Like many states, Maryland has its share of immigrants. Some are here legally while others are undocumented. Regardless of their status, all immigrants share a disadvantage when it comes to trouble with the legal system.
Defendants facing criminal charges have a difficult decision to make. Specifically, should you fight the charges in their entirety or enter a plea deal that could get you a reduced sentence?
Many Maryland residents are familiar with the term "mandatory minimums." These laws, passed by overzealous politicians who wanted to appear tough on crime, set mandatory minimum sentences for individuals convicted of certain drug offenses.
We have previously discussed the fact that the U.S. has the highest reported incarceration rate in the world. This is partially because we lock up individuals for drug offenses and other non-violent crimes. But imprisonment is not necessarily the best way to deal with criminal offenders.
Aside from aggressive enforcement, one of the best ways for law enforcement agencies to show a strong presence in the community is through consistent messaging. Practically speaking, this means that all criminal suspects should be treated equally, regardless of celebrity status.
Nearly all adult Americans regularly carry cellphones. They carry them in purses, in backpacks and in pockets. The challenge with carrying a cellphone in one's pocket is the risk of pocket dial. A pocket dial occurs when a person's movements cause the phone to dial a number on its own.
An attorney for a Baltimore police officer who was indicted on federal drug charges last week said his client was forced to "get down and dirty at times" in order to take down true criminals. The officer, Kendell Richburg, pleaded not guilty this week to being part of an armed conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack, cocaine and marijuana.
It seems that we hear about drug busts all the time. Someone may get arrested after a neighbor calls the police suspecting they may be dealing drugs. Others may have been the subjects of lengthy investigations by state or even federal authorities. In some cases, however, drug charges stem from a simple traffic stop, and that is exactly what happened to one man recently as he was driving through Maryland.
One of the most controversial and highly publicized drug trends of the last few years has been the craze surrounding "bath salts." This is a type of designer drug that has been marketed and sold as a bath additive. However, rather than being added to bath water, it is often allegedly ground up and ingested in various ways.
We have previously written about the ways in which rehabilitation programs benefit both society and former offenders more concretely than simple incarceration does. When individuals commit low-level drug offenses, property crimes, sex offenses and similar crimes, recidivism rates tend to drop when they are given access to rehabilitation and support transitioning back into society. This transition is facilitated in many cases by so-called halfway houses.