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April 2015 Archives

Work with experienced defense attorney to minimize consequences of charges

In order to be convicted on any criminal charge, prosecutors must be able to demonstrate with reliable evidence that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is guilty of the crimes alleged. For a criminal defense attorney, one of the important ways to build a strong case is to carefully scrutinize the evidence and testimony presented by prosecutors to determine whether there are any weak points.

Class action suit challenges fees charged for license suspension hearings

In our last couple posts, we’ve been speaking about the topic of challenging driver’s license suspensions in drunken driving cases, particularly the issues that can be challenged in a license suspension hearing. One of the aspects of these hearings that we haven’t spoken about is the associated costs.

Challenging a license suspension in a drunken driving case, P.2

We’ve been speaking in our last couple posts about the administrative sanctions associated with drunken driving cases, specifically driver’s license suspensions and how a motorist goes about challenging them. As we noted, the scope of a license suspension hearing is more narrow compared to the issues that can be brought up in a criminal trial, though there is some overlap.

Dealing with the consequences of drunken driving in Maryland

In drunken driving cases, there are a variety of consequences that can play out, depending on the factors involved. What many people don’t realize until they become involved in a drunken driving case is that there are two categories of consequences in these cases: administrative sanctions and criminal penalties.

Challenging a license suspension in a drunken driving case

In our last post, we began speaking about the difference between criminal penalties and administrative sanctions in Maryland drunken driving cases. Penalties and sanctions in DUI/DWI cases can and should be challenged appropriately in each case. With criminal penalties, the primary means of doing this is to work through the court system and the criminal process to minimize these consequences.

Navigating the federal rules of evidence: work with an experienced attorney, P.2

In our last post, we spoke about a piece of legislation currently being pushed by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby which would permit the admission of evidence of previous sexual assault allegations at trial.

Navigating the federal rules of evidence: work with an experienced attorney

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney is obviously important for anybody facing criminal charges, particularly for those facing felony charges. Not only does an experienced criminal defense attorney bring to the table knowledge of the law and the legal issues that can come into play in the criminal process, but also knowledge of the technical rules governing the criminal process.

Addressing search and seizure issues in criminal defense

Police investigations can be a tricky area for criminal defense attorneys to address. On the one hand, police officers are public servants and have the task of protecting the public from criminals. Prosecutors largely rely on the investigative work of police officers for their evidence at trial, so they clearly play a critical role in the justice system in more than one way.

State patrol urging expanding use of ignition interlock devices in DUI cases

Among the various penalties motorists can expect to face if they are convicted of DUI is the requirement of using an ignition interlock device. These are the devices which require a driver to provide a breath sample before their vehicle is able to start. The devices are commonly seen as an effective way to keep offenders off the road, even though there are abuses.

Church leader pleads not guilty to DUI-related charges

Many of our Baltimore readers have heard about the charges against Episcopalian bishop Heather Cook, who is accused of killing a bicyclist back in December while driving under the influence of alcohol. In total, there are 13 charges against Cook, including driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and automobile manslaughter. The charges carry a combined total penalty of 20 years in prison.

Strong criminal defense critical to combat effects of "overcriminalization"

Readers may have noticed: there are a lot of headlines these days about police officer violence against criminal suspects. There are a variety of reasons for this, no doubt, but according to some commentators there is a term which appropriately describes one prominent reason for the situation: overcriminalization.

City of Baltimore facing legal troubles over wrongful convictions, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the multiple lawsuits the City of Baltimore is currently facing in connection with wrongful convictions. As we noted, the litigation is a testament to the fact that the criminal justice system does make mistakes and that these mistakes can be costly in terms of a defendant’s freedom.

City of Baltimore facing legal troubles over wrongful convictions, P.1

The criminal justice system, in case anybody was wondering, is not perfect. Mistakes do occur, not only in criminal investigations, but also in the legal process and in the ultimate outcome of criminal cases. The higher the stakes are in a criminal case, the more a defendant’s freedom is on the line, and the more critical it is that things are done correctly.

Vehicle searches and your legal rights, P.2

In our last post we mentioned that it is important for motorists to have a basic understanding of their rights during traffic stops. First of all, it should be well understood that motorists do have an expectation and a right to privacy in their vehicle—albeit a lower one than applies to homes—and when officers fail to respect privacy rights, there can be legal consequences for prosecutors attempting to bring criminal charges based on the investigation.

Vehicle searches and your legal rights, P.1

Traffic stops are an important way for law enforcement agencies to fight crime. Think about it: if a police officer is able to pull over a motorist, he or she has the opportunity not only to question occupants of the vehicle about criminal activity, but to scan the inside of the vehicle for signs of criminal activity.

How can an attorney help a defendant navigate sentencing guidelines? P.2

In this post, we want to continue our discussion of sentencing guidelines and how an experienced attorney can help advocate for a defendant with respect to guidelines, whether at the state or federal level. We’ll wrap up this discussion by speaking briefly about downward departures.