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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Vandalism isn't legal in any state, including Maryland

Getting angry with someone might lead some people to do things that aren't appropriate. One of the actions that might be tempting is to destroy or damage that person's property. Defacing or destroying someone's property without his or her permission is considered vandalism. Acts of vandalism are punishable in the criminal justice system, so it is vital that anyone who is thinking of harming someone's property take a few minutes to think about the consequences.

Our readers in Maryland might like to know a little bit more about vandalism. There are several places where vandalism can occur. Street signs, parks, billboards, bus stops, cemeteries, homes, vehicles and any other place that doesn't belong to the alleged vandal are places where vandalism might occur.

What controlled substances can lead to drug charges?

In last week's blog, we discussed a woman who is facing hundreds of charges for the possession of prescription drugs. That post might have some of our Maryland readers wondering exactly what drugs are considered controlled substances. It is imperative to know that not everyone who is in possession of these drugs is guilty of a crime. It is legal to possess many controlled substances if they are able to be legally prescribed and the person who has the controlled substance has a valid prescription.

What governs controlled substances?

Woman faces hundreds of drug charges in Maryland

A recent two-month investigation looking into prescription drug fraud has ended with a woman facing hundreds of charges related to prescription drugs. Interestingly, the woman was on probation in Wyoming for similar charges. While reading about what this woman is charged with and the alleged circumstances, our readers should keep in mind that the woman is still considered innocent. She still has the right to defend herself against these serious charges in Maryland.

The Maryland woman is accused of taking information from patient accounts with Annapolis Billing Services. She was an employee there who was allegedly taking patient information to fill oxycodone prescriptions. She allegedly forged prescriptions for drugs and had those prescriptions filled at various pharmacies.

Court's sentencing wording affects ability to seek parole

For people who are facing criminal charges, finding out the possible sentences for their charges is something that becomes a priority. While there are some guidelines for most crimes in Maryland, there is usually some leeway regarding sentencing. A person can be sentenced to incarceration, probation, fines, community service, a host of other options or a combination of two or more of these options.

When it comes to sentences involving incarceration, there are several different terms that a person might hear. These terms can have a significant impact on the amount of time the person spends behind bars. For many incarceration sentences, a person will have the option of seeking parole after a certain amount of time. When or if the person can seek release from prison depends on how the sentence is handed down from the court.

Marijuana drug charges can have serious consequences

We have often discussed cases involving drug charges. While some people might have a tendency to think that some drug crimes are worse than others, that isn't necessarily the case. The thought that being charged with cocaine possession is somehow worse than being charged with marijuana possession isn't correct. A person who faces charges relating to marijuana might find that there are very serious effects of those charges.

We know that you don't want a drug charge to affect every aspect of your life. Even if you are charged under the Maryland misdemeanor drug laws, you might find that there are negative impacts you didn't even realize would occur.

Federal drug charges will see reduced sentences in the next year

People who are incarcerated for federal drug crimes are facing a new sentencing guidelines as of Nov. 1. The new guidelines, which were passed by a federal judicial panel, call for reduced sentences. This will affect the prison terms for some people who are currently incarcerated, including some from Maryland, but determining who is eligible for an early release might prove daunting.

Public defenders, probation officers and judges will be some of the people who have to work to figure it all out. In Maryland, the first inmates who will be released under the reduced sentencing guidelines won't be released for another year. That, however, isn't stopping officials from getting the preparations underway.

What is a probation violation, and what are the consequences?

For people charged with a crime, the criminal court proceedings are sometimes only the start of them having to deal with the law. If they are found guilty of the charges placed against them, they might be sentenced to serve probation. While probation does give you some freedom, there are still rules that you are bound by in accordance with Maryland law. If you happen to disobey these rules, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, you might face a probation violation.

What is a probation violation?

Shoplifting: A theft charge with special considerations

Being charged with shoplifting is something that can be disheartening, especially when the charge is because of a misunderstanding. For people who have been charged with shoplifting, it is important to understand a few points about shoplifting charges. Our Maryland readers might find these points interesting.

Shoplifting is a farm of larceny that involves merchandise from a business. In a broad sense, a shoplifting charge doesn't necessarily mean that someone is found walking out of the store with goods. It can mean simply trying to conceal merchandise, which can lead to an implied intent to leave the establishment with the items.

Outcomes vary with drunk driving charges in Maryland

We discussed a case last week that had to do with the Maryland "Top Chef" contestant who pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge and didn't have to serve time in jail. If you are thinking to yourself that he must be one lucky guy, you might wonder how he ended up with the sentence he did. One answer to that might be that the man had a strong defense.

We know that facing a drunk driving charge is difficult. The prospect of losing your driver's license might be something that incites fear into your heart. We know how hard life can be without being able to drive. We can help you to fight a good fight against the charges that might yank your driving privileges from you.

DUI charge ends without jail time for Maryland restaurateur

By now, readers of our blog know that we understand that mistakes happen. We know that facing drunk driving charges is something that no driver ever wants to face. Sometimes, the horror of facing those charges becomes a reality. For a 2009 contestant on "Top Chef," facing drunk driving charges could have been a lot worse.

The chef owns a restaurant in Baltimore. He was stopped on June 6 on South Howard Street. As a result of that traffic stop, he was charged with a DUI. He recently learned the outcome of his case after pleading guilty to that charge.


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