Articles Tagged with baltimore city police

Most Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys handle many cases in which the client is charged with Violation of Probation. Typically when a judge places a criminal defendant on probation, the judge will require the person to do certain things while on probation such as report to an agent, perform community service, participate in drug treatment. The probation also requires the defendant to remain law abiding and very often to be randomly tested for drug use.

If a defendant violates any of these conditions, the agent will notify the judge who will usually order a hearing to determine if he probation has been violated and very often issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. Many judges routinely order that the defendant be held without bail until such hearing takes place. Many attorneys wrongly assume that violations of probation are not defensible since there is no prohibition on the use of hearsay testimony and the State must only prove the violation by a preponderance of the evidence standard, not beyond a reasonable doubt as is the case in criminal trials. Many defenses are in fact viable in violations of probation including speedy trial type defenses. I successfully defended a client in a violation of probation hearing this week in Baltimore County District Court using this type of defense. Here are the facts:
Continue reading ›

I recently filed a multi-million dollar case against the Baltimore City Police Department involving an illegal and unwarranted body cavity search. Having received many inquiries since than on the law in this area, I will explain the nuts and bolts of the legality of strip searches in Maryland.

The key Maryland cases regarding the reasonableness of a strip search are State v. Nieves, 383 Md. 573 (Md. 2004) and Paulino v. State, 359 Md. 341 (Md. 2007). Both cases reiterate that it is well established both that the State has the burden of proving the legality of a warrantless search and that warrantless searches are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment absent some recognized exception. Although a search incident to arrest is a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, a strip search incident to arrest is held to a much higher standard.

The Nieves court held that the reasonable, articulable suspicion standard applies in the strip search incident to arrest context. Nieves, 383 Md. at 596. While strip searches for felony arrests may always be justifiable, strip searches following arrests for minor offenses are generally ‘found wanting’, unless the officer had information that would have led to a reasonable suspicion that the person was carrying weapons or contraband at the time of the arrest. Id. at 592. Nieves was arrested for traffic offenses that included driving on a suspended license, negligent driving, failure to control speed, and giving false accident information. The court found that a strip search following Nieves’ arrest was not reasonable because the nature of the traffic violations for which he was arrested failed to create a suspicion that he was carrying weapons or contraband. Id. at 596. The justification for the search of Nieves based on his prior drug offenses and the fact that he was driving a car whose owner was associated with drugs was also found lacking. The court held that allowing a strip search based on prior drug arrests would amount to allowing a search based on a person’s status, rather than an individualized assessment of the circumstances. Id. at 597.
Continue reading ›

Contact Information