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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

Woman accused of stealing over $350,000 in Maryland

Working for someone else, you know that if you're granted access to company credit cards or bank accounts that you can't use them for your own personal gain. Sometimes, you are granted permission to do so or to use the accounts to make purchases for events or activities at work. In some cases, being accused of stealing money is a mistake, and that means you have the right to protect your good name.

This recent news story describes a similar situation. A woman from Chester has been charged with a felony for a large-scale theft scheme, according to a report from Dec. 14. The woman, a 67-year-old, has been accused of stealing over $350,000 from the business where she was employed as an office manager. She had worked at the company for seven years.

Digital evidence: You can defend yourself against Internet crimes

Computers, phones, tablets and other electronic devices are all used commonly in today's society. What you may not know is that the evidence that can be pulled from these devices could be used against you in court for a number of reasons. Digital evidence used to be only computer-based, including images or emails, but today it includes all digital transactions and communication processes.

Digital evidence is admissible in court in most cases, so if it's going to be used against you, you need to ask a few questions. How was it obtained, and was there a warrant? If not, it may not be admissible. Was the person who collected the evidence trained to do so and to extract that information properly with the right qualifications? In certain circumstances, you may be able to get the evidence thrown out of court if it was illegally collected.

Violated parole? You can still defend your freedom

Parole was something you looked forward to, as it got you out of prison but now, something happened and you've violated it. Yes, that can lead to a number of penalties, but with the right defense, you may be able to reduce your risk of having parole revoked. According to the Maryland Parole Commission, parole is discretionary and conditional. What that means is that if you do something you aren't allowed to do while on parole, the court can take your parole away and place you back in prison.

Some of the most common parole violations include having a gun or firearm, which is illegal for most people with felony convictions, failing your drug test, failing to check in on time with your parole officer, associating with known felons or failing to take part in your community service hours. If you leave the state without permission or even just leave your area without permission, you could face your parole being revoked.

Can possessing marijuana in Maryland result in felony charge?

Being charged for a crime is difficult, especially when it's a felony. A felony can tarnish your reputation and result in a prison sentence if you're convicted. Something interesting that you may need to understand in your state stems from the recent push to legalize marijuana among all of the United States. It is still illegal to possess marijuana in the state of Maryland. In fact, having as little as 11 grams could result in a misdemeanor for possession. That misdemeanor can result in a year-long prison sentence and a fine of $1,000, even though the very same drug is acceptable in other states.

Fortunately, when used for personal use, marijuana will not result in a felony. However, if police believe that you are trafficking or intending to distribute the marijuana you have been stopped with, you will be in deeper trouble. If you are charged with the intent to distribute fewer than 50 pounds of the drug, you could face up to five years of prison and a $15,000 fine. If you have over 50 pounds of the drug, you could be considered a drug kingpin and face up to 40 years in prison. On top of that, the fine is $1,000,000.

Woman faces misdemeanor charges, wanted for warrant in Maryland

This shocking news about a woman being arrested for a misdemeanor is unusual, because it led to an arrest based on a warrant. Police in Columbus, Indiana, reported that they had stopped a 22-year-old woman on a routine traffic stop for an equipment violation. At that point, the officers reported that they could smell marijuana coming from the car, which led them to investigate the woman further.

After the 22-year-old woman was taken into custody, the police located a small amount of marijuana in her vehicle. She was arrested on a misdemeanor charge for the possession of marijuana at that point, but officers looked further into who she was by checking her driver's license. When the license check returned, the officers noted that the woman was wanted under a no-bond warrant from St. Mary's County in Maryland.

Internet sex crimes: Your right to a strong defense in Maryland

Imagine this scenario: You've gone online to a local Maryland website and met someone you like. You're in a chat room for adults aged 21 and older. You had a nice conversation; it might have been lewd or could have even included X-rated images, but because you're both over age, it doesn't matter, right? Well, now imagine what would happen if you found out that the person you thought was over age was actually a teen and now you're being accused of being a sex offender.

If you've been accused of a sex crime online, then you already understand how serious the situation can become. You may already be facing trouble at work with your job or even problems within your own family. If your situation becomes public, people may jump to conclusions before ever looking at the facts of your case.

Online exploitation board leads to arrest of Maryland man

A man from Polson, Montana, has recently been sentenced for creating and maintaining an online child exploitation bulletin board that spanned the globe. Interestingly, at least one man from Maryland was sentenced along with this man in connection to the board. The 48-year-old man from Polson pleaded guilty to creating the Kingdom of Future Dreams online exploitation board, which provided a way for people to advertise, share and exchange child pornography.

It's been alleged that around 40 men shared thousands of images on the board that depicted child pornography. One the men accused was the 66-year-old man from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He was sentenced in relation to the use of the board on Oct. 22, 2014. He plead guilty on a plea and received 180 months in prison and lifetime supervised release. The report states that he had to forfeit his hard drive and computers, and he will have to pay $29,859 in restitution.

Felonies and your rights as the accused in Maryland

Felonies are the most serious of all crimes in Maryland. If you're charged with a felony, it's likely that you will need to defend yourself and your actions in court. Felonies are split into different classes, making it possible for you to face a different number of penalties and punishments based on the class your crime falls in. If this is not your first offense, you may be punished more severely than if it was your first offense.

Felonies are addressed in one of three ways. You could face fines that you'll have to pay back, you could have to go to prison or jail, or your could have to pay fines and go to prison. The circumstances of your crime will determine which of these outcomes is most likely.

What is probation and is it a better than jail in Maryland?

If you've been convicted of a crime and now face time on probation, you need to understand what probation really means to you. Probation is simply the suspension of a jail sentence; that means that instead of spending your time in jail, you can live in your home, stay in your community and participate in the actions approved by the courts.

There are certain court-ordered rules that you will have to follow. You will have a probation officer that you have to speak to regularly to make sure you're following the law as required. Your time on probation will be determined by the courts, but it typically lasts up to three years.

The difference between felonies and misdemeanors in Maryland

A misdemeanor is distinguished from a felony in a number of ways. As a rule, the type of crime is differentiated by the amount of time you could spend in jail. Knowing the difference can help you understand how long you could potentially go to jail if you're accused and convicted of a crime.

Did you know that a misdemeanor is defined as a crime that is punishable with up to a year in jail? You may not have to go to a high-security prison if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, which means you could go to a local jail instead. In some states, a misdemeanor is instead defined as not being an infraction or felony, which means in those states it can be harder to guess the amount of jail time that you could receive.