Articles Posted in Criminal Law

The Maryland Court of Appeals made us all a bit safer by its ruling in MVA v. Dove. I like safer. Whether there was justice in this individual case, I have no idea.

Facts of Dove

In Dove, the defendant rear-ends a car while driving his motorcycle on Route 4 in Calvert County. When the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene, they found the Defendant being treated by the EMT. The officer noticed red, watery eyes and a strong odor of alcohol coming from him. He used the “I had one beer” defense and said he was afraid of needles so he couldn’t take a blood test to determine his BAC.

The Maryland Daily Record reports that Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Robert C. Wilcox apologized on Friday for saying earlier this month that he did not trust the victim in an assault case because she had sex with the defendant 10 days after the accident.

There must be a part of this story that is missing. Isn’t it relevant if you sleep you’re your attacker 10 days after you claim they assaulted you? I’m not saying it would necessarily mandate a defense verdict in every case. It depends on all the facts. We know that some victims of domestic violence return to their abusers many times before leaving them for good. Here, what if Judge Wilcox made the right call, and this behavior was a deciding factor in his ruling?

I hate the overuse of the phrase “politically correct” which is never used in a way that is meant to be complimentary. I believe more often than not being politically correct requires us to be a little extra sensitive to each other. This can’t be a bad thing. But if Judge Wilcox cannot give an honest ruling based on the facts and instead has to use code words to describe how he found as he did, transparent administration of justice will lose a step.