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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

What a person's Miranda rights are

A person who is taken into custody in Maryland or any other state must be read his or her rights. Failure to do so could result in a statement being suppressed before or during a trial. It could also result in any other evidence obtained based on that statement to be suppressed as well. An individual has the right to know that he or she can remain silent at all times while in custody.

That individual also has the right to know that legal counsel is available to help with the matter. Furthermore, an officer must mention that counsel will be appointed to those who cannot afford to pay for it. Lastly, anyone who is detained must be told that anything that he or she says can be used as evidence in court. These rights were established by a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona.

The grave nature of first degree murder charges

Any type of criminal charge is a threat to your future and your personal freedom. A conviction leaves a mark on your record and brings certain penalties that can include everything from paying a fine to spending time behind bars. While you should take any type of criminal allegation seriously, there are certain types of offenses that are more serious than others.

Charges involving an act of violence against another person are particularly grave, especially murder charges. While there are varying degrees of murder charges, first degree murder is especially serious. It may be helpful for to you gain a deeper understanding of this type of criminal charge and the penalties a person could face if convicted.

Judge sentences man after ruling car search was legal

A 27-year-old Maryland man was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Dec. 30 after being found guilty of carrying an illegal gun. He was given credit for the 275 days he has spent behind bars since his March 29 arrest. He was also given a 40 month suspended sentence for cocaine possession. The sentences were handed down by a judge in Washington County.

The man was taken into custody following a routine traffic stop. State troopers pulled a Mercedes sedan over for speeding on the westbound lanes on Interstate 70 and then called for backup after allegedly detecting the odor of marijuana in the car. The man was a passenger in the vehicle. A K-9 unit is said to have helped troopers to locate seven vials containing a white powder later identified as cocaine along with 76 empty capsules. Troopers also claim to have discovered a loaded semiautomatic handgun in the man's backpack.

Teacher accused of drug offenses involving student

A Maryland teacher - and the wife of a local mayor - is facing two misdemeanor drug charges after she was accused of attempting to purchase drugs from a student. Specifically, she was accused of seeking to purchase ADHD medication, contacting the student over social media as well as text messages. She is accused of attempted possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana and contributing to certain conditions of a child. The latter charge is for an adult accused of encouraging or causing delinquency or illegal behavior by a child.

The Salisbury mayor, the husband of the accused physical education teacher, issued a student saying that his wife was a great mother who was facing challenges. The teacher reportedly asked the student if they had ADHD medication. When they said they did not have any, the teacher allegedly asked them if they might be able to purchase drugs from friends. According to court documents, the student said that the teacher made multiple requests for the medication, and she told them to delete the messages involved in the solicitation of drugs. The student reported the messages to Child Protective Services and then the sheriff's office, who directed him to agree to exchange two of the prescription pills in exchange for $20. The conversation was recorded by police, who then charged the woman.

Report suggests alternate approaches to drug laws

People in Maryland who are facing charges for selling substances that are similar to the drug fentanyl, also known as fentanyl analogs, may continue to face charges for selling Schedule 1 drugs if the government decides to renew an emergency order of the Drug Enforcement Agency. The order will expire in February 2020 if it is not renewed. Law enforcement says the order makes it easier for them to investigate and prosecute drug sellers, but critics say it disproportionately targets low-income people, people of color and users who are only selling a small amount.

A report by the Drug Policy Alliance has called for law enforcement to try a different approach to dealing with drug users and sellers, looking at the root causes of selling and using drugs. According to a UC Davis Law Review paper, drug laws primarily are aimed at people selling small amounts and do not tend to catch major distributors.

Have study drugs left your college student facing legal trouble?

When the University of Maryland accepted your child, you likely could not have been prouder. Like most other parents, you probably had visions of him or her attending classes, lounging outside studying, making new friends, joining clubs, reaching academic achievement and generally having a full college experience.

What you may not have anticipated, however, is that college experience resulting in criminal charges. Though you may have worried that your children may consume alcohol at parties or make other irresponsible decisions, you may not have considered the possibility of him or her using someone else's prescription medication in efforts to stay focused.

Officers relying on unreliable forensic tool

People in Maryland who the police suspect of possibly committing crimes might be asked to write statements about what they remember from the incidents. Law enforcement officers use these statements when they build their cases. However, most people might not realize that some police departments use a forensic tool called Scientific Content Analysis or SCAN to analyze the written statements to purportedly detect deception.

SCAN is a system that was developed by a former officer in Israeli intelligence. It is offered by a company called the Laboratory for Scientific Information or LSI. While the company has long touted SCAN as providing a highly accurate analytical method for detecting falsehoods, experts state that the claims are not supported by scientific evidence.

Law enforcement still impacts blacks heavily despite improvements

A study produced by the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice reported that the racial imbalances within the criminal justice system have improved over the past 16 years. Despite the narrowing of racial disparities among criminal defendants and inmates in Maryland and nationwide, blacks remain disproportionately represented within local jails and state prisons and among parolees and people on probation. In 2000, state prisons held 15 times more black people convicted of drug crimes than white people. By 2016, the ratio had dropped to 5 to 1.

Although crime statistics indicate less racial targeting in recent years, the criminal justice system remains heavy-handed with blacks according to the report. Prison sentences for black people have actually become longer for all types of crime although the overall rates of major crime categories have dropped.

A basic understanding of Maryland DUI laws

Any type of criminal charge is a direct detriment to your life. It can compromise your future, your personal freedom and your opportunities. This is true for drunk driving charges in Maryland, whether this is your first offense or you have previous convictions on your record.

If you are facing these types of criminal charges, it is in your interests to take your situation seriously. No matter the individual details of your case, there is a lot on the line for you. Thankfully, a conviction or entering a guilty plea are not your only options. You have the right to fight back and pursue a beneficial outcome to your case. Building the right defense strategy for your case can start by getting a better understanding of DUI/DWI laws in the state.

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.

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