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Constitutional Rights Archives

How does Maryland's sexual offender registry work?

offenert.JPGSex offense convictions are punished in a uniquely painful and shaming way. You are required to register in a sex offender. In addition to prison time or probation, you must submit to the public shaming of being on a list of dangerous persons. Anyone who wants to can obtain this list.

10-point police blotter: What to tell your kids

Police protect us, and they are indispensable to our communities. But it is also possible to get on their bad side - incarcerated or even dead. The American Civil Liberties Union has posted a website advising young people on the do's and don'ts of dealing with law enforcement.

Attorney General Limits the Authority of State and Local Police to Seize Assets

The Attorney General issued a federal order setting forth a new policy which limits the authority of state and local law enforcement to seize assets such as cash and cars.  The Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs released a statement on January 16, 2015, announcing the order by Attorney General Eric Holder which applies to all participants in federal forfeiture programs.  Prior to this new order, State and local law enforcement were authorized under the federal forfeiture program to seize assets from individuals even when there was no arrest or allegation of a violation of state law.  The police would typically seize large amounts of cash located during routine traffic stops.  Local law enforcement would seize the property and then request that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law.  The local law enforcement agency would then get a percentage of the proceeds from the forfeiture.

Are Miranda rights required during an arrest?

What are your constitutional rights when you are placed under arrest?  Is a police officer required to read you Miranda rights when he makes an arrest? This is one of the most common questions I get from my criminal defense clients. There is a very common misconception among the general public, probably promoted by television, that a police officer is required to advise an arrestee of his Miranda rights. Many of my clients incorrectly believe that if the police did not read them Miranda rights that their case must be dismissed. However, this is not the case.

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