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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Study looks at teen dating violence and murder

Some Maryland teenagers, particularly girls, may be at a greater risk of violence from an intimate partner than they or many people realize. Some experts expressed surprise over a study that appeared in "JAMA Pediatrics" in April 2019. It reported that almost 7 percent of over 2,000 adolescents who were killed from 2003 to 2016 were killed by an intimate partner. The average age of the person killed was 17, and 90 percent were female. Most of the partners were older than 18.

A handgun was involved in more than 60 percent of cases. Refusing to start a relationship or trying to end one was the reason in more than one-fourth of cases. Another one-fourth of cases involved intense arguments. Other reasons included using firearms recklessly or arguments over a pregnancy. The couple may have disagreed about what to do about the baby, or the perpetrator may have been worried about statutory rape charges.

Can I refuse a breath test?

Even if you aren't drunk, if you've had a few drinks before driving home -- just the idea of getting pulled over is worrisome. Is the officer going to smell the beer on your breath and automatically assume you are drunk? Should you even agree to a breath test?

Maryland has the "implied consent" law. This means that by having a driver's license in the state, you are agreeing to take a breath test if an officer pulls you over and has probable cause to believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Why bail matters when resolving a criminal case

In many cases, defendants can purchase their freedom while their cases are pending. However, there are times when an individual who has the opportunity to bail out of jail cannot afford to do so. This can have a significant impact on how cases in Maryland and throughout the country play out. For instance, an individual may plead guilty simply to get out of jail in a timely manner. This may occur even if a person could have won at trial.

Spending even a night in jail could result in negative professional, social or personal consequences. Pleading guilty to a charge results in the creation of a criminal record that may further impede a person's ability to find housing or get an education. This is why New York and other states are moving away from cash bail for minor crimes and those that don't involve violence.

Maryland teen charged as adult for drugs, gun

A 16-year-old Maryland teen has been indicted as an adult for allegedly brining marijuana-infused brownies and a handgun to a school in La Plata. The indictment was handed down by a grand jury on March 22.

Authorities report that a teacher at La Plata High School observed the boy acting in a strange manner and suspected that he was under the influence of drugs. After he was taken from the classroom, his book bag was searched. During the search, a school administrator found a tin of brownies. The teen reportedly admitted that the brownies contained marijuana and that he intended to pass them out to his friends.

Maryland traffic stop leads to drug and gun charges

The Maryland State Police have reported that a routine traffic stop in Wicomico County on the evening of March 22 led to the discovery and seizure of a semi-automatic handgun and more than 12 pounds of marijuana. A 30-year-old man has been charged with marijuana possession, marijuana possession with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while prohibited in connection with the gun and drugs.

The man's day took a turn for the worse when troopers pulled his vehicle over near Margaret Street and East College Lane in Salisbury at approximately 6:28 p.m. Initial reports do not reveal why the vehicle was pulled over. During the traffic stop, troopers say that they noticed the distinct smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. An ensuing search of the car is said to have yielded 301 grams of the drug.

Should drug dealers face murder charges?

There are no two ways about it: Drug addiction is tough. It's hard on the person who is on drugs and it's hard for their loved ones to watch.

Right now, in the U.S., opioid addiction is a real problem, with a growing number of people overdosing on fentanyl. From a public health standpoint, something needs to be done. But from a legal standpoint, one has to wonder if stricter laws are really the cure or if these laws will just further punish people who are already quite sick?

Reality TV star Mama June arrested for suspected drug possession

Television viewers in Maryland familiar with Mama June Shannon, who has appeared in the programs "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Mama June: From Not to Hot," saw in her headlines recently after she was arrested at an Alabama gas station. A press conference presented by the Macon County Sheriff's Office informed the public that she and her boyfriend had been involved in an apparent domestic violence incident. When deputies responded, they discovered that the 39-year-old reality television star appeared to be in possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. The sheriff's office awaits laboratory results to confirm that the substance was cocaine.

Shannon originally captured the spotlight as the mother of a girl appearing on the show "Toddlers and Tiaras" in 2012. The appeal of the pair led to a show just for them called "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." The show succeeded through four seasons until Shannon began dating a registered sex offender, which prompted the show's cancellation.

Younger Americans more likely to be arrested than older adults

People in Maryland and elsewhere in the United States age 26 and younger are more likely to get arrested than previous generations. This is what researchers discovered when conducting a study to evaluate arrest rates and patterns. In general, arrest rates are rising fastest for white Americans and women. The study also linked increasing arrest and conviction rates to reduced marriage chances and lower wages and family income.

As for why younger Americans are more likely to be in need for a criminal defense attorney, the study's author believes that one factor is increased enforcement. The comprehensive study evaluated data of roughly 35,000 individuals over a 50-year period, which is representative of about 95 percent of the population.

Doctor shopping leads to criminal and personal issues

With millions of Americans struggling with drug addiction, chances are that there are few families who have not experienced the tragedy of seeing a loved one falling into addiction. For many, the trouble begins simply enough with legitimate prescriptions for opioid painkillers following a surgery or injury. A doctor may overprescribe or a patient may overuse the prescription, seeking refills after the pain of the original injury has subsided.

When one doctor cuts a patient off or limits the number of pills in a prescription, the patient may seek alternate methods to feed his or her growing dependency on the drugs. Some of these methods carry serious consequences, both legally and personally. In fact, you may be among those who turn to doctor shopping, and this can place you at risk.

Baltimore Ravens player waived from team after drug arrest

When March 1 began, Alex Collins was a member of the Baltimore Ravens. However, before the day was over, he was waived from the team for facing drug and gun charges.

According to media reports, the 24-year-old was driving his black Corvette on the 10000 block of Dolfield Boulevard around 4:30 a.m. when he smashed into a tree. The crash was reported to police by a passerby at around 6:48 a.m. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Collins sleeping inside the car. He reportedly said the vehicle had slid on the snowy road and he fell asleep behind the wheel while waiting for a tow truck. A male friend had been a passenger in the vehicle and had walked home from the accident.

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