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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Actress turns herself in on drug charge

Maryland residents may be familiar with actress Rose McGowan over statements that she has made on social media. However, she was also in the news after being taken into custody on a drug charge. McGowan turned herself in and was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond according to authorities in Loudoun County, Virginia.

The charge stems from a warrant that was obtained by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department that was issued in February. It was reported that belongings the actress allegedly left on a United flight had tested positive for narcotics. McGowan suggested on Twitter that the warrant may have been issued as a means to keep her quiet regarding her advocacy for victims of sexual assault.

Do you fall into the category of a repeat DUI offender?

Facing any type of criminal allegations can be disheartening. The outcomes of such accusations could considerably impact a person's life, and if you have been in such a situation and moved through the criminal court process as necessary, you may feel relieved to have such an issue behind you. However, if you find yourself charged with DUI for a second or subsequent time, you may wonder how the additional offense could impact you.

Often, individuals who are considered repeat offenders face harsher punishments if convicted for charges than those who have been charged for the first time. If you wonder whether the court may see you as a repeat offender for DUI, you may wish to find out what stipulations could lead to this classification.

Man facing drug charges after pursuit and vehicle search

Police in Maryland have reported that a 39-year-old man was taken into custody on drug charges on the afternoon of Nov. 6 following a pursuit in Somerset County. The sequence of events began when officers attempted to pull over a Honda Civic sedan for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle at approximately 4:06 p.m.

Instead of pulling over, officers say that the sedan proceeded south toward Princess Anne on U.S. Route 13. The pursuit came to an end when the sedan pulled over after making a U-turn at the Linden Avenue exit. Officers claim to have observed the driver throwing a can out of the window and into the Manokin River in the vicinity of Deal Island Road. Reports indicate that a Red Bull can thought to have been tossed by the driver was later recovered from the river.

The link between race and the terms of a plea bargain

When Maryland defendants decide to accept a plea bargain, they may not feel they are doing so willingly. While an individual may not want to plead guilty in a case, it may mean going home in a timely manner instead of sitting in a jail cell. This may be especially true for those who may not be able to afford bail.

There may be a racial element in play when it comes to plea terms a person may be offered. A researcher from the Loyola Law School found that white defendants may be more likely to receive favorable terms compared to black defendants. This was determined by looking at 30,807 Wisconsin misdemeanor cases over a period of seven years. Even if a defendant didn't have a prior criminal record, a white person is more likely to have charges reduced compared to a black person.

2 football players suspended over marijuana charges

Maryland college football fans may have heard that two University of Tennessee football players have been suspended after being charged with marijuana possession. The incident occurred on Oct. 25 in Knoxville, according to local and national media reports.

A representative of the Knoxville Police Department said in a statement that running back John Kelly and linebacker Will Ignont were pulled over at approximately 10:46 p.m. due to a headlight violation. As officers approached, they claim to have noticed a "strong" odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. With Kelly's consent, officers searched the vehicle and allegedly found a plastic baggie filled with 4.6 grams of suspected marijuana. They also allegedly found a glass marijuana pipe. According to officers, neither player admitted to owning the marijuana or drug paraphernalia.

Drug distribution no longer carries mandatory sentence

No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you probably never expected to be spending decades in jail. However, because of mandatory minimum sentences, a conviction for possession with intent to distribute landed you in prison. The kind and amount of drugs police reported that you possessed likely determined the length of your sentence beyond the minimum.

You may be surprised to find that more than half of your fellow inmates are also serving time for drug crimes, not necessarily violent crimes. This is because of the mandatory sentencing laws passed in the 1980s when violent crime surged with the introduction of crack on the streets. Maryland is not the only state now taking steps to eliminate mandatory minimums for drug crimes that overpopulate prisons and unfairly target minorities.

Man charged in connection with fatal overdose

On Oct. 12, Maryland authorities reported that a 37-year-old man was charged with involuntary manslaughter after he was accused of selling synthetic opioids that resulted in another man's death in early 2017. The 27-year-old man reportedly died after overdosing on Jan. 10.

Anne Arundel police reportedly responded to a call at a residence in the 100 block of Homeland Road in Pasadena. When they arrived, they found a man dead from what appeared to be an overdose. Investigators connected the 37-year-old Baltimore County man to the case and took him into custody on Oct. 11. Officials said that during the bail review, the man admitted to selling the deceased person fentanyl. As such, he was facing additional charges for involuntary manslaughter.

Maryland police arrest 4 after searches

Four men were taken into custody on Sept. 27 after drugs, weapons and stolen property were uncovered during the search of several Pocomoke City residences. The Worcester County Sheriff's Office said in a press release that the search and seizure actions were taken following a three-month investigation into cocaine distribution in the area. While initial reports contain information regarding the items and substances recovered during the operation, they contain no details about what prompted police to search the addresses in question or believe that the men taken into custody were selling drugs.

The WCSO was assisted in its investigation by several area and federal law enforcement agencies including the Ocean City Police Department, the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security. Officers, deputies and agents conducting the searches were met at one of the locations involved by members of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation who were at the home in connection with an unrelated burglary and theft case.

You have the right to fight to avoid a drug conviction

Facing a charge of illegally possessing a controlled substance can understandably take a mental and emotional toll on you. A number of thoughts may be swirling through your head, such as whether such a charge will ultimately destroy your reputation and your future.

Federal, local and state law enforcement may fine you and hold you in prison if you are caught illicitly possessing a controlled substance. In addition, a drug conviction in Maryland can make it impossible to land certain jobs in the years ahead. Fortunately, you have the right to fight for your freedom in a court of law.

Drug arrests increasing despite change in consensus

Maryland residents should know that while President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have indicated that they intend to restart the drug war, drug arrests have continued to increase since before Trump was sworn into office. In fact, there were 1.57 million drug-related arrests in 2016, a number that represented a 5.63 percent increase from 2015.

Approximately 85 percent of all drug arrests are simply for possession. About 41 percent of all drug arrests involved marijuana, with the majority of those arrests being for possession. Even though there has been an increase in drug-related arrests, the majority of Americans no longer believe that marijuana should be illegal. In fact, the scientific and political consensus is also turning to the opinion that those who are otherwise law-abiding should not be taken into custody for simple drug possession.

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