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Maryland Criminal Defense Blog

Marijuana laws in Maryland changing, leaving gray areas

  • 15
  • August
    2014

Maryland has recently passed two marijuana bills into law: SB 364, which decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and HB 881, a law that allows patients to obtain medical marijuana with the right identification. Having marijuana on you in Maryland is no longer a misdemeanor in these small amounts.

Under SB 364, the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana becomes a civil offense. So, realistically, it's not really decriminalized. You just get less of a punishment for having it. Initially, a first offense can result in fines of up to $100. On a second offense, you face fines of up to $250. For a third offense, you can be fined up to $500. If you're under 21 and/or a third-time offender, you have to have clinical assessment completed for substance abuse disorder and go through a drug education program.

The internet crime of cyberbulling

  • 08
  • August
    2014

If you're frequently online like many people today, then you know that you can post images, information and data online from your home or work computer. Did you know that using the Internet to harass someone is now an Internet crime? In the past, cyberbullying was not a crime recognized by the state of Maryland or the United States government, but that has changed.

Cyberbullying is when a person uses the Internet or mobile technology like cellphones or tablets to intimidate, harass or cause harm to another person. For example, a teen posting an image of another undressing or being picked on could be considered, among other things, cyberbullying.

What are criminal cases and their process?

  • 01
  • August
    2014

The process for criminal cases for felonies can vary, but they may be tried at the state level in Maryland. Federal crimes are tried with the U.S. attorney as a prosecutor and a grand jury for the decision. The United States is represented at trial, and the jury must determine if the evidence is great enough to convict the person being charged.

Initially, the U.S. attorney looks at the case to determine if there is enough evidence against the defendant for it to go to trial. For instance, a case of a bank robbery in Maryland may seem to have enough evidence to take someone to court, but if the image isn't clear and it's not certain who committed the crime, he may not have to go to trial. In some cases, the charges will have to be dropped.

Do Felons Deserve the Right to Vote in Maryland?

  • 25
  • July
    2014

Felons typically do not have a right to vote. In fact, it's estimated that 5.85 million people have been barred from voting in elections, according to FelonVoting.org. This is due to a process called disenfranchisement. Not all states are the same, with Vermont and Maine allowing people with felony convictions to vote while they're in prison.

There are at least nine other states that permanently ban certain kinds of felons from voting. It's argued, of course, that once the people have paid their dues, they should have their voting rights reestablished. Otherwise, it could be seen as unfair and undemocratic.

Robbery linked to Maryland man nearly a decade later

  • 18
  • July
    2014

Have you been charged with a crime like robbery? Maybe you are facing a charge for assault or a form of violence. You have a right to speak your mind and to tell your story to those who need to hear it. You shouldn't have to face unjust penalties or charges, and with some legal help, you may be able to protect your reputation, too.

Burglary may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, but it's more likely to be a felony when it involves violence. In this case, the man being charged could potentially face different levels of charges, although it's not clear which charges he'll have filed against him yet or to what degree. The man from Maryland has allegedly been DNA linked to a robbery that took place in 2005.

Maryland makes revenge porn a crime

  • 18
  • July
    2014

Maryland residents should be aware of a new law that will take effect Oct. 1. This year, the legislature passed a law making so-called “revenge porn” a crime. This has been an issue for adults and teenagers alike and usually occurs upon the end of a relationship. One of the parties posts sexually revealing pictures or videos online intending to harm his or her former partner.

Beginning this fall, those convicted of revenge porn could wind up in prison for up to two years and pay a $500 fine. One of the co-sponsors of the new law, a Republican delegate from Frederick County with two teen daughters, had this to say about the ramifications of the new law, "It means that the ex-lover or boyfriend . . . can't use those pictures and other information to have revenge on someone who may have broken up with them or who may have walked away from the relationship."

Maryland boating accident injures 2 men who now face charges

  • 11
  • July
    2014

Here's an interesting story about two people who have been charged with a crime. They were injured while kayaking at a local reservoir, but are now facing misdemeanors for being somewhere they weren't supposed to be. They reportedly fell over 200 feet off the Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County, and now they've been charged by the Baltimore Environmental Police despite the fact that they suffered injuries.

Entering a national forest or federally owned land with a "no trespassing" sign is a federal crime, despite the fact that it only results in misdemeanor charges. This reservoir, however, is owned by the City of Baltimore.

Felony for Maryland man leads to 30-year sentence

  • 25
  • June
    2014

Sometimes, things happen that can land you in hot water. You may be at the wrong place at the wrong time or have made a bad decision. If you're facing charges for burglary or other crimes, you may want to seek a defense to protect yourself in court.

The news reports that one man, a former employee of Amherst County Schools, has pleaded guilty to eight felony charges for child pornography and sexual offenses against three girls in Nelson County.

Maryland part of major traffic operation across 7 states

  • 20
  • June
    2014

When a person is charged with a misdemeanor crime, it may result in fines or short jail terms. It's important to know that as someone charged with a crime like underage drinking, you do have options to protect yourself. You and others in your position can benefit from a strong defense, and the people in this recent report may wish to have one ready.

A report from June 19 states that seven state police and highway patrol agencies worked together for three days during Operation Border to Border. It took place between June 13 and June 15, and it enforced traffic laws through around 791 miles of U.S. Route 15 and 124 miles of U.S. Route 17. The operation was set into place in order to help prevent traffic crashes from taking place along the corridor, which typically sees heavy traffic flow.

Baltimore man accused of violating protective order

  • 13
  • June
    2014

Personal disputes or disagreements can get out of hand quickly when tempers flare, and sometimes legal action results. For those defending against charges such as harassment or domestic violence, understanding how technology and social media can impact the defense is important.

A 31-year-old Baltimore resident has been charged with harassment by a course of conduct, harassment by electronic communication and violation of a protective order after he was arrested on June 1. According to reports, the man violated a temporary protective order that was granted on Feb. 5. The relationship between the man and the other party, reportedly a female, was not made known, and it was also unknown what originally sparked the petition for the protective order.