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Washington DC Criminal Defense Blog

"YOU GOTTA COME OUT ON THE STREETS SOMETIME!" - DURESS DEFENSE FAILS TO PROTECT THREATENED WITNESS FROM CONTEMPT FOR REFUSING TO TESTIFY

FROM THE STREETS OF BALTIMORE TO THE 3rd FLOOR OF THE ROBERT C. MURPHY COURTS OF APPEAL BUILDING IN ANNAPOLIS
By Robert C. Bonsib, Esq.
 MarcusBonsib, LLC 
301-509-5100
[email protected]
www.robertbonsib.com

Rape, Sexual Offense, Child Abuse - Admissibility of Prior Sexual Conduct

PRIOR SEXUAL CONDUCT - RAPE - SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM'S REPUTATION FOR CHASTITY

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION-MISTAKEN-FALSE-UNRELIABLE - IDENTIFICATION - MARYLAND LAW

PRE-TRIAL IDENTIFICATIONS - UNRELIABLE - FALSE - MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATIONS - REVIEW OF FACTORS

The Battered Spouse Defense in Homicide-Murder-Manslaughter Prosecutions

THE "BATTERED SPOUSE SYNDROME" DEFENSE IN HOMICIDE-MURDER-MANSLAUGHTER CASES

HEROIN/FENTANYL/OPIATE OVERDOSE DEATH - IS IT MURDER OR MANSLAUGHTER?

Prosecutors are increasing seeking murder or manslaughter charges against dealers of heroin, fentanyl and other opiates when their customers overdose and die. Absent a specific statute authorizing such prosecutions, the viability of bringing murder or manslaughter charges against dealers was brought into question with the April 4, 2018 decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ("CSA") in Thomas v. State.

Criminal Defense Law Newsletter - Maryland & 4th Circuit Opinions

A summary of recent appellate cases from the Maryland and Fourth Circuit appellate courts.  These cases review decisions regarding the sufficiency of evidence in child pornograpy distribution cases involving the use of peer-to-peer software programs, search warrants in child pornography cases using new law enforcement techniques, the admissibility of jail calls pursuant to the doctrine of verbal completeness, the use of old prior conviction to impeach a character witness, limitations on the cross-examination of a prosecution witness with respect to pending charges and the definition of a crime of violence for career offender classification under the federal sentencing guidelines.    The full newletter is accessible at this link:  Criminal Law Newsletter - Jan 27 2018

The Rule of Verbal Completeness - A "Grimm" Analysis

In United States v. Bailey, No. Criminal No. PWG-16-0246, 2017 WL 2276849 (D. Md. May 25, 2017), United States District Judge Paul W. Grimm has once again provided guidance to practitioners regarding a rule of evidence that is often troublesome in its application.

Cell Phone Search Warrants

Recently, the Court of Appeals decided two companion cases, Moats vs. State, 2017WL63764567, No. 89, September Term, 2016 and Stevenson vs. State, 2017WL3765549, No. 92, September Term, 2016; both of which considered the type of information necessary to supply probable cause for the issuance of a warrant to search a cell phone.

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. 

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