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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

When it's legal to drink while under the age of 21

When you're under the age of 21, getting caught with alcohol can mean you're in deep trouble. Fortunately, there are some defenses for having alcohol that can protect you and your reputation, so you don't end up with a misdemeanor on your record.

For instance, if you work in a restaurant that has a liquor license in the state of Maryland, you can legally serve alcohol and possess it, but you aren't allowed to consume it. As long as you're in your work environment or performing work duties, you may possess and handle alcohol as necessary.

Internet crimes: You can face serious penalties

Can you get into trouble for sending spam, hacking into a friend's email account or participating in eBay fraud? Yes, and the consequences might be surprising to you. If you've been accused of one of these or other Internet crimes, your attorney can help you build a defense.

What is the most common Internet crime?

Is sharing passwords a federal crime? Time will tell

It's fairly normal for friends and family members to share passwords to services they use often. For instance, an entire family may share one email account, or roommates may share the same Netflix password and account.

If you share a password to a service that you pay for, does that make you a criminal? Shouldn't the other party be paying for their own services, too? A July 13 report looked into that question for anyone who has ever used a service like Netflix or Hulu. According to a federal court ruling, sharing your password to a subscription service could be a federal crime in the future, and that's something you might want to talk about with your attorney.

What are the penalties for repeat intoxication offenses?

Everyone makes mistakes, but some are more serious than others. If you've been drinking and driving, you know that you shouldn't have been. It's dangerous, and it puts your life and the lives of others at risk. If this isn't the first time, then you could be facing serious penalties for your actions.

What happens after you commit multiple violations of drunk driving laws?

Earning back a life: Felonies and the collateral damages faced

Should a felony affect you for the long term, even when you maintain a clean record? Your attorney can help you work toward having your record cleared through expungement in some cases, but until then, you need to abide by the laws of the state. Maryland's state lawmakers have been working to enact the Justice Reinvestment Act, now a law. The act reforms the current criminal justice system in the state.

Reintegration is important for people who go to prison. They need to be able to get housing, to find employment and should have the right to vote. In many places, people who have been through the system struggle without the support they need; in Maryland alone, over 40 percent of offenders are put back in prison within three years for re-offending. These re-offenses may be due to being unable to reintegrate effectively.

Misdemeanors: More influence in your life than you may think

If you're being accused of a misdemeanor crime, you may not think it's that big of a deal. The crime itself wasn't severe, so that means your penalty won't likely be either. Is that really the case though? In fact, a misdemeanor can almost be worse than a felony today, thanks to the way the court system is designed. A misdemeanor can still influence your life in a few ways, and it's important to defend yourself to prevent this unfair complication from happening.

While the sentence given to you by the court after a trial may not seem severe, the consequences that happen socially are different and can be unpredictable. Fair punishment may be necessary, but having years of complications from a one-time mistake isn't fair.

What kinds of cybercrimes are common today?

Cybercrimes are particularly troublesome in today's world, because everyone and everything is online. Whether it's your Social Security number or a link to your bank account, nearly everyone has some kind of information on the Web.

The problem with the easy access of the Internet is the ability it provides for some people to cause trouble and to participate in crimes. For instance, child pornography rings may use the Internet to share, download, upload and save videos or photos of children in sexual situations.

Woman accused of being involved in husband's drug deals

When you're caught in the middle of a drug deal or other drug-related crime, you are put in a tough position. You'll likely be accused of being a part of the crime, even if you weren't. In your case, seeking help from a defense attorney can help you be sure you aren't unfairly charged.

Your case may be similar to this one in which a woman has been described both as a drug dealer and clueless wife. The prosecuting attorneys claim the woman's husband sold prescription painkillers in a drug ring, and she has been accused of controlling the income from the sales along with her husband's addictions.

Community service: An alternative sentence for some

When you're accused of a crime, you may have the ability to work on a plea deal with the help of your attorney. One of the things you might want to try to do instead of settling for a jail or prison term is to work out a community service exchange.

Court-ordered community service is sometimes a good option in exchange for incarceration, and it tends to be joined with other alternative sentences such as probation, a suspended sentence or fines.

You can protect yourself against double jeopardy

Double jeopardy protection can make sure you don't face penalties for a crime you've already been tried for. There are many reasons that double jeopardy protections have been put into place in the U.S. judicial system.

For example, without double jeopardy, it could be possible for the government to try a person over and over again until they are exhausted financially and emotionally. That could lead to an innocent person being convicted of a crime.