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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Fatigue shouldn't lead to a drunk driving charge

Trying to get home after a night out with friends can be a real challenge. You might have to contend with traffic; however, there is another hazard that you might face. What happens if you are fatigued and not driving in the best manner? Have you ever thought about what you'd do if you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving? There is a chance that you might face an arrest even if you didn't have a drop of alcohol to drink.

You might think that a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, such as a breath or blood test, will clear you. This isn't always the case. What if the police officer thinks that you're impaired due to another factor, such as drugs? They might still charge you with impaired driving. We know that this is a troubling thing to think about, but it does happen sometimes.

Parolees and probationers may require a monitoring program

One of the conditions that some people on probation and parole have is that they must have some type of monitoring. This is done to keep track of the person to ensure that they are where they should be and not going out in other areas. There are a few different types of monitoring that might be used.

Many probationers and parolees are placed on a global positioning system (GPS) monitor. This can track the person in real time and gives an accurate location for the person. The court might order this if it thinks a person might be a flight risk.

Look at all the possibilities before you decide on a defense

When you are facing drug charges, you need to think carefully about how you are going to present a defense against them. We recently discussed the three broad categories into which these strategies fall. Before you cross one off the list, you need to take the time to evaluate how it might hurt or help your case.

We are aware that you might not be able to think clearly about what's going on. When you are in the midst of a drug case, you have to be able to think logically about what you need to do. You may need to write out what options you have so that you can think about each one individually.

Criminal defenses fall into 3 broad categories

When you are facing drug charges, you have to be prepared to work on a defense strategy. This is your answer to the claims that the prosecutor is making against you. There are many different options and strategies that you might employ. However, not all will be appropriate for every case.

One of the most important things to remember is that your defense must be based on the truth. You can't lie as part of your defense and think that it is going to help you. In fact, lying can lead to even more criminal charges.

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.

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