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Baltimore Criminal Defense Blog

What does the 4th Amendment mean for you?

You have certain rights, but like many people, you may not be certain exactly what those rights include. It's important to understand how to proceed when you are facing questions from police or law enforcement is trying to search your personal property. The Fourth Amendment pertains to your rights regarding searches and seizures, and it can be useful to know what it means.

The Fourth Amendment is incredibly important as it protects your personal privacy and freedom from unreasonable intrusions by the government into your property, home or place of business. Understanding this right is useful if you ever find yourself the subject of a police investigation. When you know your constitutional rights, you will be better equipped to stand up for yourself and speak out against unfair or illegal treatment by law enforcement.

A concealed permit doesn't mean you can take your gun everywhere

Maryland has fairly strict gun laws, but if you own one and have a permit, you already know that. Without your permit, you could face a handgun violation for having it in the trunk of your car, let alone on your person.

Even so, having a permit isn't an all access pass. You could still end up facing a handgun offense if you take your weapon to the wrong places.

Possessing pills without a prescription

For many in Maryland who suffer from painful illnesses, injuries or surgeries, prescription medications help them deal with the pain while their bodies recover. Other drugs help patients who struggle with symptoms of depression, attention deficit, schizophrenia and a host of other physical and mental conditions. Because these drugs are often powerful and dangerous if misused, the federal government places tough restrictions on their distribution.

One of the restrictions is that you need an order from a doctor to obtain pharmaceutical medications in certain categories. Having possession of prescriptions drugs without a prescription, or in violation of your prescription, can lead to serious legal trouble that you may find difficult to handle on your own.

DUI checkpoints common between now and January

If you plan to spend your holidays enjoying nights out on the town, be prepared to come across police who are looking for drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. DUI checkpoints are legal in Maryland and are commonly seen between now and January.

Law enforcement officials must report the locations and operation times of DUI checkpoints. This gives area residents and even visitors to the state time to plan their driving routes if they wish to avoid these stops. Still, when traveling to certain places, they may be impossible to avoid. It's okay; you should know what to expect should you find yourself waiting to get through.

Conditions during field sobriety tests could affect your case

Seeing flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror may have you immediately feeling anxious. If the stop comes after you had a few drinks with your friends, you may have even more reason to feel as if the situation will not turn out in your best interests. You may not feel as if those drinks impaired your driving abilities, but the officer will certainly investigate to determine whether he or she believes that is the case.

One common investigative tool that Maryland officers use during a possible DUI traffic stop is standard field sobriety tests. Typically, officers will have drivers perform certain actions to check their balance, coordination and eye movement. However, it is important to remember that officers use these tests in efforts to gather evidence and obtain probable cause for taking a driver into custody. You will also want to remember that you do not have a legal obligation to participate in field sobriety tests.

Did your traffic stop lead to aggravated DUI charges?

Everyone makes mistakes. That reality is a simple part of life. Of course, some mistakes could come with serious consequences, especially if they involve the law. 

A DUI charge can have major impacts on your life. The exact charge you face could also have a significant effect on the possible consequences if a conviction takes place. In particular, you could face enhanced penalties if a Maryland police officer charges you with aggravated DUI.

Fun college outings could also pose safety, legal risks

As a Maryland college student, you likely want to get the most out of your experience, which may include being away from home and your parents for the first time. You may find yourself joining clubs, going to on-campus events or even socializing off campus. Of course, it is important to remember to stay as safe as possible at all times.

Once you reach the legal age, going out to bars or clubs may become a common activity for you and your friends. However, these establishments can sometimes become rowdy, and it is not unusual for suspicious activities to take place.

Summertime brings sunshine and DUIs to Maryland

As the temperatures start to rise, most residents are thinking ahead to their summer vacation and all the activities that come with the summer heat. Pool parties, barbecue and holiday celebrations are just some of the highlights we look forward to every summer.

However, one summer activity that no one looks forward to is a DUI. A DUI can not only ruin your summer, but it has long-lasting effects on your driving record, your insurance rates and possibly your career.

What's in your car? Say no to police searches

It's around midnight. You're driving home from the bar. You're just miles away from campus when you see the red lights flashing behind you. Did you swerve? Were you speeding? You rack your brain as you start to move over to the shoulder, putting your hazards on.

Everything is going rather standard for a traffic stop. The officer asks if you've been drinking. Where you are coming from. Where you are going. The rather standard questions. He has the flashlight in your face, but is also clearly peeping inside your car. Now he formally asks, "Can I take a look around?"

What happens if your child is caught selling drugs?

When your children are young, you see them as perfect, innocent human beings. They could do no wrong in your eyes because they are your kids. But as young children become young adults, a parent’s perspective shifts.

You can no longer control your children’s decisions, especially when they move off to college. It’s up to them to take action and live with the consequences. But what happens to your child if they are caught distributing drugs?