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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Parole and probation are different programs

Understanding the differences between probation and parole is something that most people never have to worry about. These two programs are often lumped together; however, they are actually two very different programs.

Probation is an alternative to jail or prison. This is something that a judge can sentence someone to if the person isn't going to jail or prison. While it is possible to add a probation sentence to an incarceration term, this isn't something that is common.

Probation sentences aren't without strict rules

When a person finds out that he or she will have to serve probation instead of being sent to prison, he or she might assume that he or she got the easy way out. Certainly, probation is easier since you don't have to spend time in prison. What you must know is that probation comes with some very strict rules that you must follow.

Your probation officer will let you know the terms of the program when you come in for an appointment. You might get a written list of rules that you have to follow when you are on probation. These might include having to report on a regular basis, taking and passing drug or alcohol tests, staying out of legal trouble and not having contact with other felons.

Drugged driving can lead to serious criminal charges

Drivers mustn't do anything before they drive that impairs their ability to stay safe. One thing that many people might not think about when they are getting ready to get behind the wheel is how medications and drugs will impact them.

You might not realize that the medications and drugs you take can impact your ability to drive. Even drugs that seem fairly harmless, such as antihistamines, can cause reaction delays that are serious enough to lead to an accident.

Factors in a traffic stop impact a drug case based on the stop

There are many outcomes of traffic stops that most people don't ever consider. One of these is that there will be an arrest at the stop because of the presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia. We recently discussed some of the various drug charges that exist. When you are charged with any of these after a traffic stop, you need to think about what happened step by step so you can determine how you are going to proceed with your defense.

We understand that this is a situation that might make you rather upset. You might not have been doing anything wrong, but all of a sudden, you see those flashing lights behind you. This brings up an important point. Police officers can't stop you for no reason at all. When you are thinking about this point, be honest with yourself and think carefully about what happened just prior to the traffic stop.

Drug charge types vary greatly

Many people think that drug charges only have to do with people who are selling the drugs. This is only one of the possible charges that a person can face in relation to drugs. It is imperative for all people who are facing any types of drug charges understand what the charges entail.

Drug dealing charges are serious criminal matters that can result in time in prison. Even on a federal level, these charges are serious. Dealing marijuana in an amount of less than 50 grams can lead to up to five years in prison.

Your family life can suffer after domestic violence charges

Our previous blog post touched on some of the ways that a domestic violence conviction can impact your life. This is something that is very serious just because of the nature of the charges. If you are facing these charges, you need to think about your life as it stands now and what you want for the future.

Your hope for the future is something that is central to these cases, especially when it comes to your family life. Domestic violence charges usually come with protective orders, which can keep you away from your home, your spouse and your children. As difficult as this is to realize, it is something that you will likely have to deal with for a while when the case is moving through the court system.

Domestic violence convictions can seriously impact your life

When you are accused of domestic violence, your immediate concern might be figuring out how you can keep your family together. This is understandable; however, you likely need to start focusing on a defense strategy because a domestic violence conviction can have very serious impacts on your life.

Think about what will happen if you need to look for a job. If the employer does a background check, the conviction will show up. In many cases, this violent crime conviction will prevent you from getting the job, even if you are otherwise qualified. Speaking of employment, this conviction could also stop you from being able to hold a public office or a government job.

Don't let alcoholism ruin your life and future

We recently discussed how functioning alcoholics might not realize that they have an issue with alcohol or that this could be one of the reasons why they wound up involved in the criminal justice system. As hard as it is to come to terms with your own drinking problem, it is imperative that anyone facing drunk driving charges determine if an addiction is the underlying cause of the issue.

Addiction is a serious problem that must be addressed so that the person doesn't continue drinking to excess and wind up back in jail driving under the influence (DUI) charges. This can happen when a driver has a very serious addiction to alcohol.

Functioning alcoholics need help but don't realize it

Drunk driving is a serious problem for many people. For some people, the realization that they have a problem with alcohol doesn't come until they are facing the consequences of drunk driving is a serious problem for many people. For some people, the realization that they have a problem with alcohol doesn't come until they are facing the consequences of alcoholism. This is a tough realization that requires action.

A functioning alcoholic is someone who can function almost perfectly when he or she is drinking. They might become irritated and angry when they don't have alcohol. This may not be something they can control because their brain and body need the alcohol.

Think about your actions when you are on probation or parole

We recently discussed how difficult it can be to move when you are on probation or parole. This is only one point that can lead to you facing legal troubles for violating your probation or parole.

When you are placed on one of these supervisory programs, you have to abide by the conditions of the program. Some of these conditions, such as avoid racking up more criminal charges, are universal. Others, such as taking a drug test at random times, are implemented on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances.

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