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Maryland Reduced Funding for Criminal Defense Services for the Poor

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Written by a Maryland Criminal Lawyer Staff Writer Spending by the state of Maryland for criminal defense service fell 7.9 percent from fiscal year 2008 to 2012, according to a Justice Department study that made the news this summer. Though this may not seem like much, it’s clearly a problem when you consider the national average saw a reduction in spending of only 4.3 percent. Maryland’s Public Defender Service has gone on the record noting that it definitely felt the impact of these budget cuts, including the loss of key support staff and attorneys having to handle larger than normal caseloads when compared with national standards. In the state of Maryland, defense services for the poor are completely funded by the government of the state. During 2012, the state of Maryland spent just under $88 million on the defense of indigent individuals, according to a July 2014 study on Government…

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Anything You Don’t Say Can Be Used against You

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By Julia Cole Most Americans have heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” But a recent California Supreme Court ruling has established that a person’s silence may also be used against them. According to ThinkProgress, in the case of People vs. Tom, Richard Tom was charged with vehicular manslaughter after allegedly driving well over the speed limit and crashing into a car carrying a woman and her two children. The woman’s eight-year-old daughter was killed and her 10-year-old was taken to the hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Shortly after the crash, Tom was placed in the back of a police car and was not formally arrested and advised of his rights until much later in the day. Tom was eventually convicted of felony manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in…

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Phoenix Suns Forward Charged with Driving Under Extreme Influence

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Written by Tracy Manzer DUI charges are common, but that doesn’t lessen the impact they have on people’s personal lives and professional careers. Take, for example, the announcement made Monday by Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker. Tucker, who was charged earlier this year with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.20 or greater, was sentenced to three days in jail and 11 days of home detention as part of a negotiated plea agreement. Tucker was stopped by an officer for an alleged traffic violation in Arizona last May, but cited for DUI. His BAC measured .222, according to media reports. Though the sentence may seem extreme to some, Tucker’s attorneys were able to negotiate better terms in exchange for his guilty plea. He had faced the possibility of 45 days in jail. Presumably his willingness to install an ignition interlock device in his car for…

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