Possible DUI defenses in Maryland

When a person is charged with a DUI, he or she may feel as if there is nothing they can do except to plead guilty. There are possible defenses to a DUI charge, however, and people who are facing a DUI case should be aware of them.

The most common DUI defenses involve taking a critical look at how the stop was performed and how any tests were administered. If the officer did not have a good reason to stop the car in the first place, the stop itself may be challenged for lacking probable cause. In the event such a challenge is successful, all evidence gathered after the stop may be suppressed in the case.

7 people face charges after traffic stop

Maryland State Police reported that a traffic stop in Kent Narrows on Feb. 1 resulted in seven people being detained on drug and weapons charges. The incident that led to the drug charges took place a little after 1 a.m. when a 2013 Kia Sorento SUV was pulled over on Route 50 for driving over the speed limit near the Kent Narrows Bridge.

The state trooper who conducted the traffic stop allegedly had probable cause to search the vehicle when the odor of marijuana was detected in the air. A subsequent search of the car led to the discovery of 5.7 grams of marijuana along with a loaded 9 mm Tec-9 handgun. The handgun was allegedly loaded with a high capacity magazine.

Reasons for probable cause in criminal matters

In Maryland, as well as nationwide, citizens are protected from arrest and search and seizure without probable cause in most instances. This is guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Probable cause means that law enforcement must have legitimate reasons to suspect that any criminal activity is involved.

A warrant is obtained after the police officer provides a detailed account of why he or she believes that criminal activity is taking place. If the officer believes drug-related activity is being conducted from an establishment, for example, a warrant may be agreed to by the judge. This allows the establishment to be searched and, if drug charges are warranted, individuals may be taken into custody. In addition, if contraband is found, it may be seized.

The limitations of police actions

In Maryland and throughout the U.S., the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution allows police to perform “reasonable” searches and seizures. They may be able to search an individual’s car, home or person to find stolen goods, information about a crime or anything else that may aid an ongoing investigation. Prior to performing a search, authorities must show probable cause. Probable cause means that there is reason to believe that a search will uncover stolen goods or evidence of a crime.

In some cases, police can perform a search without probable cause or obtaining a warrant if there is no “legitimate expectation of privacy.” A court will generally consider whether an individual had an expectation of privacy as well as whether society would find that expectation reasonable. If there was no legitimate expectation of privacy concerning the items in question, authorities may claim the items. In that case, no search has occurred.

Drinking and driving stats that impact Maryland drivers

In Maryland and the rest of the U.S., drivers over the age of 21 may not drive a vehicle if their alcohol level is higher than .08 percent. Drivers who are under the age of 21 may not have any level of alcohol in their system. According to statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 32 percent of all fatal car crashes involved a drunk driver.

On average, such crashes kill 13,000 people and cost taxpayers around $100 billion per year. Statistics further indicate that 1.4 million people are charged with DWI, and roughly 66 percent of those convicted of DWI are repeat offenders. However, one statistic indicates that alcohol-related deaths have fallen since 1982, when 48.5 percent of all fatal car crashes involved an impaired driver.

Defending robbery charges

When you are facing charges for robbery, armed robbery or burglary in Maryland, it is crucial to begin working with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the allegations against you, these kinds of charges could potentially result in sentences that include decades behind bars.

For instance, when a person is accused of a property crime that involves a weapon, the severity of the charges laid against the accused individual will be significantly increased. Even if the weapon was not used during the incident, prosecutors may claim that the robbery or carjacking incident involved a threat of force. That is why a person who is facing an armed robbery charge or any other charge involving a weapon is especially at risk for being handed a prolonged sentence.

What are the consequences of a drunken driving charge in Maryland?

Drunken driving is an offense which can vary significantly in its consequences, depending on the circumstances. One of the factors which helps determine the severity of the consequences is the concentration of alcohol in the driver’s blood at the time of the arrest. In Maryland, those who are found to have a BAC of .07 percent are charged with DWI, while those who have a BAC of .08 percent or higher are charged with the more serious crime of DUI.

One of the consequences of being charged with DUI is an automatic revocation of one’s license. Those who refuse a chemical test after a DUI arrest can also have their license taken away for a period of time. Another factor which dictates the severity of penalties is how many previous drunken driving offenses the driver has on record.

Maryland man crashes vehicle, detained for DUI

An Ocean View man is facing DUI charges after he ran his pickup truck into a ditch and then showed up at the door of a nearby homeowner who did not know him, according to authorities. The homeowner called the police, who came out to the home and determined that the man was drunk.

Police say the incident began at around 5:00 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 23 when the driver of a Ford pickup truck with a flatbed trailer in tow ran off the road on Route 113 near Shingle Landing Road. Following the crash, the 31-year old driver, reportedly the only person in the truck, went to a house on Shingle Landing Road and began knocking on the door. The homeowner called police, and Maryland State Troopers responded.

24-game suspension for NBA player guilty of domestic assault

Many residents in Upper Marlboro, Maryland are fans of the Washington D.C. sports teams. As these sports fans are aware, the NFL is going through a massive domestic assault problem right now and they are supposedly trying to correct it. The NBA also had a player recently arrested for domestic assault, and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for the offense.

Jeffrey Taylor has been in the NBA for just two seasons, but as his third season — the current one — was about to begin, he was arrested for domestic assault after he pushed a woman down in a hotel lobby. Apparently they were arguing before the incident. The woman was well enough to reject medical treatment, though she did suffer minor injuries from the fall.