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August 2016 Archives

Reasonable suspicion existed to justify a Terry stop and detention

In Chase v. State, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that not only did police officers have reasonable suspicion of drug dealing sufficient to support an investigative detention but the officers' belief that the suspects may be armed and dangerous, based upon the officer's observations of the suspects furtive moments support a Terry frisk.  Even though the frisk did not reveal the presence of weapons, the officers were justified in continuing the detention and putting the suspects in handcuffs during the course of detention.   The fact that the suspects were in handcuffs during the time that the vehicle had not yet been searched did not convert the detention into an arrest.    Chase v. State - read here  -  Chase v State

Conviction reversed where defendant absent during critical stage of jury deliberations and when mistrial declared

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a conviction where it found that the defendant was not present during critical stages of jury deliberations and when the court declared a mistrial over the objections of defense counsel.   A jury note was received by the trial court at a time when the defendant had been taken to the hospital due to a medical emergency.  The trial court subsequently determined that the jury was deadlocked on some counts and over the objections of defense counsel, and in the absence of the defendant, took a partial verdict and declared a mistrial as to the lead count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.  The trial court subsequently determined that it erred in taking the partial verdict in the absence of the defendant and granted a new trial on those counts.  With respect to count one, as to which the trial granted a mistrial, the Court of Appeals held that there was no manifest necessity to grant a mistrial at the time that it did, and in the absence of the defendant, and, therefore, principles of double jeopary barred a retrial on that count.   Read the opinon -  State v. Hart

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