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October 2011 Archives

Budget cuts prevent suspects from speedy trials

The criminal justice system is based on the idea that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In order to avoid unduly punishing someone who awaits a trial, courts are required to provide a speedy trial; they are not allowed to make someone languish in a jail or prison cell for long periods of time before a trial. While someone accused of a violent crime may expect to spend some time in a cell while he or she awaits trial, recent budget cuts to the criminal justice system is forcing many suspects to spend unreasonably long periods of time behind bars before they even get to trial.

Police stop elderly driver and insist on search

No one has an obligation to help police investigate a crime and if you are being stopped by a Washington, D.C., officer, it is wise to say as little as possible. There are certain rights that police officers cannot and should not infringe upon, such as the right to refuse an unreasonable search. Typically, police officers must have some reason to search a car, house or person, but if they conduct a search without a good enough reason, judges may throw out criminal charges.

Sex offender registry does not prevent recidivism

If you have been convicted of and served your sentence for a sex crime, you will most likely still be subjected to 10 or more years of being a registered sex offender. Everyone in your neighborhood may know exactly what you were accused of doing. It may be next to impossible to hold down a job, make friends or date, or even rebuild some sort of life while you remain on the sex offender registry. A new study has recently been published that indicates that the offender registry program could actually lead to more sex crime recidivism.

Police officer shows picture of murder victim on Twitter

Anyone in Maryland and across the country that is tried for a crime is presumed to be innocent and this requires that the jury hearing the case must be impartial and free of bias. With the Internet and social media, it can be difficult to find jurors who are completely unfamiliar with a crime, but certain actions draw considerable attention to a crime, making it difficult for a suspect to receive a fair trial. When a police officer recently posted a picture of a murder scene along with the dead body, it raised questions about whether the officer's actions were appropriate.

Supreme Court debates how far is too far with strip searches

Anyone who has been arrested before can tell you that it's a terrifying experience. To be put in jail while police figure out what to do with you is not only nerve-wracking, but humiliating. It is customary in many jails for newly admitted suspects to be strip-searched in order to look for weapons or contraband. While it may be reasonable to think that some suspects could be violent or have a weapon, someone arrested after a traffic violation or the failure to pay a fine should not be subjected to such an invasive and embarrassing procedure.

Maryland's new rape policies affect crime statistics

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has recently released its annual crime statistics for the nation, recording a 5 percent decline in forcible rape nationwide. While much of the nation saw a decrease in rape, Maryland reported a6.1 percent increase from 2009 to 2010. In 2010 alone, there were 1,227 recorded rapes within the state of Maryland. With a change in how Baltimore investigates rape, however, it is unclear if there has actually been an increase in rape.

D.C. police using faulty breathalyzer tests

For nearly a decade, two Washington, D.C., police officers have been waging war with the city's residents, focusing on stopping and arresting people under suspicion for drunk driving. The two even carved out their own drunk driving niche within the Metropolitan Police Department. Patrolling the streets of the nation's capital, the duo has reportedly busted hundreds of alleged drunk drivers.

Experts say more American workers use prescription drugs

After the recent arrest of 37 people at a Philadelphia Boeing plant, experts believe there is an increase in prescription drug use by American workers. While many employees are already subject to an invasive drug test prior to being hired, these reports could lead to more random drug tests for current Silver Spring employees.

Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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Silver Spring, MD 20910

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013