Judge accused of drunken driving

His job status not affected by arrest

October 17, 2007|By Madison Park and Jennifer McMenamin

A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge faces drunken-driving charges after his arrest this week in Harford County.

Lawrence Robert Daniels was stopped about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after a sheriff's deputy saw a sedan southbound on Route 152 near Joppa cross the shoulder line several times, said Sgt. Christina Presberry, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

After failing a field sobriety test, Daniels was arrested and taken to the Southern Precinct in Edgewood, where a breath test measured his blood-alcohol level at 0.09 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to a police report.

Daniels, a resident of Middle River, did not respond to a phone message left with an assistant at his office yesterday.

Daniels spent four years as an associate judge in Baltimore County's District Court, until he became a circuit judge in 1993. Altogether, Daniels has served as a judge for 18 years.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II, the administrative judge of the county's Circuit Court, said the arrest does not affect Daniels' job status, pointing out that Daniels has not been convicted of anything.

Turnbull said he thought it would be "inappropriate" to let Daniels hear criminal cases until the matter is resolved, although he said Daniels will be permitted to handle criminal cases previously assigned to him.

Daniels presides over cases dealing mostly with family law matters, Turnbull said.

This week, Daniels is scheduled to handle a sentencing hearing in a death penalty case, a sentence modification hearing for a man convicted of driving with a suspended license, and a sentencing hearing in a rape case, according to docket sheets and court records.

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