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Examples of Past Arguments in Court

Motor Vehicle Administration – Defendant received a concussion when he fell while in police custody. The Administrative Law Judge agreed with Lavine’s argument that the concussion negated the police claim that the defendant had knowingly refused the Breathalyser test. The Judge reinstated the driver’s license of the defendant.

Motor Vehicle Administration – Lavine argued that a police officer, without authority to arrest, has no authority to require the defendant to submit to a Breathalyser test. The Administrative Law Judge agreed and reinstated the driver’s license of the defendant.

Baltimore City – At trial, the arresting officer stated that the defendant’s performance on the standard field sobriety tests showed that the defendant was DUI. Under Lavine’s cross-examination, the officer acknowledged that the defendant identified certain eye problems and physical defects that inhibited walking and standing. The officer acknowledged that he did not account for these conditions. The defendant was found not guilty of DUI and DWI.

Baltimore County – The defendant had suffered a concussion. In the middle of the night, he drove his car and struck two parked cars. The Drug Recognition Expert, under cross-examination, acknowledged that the concussion was as likely as any possible drug involvement. Verdict for the Defendant.

Baltimore County – The Defendant was stopped for an unsafe lane change. The police detained the Defendant for 45 minutes to have a dog sniff the car. The dog reacted that there were drugs. The police searched the car but found no drugs. They did find a gun. After Lavine argued about the legality of the detention, the case was dismissed.

Baltimore County – Defendant was driving his car and observed a roadblock ahead. She attempted to turn around, and police arrested him for trying to avoid the roadblock. In Court, the judge ruled that the arrest was without probable cause.

Montgomery County – Several State Troopers and Montgomery County officers arrived at the scene of a minor accident on I-270. The police found multiple pills in the defendant’s vehicle and a blood test revealed the defendant had ingested two controlled dangerous substances. Lavine won a Motion to Suppress after a lengthy hearing. All evidence of the drugs was suppressed and the charges were dismissed.

Anne Arundel County – A city police officer came upon the defendant outside of his car that had collided with a curb. A County police officer later arrested the defendant for DUI. At trial, the case was dismissed because of the inability to prove when the defendant had been drinking and whether the Breathalyser had been functioning properly.

Howard County – Police were controlling heavy traffic when they observed a truck blocking the roadway. Inside the truck, the defendant, smelling of alcohol, was asleep with his foot on the brake and the engine running. At trial, Lavine proved that the defendant’s shifts at work had forced him to stay awake for more than 30 hours. Lavine argued that the lack of sleep, not a glass of wine hours earlier, had caused the defendant’s behavior. The jury found the defendant not guilty of DUI.

Prince George’s County – The Defendant had stopped her car at a red light. She then had difficulties related to a past traumatic incident. When police arrived, the Defendant was non-responsive. Because there were unopened bottles of wine in the car, the police arrested and charged the Defendant with DUI. Verdict for the Defense.

Prince George’s County – Defendant was driving his car. Once the entry gate to the University was in sight, there was no exit. When he parked his car, police stopped and searched him. In Court, the judge ruled that the entry roadway violated the Fourth Amendment.

Frederick County – State Trooper received a call for a vehicle driving erratically on the highway. The Trooper stopped the vehicle driven by the defendant. In response to the Trooper’s questions, the defendant gave conflicting and illogical answers. A preliminary breath test, inadmissible in court, indicated driving under the influence but the defendant refused the Breathalyser test. Using the police video, Lavine cross-examined the Trooper to combat the claim that the defendant’s driving and behavior were substandard. A jury found the defendant not guilty of DUI.

Queen Anne’s County – State Trooper stopped the defendant for weaving and claimed that the defendant was drunk. Under Lavine’s cross-examination, the Trooper contradicted earlier testimony about the weather and road conditions. The Trooper also admitted to making statements that led the defendant to refuse the Breathalyser test. The jury found the defendant not guilty of DUI and DWI.

Kent County – Defendant was arrested for DUI and fleeing the police. At a bench trial, Lavine argued that there was insufficient evidence of the defendant’s alcohol consumption and that there was no evidence the arresting officer was driving a marked cruiser.

Cecil County – The police, responding to a domestic violence complaint, saw the defendant driving a car. After taking the defendant into custody, the police realized that the complaint was false. At the police station, the defendant was directed to perform standard field sobriety tests. Lavine filed a Motion to Suppress the field sobriety tests as they violated the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights. The DUI and DWI charges were dismissed.

Dorchester County – Deputy Sheriff did not have sufficient basis to arrest defendant. Therefore, the court granted the motion suppressing the results of the Breathalyser test.

Talbot County – After his arrest for DUI, the defendant spent several years imprisoned in another State. Finally released, the defendant learned that his prior attorney had failed to follow certain procedures. Facing a possible parole violation, the defendant contacted Lavine, who filed a Motion to Dismiss. While the Motion was pending, the trial judge offered to impose only one day’s probation, and the case was resolved.

Washington County – The Breathalyser operator did not follow the regulations for the test. As a result, the test was invalid.

Maryland Circuit Courts

Matt Lavine has defended his clients in the following Maryland Circuit Courts:

Matt Lavine has also litigated in the following forums:

U.S. District Court (DC)
DC Court of Appeals
DC Superior Court


There is a great deal of misinformation about lawyers. For example, we do have Rules of Professional Conduct. Not all lawyers have much experience in the courtroom. Below are some of the comments that I’ve had to correct or explain over the years.

In my prior case, I didn’t go to jail. Therefore, I have no record.
If you plead guilty, you were found guilty. If you received probation, you were found guilty. It is often the case that, for non-violent, first offenders, the court may remove the verdict and grant “probation before judgment”. This result exists for defendants to state that they have never been convicted. The public may not see your “record” but the government likely knows your past.

Some lawyers can get special deals for their clients.
In thirty-five years, I have defended clients throughout Maryland. Experienced defense lawyers can make a difference, and prosecutors know who wins trials and who pleads their clients guilty. Prosecutors may make calculated decisions but they do not want to appear afraid of any defense lawyer. Judges are ethically required to treat every defendant equally. Unfortunately, I have heard these stories. They may be a misunderstanding. They may be the result of marketing companies.

Some attorneys say they never plead their clients guilty.
The most likely explanation is that lawyers enter into an “agreed statement of facts”. In very rare instances, a case involves a legal question about the elements of a crime. Otherwise, the “agreed statement of facts” is the same as a plea of guilty. In serious cases with a high likelihood of a long prison term, an experienced trial lawyer has a duty to recommend a plea that guarantees a far lighter sentence.

The police officer was nice. Therefore, my case will be dismissed.
Anything is possible, but a smart police officer keeps everyone calm. This professionalism is supposed to the norm. The officer arrested you and charged you. These actions do not indicate an intention to dismiss the case.

I’m guilty. Therefore, I do not need the best lawyer.
Good value is not the same as low fees. When lawyers state their fees, the question should always be to request their thinking in setting their fees. Chances are that there are important distinctions in the services that a lawyer intends to provide. There is no such thing as the “best” lawyer. Your goal is to get the best lawyer for you in your case.

My friend has recommended a lawyer.
Friends and relatives can be helpful. Maybe the lawyer was helpful in the past. BUT – there are two questions:
(1) Does the lawyer have experience with cases like yours?
(2) Does the lawyer understand your case?


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Marketing companies can confound the search for the best lawyer for your case. These professional advertisers flood the Web with stars and numbers and grades that are simply marketing devices. Lawyers do not have official rating systems, and too many lawyers allow marketing companies to write their Websites.

“Testimonials” might provide a client’s perspective, but an anonymous post on the Internet may be from a client or not. Generally, people in the real world do not like publicizing criminal and DUI cases.

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