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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

What does it mean to be placed under arrest?

People who are being charged with criminal acts are usually placed under arrest. This is a big difference from being detained or being questioned. Understanding the points that make an arrest an arrest can help you when you are dealing with law enforcement officers.

What elements are present during an arrest?

Professional drivers are greatly impacted by DUI charges

If you are a professional driver, or even a delivery driver who relies on your ability to drive, you might realize that a drunk driving charge can end your career. What you might not realize is that you might face a drunk driving charge even if your blood-alcohol concentration is below the commonly quoted .08 percent. We know that you might have some questions about the charges you are facing and the options you have for a drunk driving defense.

If you have a commercial driver's license, you can face a driving under the influence charge if your BAC is above .04 percent. For ordinary drivers who are over 21 years old, a DUI is possible if your BAC is above .08 percent. As you can see, commercial drivers have a limit that is half that of ordinary drivers.

Defacing or destroying another person's property is a crime

People work hard to acquire the property they have. Most people want their property to remain in good condition for as long as possible. Sometimes, other people will take it upon themselves to destroy or deface property that belongs to another person. This might be done for any number of reasons, including trying to show off their artistic abilities in the form of graffiti. No matter what the reason, defacing or destroying another person's property is a criminal act that can lead to criminal charges.

Some people might not realize that even actions that seem more like pranks, such as egging a home, are considered vandalism. Other possible acts of vandalism include keying a car, slashing tires, breaking windows, knocking down signs, altering street signs or spray painting someone else's property.

Governor signs laws decreasing sentences for some crimes

The sentencing guidelines in the state are what the court uses to determine the length of a sentence that a person receives for a particular criminal act. In some cases, such as when a person is charged with a minor theft case or a drug case, the sentencing guidelines are particularly harsh. That means that the prison population is teeming with people who might need treatment or other help instead of simply being thrown into prison.

Governor Larry Hogan has recently signed legislation that will overhaul the sentencing guidelines for some crimes. It is estimated that this will help to reduce the population in the state's prisons by around 1,000 inmates.

Know what probation and parole entail

There are a host of different options that are available for sentencing in a criminal trial. In some cases, the defendant will face probation instead of incarceration. In other cases, the defendant will face incarceration with the possibility of parole. It is crucial that anyone who is facing the sentencing phase of a criminal trial understand the difference between the two programs so they don't face violations of the terms by which they must abide.

Probation is commonly referred to as community supervision that is handled by a probation officer. A person on probation would have to report to the probation officer at preset times. In some cases, drug testing and other terms are required as part of the probation sentence. Each probation officer has specific ways of doing things. You should make sure that you understand the terms of probation, which can include holding down a job and other conditions, because if you don't comply with them, you might find yourself in front of the judge again facing probation violation allegations.

Not all property crimes involve theft

There is a host of different property crimes that can occur. While most people think of property crimes involving thefts, such as robbery or larceny, there are other crimes that involve property that might not be as common. That isn't to say that they aren't serious. All property crimes, even those like arson that don't involve theft, are serious matters that can come with considerable penalties.

The malicious and willful burning of property is the definition of arson. This means that anyone who sets fire to a property can be charged with arson, even if the property is his or her own property. There are certain elements that must be considered in an arson case, some of which can vary slightly.

Domestic violence: Do I really need a lawyer?

Domestic violence allegations are very serious. If you are charged and convicted of domestic violence, the consequences can last the rest of your life. It can affect what kind of job you are able to hold and even where you can live. Even when the allegations are false, it's important to take them very seriously.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself after a domestic violence incident is contact a criminal defense attorney. Even if you don't think anything will come of the charges or you are sure you are innocent, the court system can be unpredictable. The severity and long-term impact of the consequences means that you need to make sure you understand all of the possible outcomes and what defense strategies you have available.

Probation and parole programs often allow warantless searches

The Fourth Amendment gives people the right to not have to undergo frivolous searches and seizures. In most cases, police officers would need a warrant in order to search someone's home. There are some exceptions to that requirement. One of these exceptions occurs when a person is on probation or parole.

When you sign a probation agreement, you are agreeing to comply with the terms of the program. In most cases, one of the terms is that you will make your home and person available for searches when police officers request. There are some probation programs that set limits to this fact. In some areas, only specific agencies can conduct the searches and only specific items can be searched for.

A drug crimes lawyer can help you with your case

When it is time for you to fight against drug charges, you have to decide if you are going to have a pro se defense or if you are going to be represented by an attorney. You might be tempted to represent yourself, which is a pro se defense, but that might not be the best option for your case. There are several things that a defense attorney can do that you might not be able to do.

One of the crucial steps in the criminal justice process is the discovery process. The discovery process is when both sides of the case can exchange information. Making sure that the discovery process is used properly is something that might require a defense attorney who knows how the process works and how to make the most of it.

Your defense strategy can affect the outcome of your DUI case

The outcome of a DUI case is largely dependent upon how you handle your defense strategy. You might find it interesting that your defense strategy actually begins when you first come into contact with the law enforcement officers who suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. At that point, you should do your best to exercise the rights that you have been given through the United States Constitution.

One of the rights that you have is to have an attorney represent you. This is an option that you should exercise as soon as you are arrested. We can help you to make sure that your interests are protected while you are going through the court process. This includes making sure that your right to avoid self-incrimination is upheld.

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