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  • plea bargain
    Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense: If I Get Offered a Plea Bargain, Should I Take it?

    Without knowing the details of the plea bargain, it is impossible to know if you should take it. On the other hand, if it is the FIRST plea offer, very likely, you should NOT take it, at least not without trying to get the prosecuting attorneys to “sweeten” the deal and not without consulting with […]

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  • negligence
    Negligent Driving Accident Defense

    At the Law Office of Robert Castro, we believe in providing our clients with the necessary defenses to negligence, regardless of the charges that they are facing. We know that our clients are sure to have lots of questions. For example, what are the defenses to negligence? How can a defenses accident injury lawyer assist me in the […]

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  • gun and police handcuffs on fingerprints
    Defending Felon-in-Possession Gun Charges in Waldorf, Maryland

    Under Maryland law, a person’s right to own and possess firearms and ammunition is restricted if they are convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor charges, like domestic battery. Later, the person can be arrested later and charged if they are caught by law enforcement having or owning firearms/ammunition. These charges are often called felon-in-possession […]

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  • gavel and handcuffs and money and gun on the background of the american flag of the usa
    Criminal Defense in Waldorf, MD: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Maryland Criminal Defense Law Firm?

    Many Maryland residents who are arrested think they cannot afford a criminal defense attorney. Yes, it is true that the cost of hiring a criminal defense Law Firm can be high. But, the cost is well worth it if the criminal defense prevents or lessens potential jail time. The cost of hiring criminal defense attorneys […]

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  • female criminal crying regretfully
    If I Want to Plead Guilty, Do I Still Need a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer?

    Yes, even if you want or plan to plead guilty to criminal charges, you still need the legal advice and counsel of experienced and courtroom-proven Maryland criminal defense lawyers. To begin, the criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Castro want to ask: “Why do you want to plead guilty?” Let’s explore some […]

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  • police on duty
    Can the Police Search Me or My Property After an Arrest in Waldorf, MD?

    Yes, after you have been arrested by the police in Waldorf, Maryland, Maryland law enforcement officials CAN lawfully search you, your belongings, and, where applicable, portions of your vehicle. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Charles County, MD, call the experienced and courtroom-proven Maryland criminal defense lawyers at the Law […]

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  • lawyer and client from trust law firm
    Getting Charges Dropped in Waldorf, MD Criminal Cases

    If you have been arrested in Waldorf, MD, or any other part of Southern Maryland, call the proven criminal defense attorneys here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. One of our main goals in representing the criminally accused is to get charges dropped — as many as we can. Every criminal charge dropped is […]

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  • spousal privilege
    Maryland Criminal Defense News: State Amends Spousal Privilege Law

    What is spousal privilege? Spousal privilege covers two things: A spouse testifying against the other spouse in a civil or criminal trial and Private communications between spouses — such as text messages, letters, etc. The privilege can be invoked by either spouse and applies in both criminal and civil cases. The privilege means that a […]

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  • an offender standing in handcuffs near the car
    Arrested for Reckless Driving? What Defenses Are Available?

    Have you received a reckless driving ticket? If so, you need to be aware that reckless driving can have a negative effect on your life. If you are convicted of reckless driving in Maryland, you can receive six points on your driving record. It requires mandatory enrollment in a Driver Improvement Program. If you already […]

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  • handcuffed man
    Waldorf, Maryland, Criminal Law: What is Chain of Custody and How Can it Help My Criminal Defense?

    When they are doing their jobs, Maryland police and law enforcement officials sometimes make mistakes and, when they do, an experienced Maryland criminal defense team can use those mistakes to help get criminal charges dismissed/dropped and to have evidence excluded from trial. For this article, we will assume the mistakes are honest and not something […]

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  • law enforcement officer interrogating criminals male with handcuffs
    Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense: Should I Represent Myself in a Criminal Case?

    The answers are: “absolutely not!” and “never!” These are the same answers to the question of whether you should talk to the police after being arrested: “absolutely not!” and “never!” Let us speak frankly. Maybe you are concerned that the Maryland criminal defense lawyers here at the Law Office of Robert Castro are just looking […]

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  • bail
    Some FAQs on Bail in Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Cases

    Shortly after a person is arrested for a crime, processed by the police, and placed in lockup here in Waldorf, MD, a decision will be made about the pretrial release of the person arrested. “Pretrial release” just means getting out of jail today but returning to the court for your criminal trial when it is […]

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  • policeman showing on the road sign while writing out fine for violation of traffic rules for a female driver on the city road
    Maryland Traffic Violations Attorneys

    Each year, around 20 people tragically lose their lives due to Charles County traffic accidents, many of which result from serious traffic violations. If you’ve been involved in an accident where a traffic violation occurred, you could look at severe criminal charges, including large fines and extended prison time. Nobody wants to be involved in […]

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  • hearsay evidence
    What is “Hearsay” Evidence in Waldorf, MD Criminal Cases?

    “Hearsay” is a type of “bad” evidence that must be excluded from any criminal trial that takes place in Waldorf, Maryland, or in any other part of Southern Maryland. Hearsay is “bad” because it cannot be tested in court by cross-examination by your trial-tested Maryland criminal defense team. In brief, hearsay is testimony (or other […]

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  • businessman giving dollar bills corruption bribery to business manager to deal contract
    Can I Be Arrested in Waldorf Based on an Anonymous Tip?

    Yes, depending on the circumstances, it is possible for Maryland law enforcement officials to make an arrest based on an anonymous tip. On the other hand, it is a risky tactic for police officers, and the anonymous tip aspect may provide several legal defenses that can get the case dismissed. If you are arrested here […]

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  • law enforcement officer interrogating criminals male with handcuffs
    Waldorf, MA Criminal Defense: Can Facebook and Other Social Media Posts be Used as Evidence in Criminal Cases?

    Yes, postings on Facebook and other social media platforms CAN be used as evidence in criminal cases. If you are charged with a crime, YOUR Facebook and other social media posts can be used as evidence in your criminal case. Likewise, the Facebook and social media posts of OTHER witnesses in your criminal trial can […]

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  • male judge working with contract papers on white wooden table in courtroom
    Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense Attorney Explains “Jury Instructions”

    If you are charged with a crime here in Waldorf, Maryland, or other parts of Southern Maryland, you are entitled to a criminal trial before a Maryland jury of your peers. A jury is composed of “regular folks” who live in and around Charles County, MD who are selected at random. One confusing aspect of […]

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  • driving under the Influence concept
    Waldorf, Maryland DUI/DWI Criminal Defense: Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices

    If you have been arrested and convicted of DUI/DWI charges in Charles County, Maryland, one possible punishment that can be imposed (or that must be imposed) by the Maryland criminal court judge is the requirement that you install an ignition interlock device (“IID”) on your car/vehicle. Generally, if your blood alcohol level was higher than […]

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  • beyond a reasonable doubt
    Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense: What is the Meaning of “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?”

    If you are arrested in Waldorf or elsewhere in Southern Maryland for a crime, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. You want to hire the best Maryland criminal defense team that you can find. Our number is (301) 705-5253 and we are available around the clock, 24/7. We are proven and […]

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  • assault
    How Does Maryland Handle Assault? (Calvert County, MD)

    Assault charges in Maryland lead to severe consequences. You should recognize this seriousness and seek legal help if accused. Failure to get an attorney’s representation risks guilt. The results are adverse financial penalties and personal freedom loss. At the Law Office of Robert Castro, we understand the severity of assault charges and offer you proven […]

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  • driver due to being subject to test for alcohol content with use of breathalyzer
    Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test if Pulled Over for a DUI?

    If you ever find yourself in a precarious situation, requested to pull over by police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you may wonder: can you refuse a breathalyzer test? By law, it does not require taking a breathalyzer test in Maryland; however, refusing to do so can come with severe consequences. Only […]

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  • police officer arresting criminal, putting him on car trunk and reading rights for him
    Arrested in Charles County Maryland: How Do I Get Out of Jail?

    If you have been arrested in Charles County, MD (or elsewhere in Southern Maryland), you CAN get released from jail pending Maryland criminal trial proceedings. Most often, this requires payment of “bail.” But there are other options that may not involve the payment of money. If you need legal help after being arrested for a […]

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  • desperate handcuffed suspect listening to prosecution charge, punishment
    The Stages of a Criminal Prosecution in Waldorf MA

    If you are charged with a crime in Waldorf, Maryland or in Charles County, MD, prosecution of your case will go through several stages or steps. Without question, being arrested and/or charged is stress-inducing and it is helpful to have some idea of what to expect. In this article, we provide a brief overview of […]

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  • exculpatory evidence reported by advocate
    Can Waldorf Police Withhold Exculpatory Evidence?

    The answer is an emphatic “no.” “Exculpatory” is a legal term meaning evidence that shows innocence or otherwise be helpful to the criminal defendant. In Waldorf, Maryland, criminal prosecuting attorneys cannot withhold exculpatory evidence from a defendant’s criminal defense lawyers. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Waldorf, Maryland, you need […]

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  • criminal trials
    Waldorf MD Criminal Defense: What is a Jury “Voir Dire”?

    If you hire criminal defense lawyers in Charles County, MD, eventually, you may end up being defended by your top-tier Waldorf, Maryland criminal defense attorneys at a criminal trial. Many know that ALL criminal trials are conducted before a “jury of your peers.” This means a jury composed of citizens selected from communities in Southern […]

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  • attorney woman on courtroom talking to magistrate
    How is a Jury Trial Different from a Bench Trial and How Might That Impact My Post-Conviction Appeal?

    Under Maryland criminal law, a person accused of a crime has a right to a trial before a jury in most cases. In some minor criminal cases, that right does not exist and, more importantly, a criminally accused can waive his or her right to a jury trial. So, what is the difference between a […]

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  • drunk young man driving a car with a bottle of beer
    Can I Beat a DUI/DWI Charge in St. Charles County, MD?

    Depending on the facts of your case, yes, it is possible to beat a DUI/DWI charge in St. Charles County Maryland. You will need the help of an experienced DUI/DWI criminal defense team like the ones at the Law Office of Robert Castro. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI/DWI in Waldorf, MD, […]

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  • portrait of a young couple texting and driving together
    When Can Reckless Driving Lead to Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in Maryland?

    Car accidents occur every day in Maryland. Most accidents are the result of simple negligence, such as failing to pay attention to the road. In some cases, however, prosecutors may bring criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter if they believe the driver’s “gross negligence” led to someone’s death. Gross negligence is used to describe actions that […]

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  • lawyer meeting his client in prison
    What is a Motion to Suppress Filed by Your Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense Team?

    If you have been charged with a crime in Charles County, MD or in another part of Southern Maryland, you will need top-tier Maryland criminal defense lawyers like the ones here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301)705-5137. One of the possible tasks that we can undertake in your criminal defense […]

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  • police officers check vehicle on the road
    How Long Do Points Stay on Your License in Maryland?

    In Maryland, you’ll get demerit points for every traffic offense you commit. If you accumulate 8 points or more within two years, the MVA will suspend your driver’s license. But if the points reach 12, they will revoke it. MVA suspensions last anywhere between one to three years, depending on how long your Charles County […]

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  • using the alibi defense
    Using the Alibi Defense in Southern MD Criminal Cases

    If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Waldorf, MD or other areas of Southern Maryland, one possible defense to your case is alibi. An alibi defense asserts, essentially, that you were not at the scene of the alleged crime at the time that the crime allegedly took place. Obviously, in some […]

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  • businessman is accepting money
    When Can You be Charged With “Criminal Conspiracy” in Maryland?

    When prosecutors believe that two or more people agreed to commit a certain crime, all of the participants in that agreement may be charged with criminal conspiracy. A conspiracy charge does not require proof that the crime was successfully completed. Nor does the government need to prove that each conspirator participated in every aspect of […]

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  • Expunge of criminal record
    When Can I Seek Expungement of a Maryland Criminal Record?

    Even if you are never convicted of a crime, an arrest or trial still creates a public record of these activities. It is possible to seek the removal or “expungement” of these records in Maryland. But the rules governing expungement are somewhat complicated to understand. First of all, there are different types of records that […]

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  • desperate doctor looking at a document
    Is Wrongful Death the Same Thing as Murder?

    When someone dies due to the actions of another person, there are two possible legal remedies. The first is criminal–i.e., the responsible party is charged with a crime such as murder or manslaughter. The second option is civil, typically what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. So how exactly do the two differ? And […]

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  • Police steel handcuffs
    Do Police Have to Advise You of Your Rights During a “Consensual” Encounter?

    A police officer is not always required to advise you of your rights before speaking with you. Maryland courts distinguish between arrests, investigatory stops, and consensual encounters. The first requires probable cause that a person committed (or is committing) a crime. The second only requires “reasonable suspicion” to justify a brief detention. The third requires […]

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  • drunk and driving a car
    Do the Police Need to “Catch You in the Act” of Drunk Driving?

    For many Maryland residents, a drunk driving charge is their first–and hopefully only–experience in dealing with the criminal justice system. A first-offense DUI in Maryland carries a maximum possible sentence of one year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. Even if the court decides not to order any jail time, however, the DUI conviction will […]

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  • rapist being arrested
    Court of Special Appeals Reverses Criminal Harassment Conviction in “Weird” Case

    Maryland criminal law is fairly complex. There are a dizzying number of state and federal statutes defining specific criminal acts. Oftentimes, it is not clear whether a person has actually violated the law based on the plain language of the statute–and even judges may disagree as to how to interpret the law. A recent unreported […]

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  • despair girl humilated on internet
    What You Need to Know About “Cyberstalking” Laws in Maryland

    The Internet, and social media in particular, makes it easy to reach out and communicate with other people throughout the world. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier to engage in abusive or threatening conduct towards other people. And in some cases, that conduct can lead to serious criminal charges. Maryland Judge Sentences Man to 18 […]

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  • traffic stop
    Arrested as a Result of an Improper Traffic Stop

    Many criminal arrests start as simple traffic offenses. Police often use their intuition to conduct reasonable traffic stops. However, in some situations, police pulling over a person that ends with a criminal arrest could be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. If you believe you’ve been pulled over and subsequently arrested due to an improper […]

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  • horrific traffic accident
    Can a Fatal Accident Caused by Speeding Lead to Manslaughter Charges in Maryland?

    It is always tragic when an auto accident results in death. But in some cases, it can also lead to criminal charges. Under Maryland law, a person may be charged with manslaughter by vehicle (aka vehicular manslaughter) if they are found to have caused the death of another by operating a vehicle “in a grossly […]

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  • criminal record
    How a Prior Criminal Record Can Affect a Subsequent Federal Firearms Conviction

    A prior criminal record can have a significant impact on how you are sentenced for a subsequent conviction. Indeed, there are a number of federal and state laws designed to punish repeat or “career” criminals. For example, federal law makes it a crime for a previously convicted felon to possess a firearm. Normally, the maximum […]

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  • dui
    How Long Do Police Have to “Observe” a DUI Suspect Before Administering a Breath Test?

    It is common practice when someone is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving for the police to request a breath test. The results of such tests are often the key piece of evidence in a criminal DUI prosecution, as by law anyone with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is considered legally intoxicated. […]

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  • court trial
    Can the State Try Multiple Defendants Together for the Same Crime?

    When two or more people are charged with participating in the same criminal act, it is possible to try the defendants together in a single trial. This is often done for the sake of “judicial economy,” i.e., to conserve the resources of the court and the prosecutor’s office. But the trial judge needs to weigh […]

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  • jury trial
    How “Duplicitous Charges” Can Undermine a Criminal Defendant’s Right to a Unanimous Verdict

    A person charged with any crime has the right to a jury trial. The Maryland Constitution further makes it explicit that a jury’s guilty verdict must be unanimous. Indeed, unanimity is “indispensable to the sufficiency of the verdict,” according to a long line of decisions from the Maryland Court of Appeals. Unanimity means the jury […]

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  • convicted by crime
    Were You Charged With a Different Crime Than What You Are Being Convicted Of?

    If you live in or near Waldorf, Maryland and you’ve been convicted of a crime, then you obviously need adequate legal representation. It’s a fact that people being accused of crimes typically receive more lenient sentences with an experienced lawyer representing them than if they take their chances without an attorney, even if it’s not […]

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  • Criminals are aiming at young businessman
    Is Extortion Actually a Crime in Maryland?

    The word “extortion” often conjures up a scene in a mob movie where organized crime is shaking down a shopkeeper for “protection” money. The truth, however, is that extortion covers a much broader category of threats and actions. Extortion is essentially a criminal form of blackmail–and a person may be charged, tried, and convicted even […]

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  • Drug paraphernalia
    How Maryland’s “Drug Paraphernalia” Laws Work

    Maryland’s drug laws do more than punish people who possess or use certain “controlled substances.” In many cases they also punish individuals who possess so-called drug paraphernalia. The term “drug paraphernalia” is somewhat vague by design. It effectively enables police and prosecutors to charge someone who possesses an otherwise legal item if they can somehow […]

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  • I was arrested for Drug Trafficking: What next?

    The state of Maryland takes drug trafficking charges very seriously, and there are maximum penalties that can be quite harsh. Moreover, it is important to know that in Maryland a person can be charged with drug trafficking for having a very small amount of drugs. The person who is charged with this enhanced crime may […]

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  • overdose
    Can You be Held Criminally Responsible if a Friend Overdoses on Drugs?

    Unfortunately, many people die every year due to abuse of drugs and other controlled substances. In some cases, aggressive prosecutors may try and pursue criminal charges against the person who allegedly provided the drugs to the deceased. For example, there was recently a high-profile case in California in which a federal jury convicted a man […]

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  • arrest
    The Importance of a “Lesser” Offense in a Maryland Criminal Trial

    In many criminal cases, there may be a “lesser” offense that the jury could elect to convict the defendant of instead of the higher offense charged by the prosecution. To give a simple example, say a defendant is charged with burglary. This requires the prosecution to prove–beyond a reasonable doubt–that someone entered the property of […]

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  • manslaughter
    What is “Involuntary Manslaughter” in Maryland?

    Manslaughter is a homicide that occurs without premeditation. Manslaughter can either be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter means someone willfully kills another person without premeditation. Involuntary manslaughter, in contrast, means the killing was neither intentional nor premeditated. Involuntary manslaughter is still a crime in Maryland. The law broadly recognizes three types of involuntary manslaughter: Unlawful […]

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  • judges can do mistakes
    What Happens When the Legal System Gives a Criminal Defendant Incorrect Information About a Potential Sentence?

    Mistakes happen in every profession. The law is no exception. Judges and lawyers can misread or misunderstand a key fact during a criminal trial. But what happens when that mistake significantly impacts a defendant’s basic rights? Court of Special Appeals Vacates Conviction Based on Misinformed Plea Deal A recent published decision from the Maryland Court […]

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  • police seize car
    Can Police Seize Your Car Several Hours After Your Arrest?

    In general, if the police have probable cause to suspect that a car is carrying illegal contraband such as drugs, they can legally search the vehicle even if they have not first obtained a search warrant. This is a judge-created exception to the Fourth Amendment’s normal prohibition against warrantless searches. In practice, this usually means […]

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  • DUI
    Can I Get My Commercial Driver’s License Reinstated After a DUI?

    You are a commercial driver, which means you are highly regarded in more than a regular driver. If you face a serious traffic offense charge such as a DUI (Driving under the influence), your commercial driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. Having your CDL revoked can considerably limit your business. So how can you […]

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  • arresting a man
    When is a “Search Incident to Arrest” Illegal?

    There are circumstances in which a police officer may stop and search a person without first obtaining a warrant. One example is what is called a Terry stop. Also known as “stop and frisk,” this is where an officer has “reasonable suspicion” that an individual may be engaged in criminal activity and carrying a weapon. […]

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  • robbery
    Are Photo Arrays a Valid Means of Identifying a Criminal Suspect?

    Something you often see in fictional crime dramas is the police showing a witness a “photo array” of individuals, one of whom is the person suspected of committing a crime. This is, in fact, a real procedure used by the police. But there are certain rules and restrictions governing what are known as “extrajudicial identification.” […]

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