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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

What are some Internet crime statistics for the United States?

Internet crimes range in type and severity, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps tabs so complaints can be registered and reflected on for studies and ongoing research. Each year, the FBI focuses on the places with the most complaints as well as the number of complaints that come in about things like cyber bullying, online sexual harassment and other serious Internet threats.

Being accused of one of these crimes can be life altering, so using this research makes it possible to show the likelihood of a person committing a crime or having the resources to do so. Here are some of the most common statistics that could be used in court during your case.

Protect yourself against underage drinking charges in Maryland

You're young, and going to parties or hanging out with older friends can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, if you're drinking and you're underage, you've put yourself at risk. There are few cases where a minor drinking alcohol won't be pursued by the authorities. If you're caught with even trace amounts of alcohol in your blood, you could be in a lot of trouble with the law.

If you're stopped and a breathalyzer shows you've been drinking, you could be arrested on the spot. It's illegal for those under 21 to possess or drink alcohol in Maryland. You can have a blood alcohol content level of up to 0.02 percent before you can get in trouble, but if you register above that amount, then you can be charged with underage drinking.

Man potentially transmits HIV and faces 18 months in prison

If you had a serious transmittable disease such as HIV or AIDS, you'd probably want to make sure other people didn't get it from you. With medical advances, the drugs you take may be able to help reduce the risk of transmission, but if there's any risk, should you have to tell the people you have sexual relationships with about your disease?

In a case involving a Virginia man with HIV who had traveled to Bethesda, Maryland, police are claiming that the man was attempting to transfer HIV to two women he had unprotected sex with after they met at a local bar. He has now been sentenced to 18 months in prison, because Maryland's laws make it a misdemeanor for anyone with HIV to knowingly transfer the disease to someone else.

Human trafficking to stay a misdemeanor in Maryland

If you've been accused of kidnapping someone or are being investigated as part of a rape or sex crime scandal, then you may be interested to know that while many rape-related crimes are felonies, human trafficking is not. Despite the fact that human trafficking is well-known in Maryland, which is known as a hot-spot for the crime, it has not yet reached felony status. That means those who are accused can only receive a misdemeanor, even though people in assault or rape cases could be penalized via a felony.

While some people may argue that human trafficking is something that should be a felony under law, that's not going to be the case in Maryland, according to news from March 26. Human trafficking, which involves slavery and potentially rape or assault, is classified as being a misdemeanor in Maryland.

What are some criminal defense ideas for federal charges?

If you've been accused of a crime in Maryland, then you may be wondering what kinds of options you have for defending yourself. It's possible to use several tactics to do so. Here are a few you may be able to apply to your case.

Take for instance this scenario. If you were attacked and forced to fight with someone to defend yourself, you could be said to have been in duress. If your fight resulted in you killing your attacker, it could be possible to have the murder charge eliminated if you can prove that you had no motive and were in danger. If you were under threat of bodily harm or death, this is one defense you may be able to fall back on. This type of defense may also be similar to a defense alleging self defense.

Cyber threats and school shootings: Teen faces prison in Maryland

The nation was watching when Columbine took place, and when Colorado was the center of a shooting, millions of viewers held their breath. School shootings have taken place in Maryland already this year in February, and it's not likely to be the last time you hear about this kind of tragedy. A case that's taking place in Michigan relates to every other shooting, as it shows how quick reactions can help, or hurt, a student.

A 17-year-old student has been charged with the threat of terrorism at school. He pleaded no contest to using an app, called After School, to post threats. He allegedly threatened to cause a shooting similar to Columbine.

Protect yourself against robbery accusations in Maryland

There are plenty of situations that can be misconstrued into something they aren't. Consider a situation where you stay overnight at an acquaintance's house. Maybe you even slept together. In the morning, he or she decides you're trespassing and reports you to the police, claiming you're there to rob the home. Even though this isn't true, you could be charged with breaking and entering unless you can prove that you were there legitimately.

If you've been accused of a crime like breaking and entering or robbery, you need to understand the full implications of the charges. In Maryland, theft of property or money with the use of force can be categorized in a number of ways, potentially making the crime a felony.

Can military members defend property forcefully in Maryland?

As a military member in Maryland, you may think that because you have a right to have weapons in your home, you can use them to defend your property. In many situations, defending your property with these kinds of weapons or even just with your own hands can result in penalties. Service members are at particular risk of this kind of situation backfiring thanks to Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

This code states that you have the right to remove someone from your property but that you can't use any more force than is necessary to do so. In order to defend yourself, you'll have to be able to show that you didn't use more force than necessary to remove a trespasser from your property. Otherwise, you can be charged with assault.

The difference between parole and probation in Colorado

If you've been accused of a crime, you want to understand the potential punishments. If you face probation or parole, you'll need to understand what those terms imply. They are very different and mean different things for your future.

Parole is a conditional release from prison that criminal offenders may receive. When a prisoner is up for parole, he or she may go before a parole board who will then make the decision on whether or not he should be allowed out of prison. Parole is also when a prisoner is released on statute. For instance, if the prisoner will be released with active supervision, that would be an example of being released on statute.

What's an expungement in Maryland?

Expungements are better known as a way to remove court and police records from public inspection. Essentially, when you have a record expunged, employers, relatives and even random members of the public will no longer be able to pull up your records.

To be eligible for an expungement, you must fall under one of several categories. For instance, if you were found not guilty of a crime, then your record should be expunged. This won't, however, eliminate media coverage, which can persist thanks to the Internet and archiving news sources. You may have to request those be removed separately.