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January 2015 Archives

Looking at the legal strategy of suppression of evidence

In our last couple posts, we spoke briefly about a recent Supreme Court case which held that an officer’s reasonable mistake of law does not destroy probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Here we want to look at one possible strategy in criminal defense when it is determined that an officer’s mistake of law, or fact for that matter, was unreasonable and therefore resulted in evidence being illegally obtained.

What happens when officers don'€™t understand the law? P.2

In our last post, we began writing about the legality of police searches and seizures, particularly in cases where officers make a mistake of fact or law. As we noted, it is well-established that reasonable mistakes of fact do not vitiate an officer’s reasonable suspicion, but it was only recently that the Supreme Court applied the same principle to mistakes of law.

What happens when officers don'€™t understand the law?

The legality of police searches and seizures is an important issue in the area of criminal defense. As Baltimore residents know, one of the basic duties of police officers is to seek out criminal activity and hold offenders accountable. In going about their work, officers have a great deal of resources to draw upon as well as the authority to employ various tactics in tracking down criminals.

Federal drug crimes carry serious consequences

Drug charges are bad enough on their own, but when they rise up to the federal level, things can get really ugly. Federal drug crimes are often pursued vigorously by prosecutors, and they will employ all sorts of tactics to get an individual to accept some form of punishment. They will tack on numerous charges that may seem flimsy but are technically applicable under the law.

Baseball program that pairs kids and police gets Ripken's support

Every Baltimore resident knows Cal Ripken Jr., the legendary third basemen for the Baltimore Orioles who owns the record for consecutive games played in Major League Baseball. Well, Ripken is still involved with baseball, and he is also putting his support in a program that is designed to reduce the tensions between the police and young people.

Report shows high cost of incarcerating juveniles

Incarcerating younger people has always been somewhat controversial, but if it didn't already rub you the wrong way, a new report found that incarcerating juveniles for offenses they commit -- including even non-violent offenses -- can cost up to $148,767 per year per juvenile. That breaks down to $408 per day, far more than the $75 per day it costs to send such juveniles to community-based programs that seem to be more effective at treating them anyway.

16 indictments after 2-month investigation into drug ring

A two-month investigation into an alleged drug crew has resulted in 16 indictments. 15 of these were related to the distribution of heroin and the remaining charge was for murder. For the people accused of these serious crimes, there will be some sleepless nights ahead. The penalties associated with these crimes are immense, and they will undoubtedly change the lives of the accused, even if the penalties are lessened or reduced in some way.

Much to consider when it comes to sex offenses

Sexually-based crimes are inherently difficult crimes to talk about. There's a certain unpleasantness to the whole idea of a sexually-based crime that separates it from other offenses. Inherent to the whole conversation is that someone allegedly violated another person in a very profound and personal way. Such an offense simply can't be taken lightly and, thus, these offenses are harshly punished and vigorously pursued by the police and prosecutors.

Refusing a breath test isn't that simple

You may think that if you happened to be pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence that your strategy of refusing a breath test is perfect. How could the police beat that? You have the right, or so you think, to refuse it so what could they possibly do after that?

Judge's ruling may imperil weapons charges in Baltimore arrest

This country is known for protecting the rights of its people. One of those rights is protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. One judge recently ruled that a Baltimore arrest was unlawful, putting the case involving weapons charges in jeopardy.