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On Wednesday, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller gave a public statement that basically said,New Balance Women's WA365v1 CUSH + Walking Shoe B06XRTWY3S 10 B(M) US|Grey But conclusions without facts are not very helpful.  This has enabled the President to falsely claim the report exonerated him, and the Attorney General, in his March letter, to falsely claim the elements of obstruction were not met, the exact opposite of what the report says.  It is as if they have decided, New Balance Women's WW411v2 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe B00V3QT4C0 5.5 B(M) US|White“we can say whatever we want because most people won’t read the report.”  However, it is possible to summarize the essence of the report – the facts – as follows.

Obstruction of justice is a crime containing three requirements, New Balance Women's WW813 Walking Shoe B00LBZ8MBM 12 D US|White Mueller found ten potentially obstructive acts or series of acts and analyzed each to see if they were obstructive acts, whether there was a connection to a pending or foreseeable proceeding and whether there was an intent to obstruct that proceeding.

With respect to four of these, Mueller found “substantial evidence” that satisfied the elements: (1) efforts to fire the special counsel; (2) efforts to change the special counsel’s charge to focus on interference with future elections; (3) ordering White House counsel McGahn to deny Trump tried to fire the special counsel; and (4) efforts to keep Michael Cohen from cooperating with federal authorities.  The only thing Mueller didn’t say was the conclusion that he had enough evidence to indict the President for obstruction of justice, instead saying he couldn’t clear the President.  But his conclusion IS in the report.  And the facts can be simplified, as above, or amplified, if necessary, for public consumption.

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The State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, has announced on January 29, 2019, that marijuana possession cases will no longer be prosecuted in Baltimore.  In an article in the New York Times, Marilyn Mosby stated that it makes no sense to prosecute marijuana cases because it diverts resources from investigating more serious crimes and it alienates members of the community whose support police need to investigate these crimes.  Additionally, the State’s Attorneys’ office will be reviewing 5,000 marijuana possession convictions and proposing legislation to make it easier to vacate convictions for marijuana possession.

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As the Daily Record reported yesterday (Jan. 23, 2019), a bill will be introduced in the Maryland legislature to expand Noah’s Law (named after Noah Leotta – a police officer killed by a drunk driver) to require an ignition interlock be installed as a condition of a probation before judgment.  Currently, first offenders who blow a .15 or higher, or refuse to submit to a breath or blood test are required to obtain an ignition interlock for one year or have their licenses suspended for 180 or 270 days respectively (for a first test failure or refusal).  If the driver submits to a test with a result of .08 or more but less than .15, the 180 day interlock is optional.  That person may elect instead to drive with a permit that allows driving for work, school, medical, or alcohol education restricted driving privileges.  Currently, some first offenders escape the interlock where they win the MVA hearing for a test failure or refusal, or if they have an out of state driver’s license.

There are some significant problems with the proposal, such as dealing with individuals who share cars with family members, who don’t own a car, who have to drive clients to earn a living or who live out of state.  Currently, out of state drivers are not allowed to participate in Maryland’s ignition interlock program.  This can be a devastating problem for drivers who live out of state and work in Maryland.  Additionally, the law would deprive judges of the discretion to deny interlock in an appropriate case.  This was the decision the legislature made a few years ago when Noah’s Law was enacted.  Also commercial drivers are not allowed to drive commercial vehicles while their licenses are restricted in this way.

As the Daily Record reported:

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On Thursday, the nation was transfixed as the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.  Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by Ford and a number of other females when they were in high school and college.  All of the complaints say that Kavanaugh was extremely inebriated at the time.  However, when Kavanaugh was asked about his drinking habits he became very defensive and refused to answer the questions, although he did admit to on occasion drinking too much and liking beer.  At all costs, he had to deny his alcoholism, if he suffered from it,Blowfish Women's Suba Ankle Bootie B00RYRH3XO 11 M US|Grey Fawn Polyurethane because that would lead to questions of whether he drank to the extent of experiencing blackouts, a symptom of heavy drinking, where the person has no memory of their conduct while drunk.  If he experienced blackouts, then his denials would be much less credible.  Although the senators’ questions for the most part avoided touching on his alcoholism, it appears evident that his alcoholism or lack is central to the case.

In drunk driving cases, all clients represented by attorney Leonard Stamm are referred to a program approved by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to determine if the client has a drinking problem and to receive an appropriate level of education and treatment.  A directory of programs nationwide can be found ASICS Women's GEL Fit Vida Fitness Shoe B00Q2KVAM4 8.5 B(M) US|Warm Red/Onyx/Burgundy.

Clients are assessed to determine if they have a drinking problem using a number of psychological screening tests.  The most well known is probably the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test also known as the Reebok Women's F/S HI Metallic Sneaker B072M8JSM5 7 B(M) US|Silver Met/Steel/White.  Clients are give a score based on their answers.  A higher score indicates a likely drinking problem.  Other tests include the Alcohol Use Disorders Test or adidas Performance Women's Pureboost X Running Shoe B010UUKFU4 10 B(M) US|Mineral Blue/Mineral Blue/Half Pink.

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On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Leonard Stamm appeared in the Court of Appeals to argue the case of Owusu v. MVA.  Owusu was arrested for drunk driving and taken to the police station.  At the police station he was read the DR-15 Advice of Rights Form. Nine West Women's Speakup Mettalic Ballet Flat B071R3447B 7.5 B(M) US|Bronze/Multi This is a form police officers are required to read to DUI suspects advising them of the penalties for refusing or failing a breath test for alcohol.  In Owusu’s case he was read the form and told that if he failed the test he would lose his driver’s license for 180 days, but that if he refused he would lose his license for 270 days.ILSE JACOBSEN Women's Rub 2 Rain Boot B01DTYB656 41 M EU|Dark Indigo  Additionally he was told that since he had a commercial driver’s license or CDL,Madden Girl Women's Bronco Ankle Bootie B06XCJB1M8 8 B(M) US|Cognac Paris that if he refused the test his CDL would be disqualified for one year.  The one year disqualification meant that he not be able to perform his job as a bus driver for one year.

Immediately after reading the form, that contained a lot of other information as well, ALDO Women's Forema Sneaker B0743SL8HJ 5 B(M) US|Metallic Miscellaneousto Owusu, the officer tried to be helpful.  He told Owusu that since he was a bus driver he would be out of work for 180 days if he failed the test and 270 days if he refused.  Although probably well meaning, the officer’s statement was false. Critically, the officer did not tell Owusu he would be out of work for one year if he refused as a result of the one year disqualification of his CDL. Blondo Women's Riyan Waterproof Fashion Sneaker B01N9A1UJ6 9 B(M) US|Mushroom Suede The one year disqualification was huge because it means Owusu will have to retake the CDL knowledge and skill tests with it, but not with a 270 day suspension.  Owusu testified at the hearing that after the officer advised him, he was not aware he would lose his CDL, and that, if he had he would have submitted to the test.

As Stamm had argued in the MVA hearing and again in the Montgomery County Circuit Court without success that the giving of the false advice failed to comply with the relevant law requiring the arresting officer to “fully advise” the driver of the administrative penalties and also violated Owusu’s due process rights.  Stamm also unsuccessfully argued in the hearing and appellate court that the DR-15’s form’s advice of a 270 day suspension on a refusal, and eligibility for a restricted license, without telling drivers that the required period of interlock restriction is longer, one year, violated his statutory and due process rights.