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Maryland Drug Case Defense Strategies

The number one thing you want to look at in drug cases is what is relevant to the Fourth Amendment because Fourth Amendment rights give you protection. There has to be a legitimate reason for the police to search you, your car, or your home. Wherever the drugs are found, there has to be a legitimate reason to be in there. If there is no legitimate reason, you’re going to file a motion to suppress the evidence and you can use the Fourth Amendment. That’s how you can have evidence suppressed and that can truly protect you.

You can challenge evidence, challenge what the police can say was yours, or challenge anything that the prosecution tries to use against you. The evidentiary standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, so with evidence you can bring up reasonable doubt and then a jury can’t convict you. If you look at a jury of 12 and if there’s some doubt, you’ve got a great chance of not being convicted of that crime.

Constitutional Issues in Drug Cases

There are very specific facts that you have to look at and they are specific to each case. The Fourth Amendment is very important and Maryland has specific laws about that. The Fourth Amendment is established on the principle that each man or each woman’s home is a castle, which basically ensures security from unreasonable searches and seizures by any federal entity. It is supposed to protect you. The Fourth Amendment has to be applied to each individual situation, but if it is applied properly and if it has been violated, then it protects you against an arbitrary arrest, search warrants, stop and frisks, wire taps, surveillance, and everything that can build a drug case. They cannot get a wire tap unless they prove it is a necessity. Stop and frisks became a very big issue in New York where the police stop and pat someone down. You have the ability to fight situations where the way the police went about their investigation lead you to believe that they didn’t do a lot of their work or they worked without permission. Permission for any type of warrant is signed by a judge, so if they’re doing something and they don’t have a judge’s permission to invade your privacy, they can’t invade your privacy.

What To Expect On The First Day in Court

For a lot of cases, it depends on where you are. Let’s say it’s your first day at the circuit court. You go in there and at that point there will be a preliminary hearing, which would be a motion. Then there would be motions that your attorney can argue to suppress evidence. Also, on that day your attorney has an opportunity to speak with the State’s Attorney and perhaps work out some form of plea or deal.

For me, all that comes with the approval of my client. I’m not going to make a decision without my client present and without my client knowing what’s going on. I want them to be informed and get a full breakdown of what they are looking at and why this plea offer may be something that they would want to entertain. At the end of the day, the decision is up to them, but that first day is sometimes very humbling for someone who’s never been to court. You’re in there and there’s an empty box where the jurors would sit. There might be other people in there. It’s a big room with a big judge and it becomes very real. Even in the district court where it’s just a judge, if the penalty is 90 days or more of incarceration, you have the opportunity to take it to the circuit court in your respective area. That can be quite shocking for people, the actual first opportunity to stand in the courtroom. It’s something you don’t forget.

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