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June 2017 Archives

Child Pornography (CP) Investigations & Prosecutions - Draconian Penalties; Evidence Issues; and Fone v. State & Search Warrant Staleness

An Overview

Search-Frisk & The Odor of Marihuana (continued)

This post updates an earlier post that briefly noted two recent Maryland appellate court opinions discussing when the odor of marihuana emananting from a vehicle would justify the search of a vehicle and/or the frisk of an occupant of the vehicle. With the decriminalization of less than 10 grams of marihuana in Maryland, but with the courts still considering marihuana to be contraband - as one can still be given a civil citation for the possession of less than 10 grams - the police are still authorized to search a vehicle - but the odor of marihuana by itself - at least in Maryland - does not provide a basis for a weapons frisk.   My associate, Megan E. Coleman and I prepared a more detailed analysis of how the opinions in Robinson and Norman have addressed these issues.  Click below to read our analysis. 

If Trump were not Trump he would be prosecuted for obstruction.

It is disturbing to see the excuses offered on behalf of Trump for conduct,  which if engaged in by anyone else, would be prosecuted as a clear effort to impede a federal investigation.  I am sure many of my colleagues who both defend and prosecute in federal criminal cases have often seen persons under invesigation or pending trial locked up and, thereafter, prosecuted for obstruction because of comments to potential witnesses or to investigators suggesting that they not pursue an investigative lead, or back off, or not cooperate.  Comments they made that are less clear re the intent than Trump's and made by persons with less power to reward or punish those who are sought to be influenced than the powers possessed by a president. And, contrary to what some commentators have suggested, at least in my cases - the jury has been instructed that the defendant did not need to know that an official proceeding was pending before a federal grand jury or court.   Trump may get a pass for this - but many others have not - and in the future will not - for less egregious conduct.

If you or someone you know has been accused or is under investigation for a federal or state criminal offense, we can help. Contact us by providing a description of your case and/or sending any questions you may have about your legal matter using this “Priority Case Submission� form.

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