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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Possession of controlled substances is serious in Maryland

We have discussed a variety of drug cases on our blog. Some of those cases have involved controlled substances. Our Maryland readers might like to learn about controlled substances and why having these in your possession without a prescription can lead to criminal charges.

Controlled substances are all governed by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This act separates controlled substances into five categories. These categories are called schedules. In order to be classified as a controlled substance, the substance has to have a detrimental effect on the user. That effect can be health-related, welfare-related or both.

DUI charges require firm representation in Maryland

In our last post, we discussed the Episcopal bishop who is facing serious charges because of a drunk driving accident. It is alleged that she killed someone and then fled the scene of the accident. The charges she is facing are very serious charges. Despite the severity of those charges, she is presumed innocent until she is found guilty. We know that some of our Maryland residents can empathize with her plight. We understand that facing those types of charges are very serious.

Just the thought of possibly losing her freedom is probably weighing heavily on her mind. Add in the fact that she is being asked to resign from her profession, and you can only imagine the horror she is feeling. That is the thing about facing drunk driving charges that some people don't realize. Not only is a person's freedom at stake, their livelihood is also at stake.

Drunk driving charge and more for bishop in hit-and-run crash

Anyone who drives on the Maryland roadways has the responsibility to drive in a safe manner. People who fail to do so and those who are perceived as not driving safely might end up facing criminal charges. For those people, presenting a defense against the criminal charges becomes necessary because of the severity of the consequences in this state. One Episcopal bishop is learning all about the importance of defending herself in court.

The woman is facing 13 charges after being indicted by a Baltimore-based grand jury. The woman was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident last year that killed a bicyclist. She has been charged with a variety of charges, including manslaughter by vehicle, texting while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol per se, reckless driving and criminal negligent manslaughter by vehicle. Other charges have also been placed against the woman.

Several considerations affect parole eligibility in Maryland

Last week, we discussed the differences and similarities of probation and parole. That post might have left some of our readers wanting to know more about how parole works in Maryland. There are a few basic points that might make it a little easier to understand.

It is important for people who are facing time in prison to understand that parole isn't something that is guaranteed. People who are incarcerated must complete a certain percentage of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. In addition to the requirements for time served, several other factors are considered. These factors include a home plan, rehabilitation needs, possibility of adjustment to life outside of prison, employment readiness, program needs, victim input, criminal history and prior incarcerations. The sentencing judge's notes are also considered in this process.

Similarities and differences between probation and parole

When you read about criminal trials in the newspaper, on television or online, you might come across the terms probation and parole. These two terms might seem to be similar in some ways, but they are actually very different terms. It is important for our Maryland readers to know the ways they are the same and the ways they are different.

Probation and parole are similar in one major way. Both refer to methods of criminal justice that involve supervision of the person who was convicted of a crime. This supervision is done by probation officers and parole officers. While the person is being monitored, he or she is allowed to be out and about in the community.

Domestic violence charges require immediate attention

In our blog post last week, we discussed how the Alford plea resulted in a man receiving a probation sentence in a domestic violence case. That story brings up the importance of having top-notch representation when you are facing domestic violence charges in Maryland. These charges can have some serious effects on just about every aspect of your life.

When an accusation of domestic violence is made against you, it is possible that you will be displaced. That is because you might not be able to return to your home if there is a protective order against you. Even if that is only temporary, it can still be a huge burden for you to bear. If you have children, you might even be kept away from them.

Alford plea results in probation for domestic violence charges

Family disputes can be very tense and stressful situations that make people react in a manner that might result in threats being made. The results of these disputes and the subsequent actions of the parties involved can often involve the criminal court system. In the criminal court system, there are various ways that a person can answer to the charges placed against them.

In a recent case in Maryland, a man who was facing a host of charges walked away with a sentence of one year on probation. The charges he originally faced included two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, driving with a suspended license and reckless endangerment. Ultimately, he only faced two counts of second-degree assault. Those were heard at a non-jury trial.

Factors for prosecution in Maryland

We have discussed a variety of criminal justice matters here. Some of those posts might have our Maryland readers wondering how the district attorney decides which charges to pursue. Because that is such an important part of the criminal justice system, we want our readers to understand this process.

The prosecutor decides which charges to pursue in a case by reviewing information that is provided by the police report. The prosecutor must decide if there is a legal basis to the case and if the evidence is suitable for the case. In some cases, there might be factors that make it likely that the case will be thrown out in court. In those cases, the prosecutor will usually decide not to pursue charges.

What is identity theft in Maryland?

In these days of digital access, a person's identifying information can be used in a variety of ways. One of those ways is for financial purposes. Some people might decide to use the personal identifying information of someone else to gain financially or for a variety of other reasons. This information can be a name, birth date, drivers' license number, Social Security number or any other information. It is important for our Maryland readers to know some basic information about identity theft.

How is identity theft classified in the criminal justice system?

Are domestic violence charges more common during the holidays?

There is a thought that domestic violence incidents increase around the holidays. Some people cite statistics from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence's compilation to refute that thought. Others say that those statistics show only part of the story, and a study done in Idaho backs that claim. No matter which side of the fence our readers in Maryland are on, the fact remains that domestic violence charges are some horrible charges for anyone to face.

When does domestic violence occur?

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