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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

Baltimore drug crimes attorney with 18 years of experience

A drug-related conviction, even for a minor offense, can result in serious consequences for an accused individual in Maryland. In addition to criminal punishments like fines, community service and jail time, the conviction will stay on your record and be available for employers to see. Students could also lose their ability to qualify for educational loans, and they could be expelled from their schools.

Baltimore-based attorney Jim Crawford is passionate about defending the rights of his clients by serving as their criminal defense advocate in court to defend them against drug crimes. He has been representing people accused of crimes for the last 18 years in Baltimore and its surrounding areas, and he is available to defend you too -- no matter what kind of drug offenses you have been accused of. Most importantly, though, he will always put his full effort and conviction behind your defense to give you the best chance for limiting the severity of your punishments and/or obtaining a verdict of not guilty.

Is there any defense to a domestic violence protective order?

It may seem as though individuals facing domestic violence charges have few defense options. The alleged victim has given his or her version of events to the police and the police may have arrested you. You may be unable to return to your home, retrieve your belongings or even see your children.

All is not lost, because at The Law Offices of James E Crawford Jr & Associates LLC, we have a lot of experience in domestic violence defense strategies. This includes providing representation during a hearing for a permanent protection order.

What rights do you have if you are charged with a violent crime?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees some rights to everyone in the country. These rights are important and no matter what crime you might be charged with, law enforcement should not infringe upon these rights. Here are some of the most common rights of anyone who is charged with a crime:

-- You have the right to remain silent and not say anything that may be used against you in court.

What is required for a drug crime search and seizure to be legiti

Whenever a Baltimore resident is charged with a drug crime following the search and seizure of controlled substances in his or her home, car or on his or her person, a criminal defense attorney will want to know if a search warrant was legally issued. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects United States citizens from searches and seizures that are unreasonable. The means that law enforcement authorities usually have to have a warrant in order to perform a search and seizure on you and/or your property.

The Fourth Amendment says that individuals have the right to security against unreasonable searches and seizures, and this right cannot be violated without a warrant that is issued on the basis of probable cause. Further, the warrant must specifically indicate the place, person or property to be searched.

Violent crimes: What constitutes first-degree murder in Maryland?

Homicide crimes, in which one individual kills another individual, are classified in varying degrees of severity in the state of Maryland. Murder in the first degree is the highest level homicide crime in the state. Generally speaking, first-degree murder has occurred if the accused individual committed the act intentionally while waiting for his or her victim, by poisoning or by "felony murder."

The state of Maryland no longer uses the death penalty. Ever since 2013, the worst punishment for first-degree murder involves life imprisonment without the ability to seek parole.

Maryland's Project Safe Childhood

When someone is charged with a sex crime, there is a certain stigma that occurs. When a minor is the alleged victim, this stigma is even worse. Many times, the media can "crucify" someone before a trial has even started. This is why it is so important to have an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney by your side. He or she will work vigorously to ensure that your rights are protected, but also to give you advice on how to deal with difficulties that such charges can bring to your work, home and social lives.

Maryland's Project Safe Childhood is a strategy to combat online child abuse and exploitation. It utilizes a team effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as civic organizations, educators, parents, community activists and concerned citizens.

New domestic violence laws go into effect

Maryland will see three new laws coming into effect on Jan. 7, 2015. The laws will apply to the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and they will affect the way that their convicted abusers are punished.

Maryland's Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown recently made several statements about the new domestic violence laws. He said that domestic violence is indiscriminate and every member of every community feels its impact in spite of religion, economic status, race or gender. The lieutenant governor also said that the new laws represent progress in the realm of protecting Maryland's women and children.

What happens if I fail or refuse an alcohol test in Maryland?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in Maryland, you may wonder what would happen if you refuse to take an alcohol test like a Breathalyzer or if you take the test and you fail. There are several things that will happen in either of these situations.

Upon a refusal, your driver's license will be confiscated by the police officer. You will be issued a piece of paper that will serve as your temporary driver's license. You may also receive a copy of Officer's Certification and Order of Suspension. This will give details about the incident, your pending license suspension and whether you submitted to an alcohol test. Another form you may be given is the Advice of Rights form. This will detail how to request an administrative hearing. Both you and the officer will sign the form after you indicate if you took the alcohol test. If you took the test and did not pass, you may be given either of the above forms as well.

What is the Juvenile Drug Court program in Baltimore?

In Baltimore, law enforcement may use a special program called the Juvenile Drug Court for offenders who are under the age of 17.5 years old. The goal of the program is to both cut back on criminal activity and to reduce the usage of drugs by those who are dependent upon them.

Overall, the system works to help people defeat their addictions. This is done in many ways, including supervising those with a history of drug use very closely. Also, people in the program are allowed to use various services that are set up for their benefit, giving them the tools that they need to deal with addiction.

How can the Fourth Amendment affect drug charges?

The Fourth Amendment of our U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. While you've probably heard that before, we're going to dig a little deeper and explain how this amendment can affect criminal charges, such as drug charges.

Not only does the law prevent police from subjecting you to unlawful searches, it protects you from the police using unlawfully seized items as evidence against you. The degree of protection offered by the Fourth Amendment depends on several factors, such as the nature of the arrest or detention, the circumstances under which the search occurs and the characteristics of the place that is searched.