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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Fatal accident leads to criminal charges for teen accused of DUI

A Gaithersburg teen has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter charges that stem from an alleged drunk driving accident that injured one person and killed two people in June of 2015. That teen, who is now 19 years old, was preparing for an upcoming jury trial when he decided to plead guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. The other charges against him have been dropped.

The teen was facing a host of other charges. These included two counts of homicide by a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, as well as one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing a life-threatening injury. With his guilty plea, those charges were dropped and only the two counts of vehicular manslaughter remain.

Burglary charge defenses can include affirmation or denial

Burglary charges have several elements that must be present in order for the case to be proven. As part of a defense strategy in Maryland and around the country, it is often necessary to challenge at least one of the elements that the prosecution must prove. Doing so can mean that you have to decide on the type of defense strategy that you are going to use for your case.

There are two basic defense strategy types for burglary cases. One of these is the affirmative defense. The other is the denial or claim of total innocence. It is very important that you consider how each will apply to the case against you.

Mistakes could lead to life-long consequences

Drunk driving charges are often the direct result of failing to think things through when you should. If you are going to a party that you know will include alcohol, you should make sure that you have a plan for getting home. If you don't plan ahead and end up driving home, you might end up facing criminal charges.

We understand that many drunk driving charges stem from a mistake. You mistakenly think that you are sober enough to drive. You mistakenly drank one too many drinks. In these cases, you might feel bad about your actions but you don't want those actions to leave you with serious penalties that will last for a long time.

Domestic violence allegations have lasting impacts

Whether or not you are convicted, domestic violence allegations can have a lasting impact on your entire life. If you are convicted, those impacts can be especially exacerbated. A history of domestic violence can impact your employment, relationships with children and others, the ability to rent an apartment, credit and professional standing.

According to reports, both landlords and mortgage lenders are wary of dealing with individuals who have a domestic violence conviction on the books. This is due in part to some states having laws regarding how a landlord can enforce lease agreements in the presence of a domestic violence conviction and the fact that lenders have seen a history of defaults among people with certain criminal backgrounds. Is it fair? It really isn't, because your situation is unique. But these things are possible if you have a conviction on your record.

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