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Maryland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Driver's license revocation can stem from drunk driving cases

A person who is convicted on drunk driving charges will have several penalties to face. One of these is a driver's license suspension. When this occurs, you can't legally drive and can face legal consequences if you opt to drive anyway. There are several things you should know about suspensions and drunk driving.

The type of drunk driving conviction you have makes a difference in what happens. Maryland law stipulates that a DWI is reserved for people who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .07% or lower. A DUI is for anyone who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.

Domestic violence accusations may involve two court cases

Accusations of domestic violence are taken seriously by the courts. This is especially true when there are children involved in the situation. It is estimated that around 3 million children are witnesses to domestic violence each year. Some people don't realize that domestic violence matters, even accusations, can impact child custody.

For the individuals who face allegations of domestic violence, there is a chance that negative impacts on their parenting abilities might occur. These may be temporary until the court determines exactly what's going on with the children. The court will conduct an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.

How are Maryland's traditional courts different from drug ones?

Maryland is one of many states that offers drug defendants an opportunity to have their case adjudicated via either the traditional or drug court system. Defendants wishing to participate in the latter meet certain eligibility requirements to do so. There are various pros and cons associated with each system.

The traditional and drug court systems have two distinct goals. The former aims to administer "legal justice" whereas the latter is focused on turning the defendant back into a positive and productive citizen.

What's considered to be a probation violation?

It's a privilege for you to be sentenced to probation instead of time in prison. This is why your Gaithersburg judge was likely careful to let you know about your rights and responsibilities when going over your sentence with you. If you violate the terms of your release, then you could be brought up on probation violation charges and sent back to jail.

There are many different types of actions that you may take that can be considered as violating the terms of your release. An important one is if you fail to appear at your probation officer's office at the place or time that they tell you to. If you don't show up for a court hearing as you've been scheduled to, then you might put yourself at risk of being held in contempt of court. Your probation may be revoked in response to this.

Battling accusations of narcissism and domestic violence

Accusations of narcissism can make domestic violence cases difficult. This mental health condition causes a person to twist around situations to make it seem as though they are never wrong. Individuals who are truly narcissistic won't accept the blame for anything and always seem to have a reason to blame someone else.

A person who is being portrayed as a narcissist in a domestic violence case might have an uphill battle trying to show that they aren't the person the other side is trying to make them out to be. This is because putting up a defense may be construed as being part of the narcissistic personality disorder. Still, you can't just sit back and not do anything against these serious charges.

Know the purpose of restitution in some criminal matters

When you're facing a criminal charge for destroying or stealing someone's property, you might have several sentence components handed down upon a conviction. These may include incarceration or probation, fines, court costs and restitution. While most of these are common in all criminal cases, restitution isn't something that is associated with every criminal charge.

Restitution is a payment that you make that goes to the victim of the crime. In the case of vandalism or theft, it is meant to repay them for their property. You might be ordered to pay this, so the person can paint something that you painted graffiti on or to buy a new mailbox if you destroyed theirs.

Breath-testing for marijuana impairment is controversial

Not all cases of impaired driving have to do with alcohol. In some cases, drugs are the culprit. One of these, marijuana, is causing a stir more than some of the others. With the increase in people who are using marijuana and its derivatives, the rate of drivers who are using it and then driving is probably increasing.

The increased usage poses a problem for law enforcement agencies because there isn't a widely accepted test to check for the presence of marijuana. A primary reason for this is that marijuana can remain in a person's system for longer than the impairing properties.

Drug addiction can lead to repeated criminal activity

People who are facing a drug charge often need to get help for an underlying addiction -- but the criminal justice system in the United States isn't really equipped to handle that. Instead, the courts focus heavily on punishments. While this does impose consequences for breaking the law, it does very little to help the person avoid getting back into legal trouble again.

This is especially evident when it comes to possession of drug charges. Oftentimes, the people facing these charges have medical issues, including mental health problems or addiction, that need to be addressed. Being addicted to drugs is something that is difficult to cope with and not something that is cured through imprisonment.

Probation and parole aren't serving their intended purpose

Many people see probation as a suitable alternative to incarceration, but they don't realize just how difficult it is to meet the requirements of the program. In many cases, individuals will use plea deals to work out an arrangement that enables them to be placed on probation. When they attend their first meeting with the probation officer, they're provided with a lot of information about what's acceptable and what isn't for probationers.

One problem that some have is that they don't realize just how seriously the court takes deviations from the program. The supervising officer can file a probation violation with the court, and the probationer might not know what to do.

Problems that come with a drunk driving crash

A person who is involved in a crash might be evaluated for impairment. When this occurs, there is a chance that criminal charges will come out of the situation. It is imperative that these individuals learn about the ways that they might be impacted because of the accident.

When you're in a crash, the officer who responds to the scene can test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage based on the fact that you were involved. This is because there is a reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. If the officer sees that there are open alcohol bottles or sees any other signs, they might be more inclined to ask you to take a chemical test or a field sobriety test.

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