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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Teenagers facing drug charges need to protect their future

Teenagers may not always exercise the best judgment when it comes to drugs. They may be curious about what it's like to be "high," which could lead to experimentation. Other young people are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when a drug offense takes place. Unfortunately, prosecutors in Maryland will not go easy on anyone they suspect committed a drug crime, no matter what that person's age is.

Being convicted of drug charges can have a negative impact on a young adult's life for years to come. Not only will the person face the possibility of fines and jail time, but their reputation may also be on the line. Whether the substance at issue is illicit prescription drugs, heroin, marijuana, or any other type of drug, being accused of drug possession, drug manufacturing, or drug trafficking is a serious situation.

Why is the traffic stop so important in a DUI?

As you drove, you suddenly looked into your rearview mirror and saw flashing blue and red lights. You pulled over, and an officer from a Maryland law enforcement agency approached your vehicle. After a few minutes, the officer asked you to step outside the vehicle and began asking you questions. It soon became clear that the officer suspected you of drunk driving. After a breath test, and possibly field sobriety tests, you found yourself in the back of the police car instead of back behind the wheel of your vehicle.

When you talk to your attorney, some of the first questions involve why the officer stopped you in the first place. You might wonder why it matters what initiated the traffic stop. It matters because without reasonable suspicion for police to make the stop, whatever took place after that may not be admissible in court, which means that the court could dismiss your case.

How long must a convict register as a sex offender in Maryland?

Being convicted of a sex crime can have long-term ramifications, even after an individual believes that he or she has paid his or her debt to society by serving time in prison. This is because a Marylander who is convicted of a sexual offense must be included on the state's sex offender registry. Failing to register could result in a three-year prison sentence and/or a $5,000 fine.

How long an individual must register as a sex offender depends on the crime for which they were convicted. For Tier I crimes, a convicted individual must register as a sex offender for 15 years. Some examples of Tier I crimes include possession of child pornography and travel with intent to engage in illicit conduct.

Maryland man accused of child sexual abuse

Sex crime allegations can seriously impact an accused individual's life. But the potential effects can be magnified when the allegations of sexual assault involve a child.

A Wicomico man is learning this now after being recently accused of sexually molesting a child. The man, age 74, allegedly committed the acts when the child was six. The man reportedly babysat the child several times while the child's mother went to work. A forensic interview has been conducted in which the child claimed that the man forced her to have oral sex with him. He denies doing so. If he is convicted, he will be considered a Tier III sex offender, which would require him to register in Maryland as a sex offender for the rest of his life. If he moves out of Maryland at that point, he would have to register as a sex offender both in Maryland and in the new state where he resides.

Can the public see protective order case records in Maryland?

Being accused of domestic violence in Maryland can be very damaging to a person's reputation, even if such accusations are not true. Unfortunately, the court of public opinion often jumps to conclusions, assuming that a person against who a protective order was sought must have done something harmful to another person. This may make a person who is facing having a protective order issued against them wonder if it is possible to limit the access others have to their case record.

In fact, it is possible for the court to limit the access the public has to an individual's protective order case record if the case was dismissed, and four other conditions are met. The first condition is that the person has not been deemed to be guilty of any illegal wrongdoing. In addition, there cannot be a pending protective order against the person in an action involving the same parties.

Understanding cocaine sale punishment may help your defense

Having criminal allegations leveled against you may feel like the world has it out for you. Though some people may immediately consider you guilty of the charges, the legal system maintains your innocence until proven otherwise. Many extenuating circumstances may have led to your facing serious criminal charges, and no matter how you landed in this situation, understanding various aspects of your case can help you better decide how to move forward.

If police have brought charges for cocaine distribution or trafficking against you, gaining information on how these allegations are handled in Maryland may help you determine the most important aspects of your case to focus on. Because these charges fall into the felony category, you will undoubtedly want to ensure that you approach your case with useful knowledge.

What are some defenses to the crime of burglary?

Residents of Upper Marlboro may have seen crime dramas on popular television shows and movies showing someone kicking down a door to enter a building and steal something. The crime of burglary, however, can be subtler than that.

In general, a crime will be considered to be a burglary if three elements are met. First, there must be a "breaking and entering" that is not authorized. Second, the breaking and entering must be into a structure such as a building that is occupied. Third, the accused must have meant to commit some sort crime in the building. These elements may seem rather clear-cut, but in actuality there are a number of defense arguments that can be made when one is facing burglary charges.

Maryland woman found not guilty of child sexual abuse

When a person cares for a child, they usually do their best to see that the child is healthy and happy. Unfortunately, there are times when a person in Maryland is accused of crimes involving the children in their care. This can be a very serious situation, especially if the accused is facing charges of child sexual abuse. However, it is important to remember that every person is innocent until proven guilty. In fact, recently a 48-year-old Fredrick woman charged with sexually abusing two girls has been found not guilty.

The alleged acts took place over a three-year period. According to the July 2015 indictment the woman was accused of improperly touching the children on the genitals a number of times while she resided with the girls in Washington County. At the time of the alleged acts, which reportedly started in 2011, the children were both under 14-years-old. The woman was charged with sexual abuse of a minor and sexual abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct.

Noah's Law and its effect on your DUI

Lawmakers tread a fine line between punishing drunk drivers and providing recovery options for drivers with alcohol abuse issues. It is often hard for lawmakers to find ways to keep drunk drivers off the road without jeopardizing their livelihood.

When a drunk driver recently struck and killed a police officer in Maryland, lawmakers rallied behind a bill that strove to keep the streets safe by adding ignition interlock requirements to DUI and DWI convictions. The ignition interlock device prevents a car from starting if there is a certain level of alcohol on the driver's breath. The new mandate is called "Noah's Law," named after Officer Noah Leotta.

Several bills in Maryland could significantly change rape laws

Certain rape cases have received a lot of national attention lately, particularly when they involve defendants who, in the court of public opinion, were not penalized thoroughly enough. However unfair this perception of those accused of rape may be, it has not escaped the attention of legislators who are doubling down on rape laws in Maryland.

Maryland's sexual assault laws may see an overhaul if several bills currently making their way through the General Assembly are enacted. Under one bill, prosecutors will no longer need to show that victims of rape resisted those accused of raping them. Another bill would expand what constitutes rape in Maryland to include more types of activities, other than just vaginal penetration. A third bill would make it so if a woman becomes pregnant due to the alleged rape, the man's parental rights to the child can be terminated.

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