Having been an active Baltimore criminal defense lawyer for 18 years, I have represented over 4000 criminal defendants charged with felony drug (CDS) crimes in Baltimore City Circuit Court. I have come to realize that the vast majority of drug cases in Baltimore fall into three categories: 1) hand-to-hand, 2) dropsy, and 3) search and seizure.
Hand-to-hand cases involve the Baltimore police observing a drug transaction between two or more criminal defendants. When defending these cases, experienced criminal defense lawyers look to see if the alleged seller has any drugs or money on his person. Also, if the “buyer” is not arrested, Baltimore city jurors are very skeptical that a crime has been committed.
The second type of common theme for drug cases in Baltimore City are what I term as “dropsy” cases. In these types of cases, the Baltimore City police will charge someone with throwing or dropping a bundle of drugs. In my experiences, Baltimore police often charge criminal defendants in this way because it prevents the defense attorney from moving to suppress the drugs. Under Maryland constitutional criminal law, a lawyer can not move to suppress his client’s property if it has been abandoned.
The third common manner in which Baltimore city police charge drug cases is by search and seizure. in these cases, a Baltimore Judge will sign a search and seizure warrant and authorize that a house or car be searched for drugs and illegal contraband. These are the most difficult types of cases for a defense attorney to defend when the drugs are found in a common location and there is proof that the person in the house lives in that residence. Often, however, Baltimore police will charge everyone they find in the house with the drugs. In these situations, a skilled Baltimore defense lawyer will pressure the prosecutor to drop the charges against those who do not live in the house. Baltimore city juries are slow to convict people who are visiting a house where drugs are found.
The criminal defense lawyers of Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White regularly defend drug cases in Baltimore state and federal courts. For more information contact our managing partner, Steven D. Silverman, for a free consultation.