Posted On: May 29, 2009

Motorcyclist Leads Maryland Police on Hour-Long Chase

The police blotter for the reports that Maryland State Police arrested a motorcyclist after an hour-long chase on US 15 near Thurmont. According to the blotter, 25-year-old Benjamin Kieffer was speeding in the northbound lanes of US 15 south of Thurmont, when he was noticed by members of the Maryland State Police.

One reason that law enforcement officials frown on those who flee from arrest is because of the additional dangers that a desperate individual represents. While the motorcyclist in this case was engaged in fleeing from police officers, he put all of the other people traveling on that portion of US 15 in unnecessary danger. Had there been an auto accident in Maryland, those injured or killed in the crash would have suffered because of the selfish flight of the motorcycle operator.

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Posted On: May 26, 2009

Is the Economy Driving Up Maryland Commercial Robbery Rates? recently published a story on the effect of neighborhood watches on crime. The story cites statistics from the Police Executive Research Forum claiming that almost half of reporting police departments saw an increase in criminal activity that could be related to the economy.

The Heritage Foundation presents an opposing point of view. According to their essay on crime rates in America, criminal activity may not necessarily have any direct link to the state of the economy. Eli Lehrer, the author of the article, claims that making associations between the economy and criminal activity may be a tempting, albeit faulty, way of analyzing crime in the US.

Could the economy be influencing the types of crime seen in Maryland?

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Posted On: May 21, 2009

Howard County Accident Victim Wins Settlement

It was reported that Sandra Jenkins of Odenton won an $188,000 settlement from the insurance company of the driver who rear-ended a car in which Jenkins was a passenger. The settlement came by jury decision after a two-day trial.

Jenkins had originally claimed $300,000 in damages in December of 2007. However, the last settlement offer made by the insurance company was only $37,000. The Jenkins case illustrates one of the many reasons for those injured in auto accidents in Maryland to seriously consider hiring legal representation.

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Posted On: May 19, 2009

Phelps Incident Highlights Emotional, Financial Costs of Drug Use

Although Michael Phelps is currently facing no criminal or drug charges in relation to the infamous photo of the gold-medal winning swimmer allegedly inhaling from a marijuana water pipe, the repercussions from that photograph are still in effect. This example highlights one of the less pleasant aspects of the court of public opinion. Without a trial, and without a guilty verdict, drug use can have significant financial and emotional costs.

The Baltimore Sun reports in an article that Phelps has been dropped by Kellogg Foods, who had given the swimmer an endorsement deal. USA Swimming, the governing body for competitive swimming in America, has suspended him for three months and deprived him of his financial support during that same period. No drug charges have been filed against the swimmer, yet Phelps’s situation clearly illustrates the potential harm that merely being suspected of drug charges can do to a promising career.

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Posted On: May 14, 2009

DUI Stop Leads to Drug Trafficking Charges

DelawareOnline reported in an article on March 20, 2009, that Georgetown police had stopped an Ocean City, MD man for allegedly driving under the influence. The routine DUI stop took a different turn when police searched the man and allegedly discovered over 40 packets of heroin in the subject’s pockets.

A further search of the DUI suspect’s vehicle revealed more heroin and drug paraphernalia. The total amount of heroin discovered was approximately 10 grams. Since the drugs were packaged in small discrete quantities, police were able to charge the man with drug trafficking.

Although this incident took place in Delaware, one could extrapolate what would happen if the charges were made in the Maryland court system. Under Maryland’s drug laws, the type of sentencing possible in a drug trafficking case depends on the type of controlled substance involved. Heroin, as a Schedule I narcotic, merits some of the most severe punishments under Maryland law.

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Posted On: May 12, 2009

Maryland Mom Sentenced to Spread Word of DUI Crash in Schools

A story from reports in an article that a Pittsville, MD mother received an unusual sentence as punishment for a DUI charge—sharing her DUI experiences with schoolchildren.

Bessie Birch was arrested for DUI in November 2008 after a head-on collision. At the time of the accident, she was transporting her three children. One of the children incurred injuries in the accident, although details of the extent of the injury are unclear. On March 19, 2009, the Wicomico County District Court ruled that the 25-year-old mother would have to tour Maryland high schools, relating the details of her story and her learning experience.

In Maryland, transporting a minor while operating a vehicle while under the influence is an aggravating circumstance that can add to the jail time and fines levied against a drunk driver. In this case, the judge chose to suspend the woman’s one year jail sentence in favor of sending a message to the public.

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Posted On: May 7, 2009

Former Miss Maryland Faces Cocaine and Conspiracy Charges

According to a report, former Miss Maryland Tia Shorts has been arrested on drug possession in Maryland and conspiracy charges. The former pageant contestant is being charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana and conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

The charges come on the heels of a series of arrests that took place near the Germantown residence where Shorts lived. In addition to Shorts, three other people were arrested on a variety of drug-related charges, including possession with intent to distribute heroin, marijuana and cocaine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

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Posted On: May 5, 2009

Maryland Trooper Charged with DUI reports in an article that a Maryland police officer has been arrested on drunken driving charges. The charges stem from a March 28, 2009, incident in which a Montgomery County police corporal crashed a police cruiser into a concrete barrier.

As Montgomery County police investigate the charges, the officer’s arrest powers have been suspended.

A DUI charge in Maryland carries more penalties than prison terms, probation and fines. A social penalty is also levied against those charged with drunken driving. Unfortunately, the social punishment hits someone charged with a DUI before any court date is set and before a sentence is handed down.

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Posted On: May 1, 2009

Brain Injury Awareness: No Such Thing as a Mild Head Injury

The Baltimore Sun reports in a story that a new awareness of brain injuries is spreading through the ranks of American medical practitioners in the wake of the death of actress Natasha Richardson.

Richardson, wife of actor Liam Neeson, and star of such films as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Parent Trap, suffered a minor fall while skiing on March 16, 2009. Although the actress refused medical treatment and was initially reported to be in good condition, Richardson soon complained of a headache, and slipped into unconsciousness. Two days later, Richardson died from an epidural hematoma.

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