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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

What types of behavior can be domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a serious problem in Maryland and the rest of the country. It can affect men and women, the young and old, the gay and straight and family members. Children are often victims, too.

Some people may not be aware of what actions can be called domestic violence. Below, you will find a list of the type of actions that law enforcement can file domestic violence or domestic abuse charges for.

Sentences for various assault crimes in Maryland

If you have been accused of the crime of assault in Maryland, you need to know what legal options you have and how the process is going to work. At the same time, it is wise to know what types of sentences you could be facing. This knowledge will allow you and your legal team to seek out the best possible outcome, and you will know if your sentence -- if one is given out -- is fair and just. Below are a few examples.

Assault Due to Attempted Poisoning

Second trial begins in Baltimore murder case

In April 2011, the body of a student from North Carolina was found floating in the Susquehanna River. She had been in Baltimore visiting her sister. Her sister's boyfriend was charged with the teenager's murder.

The first trial occurred in February 2013. The state's primary witness was an inmate who told police and prosecutors that the defendant had asked him to help get rid of the teen's body. The jury in that trial had found the defendant guilty of second-degree murder; however, the judge threw out that verdict, saying that the prosecution didn't tell the defense everything about the witness. Apparently, the witness had testified in two other trials that were not related to this case. He would have been used as a witness in another murder trial, but an officer didn't believe he was credible. It's this last bit of information that was held from the defense.

Rehabilitation after sex crimes in Maryland

There are many different crimes in Maryland that technically qualify as sex offenses. Many of these offenses may result in jail time, if there is a conviction, and they could also lead to your name being put on the Sex Offender Registry. In some cases, your name just stays on the registry for a number of years, but other cases can leave your name on it for the rest of your life.

However, is simply serving your time your only legal option? Even if you are planning on pleading guilty to the charges, you have a few options that you should be aware of. There are multiple ways that sex offenses are treated, and you should know about the option to use rehabilitation, rather than only incarceration -- though, it is worth noting that the two are sometimes used together.

Drug charges for ex-Harford councilman result in $20,000 bail

An ex-Harford, Maryland, councilman is facing charges for multiple drug crimes. It isn't his first run-in with law enforcement, either. He was arrested in 2012 for various DWI-related charges. The 45-year-old man recently appeared in front of a Harford County circuit court judge after a grand jury indicted him on four drug charges.

Those charges were for felony possession of drugs with intent to distribute, a felony for keeping and maintaining a common nuisance, a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor charge of drug paraphernalia. According to prosecutors, the former councilman was in possession of seven bags of marijuana, with a combined weight of about two and one-quarter pounds. The drugs were found in a home in Darlington, Maryland, by investigators with the Harford County Task Force. According to court records, the house where the drugs were found is not the same as the one listed as the man's home address.

Laws and penalties for marijuana possession in Maryland

The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic across the country for the last several years. While there are currently only two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use (Washington and Colorado), other states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug. Maryland is one of those states.

In Maryland, the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is not a criminal offense. You cannot be arrested, but you can be fined for it. The first time a person is caught, the fine is $100. The second time, it is $250. There are criminal penalties, though, for possessing over 10 grams of marijuana.

Sex offender registration in Maryland has a major impact

Being on the sex offender registry in Maryland can cause significant damage to your reputation. It could even impact your options in the professional world. That is why it is so important that you know all of the ins and outs of the law, along with all of your legal options if you are told that you have to register.

For example, you should know how long you have to be on the registry. This is something that is determined at the state level, and Maryland has split things up into three tiers: I, II and III. The first tier means that you are on the list for 15 years, the second means that you are on it for 25 years, and the third means that you have to register for life.

The prevalence of drunk driving in Maryland

In Maryland, 24,000 drivers have been pulled over and arrested when police discovered that they were driving under the influence in a single year. These statistics are for 2008, but those numbers give you a good idea of the prevalence of these charges -- of how often residents just like yourself face them.

The fact of the matter is that these drivers do not plan to cause problems; most of them don't even plan to break the law, and some of them may not even realize that they are. They just want to go to dinner and have a drink, or maybe they want to meet up with friends after work for a few beers.

What is aggravated assault in Maryland?

Are you or is someone you love facing a charge for aggravated assault? If so, you may not understand why the charge was listed that way instead of as just an assault charge.

A charge of aggravated assault is depending on other factors rather than just an intent to injure someone or a minor injury to someone. Those other factors might include:

What is drug paraphernalia?

Most people know that the possession of drugs like heroin, marijuana, cocaine and other narcotics can land a person in jail if convicted of the crime. What many people are not aware of, though, is that possessing drug paraphernalia -- items related to drugs -- can also get one into trouble with the law. Indeed, it is important that Maryland residents familiarize themselves with what kinds of drug paraphernalia are illegal in order to avoid getting arrested for inadvertently possessing such paraphernalia.

Federal drug paraphernalia laws and state drug paraphernalia laws tend to differ from each other. Under federal law, it is illegal to sell drug paraphernalia. Under federal statutes, it is also illegal to mail drug paraphernalia from state to state, and to import and export drug paraphernalia. In certain states, it is illegal to possess specific drug paraphernalia items.