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July 2015 Archives

Sobriety checkpoints: a defense perspective, P.3

We’ve been talking in our last couple posts about sobriety checkpoints, offering some comments on their effectiveness, or lack thereof, depending on the statistics you are looking at and your point of view. Turning to the issue of legality, it is a fact that sobriety checkpoints are permitted here in Maryland. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, sobriety checkpoints are conducted on a weekly basis, presumably to build up the deterrent effect of this law enforcement tool.

Sobriety checkpoints: a defense perspective, P.2

Addressing the problem of drunken driving is obviously an important aspect of improving roadway safety, and there are a variety of tools employed by the criminal justice system in this effort. These tools include not only fines and potential incarceration, but also license suspension and use of ignition interlock devices, as well as so-called “no refusal” campaigns and DUI checkpoints, depending on the state.

Mail and wire fraud: what do prosecutors have to prove? P.1

Drunken driving fatalities occur all the time, but it is always tragic when they do. Back in April, a young Maryland woman was killed in a drunken driving accident in Charles County. The accident reportedly occurred when the intoxicated driver crashed head-on into the victim's car.

Mail and wire fraud: what do prosecutors have to prove? P.1

In our last post, we mentioned that federal prosecutors are currently considering the possibility of charging General Motors under federal mail and wire fraud statutes for misleading consumers concerning a product defect. As we noted, mail and wire fraud statutes do have a lot of flexibility, in general. Because of this, they are often added onto core fraud charges as a way for prosecutors to obtain greater penalties for defendants.

GM may be facing criminal charges for misleading consumers

Readers have probably all heard about the trouble General Motors Co. is currently going through in connection with product defect issues, specifically ignition switch failures in some of its models. The defect has been connected to over 100 fatalities. While the manufacturer has faces litigation for product liability and economic loss, the company has not faced any criminal charges over the debacle. That may soon change.

Admissibility of evidence in criminal cases, P.3

In our last couple posts, we spoke about two important factors regarding admissibility of evidence at trial that must be considered when building a strong criminal defense case. These factors, as we noted, are relevance and reliability. As important as these factors are in scrutinizing evidence, there is yet a third factor that has to be considered as well.

Admissibility of evidence in criminal cases, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the issue of admissibility of evidence in criminal defense cases. As we noted, looking at this issue from a defense perspective requires scrutinizing whether any given piece of evidence is both relevant and reliable, the latter issue being particularly common in criminal cases.

Admissibility of evidence in criminal cases

Scrutinizing the quality of evidence presented by prosecutors is an important aspect of building a strong criminal defense case. In considering the quality of evidence its appropriateness for admission at trial, there are several factors to consider. If there are deficiencies with respect to any of these factor, evidence may be considered inadmissible in court.

Minding statutes of limitations in criminal defense

In our last couple posts, we’ve been looking at recent news related to investigations against Bill Cosby, particularly the possibility that he could be facing charges, possibly for perjury, and perhaps even for sexual assault. As we pointed out, any such charges will involve issues with statutes of limitations, since the offenses in question occurred a number of years ago.

Statute of limitations and the Cosby criminal investigation, P.2

In our last post, we spoke about a recent development in the legal situation facing actor-comedian Bill Cosby, and the fact that he may still end up facing criminal charges in connection with allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted multiple women. As we noted, one possibility is that he could face perjury charges. This is only a possibility, though, since it depends on when a court would consider the statute of limitations to have begun tolling on such a charge.

Will Cosby be facing criminal charges, P.1

Those who have been closely following the Bill Cosby story know that earlier this week, a turning point may have been reached when a federal judge decided to unseal documents containing an admission that could possibly lead to criminal charges for the actor-comedian. The documents contained the record of a deposition from a civil suit from 2005 in which Cosby reportedly admitted that he obtained a sedative medication known as Quaaludes so that he could give the drug to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

Police officer mistakes and available remedies, P.3

In previous posts, we spoke about violations of constitutional rights during criminal investigations and remedies available to those subjected to police misconduct. As we noted, civil rights litigation is one remedy available in some cases, and suppression of evidence may be a possibility in criminal proceedings.

Police officer mistakes and available remedies, P.2

In our last post, we spoke about a recent case in which a Baltimore officer was accused of false arrest. As we mentioned, it is important for those who believe they have been mistreated by a police officer to work with an experienced attorney to determine what remedies are available to them.

Police officer mistakes and available remedies

One of the points we speak about on this blog fairly frequently is that police officers can and do make mistakes while conducting criminal investigations. In some cases, the mistakes are a matter of not having all the information. In other cases, officers make mistakes of judgment. On occasion, officers even intentionally engage in wrongdoing.