Recently in Drug Possession Category

If you find yourself charged with a drug possession or paraphernalia charge in Rockville, Silver Spring, or anywhere in Montgomery County, Maryland, you may be eligible for a special program called IPSA. Drug charges are placed on an inactive, or stet docket, for a period of time for the criminal defendant to complete community service and some drug education classes. After the completion of the program the charges are then expunged, erased from the record.

Most counties do not have this program. As a result, drug charges in other counties in Maryland will not end with an expungement and defendant's will in many cases get something on their record. Therefore, for all drug charges in Montgomery County you should obtain an attorney who is familiar with the community service programs in both the Silver Spring and the Rockville District Court Houses.

A result of community service and expungement is critical for the future. Employment background searches will not pull up these charges once they are expunged. Further, if you are charged for something else later, this arrest will not show up on your criminal record. As a result, in a later criminal charge you could still obtain a probation before judgment (PBJ). PBJ could not be used subsequently unless you obtained this result or a stet, or ten years passes.

If you, or a family member or someone you know has been convicted of drug possession, paraphernalia, or any other criminal matter and would like more information on criminal defense, please contact Portner & Shure.

Traffic Stop and Permissible Search

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An officer can find countless reasons to make a legal traffic stop. The law, however, does restrict the officer's right to search the vehicle. One exception to the search restrictions is whatever the officer sees in his "plain view." In other words, the officer can peak in the car and if he suspects any criminal activity the officer can then search the vehicle further. This occurs frequently in drug cases. For example, a man was just arrested after a deputy saw suspected marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Mount Zion Road in Frederick County, Maryland. After seeing what he suspected was marijuana, deputies searched the vehicle and found smoking devices. The driver was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

If you, a family member or someone you know has been charged with possession of a drug or if you would like more information on car accidents, please contact Portner & Shure.

On January 19, 2010 while on patrol on westbound I-70, east of Maryland Route 85 in Frederick County, Maryland, a state trooper saw two people in a Nissan Maxima who were not wearing their seat belts. The officer stopped the car and smelled marijuana. Even though the original stop was just for a seat belt violation, under these circumstances the law allows the officer to search the driver and the passenger for suspected drugs. This is called a search incident to arrest. A search of the passenger uncovered marijuana in his pocket. Next the officer arrested the passenger and then had the right to search the car. A search of the car revealed two pounds of marijuana in two zip lock bags inside a duffle bag. Wear your seat belts.

If you, a family member, or someone you know has been charged with a crime or if you would like more information on car accidents, please contact Portner & Shure.

There was an article recently written in The Daily Record which discusses a Defendant's right under the Constitution to confront witnesses against you. An accused person, under the Constitution, has the right to confront and question all witnesses testifying against him. While looking at this issue, an interesting decision was recently rendered by the Court of Special Appeals. Specifically, it focused on whether the State is required to reveal the exact location where an officer witnessed a drug-related crime.