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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Drunk driving penalties are harsh in Maryland

The penalties that you face for drunk driving are way too great for you to take the chance of trying to drive yourself home if you've had a couple of drinks. The goal of these laws is to keep the public protected, and they don't leave room for any leeway.

When a police officer sees actions that indicate a person might be impaired, they initiate a traffic stop to try to determine what's going on. During the stop, they will do a field sobriety test or a breath test. Depending on the results of these, you might be arrested. You will be asked to take a chemical test to determine how much alcohol is in your blood. Before you agree to this, you will be given an Advice of Rights form that outlines several points

2 categories of drug possession charges

Drug possession charges are one of the tools that the criminal justice system has in the war on drugs. Unfortunately, this means that many people face them for even small quantities of substances like marijuana and other drugs. If you are in this position, you should know a few basic points about drug possession charges.

Many people don't realize this, but there are typically two categories of drug possession charges. One of these is for quantities that could be construed as being for personal use. The other is reserved for higher quantities of the drugs, which is said to be for an intent to distribute.

Tips to avoid alcohol during the holiday season

People who are on parole or probation have to abide by many different criteria if they want to avoid having to go to prison or jail. One of these is usually that they avoid alcohol. This isn't always easy, but it might become even more complex during the holiday season because of all the festive parties that they might be invited to.

If you are on parole or probation, you need to go into the holiday season with a plan about how you will handle the lack of alcohol. One of the best ways that you might be able to explain your lack of alcohol is by agreeing to be the designated driver, but be sure that your driver's license is in good standing if you choose this option. You don't need to face a criminal charge for driving without a valid license.

You have the right to defend yourself against a Protective Order

Maryland understands that domestic violence can imperil people across the state. Those afraid for their safety have the right to seek a Protective Order against someone in their family who is abusing or threatening them. Peace Orders apply to people with a different relationship, such as co-workers or dating partners.

Whether you received notice that someone is seeking a Protective Order or a Peace Order against you, however, you do have the right to defend yourself in court before the judge grants the request.

Bill to legalize marijuana advancing through federal system

Many states are decriminalizing marijuana, but this doesn't mean that it is fully legal. The federal government still has it listed as a Schedule I drug, which means that you can face criminal charges for having it even if it is decriminalized on a state level.

On Nov. 20, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted on a bill that would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and it passed. It is expected that will pass the full House when it is presented; however, it will probably have a tougher time in the Senate. The Senate is controlled by Republicans with Mitch McConnell serving as the Majority Leader. He has clearly noted that he is against the legalization of this substance.

Drunk driving is common during the winter holiday season

Now that the holiday season is here, people are going to start attending parties to celebrate. If you are planning on doing this, make sure that you don't have to drive home after having a few adult beverages. This could save you time and money because you won't have to worry about facing drunk driving charges.

Thanksgiving ranks fifth on the list of days when drunk driving is most prevalent. New Year's is at the top of this list. Since both of those days are coming up fast, any driver must ensure that they are either avoiding alcohol or avoiding driving. This not only helps prevent criminal matters, but it can also help to keep others on the roads safer.

Domestic violence defense options vary greatly

Domestic violence charges can come from a variety of situations in a relationship, but the long-term impacts of them are fairly universal. A person who faces these charges often has some very serious life consequences to deal with, many of which manifest before the person is convicted. Unfortunately, this is just because of society's perceptions of this type of situation.

When you are facing a domestic abuse charge, you need to think carefully about your defense strategy. It is so easy to try to point out the faults of the victim, but this isn't usually perceived well by a jury. This could mean that you end up making it more difficult to have them sympathize with your defense.

Drug use may lead to other criminal activities

Drug charges are serious matters that are often the result of an addiction. What many people don't realize is that these charges can also lead to other legal issues. There is a relationship between drugs and criminal acts of all sorts. This makes it difficult to curb the issue because there are deeper things going on than what the criminal court system can address in many cases.

There are two primary issues that come with drugs. The first is that people often turn to illegal means to obtain the funds to get them. They might prostitute themselves or steal to get the cash they need for their next hit. The need to get their hands on the substance trumps anything else, so they will even turn to things that are uncharacteristic for them.

Know your probation or parole terms to avoid violating them

There are many conditions that people on probation and parole have to meet. Some people think that these terms are interchangeable, but they aren't. Probation is a criminal sentence that enables a person to remain in the community. Parole is an early release from a prison sentence that comes with specific conditions.

Both of these programs are based on meeting with a supervising officer who works to ensure that the person is meeting the terms. There are many conditions that are universal between the two, including remaining out of legal trouble, holding a steady job and staying away from other convicted felons.

The many consequences of drunk driving cases

Many different consequences can come from driving while you are drunk that may have far-reaching implications for your future. Before you make the decision to drive after drinking, think about all the trouble you could be bringing on yourself.

For example, one thing that you are going to have to deal with if you are caught driving drunk is the financial repercussions. You are naturally going to have legal fees, but your financial liability doesn't end there. You may also have to pay fines and the cost to repair or replace damaged property. There is a chance that you will pay for damages in a civil case.

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