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Snowden facing jail for probation violation in drunken driving case

Justice System

Carl O. Snowden, the former director of the Office of Civil Rights in the Maryland Attorney General's Office, has been ordered jailed for violating probation in an Anne Arundel County drunken driving case, according to court records.

Snowden, 59, a longtime civil rights activist, was ordered Monday to spend 10 days in the Anne Arundel County jail, beginning April 12.

Retired Judge Diane O. Leasure found that Snowden had violated probation in his 2010 drunken driving case because he had been convicted last year of possession of marijuana in Baltimore City, according to Henry P. Dove, chief trial counsel in the State's Attorney's Office in Talbot County. Dove handled the case because Snowden, of Annapolis, has worked with Anne Arundel prosecutors over the years.

Snowden has requested the state's highest court to take on an appeal of his drunken driving conviction.

Snowden initially was granted probation before judgment in the case, a finding that allows a person to avoid a conviction if he successfully completes probation. But it turned out to be his second probation before judgment in a decade, which a judge and prosecutor belatedly learned was illegal under a 2009 change in the law. He was convicted, and placed on probation with a 60-day jail sentence suspended.

He lost an appeal of the conviction at the Court of Special Appeals, and is now appealing to the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Snowden resigned from the Attorney General's Office in December, a month after the marijuana conviction. Long politically active, he has been a well-known Democratic figure in Anne Arundel County. He worked as an aide to former County Executive Janet S. Owens, served as an Annapolis alderman and ran unsuccessfully for Annapolis mayor.

Andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/andsiegel

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