Monthly Archives: July 2013

Constitutionality of a Traffic Stop for Center Brake Light Out in Maryland

Center brake light A common reason a vehicle is pulled over and stopped by police is for having the center brake light out. Prior to the 1980’s cars did not have a center brake light, only the two rear brake lights on the left and right side. Today all vehicles are manufactured to have a […]

Maryland Law on a Traffic Stop for Tinted Windows

Maryland police officers frequently use tinted windows as a justification to pull over a vehicle. In and of itself that may be fine, but as we all know these stops are almost always pretextual and the officers are really looking for contraband in the vehicle or on the driver such as drugs, guns, stolen property, […]

When the Drug Named in the Charging Document Fails to Match the Drug Analysis

In any Maryland drug possession case (possession, possession with intent to distribute, etc.) one of the obvious key elements is that the substance is in fact an illegal drug. In the charging document for the crime the arresting officer will state which specific drug the substance is alleged to be. The officer will usually field […]

Defense to Failure to Obey an Officer in Maryland

Police officers, in any jurisdiction and in any part of the country, want people to do what they say. When an officer says something to a citizen, he wants that citizen to obey. But it is important to recognize this does not mean the citizen must do what the officer says, whatever it is. Or […]

What is the “Statement of Probable Cause” in a Maryland Criminal Case?

In any Maryland criminal case where there is an arrest there should be a “statement of probable cause.” That statement is part of the “charging documents” that are written up by the arresting police officer in the case, along with a list of the charges. These are among the documents presented to the defendant after […]

Drug Analysis/Drug Report in Maryland Possession Case

In a possession of marijuana, cocaine, or any drug case, there lies a fundamental but often overlooked question at the heart of the case–is the substance alleged to be a drug actually in fact that drug? Is that baggie of green leafy substance really marijuana? If so, how does the prosecutor prove that it is? […]

What happens after I receive a Possession of Marijuana Citation in Maryland?

So, unfortunately someone in Maryland was accused by the police of possessing a small amount of marijuana and issued a citation for Possession of Marijuana by the officer. The officer didn’t arrest the accused, the accused never saw a commissioner, and the officer may not have said much else other than “you’ll receive notice to […]

What is a Citation for Marijuana Possession in Maryland?

I have noticed recently that the majority of persons charged solely with possession of small amounts of marijuana in Prince George’s County are being charged through citation, not arrest. This is not unique to Prince George’s County, and is happening more and more frequently throughout the urban Maryland counties in the D.C./Baltimore area. In 2012, […]