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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

DUI charges can ruin your holidays if you don't take precautions

Before you head out to a party or family gathering where alcohol will be served, you should take a few minutes to think about how you will get home. By preparing ahead of time, you might save yourself from having to deal with the criminal justice system. The last thing most people want to deal with over the holiday season is seeing the flashing lights of law enforcement behind them, especially when the driver has been drinking and will likely end up in jail.

Maryland has very strict laws when it comes to drinking and driving. Drivers who are 21 years old or older can face DWI charges for a blood alcohol content percentage of .07 percent. A DUI charge is reserved for people who have a BAC of .08 percent or higher.

What are domestic violence charges in Maryland?

Our readers have sometimes read stories about domestic violence. It is important for our readers to know how Maryland views domestic violence. Not only can this help victims who need to get away from domestic violence, it can also help people who have been accused of domestic violence to fully understand what they are being accused of.

What is domestic violence in Maryland?

Juvenile crimes in Maryland are a chance to teach children

In our post last week, we discussed vandalism. That is one charge that is fairly common among juveniles. This is sometimes the result of boredom and sometimes the result of malicious intent. Many parents can probably remember being teenagers and egging a house or toilet papering a house. Those two events are classified as vandalism.

We know that teens will be teens. We understand that you don't want your teen to suffer a lifetime of negative consequences because of one seemingly harmless mistake. As your teen goes through the juvenile justice system, it is important to realize that the focus should be on rehabilitation and helping the teen instead of trying to punish and reprimand the teen.

Vandalism isn't legal in any state, including Maryland

Getting angry with someone might lead some people to do things that aren't appropriate. One of the actions that might be tempting is to destroy or damage that person's property. Defacing or destroying someone's property without his or her permission is considered vandalism. Acts of vandalism are punishable in the criminal justice system, so it is vital that anyone who is thinking of harming someone's property take a few minutes to think about the consequences.

Our readers in Maryland might like to know a little bit more about vandalism. There are several places where vandalism can occur. Street signs, parks, billboards, bus stops, cemeteries, homes, vehicles and any other place that doesn't belong to the alleged vandal are places where vandalism might occur.

What controlled substances can lead to drug charges?

In last week's blog, we discussed a woman who is facing hundreds of charges for the possession of prescription drugs. That post might have some of our Maryland readers wondering exactly what drugs are considered controlled substances. It is imperative to know that not everyone who is in possession of these drugs is guilty of a crime. It is legal to possess many controlled substances if they are able to be legally prescribed and the person who has the controlled substance has a valid prescription.

What governs controlled substances?

Woman faces hundreds of drug charges in Maryland

A recent two-month investigation looking into prescription drug fraud has ended with a woman facing hundreds of charges related to prescription drugs. Interestingly, the woman was on probation in Wyoming for similar charges. While reading about what this woman is charged with and the alleged circumstances, our readers should keep in mind that the woman is still considered innocent. She still has the right to defend herself against these serious charges in Maryland.

The Maryland woman is accused of taking information from patient accounts with Annapolis Billing Services. She was an employee there who was allegedly taking patient information to fill oxycodone prescriptions. She allegedly forged prescriptions for drugs and had those prescriptions filled at various pharmacies.

Court's sentencing wording affects ability to seek parole

For people who are facing criminal charges, finding out the possible sentences for their charges is something that becomes a priority. While there are some guidelines for most crimes in Maryland, there is usually some leeway regarding sentencing. A person can be sentenced to incarceration, probation, fines, community service, a host of other options or a combination of two or more of these options.

When it comes to sentences involving incarceration, there are several different terms that a person might hear. These terms can have a significant impact on the amount of time the person spends behind bars. For many incarceration sentences, a person will have the option of seeking parole after a certain amount of time. When or if the person can seek release from prison depends on how the sentence is handed down from the court.

Marijuana drug charges can have serious consequences

We have often discussed cases involving drug charges. While some people might have a tendency to think that some drug crimes are worse than others, that isn't necessarily the case. The thought that being charged with cocaine possession is somehow worse than being charged with marijuana possession isn't correct. A person who faces charges relating to marijuana might find that there are very serious effects of those charges.

We know that you don't want a drug charge to affect every aspect of your life. Even if you are charged under the Maryland misdemeanor drug laws, you might find that there are negative impacts you didn't even realize would occur.

Federal drug charges will see reduced sentences in the next year

People who are incarcerated for federal drug crimes are facing a new sentencing guidelines as of Nov. 1. The new guidelines, which were passed by a federal judicial panel, call for reduced sentences. This will affect the prison terms for some people who are currently incarcerated, including some from Maryland, but determining who is eligible for an early release might prove daunting.

Public defenders, probation officers and judges will be some of the people who have to work to figure it all out. In Maryland, the first inmates who will be released under the reduced sentencing guidelines won't be released for another year. That, however, isn't stopping officials from getting the preparations underway.

What is a probation violation, and what are the consequences?

For people charged with a crime, the criminal court proceedings are sometimes only the start of them having to deal with the law. If they are found guilty of the charges placed against them, they might be sentenced to serve probation. While probation does give you some freedom, there are still rules that you are bound by in accordance with Maryland law. If you happen to disobey these rules, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, you might face a probation violation.

What is a probation violation?


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