Posted On: February 28, 2010

Strip Searches - When Are The Police Allowed to Conduct a Strip Search

Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyers/Attorneys deal regularly with issues of illegal search and seizure. Generally speaking the issue in many cases is not so much whether or not the defendant is factually guilty but whether or not the police violated the person's constitutional rights in the process of investigating an/or arresting him. One of the specific issues that comes up quite often is the issue of when or if the police may conduct a strip search or the functional equivalent of a strip search of a person who is suspected of a crime or under arrest.

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to most people that when a person has been arrested for a serious felony or for any charge that causes them to be processed into the jail, that person will almost without exception be subjected to a strip search. The instances that are less clear cut are those cases in which a person is only charged with misdemeanors or traffic offenses and is released either on their personal recognizance or bailed out without ever going to the detention center, as well as cases in which the police strip search (or conduct the equivalent of a strip search) prior to an arrest taking place. I am currently representing an individual in the latter category. Briefly, here are the facts:

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Posted On: February 26, 2010

Under Maryland Law, Fleeing the Accident is more Difficult than Fleeing the DUI

I am experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney who has counseled hundreds of criminal defendants and DUI suspects charged with fleeing the seen of an accident, Whether the driver has run into a tree and ditched his car, or ran someone over and sped off, experience shows that 90% of the time the responsible driver flees the scene because he is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

It is very easy for the police to prove a vehicle was in an accident. Often there are paint, blood or hair follicles that can be matched to the object or person hit. In cases where the vehicle is not ditched, police are often able to track down enough evidence to make a case against the owner/ driver. Sometimes the investigation takes days or weeks.

In these instances, however, it is almost impossible to prove the operator of the vehicle was impaired. This is because in order to convict a person of drunk driving, the police need to establish that the person was 1) behind the wheel, 2) had alcohol or drugs in his system, and 3) was above the Maryland legal limit of .08 or otherwise impaired.

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Posted On: February 9, 2010

Assault/Sex Offense Sex Successfully Resolved

As a Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney/Lawyer I have blogged many times on the issue of choosing the right lawyer for a given case. In criminal matters, it is particularly important to research the background of an attorney before hiring him or her to represent you given the high stakes that are generally involved in criminal cases. Unfortunately, many if not most people do not do any research into the background or experience level of an attorney before hiring him and this can often lead to catastrophic results for the client.

As I have noted in the past, it is important in most cases to ensure that the attorney is both experienced in criminal matters and that the attorney appears regularly in the jurisdiction in which the person is charged. This information is easy to acquire simply by reviewing the attorney's case load on Maryland Judiciary Case Search. http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/processDisclaimer.jis. Most mistakes that criminal defendants' make when selecting an attorney involve the first parameter - that is, not ensuring that the attorney is experienced in criminal matters- but the second parameter - experience in the jurisdiction in which a person is charged - can be equally important. I resolved a case last week that illustrates the importance of this second and oft overlooked component of an attorney's qualification to handle a particular case. The facts in a moment but first some more general discussion about attorney qualifications.

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Posted On: February 1, 2010

Narcotics Distribution Repeat Offender's Case Successfully Resolved with Health General Exception to Mandatory Sentence

Of all of the cases that Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorneys/Lawyers are called upon to handle, some of the most difficult are cases involving repeat offenders in drug distribution cases. In Maryland, if a person who has been previously convicted of a either possession with the intent to distribute a narcotic such as heroin, cocaine or prescription controlled dangerous substances, is again charged, he will likely face a mandatory jail sentence that must be served without the possibility of parole. Some jurisdiction such as Baltimore County, pursue these mandatory sentences in virtually every case. Other jurisdictions such as Baltimore City more often than not use the threat of invoking the mandatory sentence to pressure defendants into plea bargain on terms that prosecutors view as favorable.

In Maryland, in cases where a person is charged with distribution of or possession with intent to distribute narcotics such as cocaine, heroin or prescription drugs, a second offender will be subject to 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole. A third offender is subject to a mandatory 25 year sentence without parole and a person with 4 or more convictions faces 40 years. However, in cases involving second offenders, a defendant who is convicted may be eligible for a modification of that sentence if the person is found to be in need of drug treatment by the Department of Health and Mental Hygene and to be sufficiently motivated to take advantage of the opportunity to receive treatment.

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