license case is not an option, as you must appear in court and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you enter a plea of guilty or are found guilty after a trial, it will be up to the judge as to what sentence to impose. Because driving without a license is a serious traffic offense, you should seek representation by a private attorney or public defender. Please keep in mind that many private attorneys offer free consultations and are not as expensive to hire as many folks may believe. If you cannot afford a private attorney, you may apply for representation through the Office of the Public Defender -- you may apply at any local office but MUST do so at least 10 business days before your next court date.

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  • I got a DISOBEYED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE ticket from NY, but I live in MD. I have no idea about this happening.

    I currently live in Maryland. I was going to Toronto, and i caught by cop in Main st, NY. I was speeding at 4am, and she gave me a disobeyed traffic control device ticket. I think she said there are no point on it. However, google says there are 2...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I suggest reposting your question on the New York forms to get responses from attorneys who are licensed in that state.

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  • Is it telephone misuse?

    I had a hard time getting over my ex-boyfriend. He sent me official notice to stop contacting him. Later, when I was going through a period of duress (my mother was in the hospital for open-heart surgery) I called him four times in a week (just b...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Under Md. Crim. Law Art. 3-804, aperson may not use telephone facilities or equipment to make: (1) an anonymous call that is reasonably expected to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; (2) repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; or (3) a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent.

    Under the facts that you have provided and in light of the law regarding telephone misuse, it does not sound as if you have broken the law by contacting your ex-boyfriend in the manner that you did. However, it would be advisable to discontinue any and all further communication with him in light of the fact that he has asked you in writing to stop contacting him to avoid possible harassment charges.

    If you found this answer to be helpful, then please mark it as such. Thanks!

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  • How much trouble will I get in? What will be my punishment? Should I get a public defender?

    I'm 18 years old. And was pulled up by a cop, they said they got a call with a girl of my description smoking spice. (Which I wasn't on) they had my vitals checked and I passed their tests. Then they said I had to go to the hospital, when I asked ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Disorderly conduct is a crime that carries potential jail time and/or a serious fine and any conviction of a crime can have lifelong consequences. Therefore, you should seek representation by a private attorney, or if you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, seek representation through the Office of the Public Defender. A private attorney or public defender can be of great assistance to you by evaluating your case and examining the evidence against you, exploring possible defenses, explaining your rights and options to you, and representing you in court among many other things. Please keep in mind that many private attorneys offer free consultations and are not as expensive to hire as many folks may believe. If you wish to apply for a public defender, you may do so at any local office, but you must apply at least 10 business days before your next court date.

    I hope that everything works out for you. If you found this answer to be helpful, then please mark it as such. Thanks!

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  • How long is probation for a PBJ speeding ticket in MD and why is it on case search if insurers can't use it for rates?

    I got a PBJ for speeding 15 miles over the speed limit in MD. No other violations ever. Why is this on MD case search if insurers aren't supposed to use it against you? How long does this "probation" last?

    Stephen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    With all due respect to my esteemed colleague Ms. Whitaker, a speeding ticket with a disposition of probation before judgment is NOT an offense which can be expunged. All minor traffic cases (e.g., speeding tickets), regardless of disposition, will appear on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Website. I believe that after a certain number of years, minor traffic cases with certain dispositions such as probation before judgment or not guilty are automatically removed (although I could be mistaken about this). Insurers are not supposed to use a disposition of probation before judgment against you in any way because it's not a conviction under Maryland law nor are they supposed to use Maryland Judiciary Case Search as a means of "checking" on your driving record.

    Regarding your question of how long your probation lasts, you should have received a document entitled "defendant trial summary" after your hearing/trial. That document should tell you how long your probation lasts. In many speeding ticket cases, the probation can last for as little as one day.

    If you found this answer to be helpful, then please mark it as such. Thank you!

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  • How do i handle a charge of Ta17107 (driving uninsured vehicle) ? What do i say to not go to jail or get my license taken?

    I have court and I don't have a lawyer. What do i have to do to not end up in jail for not having an insurance lapse! I now have insurance!

    Stephen’s Answer

    I strongly agree with my colleagues that obtaining insurance and providing proof of it is critical to obtaining a favorable disposition in a driving while uninsured case. Additionally, I suggest that you seek the assistance of a private attorney to represent you in this matter, or if you cannot afford a private attorney, apply for representation through the Office of the Public Defender. But please be advised that while you may apply for a public defender at any local office, you must do so at least 10 business days before your next court date. A private attorney or public defender can assist you with your case in many ways: such as reviewing your case and evaluating the evidence against you, explaining your options and rights to you, exploring possible defenses, negotiating with the assistant state's attorney on your behalf, and representing you in court. Please take this matter seriously, as driving without insurance is an offense for which you can receive jail time and/or a substantial fine and points on your MVA driver record.

    I hope that everything works out for you. If you found this answer to be helpful, then please mark it as such. Thank you!

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  • If a peace order has expired, can I (legally) communicate with the jerk--I mean, person?

    'Nuf said, I think, though I'm sure more elaboration is somehow required.

    Stephen’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues that generally, yes, you may speak to the person once the peace order has expired. However, by doing so, you risk exposing yourself to harassment charges (which carry potential jail time and/or a fine). I would suggest erring on the side of caution and not having any further contact with the person. If you have additional questions regarding this matter, I also suggest seeking a free confidential consultation with an attorney in your area who regularly deals with criminal defense matters.

    I hope that everything works out for you. If you found this answer to be helpful, then please mark it as such. Thanks!

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  • What happens if I fail my drug test for my stet docket case manager?

    Im on the stet docket for marijuana but might fail for opiates

    Stephen’s Answer

    I agree with my esteemed colleague Mr. Scherr. The State can, and likely will, petition the court to re-open the case and set it in for a trial date.

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