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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Understanding the difference between parole and probation

Maryland residents who have been charged with a crime may be wondering about the definition of two important legal terms: probation and parole. Criminal defense attorneys know that these two concepts are very different, even though they both feature a form of supervised release. Understanding probation and parole rules can help you and your attorney identify the best strategies for defending your criminal case.

Probation and parole may sound the same, but there are striking differences between these two programs. Probation is considered part of a criminal sentence. That is, when someone is sentenced in connection with a minor crime, he or she may be required to comply with some supervised release regulations. Probation is generally reserved for nonviolent, first-time offenders. These defendants are sentenced to suspended jail terms that will not be served unless the person violates the terms of probation. In general, these terms include checking in with a probation officer, along with attending drug and alcohol classes or other educational events.

Complaint in Maryland leads to drug charges

Reports are now coming out about an arrest that happened in St. Michaels, Maryland, back on the July 24. The whole incident began when someone -- who was not named -- called the St. Michaels Police Department to lodge a complaint. He or she said that someone was illegally using marijuana.

The complaint came from a building that was located down on Talbot Street. Police officers responded to it to investigate the situation. They were accompanied by the special Talbot narcotics task force.

Man denied bail in Maryland, extensive criminal history presented

For some people, what they have done in the past has a way of coming back to them at a time when they least expect it. In some cases, the past can hinder them from being able to move forward with their future as they have it planned. For one Maryland man, an extensive criminal history seems to have played a part in a recent court hearing. That court hearing has resulted in him being held without bail.

The man was stopped on Interstate 95. During the stop, he allegedly said his name was Robert Ernest Johnson, but later changed his first name to Roger. Neither was his real name. While he was stopped, authorities allegedly found suspected heroin, as well as two glass pipes that contained what was suspected to be crack cocaine.

Sisters allegedly fight, 1 now faces domestic violence charges

When most people hear the term domestic violence, they often think of a spouse who is abusing another spouse. That, however, is a misconception because in Maryland, being married isn't necessary to face a domestic violence charge. A recent case between sisters highlights this point.

Two sisters got into an altercation in Easton. One of the sisters is facing criminal charges for domestic assault. It is alleged that she injured her sister during an argument. The woman was released on her own recognizance after being taken into custody and having to face the district court commissioner.

Man charged with arson held on probation violation without bond

The past has a way of catching up with us. After an investigation of a year and a half, one Maryland man is now facing charges from an incident that occurred in 2012. According to the chief/public affairs officer, the man is being held on a probation violation without bond. He allegedly was the person who was responsible for starting a fire on Nov. 14 of that year at the Loudoun County Community Corrections Office. An estimated $200,000 in damaged was caused by that fire. The community corrections office had to be relocated. While it is believed that a fire at the office's new location was related to the November fire, the Dec. 19 fire is still under investigation.

At the time of the Nov. 2012 fire, the man who has been charged with arson of a building, two counts of a fire bomb used to commit arson, and conspiracy to commit a felony, had sentencing pending after a guilty plea for possession of methadone. He was ultimately sentenced to two years of probation and 18 months of suspended jail time for the possession of methadone charge.

Man and many others face drug charges for cross-country operation

In a country that is supposed to be free, some might find it shocking that there is still such a focus being placed on people who sell drugs to adults who want to experience their effects. Recently, at least 16 people have been charged in connection with an interstate narcotics trafficking scheme. The main person netted in the sting was a 46-year-old man. This case might interest readers in Maryland since seven of the accused people are facing drug charges in the U.S. District Court in Maryland.

The operation was said to be a cross-country drug ring that was getting heroin to various locations around the country. The main person netted in the sting is accused of bringing shipments of multiple kilograms of the drug into Baltimore. With an average wholesale price of around $60,000 per kilogram of heroin in the Baltimore region, it is easy to see that this man was pushing serious weight.

Fatal Maryland hit-and-run leads to drunk driving charges

A woman was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident that recently took place near the campus of the University of Maryland. She was just 21 years old. The police have now arrested the man that they believe to be responsible, and they believe that he may have been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

The accident itself happened on Baltimore Avenue, and it took place around 3 a.m. The man, who is 33 years old and who comes from Virginia, was driving a minivan in close proximity to the College Park Shopping Center. The young woman was crossing the road when she was hit.

Maryland police track cell phone to chase down stolen $150,000

An employee who was working at a casino in Maryland allegedly decided to take a chance to bring home some extra cash after spotting a pile of $100 bills at work. He grabbed the money before ending his shift, and the total value of the stack was $150,000.

However, the security crew at the casino, along with the police force, found out about what he had done and worked very quickly to figure out where he was. They used a somewhat unconventional but very productive tactic, deciding that they would track his mobile phone in order to figure out where he -- and the money -- were headed.

Drug charges filed based on package mailed to a Maryland address

When most people think about someone being busted for drugs, they think of police raiding a home or drugs being found during a traffic stop. A recent case in Maryland shows that there are some other instances in which law enforcement officials might allege that drugs were located. In the case of a St. Mary's County man, a package being delivered via the United States Postal Service is what landed him behind bars.

The package was reportedly being sent to a 25-year-old man in Hollywood, Maryland. After receiving a search warrant, the package was inspected. Representatives from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, and a K-9 deputy worked on the case.

33-year Maryland fugitive granted parole after turning himself in

People make mistakes in life, but there are some instances in which a person's desire to make the mistake right can help them to get closure for the incident. A recent case involving a man who escaped a pre-release program in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1980 recently turned himself into law enforcement officials.

The man has lived under an assumed name until he turned himself in. He had been in prison since he was 18 years old. He is now 63 years old. He traveled around some after escaping and finally settled down in Oklahoma, where he got a job.

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