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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Rapper taken into custody on drug charges

According to federal authorities, rapper YGG Tay was taken into custody on drug charges at an apartment in Maryland. Authorities say that when he was taken into custody, he had $9,300 in his possession as well as a pistol. A search of his vehicle revealed a little more than 3 grams of heroin as well as a white substance.

YGG Tay was with two other people at the time that he was taken into custody, and those two individuals were also handed drug charges. Police searched the apartments of both of these individuals and found more drugs and items that could be used for manufacturing or distributing controlled substances. Among the items found were a mixing bowl, sifter and a scale. According to authorities, YGG Tay is believed to be providing heroin and cocaine to a gang called Trained to Go.

Car accident in Maryland leads to drug seizure

Maryland State Police troopers responding to a two-vehicle accident in Carroll County on the afternoon of Nov. 16 took one of the drivers involved into custody after allegedly finding illegal drugs in his pockets. The Pennsylvania resident has been charged with two counts of drug possession and two counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute. Court records reveal that he was released on his own recognizance on Nov. 18.

The accident took place at the intersection of Magna Way and Maryland Route 97 in Westminster at approximately 3:47 p.m. According to police reports, a Dodge Caravan being driven by the man struck another vehicle while traveling southbound on Maryland Route 97. Troopers who arrived at the scene say that they became suspicious and called in a K9 unit when the man seemed nervous and gave contradictory answers to questions.

What is going to happen if arrested for DUI?

You're on your way home from an enjoyable evening out when you suddenly notice flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over, and a Maryland police officer comes to your window, asking if you've been drinking. With this one question, your entire night can change direction, and you may find yourself sitting in jail by the end of the evening. 

Unless you have previous DUI convictions on your record, it is likely that you do not know what to expect from a drunk driving arrest. It can be both frightening and overwhelming for someone who has no experience with this process. This is why it is in your interests to know what to expect and know how you can start fighting for your rights and your future interests, even from the moment of an arrest.

Maryland man accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old boy

A 38-year-old Maryland man has been charged with multiple sex offenses in connection with an alleged assault of a 16-year-old boy. Police believe that other victims may step forward to make similar accusations. The Columbia resident has been charged with soliciting a minor, trafficking, prostitution and sexual assault. Media reports indicate that the man has been denied bond and is being held at the Howard County Detention Center.

The sexual assault allegedly occurred on Oct. 29. The victim is said to have told police that the man was behind the wheel of a black Cadillac sedan that approached him as he panhandled in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. The boy says that he was lured into the man's car by the promise of hundreds of dollars. Once inside the car, the man is alleged to have told the boy that he would be paid the money for engaging in sexual acts with others.

Unconscious bias could affect criminal trial outcomes

Whether conscious or unconscious, the effects of a judge's bias can be highly damaging for people facing criminal charges in Maryland. Researchers have probed the issue of unconscious bias, a form of bias or stereotyping that is an aspect of the subconscious mind rather than conscious thought. In many cases, people's unconscious biases may be entirely opposed to their conscious, thoughtful choices and beliefs. According to neuroscientists, there is a strong biological basis for the concept of unconscious bias. The human brain is complex, and certain factors can lead to a greater impact of these types of unconscious biases and pervasive social ideas.

In particular, unconscious bias is more important when it is held by a person with a significant amount of power or authority over others' lives, such as a judge in a criminal trial. Research has indicated that judges are actually less likely to rely on a deliberative process when making decisions and more likely to go with their intuition, leading to a much greater risk of influence from unconscious biases. Judges also report that they are firmly convinced of their abilities to make unbiased and objective decisions. This can also pose a greater risk because people who believe strongly in their own objectivity are less likely to interrogate the factors that inform their decision-making.

Charged with second-degree murder, what are my defense options?

When charged with a serious crime, such as second-degree murder, it can be easy to feel lost and hopeless. Many Maryland residents do not believe that successfully fighting such a charge is possible. With any criminal case, there are a number of defense strategies to utilize that can help one achieve a case dismissal or, at least, charge and penalty reductions.

What defense options are there for a second-degree murder charge? Will any of them actually work? Why is it worth fighting for yourself?

Breathalyzer results may be unreliable

Maryland prosecutors often rely on Breathalyzer tests to convict people accused of drunk driving. However, a report from The New York Times highlights the challenges of such tests as well as their questionable accuracy. While the science underlying a breath test for blood alcohol concentration may be fundamentally valid, those scientific conditions are often not replicated in the roadside and even police station breath tests administered to people accused of driving under the influence. The report noted that in several states, judges have thrown over 30,000 Breathalyzer test results out of court due to their unreliability.

Some of the major problems with breath test machines include poor maintenance, human error and inaccurate calibration. In most cases, the machines were originally programmed correctly, although this may not be the case for older models that are no longer on the market. Some states may not update their lists of acceptable devices to remove old ones, despite the heavy penalties that can accompany a drunk driving conviction. For example, some types of Breathalyzers produce false readings if the person taking a test has had a breath mint. In other cases, the machine is simply too old and no longer functions properly.

Two people arrested on drug charges during traffic stop

On Oct. 17, troopers from the Maryland State Police arrested two people for alleged drug and gun crimes during a traffic stop. The incident took place around 12 p.m. in Prince George's County.

According to media reports, troopers spotted a Chevrolet SUV with suspected illegal tint on its windshield traveling on the 6400 block of Walker Mill Road in Capitol Heights. They pulled the vehicle over and approached it. As they did so, they allegedly smelled the scent of marijuana coming from the SUV's interior. As a result, they conducted a probable cause search and found a substance believed to be crack cocaine. They also found plastic baggies typically used to distribute drugs, a digital scale and a loaded .380 handgun.

The downsides of community service sentencing

For many people in Maryland, community service sentencing appears to reflect a more humane approach to criminal justice than levying heavy fines or assigning jail time. However, the UCLA Labor Center and School of Law carried out a study that takes issue with that conclusion. It argues that the extensive use of community service exacerbates poverty and unemployment, especially in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, where most defendants sentenced to community service live. The school argues that not only may defendants be blocked from pursuing employment themselves, but potential paid jobs are being replaced by free labor obtained through the sentencing process.

The researchers looked at 5,000 people who were mandated to perform community service instead of paying a fine in Los Angeles County between 2013 and 2014. During that period, the county needed 8 million hours of labor, which is equal to the work of 4,900 paid employees. At the same time, government agencies received 3 million hours of free labor from people sentenced to community service. This work accounted for the equivalent of 1,800 paid jobs. As a result, affected communities have less access to jobs that are necessary for the area, and the use of these sentences may be encouraged for the financial savings they provide.

A reasonable defense against voluntary manslaughter charges

Criminal charges of any kind are a serious threat to your future, but they are especially serious when they involve violence or the taking of a person's life. If you find yourself facing voluntary manslaughter charges, you know that your entire future is on the line. It is of critical importance to find the right defense strategy and to do it quickly.

You may feel hopeless and overwhelmed about the severe nature of the charges against you. While your case is serious, it is possible to defend your innocence and fight for your long-term interests and personal freedom. It may help you to start by learning more about possible defense options in order to determine which one makes the most sense for your situation. 

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