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Jonathan Scott Smith

Jonathan Smith’s Answers

9 total

  • Firing an attorney

    So I hired an attorney for a pending case, I caught him in a lie , I want to terminate the relationship. He has advise me any offer made by prosecutor will no longer be available to me ? Is this true?

    Jonathan’s Answer

    As a former Maryland prosecutor, I cannot think of any professional prosecutor who would condition a plea offer on the defendant's counsel. In fact, to do so probably would violate an accused's rights to due process and effective assistance of counsel. The short answer is that a client can terminate a lawyer at any time, with or without cause. Whether this is advisable in your case I cannot say without knowing more. If you have sufficient time before expiration of the plea offer and the trial date, consult immediately with another attorney or the Office of Public Defender if you qualify. Good luck.

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  • Can I sue for extraction of wisdom teeth resulting in numbness of tongue and a jaw that barely opens?

    My problem is that my tongue is numb first on my left side now numbness is spreading and my jawonly opens to a certain point, just enough to stick a finger inside on one side.

    Jonathan’s Answer

    Just because there is a bad result does not mean there has been professional malpractice. The only way to determine this is to have another expert in the same specialty review the records to determine whether there was a departure from the standard of care, and that the departure was the cause of an injury. As an experienced malpractice lawyer, I often evaluate a case from the alleged damages first; if these aren't sufficient to warrant the substantial time and expense of investigating and prosecuting the case, then whether the standard of care was breached is moot. The example I give clients is, suppose someone ran a red light and struck your car, causing a $50 dent. Would you spend $5,000 to collect $50? Answer: no, it's not financially feasible. As for dental malpractice cases, the value of most doesn't warrant the substantial time and expense to pursue them.

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  • How to terminate my probation early

    I was given a sentence of 20 years suspended all but 3 years with 5 years supervised probation. I filed a modification and it was held sub-Curia, went back and received 2 months off my sentence. I want to know how I can terminate my probation earl...

    Jonathan’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You can file a motion (a letter by you may be considered the same) asking the judge to terminate probation early, stating the reasons. In my experience, including numerous cases involving people wanting to go into the military, you should make sure the military will accept you with this conviction, even if supervision is terminated early. A 20 year suspended sentence must be for a serious crime, probably a crime of violence. So it may be a waste of time seeking early termination of probation if they won't take you.

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  • I received a uniform criminal citation for shoplifting under $100 in Maryland. How should I proceed?

    Department store

    Jonathan’s Answer

    You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Your inquiry doesn't contain any facts regarding the offense or your prior criminal history, both of which are indispensable before sound legal advice can be provided.

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  • I was intoxicated and angry when I made a dv statement against my husband. Can I plea the 5th? I involked my rights once already

    I made a statement on two seperate occassions and stuck with my story. I exaggeratted alittle.

    Jonathan’s Answer

    There isn't enough information to analyze this from your post. If you "dv statement" constitutes threatening language (i.e. threats of harm with the present apparent ability to carry them out), there may be a basis to invoke your privilege against incrimination. Only a detailed discussion with an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide specific advice.

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  • Up until what stage (after the state closed its case) and the defense closes its case, can the state re-open its case?

    Or - after closing arguments in the criminal case, can the state re-open its case before judgment is handed down?

    Jonathan’s Answer

    A trial judge has broad discretion, and can exercise this discretion to permit the state to reopen its case. In 32 years, as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer, I have never encountered a request to reopen after closing arguments. Research may reveal a case where it was permitted or not. I think there would be major due process issues for a judge to permit it at that stage. Your question doesn't contain enough information for further analysis, e.g. why the state sought to reopen; what it sought to introduce; why it may prejudice the defense; etc.

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  • Need an affordable lawyer that i can do weekly or monthly payments in related case custody and criminal defense of false reports

    i need a lawyer to represent my combo case of custody and criminal case of false allegations in which was used against me to try to take a short cut to custody. both case still pending an affordable lawyer please.

    Jonathan’s Answer

    A couple of suggestions. For the criminal charge, you may want to contact the Office of Public Defender to see if you qualify. If you don't qualify, or don't want to go this route, contact the bar association for the county or city; most have a lawyer's referral service. For the civil case, you can also obtain a referral from the bar association. Good luck.

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  • What do I put on the background check form regarding a probation before judgement for a dui in maryland

    this was 2010 so the court record still shows up in a search

    Jonathan’s Answer

    First, it depends on whose application you are completing. A probation before judgment is defined as a verdict of guilty, but not a conviction. One of the purposes of PBJ is to prevent it from being held against someone in a situation like yours. Just because an application has a question, doesn't mean it has to be disclosed. Look at the wording of the question carefully, that will also drive the answer. Conviction? no. Felony? no. Arrest? yes, but this may not require you to answer. Second, if you are completing an application that involves security clearances, law enforcement, etc, they will want to know everything, regardless of the technical construction of it.From a practical standpoint, I have had clients show me background check information that clearly didn't report the case disposition accurately, but it didn't do them much good when the employer passed over them and went to someone else.
    The bottom line is you should have an experienced attorney review the exact question and consider the potential employer.

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  • Do we have to open an estate to sue for medical malpractice?

    Ther is no will, no power of attorney, no assets. My friend said we have to open an estate before we can sue for med. malpractice. s this true in Md?

    Jonathan’s Answer

    Since you are in Maryland, I will answer according to Maryland law. If the victim of the malpractice has died,then an estate must be opened. First, no one has legal authority to retain an attorney or to sign a medical authorization form until a personal representative is appointed to represent the estate. When there are no assets, an estate can and should still be opened "for litigation purposes," which basically means for the purpose of appointing a personal representative (Maryland's term for "executor").

    Generally, there may be two legal claims. The injured party, now deceased, has a legal claim that survives death and is pursued by the estate (a "survival claim"). This claim includes the injuries sustained, conscious pain and suffering between injury and death, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.

    If the malpractice caused the death, then there may also be "wrongful death" claims by certain surviving relatives. This depends on who survived, and should be analyzed according to the unique facts of your case.

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