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Gary Hale Gerstenfield
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Gary Gerstenfield’s Answers

39 total

  • Solicitation of a prostitute VS General Prostitution

    If caught up in a sting and charged with "General prostitution" is there a viable defense to argue it was the wrong charge? Thanks

    Gary’s Answer

    Unfortunately no. The general prostitution charge is legally sufficient. You're going to need a more creative defense than that.

    In most of the counties in which the sting operations are being conducted, the prosecutors office generally will offer a "probation before judgment" disposition as a first offense.

    The problem is, that your name and the related charge will remain on Maryland's judiciary case search. In other words, your personal embarrassment is subject to public inspection.

    You would do well to retain a criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in the defense of solicitation charges.

    Regards, Gary

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  • Wife cited for theft under $1000 in MD, unintentional shoplifting. What is the likelihood of a successful defense? Penalties?

    First I'll state that, yes, I intend to retain an attorney, and I know what the statutory maximums are ($500, 18 months). What I am looking for here is an assessment from someone experienced as to what we can expect in terms of possible penalties...

    Gary’s Answer

    There are many excellent attorneys to chose from in the AVVO community. Pick one and get an evaluation.

    Do not pay anything or make statements prior to your consultation.

    This is the type of case where retaining an attorney is appropriate.

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  • What do I do if I am accused of child abuse, even if I know that I didn't do anything?

    My niece accused me of choking her, which I never did. I would never do anything to hurt a child. I love children.

    Gary’s Answer

    In today's heightened climate of child abuse awareness there is an overwhelming tendency to accept any allegation as truth.

    The best course of action is to immediately obtain legal counsel - to protect you.

    Unfortunately,, even the most innocent among us must have a lawyer when a child abuse allegation is lodged.

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  • If an officer is let go/discharged from the force are the charges he levied against you still valid in court?

    The incident was a dui traffic stop

    Gary’s Answer

    It's your lucky day! The charges, although maybe valid, cannot be prosecuted because a discharged (fired) police officer cannot be called to testify by the prosecutor.

    The officer's own credibility would be subject to scrutiny during cross-examination.

    The prosecutor proves a DUI case through witnesses who supply evidence through testimony. In your case that required testimony is unavailable.

    I point out lightening doesn't strike twice in the same place. Take advantage of your good fortune - drive sober or ride Uber! Regards, Gary Gerstenfield

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  • My daughter was charged with second degree assault on my mom in Maryland what kind of punishment is she looking at?

    She has been in trouble at school for similar thing but no criminal charges before.

    Gary’s Answer

    Assaulting a grandmother is something which may or may not constitute an actual crime. Obviously, age plays a major role. That bring said, as salts on grandmothers is rare. I suspect the court will want to understand what is going on - mental health issues are going to be a primary concern.

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  • Is this considered civil or criminal? unauthorized use of vehicle or theft?

    I sold my car to a person, he agreed to pay off the vehicle after a month. The person is now nowhere to be found, he has not paid me anything. I still have the legal title for the vehicle. I want to get my vehicle back, I may have given him consen...

    Gary’s Answer

    You created a contract wherein you would receive periodic payments and retained the title as security to insure his full performance.

    His breach of contract is civil and authorizes you to seek remedy.

    You can repossess the vehicle as long as you do so without brech of the peace. This means no weapons, no forced entry and no threats of violence.

    One question is how the buyer was expected to register the vehicle without proof of title.

    Good luck & regards, Gary

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  • Can I request a jury trial when I walk into district court.

    I have been in negotiations with a private attorney and got the money together to hire him but on such short notice he said to request a jury trial when I walk into district court then afterwards I need to call him.

    Gary’s Answer

    Be careful about requesting a trial by jury.

    One of the benefits in keeping your case in District Court is if you're dissatisfied with the outcome, you have an opportunity to appeal with a brand new trial in the Circuit Court. In addition, the testimony presented against you is recorded.

    That recorded information is available to be used in the "do-over" trial in the Circuit Court.

    My suggestion is, explain the financial problem you have had with the prosecutor and ask for consent to your postponement. If the prosecutor agrees to the continuance, most judges will postpone your case.

    There are many tactical benefits in keeping your case in the District Court. I strongly suggest that you have an additional conversation with the attorney. Good luck & regards, Gary

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  • Charged for for theft 10000 to under 100000 issuing false documentation and obtain goods,money forgery whats my punishment?

    with a good lawyer what sentence can i get?

    Gary’s Answer

    Difficult to answer - strength of the state's case against you, degree of wrong you have wrought, your prior record are the presumably fixed factors in a case. The in-flux factors are - defense lawyer, prosecutor, judge and jury.

    Your charge is a felony which means you are facing a major criminal record. Jail should be the least of your concerns. A record that says, "Thief" is a like a tattoo on your forehead that says, "Please don'y hire me!"

    There are many good lawyers among the AVVO legal community. Read their reviews and meet with & retain one. If your indigent, apply to a local public defender's office.

    Good luck & regards, Gary

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  • This is my first time being arrested for second degree assault, but I have a stet from second degree assault

    Will I go to jail? This time it was a fist fight that police broke up. I was in jail for 30 hours and released on my own recon..

    Gary’s Answer

    Anytime a person is charged with a crime tate carries the possibility of up to 10 years of incarceration, it is always worth considering getting a lawyer. Part of your question presents that at least recently, you have been charged with The exact same offense.

    Obviously, there may be extenuating circumstances however being charged with assault on to recent dates should be of concern to you.

    The bottom line, is the original assault in currently dormant on the stet docket, could be removed for prosecution.

    In my view, experience suggests this is unlikely. However,

    The new assault charge may be prosecuted from the perspective that you are, at least to some degree, more dangerous than somebody with no prior record.

    Is for this reason, that you should obtain a criminal defense attorney.

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  • Can a case that has been placed on the STET docket be nol proc'd after 3 months?

    (Or is 6 months the minimum amount of time?)

    Gary’s Answer

    One of the most important aspects of negotiating a stet is agreeing to the terms in which the State will dismiss the charge thus removing the case from the stet docket which then makes the case available for expungement.

    Expungement is always the number one goal for any criminal defense attorney and is the motivating imperative at the Law Offices of Gary Gerstenfield.

    I encourage you to go back to your original attorney and discuss what agreement was reached in terms of removing the stet and dismissing the case.

    While stets serve a valid purpose, that is resolving a case without conviction, the original charge still remains available for public view.

    Good luck & regards, Gary Gerstenfield

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