A defendant can always refuse to speak in all circumstances except in court under oath, it’s the only exception and it’s a very easy black and white rule to follow at least in Maryland. The only time that somebody can be forced to speak is if a judge orders you to speak under oath. Usually that doesn’t happen either because most people who are calling lawyers have some danger of incriminating themselves and therefore they have a Fifth Amendment right. Even in court, in front of a grand jury or if you’re called by the state’s attorney to testify, you can probably assert the fifth. Very rarely will the prosecutor give a witness immunity and then the judge can order the defendant to speak. It is very rare that a defendant must speak regarding something criminal, extremely rare. It’s an easy rule to follow, you never have to speak to the police, you never have to speak to the prosecutor unless a judge orders it under oath.
How Do Illegal Search and Seizures Come Into Play With Drug Cases?
It’s very difficult to show that a warrant is illegal, it’s almost impossible because even if there’s a problem with the warrant, there’s something called the good faith exception to a warrant. So if there is a good faith mistake in a warrant and if the judge rules that mistake out, probable cause still exists in the warrant, then the warrant will not be thrown out. With respect to illegal searches and seizures and stops and detentions and frisks and arrests where there is no warrant, then there is tremendous opportunity to make it an illegal police activity. Usually if we can show that the police did something illegal, then there usually is some exclusionary remedy where some piece of evidence or all evidence will be thrown out.
That is something that is examined in almost all cases especially when there’s no warrant and it’s the same thing with an arrest. If there is an arrest warrant, it’s very difficult to show that it was an illegal arrest if not nearly impossible because the good faith exception also applies to arrest warrants. But stops and arrests without a warrant are laden with opportunity to show that there was some lack of probable cause or lack of reasonable articulable suspicion to show the judge that there was illegal police conduct and therefore that the remedy should be exclusion of whatever flows from the illegal arrest or illegal detention.
If I Were to Get Probation for Drug Case, Would I Be Subjected to Random Urine Analysis? How Long Could My Probation Last? What Would Happen if I Were to Violate?
Generally probation lasts about 6 months to 18 months and you have to visit a probation officer about once a month and maybe once every two months as the probation progresses and there are random urinalysis tests done. If you come up dirty, it’s a violation of the probation and the probation officer will report that to the judge and there is generally a warrant issued by the judge for a violation of probation hearing which will take place about a month after the warrant is served. When you’re put on probation, you never know when you’re going to be asked to do a drug test and so you really need to expect to stay away from drugs during your period of probation. A lot of times probation agents will forgive one dirty urine or they’ll forgive one or two failures to provide a urinalysis sample but on the second, third or fourth time where there’s a dirty urine or somebody didn’t show up for a random urinalysis, that’s when their probation agent will write the judge and a warrant will be issued.
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