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Armed Robbery defendant released in Montgomery County.

Attorney Raquel Smith obtained an unsecured personal bond for her client facing conspiracy charges involving first degree assault and armed robbery. During the bond hearing, Ms. Smith convinced the Montgomery County Judge to release the defendant under the supervision of the County’s Pre -Trial Services Unit while awaiting her trial.




Murder Defendant’s Statement to Police Thrown out of Court in Montgomery County.

Mr. Jezic convinced a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge to suppress his client’s statement given to homicide detectives after his arrest on First Degree Murder. The judge cited multiple grounds for his ruling.

Mr. Jezic presented a 17-page Memorandum of Law in support of his many arguments that Montgomery County detectives had violated his client’s rights. The Defendant testified at the hearing. The eight-day jury trial is set for July.




Drug charges thrown out at trial table.

Attorney David Moyse gets drug charges dismissed as case was being called for trial. Moyse told the prosecutor that his case would be a trial early in the day, and all of the police officers came to court with the necessary evidence. However, Moyse cited an old case to point out a technical flaw in the State’s case. Right as trial was set to begin, the prosecutor realized that the State would lose on this technicality and dismissed all charges.




Attorney David Moyse convinces District Court Judge to throw out case.

In March 2014, Attorney David Moyse was able to convince a judge to completely dismiss assault charges against his client. The client, a permanent resident, faced loss of his Green Card if convicted of the domestic assault. The prosecutor made a generous offer to reduce the charges and plea to a lesser crime, but Moyse and his client decided to go to trial – and win a complete acquittal of all charges.




Husband Found Not Guilty of seriously assaulting his wife.

Attorney David Wooten convinced a Montgomery County judge to acquit his client of allegations of domestic violence. During her direct examination, the defendant’s estranged wife appeared to be an innocent victim seeking justice. She described a brutal attack, involving multiple punches to the face, choking, biting, and kicking. Her father also testified that he saw blood pouring from his daughter’s face shortly after the fight. However, Mr. Wooten’s thorough cross examination exposed the truth of the wife’s vindictive, false allegations. She even admitted that she filed criminal charges 41 days after the incident because someone told her that it would help get her husband deported. The “Not Guilty” verdict not only helped Wooten’s client avoid deportation, it also saved the client from the stigma of a criminal record, allowing him to continue his career in nursing.




Montgomery County Prosecutors Dismiss Shaken Baby Charges shortly before Jury Trial.

In January, 2014, Mr . Jezic’s client received the great news for which he had been praying for over one year – after two postponements of a two-week jury trial, prosecutors finally decided that all felony child abuse charges against his client should be dismissed in full, three weeks before trial.

The decorated military man was accused of having a hand in multiple broken bones in his baby’s body.  The prosecution indicated that it was ready to take the case to a jury trial two previous times, over a course of over one year.  But after two defense postponements, the prosecutors belatedly decided that they should dismiss all charges against the father of two, who had never been arrested in his life.

The prosecutors were relatively mum on their reasons, but what is crystal clear is that the client will have the charges totally erased, and he can put this long, dark nightmare behind him, and focus on being the great father he always was.




Misdemeanor assault conviction dismissed on appeal.

Criminal attorney David Moyse gets second degree assault charges dismissed on appeal following finding in District Court. In a domestic violence case, with severe immigration consequences for his client. Mr. Moyse refused to accept any plea bargains on appeal, opting instead for jury trial. While the case was pending on appeal, the prosecutor made multiple lower plea offers, including an offer to Disorderly conduct, one  of the least serious crimes in Maryland, on the evening before trial. Moyse and his client rejected the plea and insisted on trial. On the day of trial, the prosecutor elected to dismiss the case rather than proceed to trial, when a missing witness put his case in jeopardy.




Silver spring Theft Case Dismissed.

In January 2014, Maryland criminal attorney David obtained a complete dismissal of all charges in multiple count conspiracy theft case in Montgomery County. Moyse’s client mistakenly helped a friend sell stolen goods at a pawn shop in Silver Spring. Following a strongly contested trial in District Court, the State elected not to proceed on appeal, dismissing all charges.




Silver Spring man sentenced to eight years in prison for Wheaton robberies.

PG County Criminal defense

St. John Barned-Smith,
Posted: 12/12/2013 2:32 PM

Who was Joseph R. Urrutia — a dangerous career criminal or a man overcoming an addiction-filled past?

Defense attorneys and prosecutors wrangled over that question Thursday, before a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced Urrutia to eight years in prison on armed robbery charges.

In January, police arrested Urrutia, 48, of Benson Terrace, and charged him with robbing a Wheaton convenience store and a Capital One bank a few hundred feet apart on Georgia Avenue.

According to prosecutors, Urrutia was a “major career criminal,” with 35 arrests and 25 past convictions. Urrutia stormed into a local business wearing a balaclava — a mask covering most of his head and face — and sunglasses and holding a gun, then assaulted a 62-year-old shopkeeper, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Eric J. Nee.

Soon after, Urrutia robbed the Capital One bank branch, court records show.

Police arrested Urrutia the same day in a barbershop nearby. He was covered in red ink from exploded dye packs that were in bags of money from the bank, police records show.

“He has to prove to the parole board that he’s not a threat to society,” Nee said, asking that Urrutia receive a 16-year sentence.

Urrutia’s attorney, Andrew V. Jezic, said Urrutia’s actions stemmed from a childhood made brutal by abusive parents and from the trauma of watching his twin brother shot to death in front of him.

Despite the dozens of arrests his client had incurred, Jezic said for the most part, Urrutia had been a non-violent offender with convictions for disorderly conduct and loitering.

“He is not the monster the list of charges makes him out to be,” Jezic said.

He said Urrutia had tried to use his time in jail productively by attending therapy and addiction-treatment programs, working as a food preparer, and trying to obtain his GED.

Urrutia, Jezic said, turned his life around after marrying his wife, Nilda, in 2007.

“This is not someone who deep in their soul wants to live an assaultive … life,” he said.

In court, Nilda Urrutia said she married Urrutia — who she had known in her youth — while recuperating in Washington, D.C., after being flown from Iraq in 2003.

He had cared for her and supported her through the many surgeries she had to treat her war wounds, she said.

“He’s been my rock,” she said.

He started to turn his life around, she said, but descended into the grips of addiction to Oxycontin he had been prescribed for back pain.

“Things in the house started disappearing,” she told Mason, at times breaking down as she recalled how he sold her jewelry to fund his drug habit.

“What he did was so stupid and idiotic. I’m so sorry for what he did,” she said.

Joseph Urrutia, who pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery in July, said he committed the robberies in part because he hadn’t believed he was smart enough to get a normal job. It wasn’t until marrying Nilda, he said, that he finally began to believe in himself.

In apologizing for the robberies and everyone who has been affect, he said, “I know I impacted their lives.”

As he imposed the sentence, Mason noted Urrutia’s past and the trauma it had caused. “I can’t ignore the crimes you committed,” he said.

Urrutia likely would be eligible for parole in four years, Mason said, calling the sentence a “last opportunity.”

“If you don’t come to grips with your addiction, if you don’t get the help you need … if you come back before the courts … you may spend the rest of your life in jail,” he said.

sjbsmith@gazette.net




Silver Spring Man a year and half in jail for rape, second-degree assault.

Oxon Hill sex offense lawyers

St. John Barned-Smith,

Posted:  12/03/2013 7:12 AM

A Silver Spring man faces a year and a half in jail after entering an Alford plea to rape and pleading guilty to second-degree assault charges Monday.

Ramon Omar Vasquez, 36, of Little Sorrel Way, had been charged in two separate cases — one which took place in November 2012, and one which took place in May 2013.

In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges overwhelming evidence of a crime but does not admit guilt.

The sentence came after a plea deal with prosecutors. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Paul Weinstein sentenced Vasquez to 12 years in prison for the crimes, but suspended all but 18 months. Vasquez waived the six months he has spent in jail already since his May arrest.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Herdman said in court that investigators had struggled with “evidentiary issues,” and had been unable to obtain DNA evidence and that some of the victims had memory issues because alcohol had been involved.




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