‘Tis the season for DWI stops

With the holidays upon us, expect Montgomery county police to set up random DWI stop and enforcement checkpoints throughout the county.

While making an arrest during a DWI checkpoint is fairly simplistic to include the traffic stop, the actual enforcement of these actions in the District Court of Maryland is very complicated. 

There are a number of legal obligations and requirements police must establish in order to demonstrate a proper DWI checkpoint as well as a valid traffic stop when the case goes to court. 

Make sure you have experienced counsel with you when you go to court which is what matters most to your case.   Trials are not won and lost on the side of the road when you are stopped.

Let our seasoned, experienced attorneys help you with your DWI case.

 

MVA hearings— where the rubber hits the road

I have represented several persons throughout the District Courts of Maryland who are charged with driving under the influence and, for many of them, crucial hearings at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. For many, maintaining your driving privilege affects your ability to earn wages and provide for yourself and family. 

Given relatively recent changes in Maryland law, several persons charged with DUI are either directed by the MVA or as part of their probation to get an interlock device on their car. These devices can be expensive and costly and also provide a level of personal embarrassment if one is required to drive with kids, coworkers, and other professional colleagues.

Whether or not you are subject to these sanctions is very case specific and requires an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to examine your paperwork to determine if you were properly advised of the sanctions to be imposed and fully informed when deciding whether to take a breath test.

There are often discrepancies within the paperwork and the MVA forms themselves that require a strict analysis in hearings at the MVA, the District Court or both.

I would be happy to look at your paperwork for you to see if things were done properly and whether or not you were subject to these administrative sanctions.

MVA hearings— where the rubber hits the road

I have represented several persons throughout the District Courts of Maryland who are charged with driving under the influence and, for many of them, crucial hearings at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.    For many, maintaining your driving privilege affects your ability to earn wages and provide for yourself and family.

Given relatively recent changes in Maryland law, several persons charged with DUI are either directed by the MVA or as part of their probation to get an interlock device on their car.    These devices can be expensive and costly and also provide a level of personal embarrassment if one is required to drive with kids, coworkers, and other professional colleagues.

Whether or not you are subject to these sanctions is very case specific and requires an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to examine your paperwork to determine if you were properly advised of the sanctions to be imposed and fully informed when deciding whether to take a breath test.

There are often discrepancies within the paperwork and the MVA forms themselves that require a strict analysis in hearings at the MVA, the District Court or both.  

I would be happy to look at your paperwork for you to see if things were done properly and whether or not you were subject to these administrative sanctions.

Farewell to consent decrees and the Justice Department as we know it

With the ouster of one Attorney  General and the installment of a recess appointment not approved by Congress, the President has effectively expanded his executive powers.  More importantly,  limitations of agreements between local governments and the Justice Department to monitor policies such as discrimination, voting rights enforcement and other controversial issues are going to be severely limited in the future.     In addition to other important pending investigations, people should expect there to be significant clashes and challenges between the judicial branch and the executive branch in the coming years during the present administration.     For an interesting  article concerning a last-minute change to years long Justice Department policy, see the link below.

https://nyti.ms/2yYKGvI?smid=nytcore-ios-share 

Clearing your records even for felony convictions

New laws that went into effect on  October 1 of this year allow for the clearing and expungement of different convictions including certain non-violent felonies.

 Whereas before a criminal or felony conviction lasted forever, the Maryland Justice Reinvestment Act and legislature has seen fit to help certain individuals clear their records of these serious and life-changing offenses.

 Most notably, felony theft offenses and even first degree burglary are able to be expunged assuming one meets certain qualifications including the passage of 15 years without intervening offenses.    

Many people with theft-related felonies aren’t even considered for meaningful career advancement or even their first job.

 We have gotten calls almost weekly about persons seeking to clear these permanent stains on their record. The crippling effects of a criminal theft related conviction can keep one from earning better wages, advancing in their career, and helping to provide for their families.

 We would be happy to assist you in navigating the thicket of these new laws and helping you to restore your good name.

Clearing your records even for felony convictions

New laws that went into effect on  October 1 of this year allow for the clearing and expungement of different convictions including certain non-violent felonies.

 Whereas before a criminal or felony conviction lasted forever, the Maryland Justice Reinvestment Act and legislature has seen fit to help certain individuals clear their records of these serious and life-changing offenses.

 Most notably, felony theft offenses and even first degree burglary are able to be expunged assuming one meets certain qualifications including the passage of 15 years without intervening offenses.    

Many people with theft-related felonies aren’t even considered for meaningful career advancement or even their first job.

 We have gotten calls almost weekly about persons seeking to clear these permanent stains on their record. The crippling effects of a criminal theft related conviction can keep one from earning better wages, advancing in their career, and helping to provide for their families.

 We would be happy to assist you in navigating the thicket of these new laws and helping you to restore your good name.

Protecting your rights

 With the new Supreme Court nominee expected to be confirmed, issues in criminal law are certainly going to take a turn towards a more conservative viewpoint. 

This is likely going to have significant impact for criminal defendants. 

 A range of issues from search and seizure, rights to privacy, and the exclusionary rule are going to be impacted.    This makes the need for a skilled, creative lawyer even more important.  How new rulings are interpreted for and against criminal defendants are almost guaranteed not to be favorable to persons charged with crimes. This is in addition to the abortion rights, voting rights, and a number of other significant social issues.  

The lawyers at Armstrong, Cheris and Page will be watching as the rulings from the Supreme Court evolve over the coming term and years to follow.

Time limits for sentence reductions

 Recent changes in the laws regarding the new Justice Reinvestment Act provide opportunities to seek relief from the court in the form of sentence reductions and more treatment for nonviolent drug offenders.

The heavy burden of mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenders might be affected under this new law.

There are time sensitive limitations to file a one time reconsideration  and seek relief from the court under the new act which must be filed this month by September 30.  

For a review of this new law see the link below  from the Maryland Sentencing Commission:

 http://www.msccsp.org/Files/Reports/Enews/ENews12_1.pdf

Free speech controversy in DC

A lawsuit in DC federal court challenging a law meant to crack down on sex trafficking that is intended to educate sex workers, is under attack on free speech grounds.    No ruling is expected soon.   

 The complex issues between the first amendment, protecting people, and free speech needs to be thoroughly analyzed.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said he won’t be able to rule on the request for a preliminary injunction by early August  as the parties had hoped.

Keeping your cell phone private

  if your cell phone or data has been searched, you need one of the expert lawyers at Armstrong, Cheris and Page help you to protect your rights  and keep your privacy private 

Just  about everyone has a cell phone these days. What many people don’t know are the limitations in the privacy limitations regarding cell phones and data that require police to use search warrants to view your data, pictures, private memories and track your movements that let others know where you have been.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's record on Fourth Amendment issues suggests that he might side with law enforcement in a slew of emerging privacy disputes left unresolved by the high court's  ruling regarding cell phone searches  from June — including whether the government needs a warrant to get at troves of user data held by tech giants.

 

Changes to Noah's Law

Changes in Maryland traffic law and Noah's law are happening rapidly.   Persons charged with DUI and DWI are often offered or required to have a breathalyzer or Interlock device installed on their vehicle in order to keep driving.   What many drivers do not know are that there are technical exemptions that let one drive a work-related vehicle without the device being installed on that work vehicle.   Let the experts at Armstrong, Cheris and Page help you to keep your license so you can work and continue to provide for your family.

Summer Dangers

With summer here, police are actively seeking persons who are reuniting with old friends, and looking for ways to stop persons and charge them with DWI and other traffic infractions. Many of these stops are subject to search and seizure rules as well as whether police have reasonable grounds to stop persons and offer breath tests, blood tests and perform field sobriety tests. 

The experienced lawyers at our firm are experts in challenging these stops, and conduct a thorough review of whether field tests were performed, demonstrated and evaluated properly. Officers are not required to have your trial on the side of the road, which is why hiring the experienced trial lawyers from Armstrong, Cheris and Page is important.   You need to raise these issues in your case in court and not on the side of the road.

Experience Matters

With a new Supreme Court pick on the way, critical rulings on traffic stops, DWI stop, search and seizure, blood tests and suppression of evidence are sure to come.  How these rulings will affect persons accused in Maryland is unclear which is why a skilled, experienced defense lawyer will be crucial to helping you get the best possible outcome in your case.