Maryland Criminal Lawyers
Shawn v. State
The Court of Special Appeals (Maryland) entered a judgment that affirmed petitioner’s criminal convictions, following a jury trial, of first and second degree rape, first and second degree sexual offense, kidnapping, and false imprisonment in Anne Arundel. The state’s highest court granted the petition for writ of certiorari filed by petitioner that asked whether the trial court erred in admitting “other crimes” evidence.
If you are facing a criminal case in Maryland, contact a SRIS Law Group lawyer for help. You can reach us at 888-437-7747
We have client meeting locations in Montgomery County (Rockville) & Baltimore, Maryland
We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter.
The Maryland Court made the following holding:
- Subject to several exceptions, evidence of other crimes or bad acts is not admissible in Maryland. Propensity evidence, or evidence suggesting that because the defendant is a person of criminal character it is more probable that he committed the crime for which he is on trial, is not admissible into evidence. There are few principles of American criminal jurisprudence more universally accepted than the rule that evidence which tends to show that the accused committed another crime independent of that for which he is on trial, even one of the same type, is inadmissible.
- Md. R. 5-404 recognizes several exceptions. Evidence of other crimes may be admitted if the evidence is substantially relevant to some contested issue in the case and is not offered to prove guilt based on propensity to commit crimes. The rule makes clear that evidence of a party’s prior bad acts or crimes may be admissible if it possesses some special relevance, i.e. is substantially relevant to some contested issue in the case and is not offered simply to prove criminal character.
We have client meeting locations in Montgomery County (Rockville) & Baltimore, Maryland. We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter.
Courts we cover in Anne Arundel, Maryland
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court
P.O. Box 71,
7 Church Circle,
Annapolis, MD 21401
Anne Arundel County District Court
Robert F. Sweeney Building,
251 Rowe Boulevard,
Annapolis, MD 21401.
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.