Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore County Criminal’

Health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

This issue has nothing to do with whether you voted for President Trump or Ms. Clinton.  Obama care may be a disaster, my premiums skyrocketed like yours.  There were 4 needed features- coverage of pre-existing illnesses, children remaining on a parent's policy until age 26, mental health coverage, and drug abuse coverage.  Over the years it has been incredibly difficult to get mental health and drug abuse treatment for clients even when insured.  Health care policies limited coverage and paid a low percentage.  Only the wealthy could afford residential treatment for their child.  That changed under our present health care system.

The title above is a newspaper headline of an article that explains how poor people on Medicaid will lose their mental health and drug coverage.  It will no longer be mandated.  I am not debating the merits of the Republican proposal versus the mess we now have, but the loss of this coverage is going to decimate a population that is growing everyday. West Virginia counties sued opioid distributors today "for shipping inordinate quantities of opioids into the state in violation of a West Virginia law."  They have filed suit against drug distributors as well as Walgreens and CVS.  The merits of the law suit are not the purpose of this Blog either.  We unfortunately have a massive substance abuse and mental health crisis in this country and it is not subsiding.  People need help. This is a sad situation and I thought I would put it out there for people to think about.  These are not people born to do evil or born to hurt others.  Mental health issues represent genetics as does substance abuse for many who find themselves in that abyss.  Whatever the reason they need the help President Trump promised to continue for these problems, and hopefully the next headline will read "does not" instead of "would."

Harford County Not Guilty, and Respect Before and After, Unlike Baltimore City

The client in this case was only stopped at 1:00 AM for speeding.   The SFSTs were done in insanely cold and windy conditions next to an open field.  My client was without a coat. He asked to be taken to a reasonable location to do the SFSTs but the officer declined.  He admitted on the witness stand to 5 drinks over the course of the evening social event beginning at 6 PM.  There was no reason for any of the alcohol to be in his system at 1:00 AM as he stopped drinking at 10:30 PM.  He was and is physically unable to take a breath test.  His truthfulness as to the amount consumed was important for his credibility.  Some lawyers are put off by the number of drinks, but it is not how many, but when they were consumed in relation to the driving.  

After he was acquitted the officer came up to me in the hallway and wanted to know what he could do better.  I am not giving away my Schtick, but I told him that in these weather conditions, he should have taken him indoors or under some cover.  The MDTA officers offer that when the weather is poor.  I then told him to go out and get me some more business.  He laughed and shook my hand.  He then turned to my client and they shook hands.  The officer in this case drove my client home from the police station, and they chatted about things other than the DUI on the way.  Unlike the rudeness that has unfortunately occurred in Baltimore City for years where the police have alienated the citizenry, it does not have to be that way.  There was zero animosity between my client and the officer.  My client understood why he was charged and the officer understood why my client was acquitted.  If either one of them needed a ride from the courthouse, the other would have provided it.  Do you think that happens in Baltimore City.  I am sick and tired of hearing about how many times black men have been asked to lay down on the street and been asked questions about guns and drugs.  A BUSINESS OWNER, FATHER OF 2, HOME OWNER, SCHOOL AGE DAUGHTER IN PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN THE CITY, is stopped 3 weeks ago by 2 Baltimore City police officers as he leaves a friend's house in West Baltimore.  The friend and his family are not criminals.  He is questioned, he is asked to consent to a search of himself and his car, and he refuses.  He is scared, and as he walks away a Sgt. runs up behind him, and he thinks the 3 police are going to throw him to the ground.  He is again asked about drugs and his refusal to consent to a search.  He stands his ground and they write him a ticket (police encounter document) and he is allowed to leave.  He calls me scared to death because he got this ticket.  I explain it is just proof of the police interaction with a citizen that they are required to write.  I demand the ticket and for him to give a  written step by step report because I am not going to let this pass.  He is so worried about how nuts I am going to go that he will not provide it.  I am sure that anybody reading this who is not black and does not live in Baltimore City has never encountered this type of behavior, nor have your children.  It is unfathomable to think that a county, any county, police officer would treat a member of your family this way.  If you saw your son or daughter laying flat on a sidewalk so that they could be asked about guns and drugs, I would be crazy busy handling assault on police officer cases in the counties.  This is why citizens in Baltimore City do not cooperate with the police and why it is open season for drug dealing or shootings in these areas.  The police don't respond to burglaries and car thefts without multiple calls in Baltimore City.  Law abiding people are ignored when they are victimized.  And now they need the Justice Department to come in and train the police how to be police!  What the hell are they doing at the police academy???  

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Update On Dumbest Case Ever

15 minute not guilty verdict of felony and gun and PBJ for possession of marihuana, after a day and half in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  Juror number 5 walks out after the verdict and gives my client a thumbs up!.  First alternate gives my client  her juror's notes when she is excused where she wrote,  "the gun charge is a joke," "guilty of possession."  I have worn people out complaining about this case.  Over 2 years ago a self-medicating guy gets busted for growing pot.  The police stumble on it because they have a warrant for his idiot former roommate who did not show up on traffic court.  He has 43 plants in different stages BUT NOT ONE with a smokeable bud.  All stalks and leaves, and the police Sgt. stated you do not smoke the leaves.

Inexplicably, the State decides not to pursue a manufacturing charge, but instead pursues a possession with intent to distribute marihuana.  Now when the case originated, I thought it was a PBJ for Manufacturing.  Because he had a shotgun he had just bought for skeet shooting and it was mounted on the wall, the prosecutor says he needs permission from his supervisor to drop the gun charge, DRUG TRAFFICKING WITH A FIREARM- MANDATORY WITHOUT PAROLE. During one of the 12 postponements the trial judge we had today told the prosecutor to talk to someone because my client was not a jail guy.  Apparently the then Deputy State's Attorney, George Hazel, who has someone secured a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, could only be reached by email (by his own prosecutors), and after a thorough review decided my client could plead to the felony alone and take 2 years in jail.  The now federal judge did not realize they were pursuing the wrong charge!  I had pointed out there was not a baggie or scale recovered in the house, and I was met by a "he must have run out, before the matter was forwarded to the now judge."  I also provided them with the receipt for the shotgun.  It was for skeet shooting, and self defense if they were burglarized again, since the police blew them off the last time and refused to investigate.  That never happened when I was a prosecutor, but the city police department today is a disgrace.

The police Sgt. testifies that there was not one piece of evidence showing that a my client distributed this marihuana.  Not a $5.00 baggie, not a $10.00 baggie.  NADA.  He did however have a kazillion smoking devices and baggies with residue of what my client had bought and smoked.  This big time dealer slept on an air mattress that I had the Sgt. say was not filled with cash, had no jewelry, not even a watch.  Bail $150,000.00, which is why we have such a problem in Baltimore City.  The Sgt. then told the jury there was no smokeable weed on the 43 plants.  My client testifies that there would have been buds in October or November- 7 months after the arrest!  He admitted everyone in the house smoked weed, and that he had shared his "product" in the past.  The State's theory was that WHEN (I countered with IF) the plants produced buds, he would have shared it, and therefore he was guilty of the felony!  Since the gun was nearby he was guilty of that too.  My client had been growing weed for 17 months and the gun was bought 40 days before the arrest.  It never had anything to do with the weed, because NOBODY KNEW he was growing it.  The Sgt. had been in that area investigating drug traffic for 2 years and never heard of my guy.  

Of the 400 cases they can try in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, this is one of them.  People charged with violent offenses go free because witnesses disappear while we try a guy who might share marihuana with his roommates.  For those non-growers, there are male and female plants. You throw away the males.  You could not tell the gender at the time of the arrest.  The State had no idea and no one to say that you could get any shareable marihuana out of these plants.  Why, because you don't have a f…… clue until they start to produce male and female growth, and then you keep the females  My client was the expert and explained it completely to the jury.  If they keep their notes and want to, they know how to grow marihuana.  

My client is employed, and as I told the prosecutor 2 years ago, and then he remarked to the jury today my client had a job making more money than the prosecutor.  This was insane.  I have no satisfaction winning this case because I would have turned in my law license if I lost.  Why it took them longer than 5 minutes is beyond me.  I questioned whether I should even mention the name of a federal judge because I am sure the Marshalls, etc,, monitor every mention made of a federal judge.  I hope they do, because he should see his "product."  He is in Greenbelt and I never go there, so he will never have to recuse himself if he reads this.  Meanwhile someone charged with a violent crime gets postponed for 2 months and waits for his day in court, and the witnesses live in fear another day.  

Another fine job by the consigliores of the Gregg Bernstein run State's Attorney's Office.  Now that his Deputy who made the decision here is gone, hopefully he is finished on June 24th when the primary election is over.     


Baltimore County Not Guilty

This is a two part comment.  One on the case and one about the judge.  Yesterday I had a DUI with an issue about the arrest.  The video showed my client was not impaired, and the only reason for the stop was excessive speed.  Because of the judge's reputation for harsh sentences, I explained to my client that if we lost she would not accept a PBJ because of the probation conditions I expected would be imposed.  The judge is great on legal issues, but if you lose, I believe some of the "usual" probation conditions are unwarranted. I sat through the docket waiting for my trial and saw that the judge's probation conditions were completely in-line with everyone else. The "unusual" conditions were not imposed, even where I expected they would.  I told my client, there would be no appeal as no one would be fairer on the law, and that if we lost the sentence would be appropriate.

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Inmate Running The Asylum

This is a an off-spring of the treatment nightmare post.  I had a young client who is a junkie-plain and simple.  Like all heroin addicts he wanted everything his way and he wanted it now.  He decided he needed to be in a $40,000.00 28-day program because it will look good in court.  Aftercare?  An afterthought, actually no thought at all.  However this $40,000.0 waste of money might look good and get his charges dropped, which he also demands.  He is in a 7-day detox when he hatches this idea.  He is out of detox and using the day he gets out of detox when he tells his adult parents this is what has to be done.  They wanted to go along with this "plan."  It is in a nicer neighborhood than the program that will require 6 months of treatment and still cost less, but the neighborhood is very very important.  I had to argue against this nonsense and explain to everyone that he needed to get his addiciton and other issues treated.  He is inside, not wandering around the neighborhood.  They inspected the facilities and he and his parents agreed to admit him to treatment, and of course, another detox.  I understand the parents were at their wits end, but that does not mean they turn the decision making over to a nitwit.  They wanted a clean and healthy son, and by then they should have known that he is not the one to make the best decisions as to how that will happen.

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  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
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