It has recently come to our attention that the approval required for breath test operators in Maryland changed with the below statute, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, § 10-304, effective on October 1, 2022.
“Qualified person” means a person who has received training in the use of the equipment in a training program approved by the toxicologist in the Department of State Police Forensic Sciences Division and who is either a police officer, a police employee, or a person authorized by the toxicologist in the Department of State Police Forensic Sciences Division.
Only a “qualified person” is allowed to conduct a breathalyzer test in Maryland.
I am relieved. I think that’s the right word. Make no mistake a fascist minority attempted to take over our country. Should I list the most outrageous things that were either said by Trump or Maga Republicans, overtly proposed or covertly suggested, and not condemned, that were rejected in the most recent election:
- No – Obama was not born in Kenya
- The Muslim ban was beyond offensive to American values
I lost another client three weeks ago. Not even 60 years old. Perhaps I should have anticipated this. The signs were there. He had two accidents within a few years and very high BACs. I mean VERY high. But I believed him when he told me he had been in rehab for 28 days and sober for over a year. When I saw him in court this spring he seemed sober. I never noticed any indication if he was still drinking. Yet when he went to jail for a week his ex-wife called me to say she had been receiving bizarre texts from him in the jail. But when I called the jail they said he had been released. He apparently ended up in the hospital. Did he end up in the hospital because he went into withdrawal in the jail? He denied that when I last saw him in July. He minimized what I had heard from his ex-wife and convinced me everything was fine. It wasn’t. I think he just wanted the government to leave him alone. Three weeks ago I found out he died in a fall.
While the vast majority of DUIs do not involve people as sick as my client apparently was, I recommend an appropriate level of education/treatment for all my clients. If you can’t stop drinking – get help.
While representing people accused of driving offenses, it is come to our attention that occasionally the records the police rely on while apprehending suspects contain some pretty serious errors that can result in prejudice to the driver. Here are a few examples.
One of our clients was recently charged with driving on a suspended license. A review of the driving record showed that his license had been suspended for 270 days, but for some unknown reason the suspension remained on his record for more than 270 days. The MVA should have noted the withdrawal of the suspension on the driving record. However it did not, and when the driver was stopped on the 274th day, the officer charged him, among other charges, with driving while suspended. This can be a pretty serious charge, if the defendant has previously been found guilty of this offense. It also creates potential immigration issues. Upon calling the MVA, they corrected the record, and it can now be proven using a certified copy of that record that he is not guilty of driving while license suspended.
Another client moved to Florida and obtained a Florida driver’s license. He turned in his Maryland driver’s license. But the MVA did not record this. When visiting Maryland, he received a charge of driving in violation of a license restriction because all Marylanders under 21 have an alcohol restriction on their driver’s license. As a result his license was suspended for one year. However, as a Florida licensee, he should not have been suspended or charged. After contacting the MVA, they searched for and confirmed that the Maryland license had indeed been surrendered and removed the suspension.
Last week both houses of the Maryland legislature overrode Governor Hogan’s veto and passed the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2001.
The Act will improve the criminal justice system in Maryland a number of ways:
- Set stricter standards for use of force by police;
On this Veteran’s Day we pay tribute to the over 17 million veterans in the US today. These are men and women who have personally sacrificed to preserve our freedoms, and the great experiment in republican democracy that has survived for over 225 years since the adoption of the US Constitution in 1788. The genius of the US Constitution is the separation of powers between three branches of government, and between the federal government and the states. With the addition of the Bill of Rights, we are very fortunate to have a representative government, that respects individual liberties.
Our firm is sensitive to the needs of veterans with links to websites that cater to veterans’ needs. https://www.lstamm.com/veteran-s-resources.html
In recognition of the sacrifices made by veterans, our firm offers reduced fees to many veterans seeking representation for a traffic or criminal matter.
As you all know by now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away Friday night on erev (the evening of) Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). According to Jewish tradition, a person who passes on Rosh Hashanah is considered a “tzadik” – a revered person. The “Notorious RBG” as she came to be nicknamed is certainly that.
She went to Harvard Law School in an era when women were far from accepted in the legal profession. After transferring to Columbia Law School she graduated first in her class, yet found few job offers for a woman lawyer. Yet she never gave up fighting for women’s rights, and the rights of all of us, arguing six cases before the Supreme Court, and famously saying “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”
She eventually landed a seat on the United States Supreme Court. In her 27 years as a justice, was a powerful voice in such opinions as United States v. Virginia (1996)(striking down VMI’s male-only admissions policy); Olmstead v. L.C. (1999)(individuals with mental disabilities have the right to community-based housing); Bullcoming v. New Mexico (2011)(holding that chemists in DUI cases must be produced by the State for cross-examination in DUI cases), and many others. She also wrote powerful dissents in Bush v. Gore (2000); Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007)(where her dissent led to the Lilly Ledbetter Act – guaranteeing women equal pay) and many others.
On this day 35 years ago, September 4, 1984, I began the practice of law. I walked into court with my mentor and friend, the late great Alan Goldstein, to watch him litigate motions in a conspiracy to commit murder case. I had just returned from my honeymoon in Greece the day before. And while I was in that jet-lagged state, Alan introduced me.
Your honor, I would like to introduce Mr. Leonard Stamm. You have known him as he clerked across the hall last year. Now he is my associate. And he is going to argue today’s motions.