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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

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.

Mentally ill man faces charges after threatening TV station

Sometimes, people do things that they don't realize they're doing because of mental illnesses. Or, they see what they're doing but don't believe it's wrong. If you struggle with a mental illness, you know that sometimes you may not act like yourself. That's what allegedly happened in this case.

A 25-year-old man is facing charges following a threat he made against a local Baltimore TV station. The man made the threat while dressed in an animal onesie; he entered the TV station's building and began talking to a security contractor. That contractor recognized what looked like explosive devices on the man's body. He told the staff about the situation so they could evacuate.

Why should I get an expungement?

When you are convicted of a crime, one of the things you may be worried about is how that crime is going to affect you in the long term. One of the ways you can help yourself is by going through the expungement process. This court-ordered process seals your criminal record, which means it's unable to be seen in most circumstances.

When an expungement is awarded to you, your arrests or convictions are sealed away from the public eye. That means that for the most part, no one will be able to see that part of your past. However, there are some cases where your record may be opened, like if the federal government needs to see your criminal record.

Man accused of having and distributing child pornography

Being charged with a crime is very different from being convicted. In fact, without a conviction, you should always be considered innocent, even if you're a person of interest in a case. Until a conviction, it's not fair to have your reputation harmed by media coverage or other news about the case. If that's happening to you, your attorney can help you defend and protect your good name.

In cases where child pornography is suspected, it's important to protect yourself from the start. There could be several reasons for this to be on a computer, and you may not be the person who downloaded or distributed it on your system. You have the right to defend yourself against such charges and your attorney can help you develop what strategy should be used for your defense.

Can computer crimes be misdemeanors or felonies?

Computer crimes can be very serious in the eyes of the law. Sending or creating viruses, damaging networks, hacking into governmental websites, and other activities are illegal. If you're accused of a computer crime, you need to be proactive about your defense.

While one of the most common forms of crime online is hacking, something you're more likely to see is spam or viruses. Spam, which is essentially digital junk mail, may carry damaging viruses. Some viruses open a way for hackers to access information on a server once the spam has been opened or downloaded.