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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

Misdemeanor for domestic violence could restrict gun ownership

Should those who abuse others have the right to a gun? A new bill in Maryland questions that and could require the courts to tell those who abuse others to give up their guns.

When you're accused of a crime, it's important to realize that felony criminal convictions negate many of your rights. That's why it's so important to fight back against false claims or when a situation isn't as it seems. Normally, it's felonies that carry the worst punishments, but Maryland is looking to restrict weapon usage for those with violent tendencies. That could mean you'd lose your access to the guns you own.

Is sexting a crime when minors willingly send photos?

Is sexting really a crime you should worry about if you're a minor? Can someone accuse you of doing something wrong, just because you wrote it in a text or email? The fact is that even sexting can be criminalized, and if you interact with a minor or send threatening or harassing messages, those messages could result in a charge.

Sexting doesn't just involve text; sexting is the act of sending lewd material via images or suggestive texts to another person. It can be difficult to know who's on the other side of the texts, especially if you are only dating online or haven't met the other party.

Violating parole: The risk of losing your freedom

What does it actually take to send someone who breaks the rules of parole back to prison? Is it something you should worry about? What happens if you violate parole?

It's actually more difficult to be returned to prison that you think, but it can happen. In most cases, violating a protection order, failing a urine test for drugs or even getting a DUI doesn't automatically mean you're going back to prison. Why? The Criminal Justice Reform Act has been put into place, and that means those on parole may get more than one chance to get their lives together.

False accusations: Fighting back with evidence and the truth

False accusations can hurt your reputation from the moment the accusation is made. Before you're ever arrested or charged, the authorities may already have one side of the story on which to base a bias. Even though the allegations may be false, it's up to you to prove that you didn't commit a crime, just the same as it's the other person's job to prove you did.

Your attorney can help you focus on the details you want to provide in your story. Why couldn't you have committed the crime? How common is it for alleged victims to make up stories to get others in trouble with the law?

Is parole a right?

Parole is not guaranteed if you go to court and are convicted of a crime. While some may believe that parole is likely based on television shows or movies, the truth is that the constitution does not give you the right to parole. In fact, parole itself is a privilege you must earn and not one guaranteed by law.

Usually, when parole is involved in a case, there is a board of individuals who review each case and determine if and when an inmate can be up for parole. These offenders may have been able to prove that they are ready to enter back into society by their actions in prison; for instance, they may have gone through anger management courses or worked hard at jobs in the prison. Parole is a gift to those who show they are willing to work back into society as a helpful and capable person.

Misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes can be expunged in Maryland

In Maryland, those who are charged for minor crimes may still suffer the scrutiny of the public. For instance, if you are a teen or young adult and are caught driving while drunk, you could lose your job and have a negative record for much of your future. In some cases, there were few ways to eliminate the records from public searches, making it possible for anyone to see your background and criminal history.

Today, legislators in Maryland are aiming to reduce the severity of the punishments on those with minor criminal records, so they can more easily find houses, jobs, and get an education. There are currently several bills being written or submitted that could help build up Maryland's laws on expungement, which would allow some minor crimes to be blocked from disclosure. This means that employers, rental companies and others would no longer be able to find out about that one past crime that could hinder a person's future.

Why a criminal defense attorney is important for parents

It's not a surprise for teenagers to make mistakes. When you're young, things that can be against the law or a big deal may not seem very important. The fact is that a simple mistake at that age can affect the rest of a teen's life, and it's important for parents to be aware of that.

Every parent should know how to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney. If a teen makes a mistake, that mistake can be life changing without the right defense. When arrested, teens may not know they don't need to talk to police until their attorney is present, and that can lead to them saying too much or admitting to things they didn't do.

What happens if you violate probation?

If you violate probation, you could be in trouble with the courts. A violation can result in you returning to prison or suffering other consequences, like heavy fines or extended probationary periods.

Violations of probation are usually spelled out for you, so you don't make the mistake. However, it can be possible to mistakenly violate parole by forgetting to go to a court date, forgetting to call or visit your probation officer, or not paying a fine you're meant to pay.

Underage drinking and possession: Your child's future is at stake

Young people often make mistakes, but there's no reason for those mistakes to ruin the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, an underage driving under the influence charge can make a large impact on a teen or young adult's life.

It's illegal for anyone to possess or drink alcohol in Maryland if they're younger than 21. Anyone under that age that has more than .02 percent alcohol in their blood when tested with a breath test can be charged with underage drinking. Underage possession can be a charge your child faces if he's in possession of alcohol for any reason while under the age of 21. Your child doesn't even have to be driving when this happens; the police could raid a party or stop him for an offense on the streets.

Former Ravens player loses contract, found guilty of crimes

If you follow football, then you may have heard about the former Baltimore Ravens player Terrence Cody's trouble with the law. The player had been accused of felony animal cruelty charges after his dog passed away.

Animal abuse can be either a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the cause. For instance, if you intend to hurt your pet, then you can be accused of a felony for abuse. If you don't intend to cause harm, then you may get a lesser charge of neglect. Like in this case, if you're accused of a crime, it's important to work with your attorney to fight back against misinformation and charges you shouldn't be facing.