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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Intent matters in theft cases

Many people borrow things from others. Have you ever stopped to think what might happen if you forget to return something that you borrowed? This is a question that usually won't come up until it actually happens.

In the vast majority of cases, a person who loans out something will ask for it back if it seems as though the borrower has forgotten to return it. The borrower will likely return it and all will be well. It isn't often that there is a possible criminal matter at play in these cases.

Know the penalties you face for a DUI

The criminal penalties of a drunk driving case are often one of the most pressing things that people facing one of these charges have to worry about. There are many different ones that are possible. With each subsequent charge, the penalties get worse.

It is important for you to think about what is possible in your case as you are working on your defense. These penalties can have a great impact on your life so you need to try to prepare as best as possible from the start of your case. Here are a few of the penalties that are possible:

  • Ignition interlock: A device that requires you to provide a breath sample before your vehicle will start
  • Incarceration: Time in prison or jail based on the type of charge you are convicted of and the sentence the court hands down
  • Vehicle impoundment: Possession of your vehicle by the court that is usually associated with repeat drunk driving offenses
  • Driver's license suspension or revocation: Takes away your ability to legally drive for the duration of the sentence
  • Probation: You live in the community and report to a probation officer instead of having to go to prison or jail
  • Community service: Having to work without pay on projects that benefit the community

Probation isn't a walk in the park; be prepared to work hard

Finding out that you don't have to go to jail or prison when you are convicted of a crime is a good feeling; however, don't mistake being let out on probation as being an easy way out. The probation program has a lot of rules that you must follow. In some cases, you can compare it to a slightly easier parole program.

You should be on your best behavior when you are on probation because getting into legal trouble can result in a violation. You will have a community supervision officer watching what you do. You must check in with them on a regular basis. For the duration of the program, you need to find ways to comply with the rules. This includes finding a job and keeping it. You also need a suitable place to live.

Domestic violence charges can seep into other areas of your life

Being falsely accused of a crime is a horrible place to be. When the crime in question is domestic violence, you might find that the effects go far beyond just having to answer to the criminal court about the matter. In fact, there are times when every aspect of your life is affected.

If you find yourself in this position, it is easy to get discouraged. It might help you cope with things if you are aware of what might be impacted by the situation.

  • Social life: Even without a conviction, your social life might change just because of the accusation.
  • Career: Some employers don't allow people with a criminal history to hold a job at the business, which might mean you are unemployed or placed on a leave.
  • Personal situation: An order of protection might prevent you from being able to live at home, so you will need to find another place to go.
  • Family law matters: Child custody is a difficult subject when there are abuse allegations. The court might order only supervised visits until the criminal case is resolved.
  • Finances: The costs of a domestic violence charge might weigh heavily on you due to legal fees and possible fines.

Drug charge defenses require proper planning

Facing drug charges can be a challenging situation for anyone. We recently discussed the penalties that you can face in this state for cocaine charges. This isn't the only type of drug that you will face legal troubles over if you have them in your possession or sell them. When you are a defendant in a drug case, you are going to have several decisions to make.

One of the first choices you must make is how you are going to plea to the charges you are facing. The most common is not guilty, which opens the door for you to fight the prosecution's case. The other two options are no contest and guilty. Neither of those give you the chance to try to dispute the claims, so be sure you acknowledge you did the crime if you are considering either one.

Cocaine charges range greatly in severity in Maryland

While cocaine isn't a drug that makes the news very often these days, there are still many individuals who are addicted to it. This poses a very serious conundrum for them because the need to obtain the drug clouds their judgment to the point that they don't think about it being illegal to even have in your possession.

The laws in Maryland are strict, but there is one saving grace here. Possession charges are usually misdemeanors that might be handled through drug court. Even when they aren't sent through this option, the penalties are less severe than those for selling or trafficking the drug.

Swift planning is critical for drunk driving defenses

The warm months of summer are almost over, so you only have a limited amount of time to enjoy some of the outdoor activities that hinge on sunny and hot days. We know that you might not want to think about the leaves and snow falling, but those days are coming. As you celebrate the rest of summer and enjoy fun activities, make sure that you aren't falling into the temptation to consume alcoholic beverages unless you know for certain that you don't have to drive.

Drunk driving charges can make it difficult to enjoy your life. Just knowing that you have a criminal case pending might make it very hard for you to have any fun. Instead, you will probably want to spend your time working on your defense. We are here to help you evaluate the options that you have for this.

Maryland has serious drunk driving laws

Drunk driving is a criminal act that can lead to some serious legal consequences. It is imperative that all drivers have a good understanding of what constitutes drunk driving in this state. There are a few points that might surprise you.

You can face a criminal charge even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .08 percent. While .08 percent is the standard limit for a driving under the influence charge. you only need a .07 percent to face a driving while impaired by alcohol charge. People who aren't yet able to drink legally have a much lower limit of only .02 percent.

Parole violations can lead to some serious consequences

Parole is a way that you can get out of prison without having to do your entire sentence. What many people don't realize is how hard it is to live within compliance of the terms of the program. You will have to report to a parole officer who will make sure that you are following the rules. If you don't, you will likely face a parole violation.

We understand that you might have some concerns about how you are going to make it. Some of the conditions might seem like they are setting you up for failure. For example, you have to have a job. Finding that job can be a challenge because of your record. You also need to have a place to live. This can also be difficult because you are on parole.

Drug overdose death leads to criminal charges

A person who thinks about drug charges will likely think of ones like possession or selling the drug. What many people might not realize is that selling drugs can lead to charges that are even more serious than those. A prime example is the case of a Gaithersburg man who was charged in connection with the death of a person that was attributed to drugs.

The man was a supplier for a drug dealer who sold fentanyl and cocaine to the person who died. He pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to the death of the overdose victim.

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