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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

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.

Baltimore has seventh highest violent crime rate

The city of Baltimore hasn't responded yet to the latest Federal Bureau of Investigation's crime statistics for 2013. The city's murder rate is the fifth highest in the country for cities with populations 100,000 and over and seventh for violent crimes.

The Uniform Crime Report is a compilation of data sent to the FBI by the states. According to the UCR, Baltimore's murder rate increased to 37.4 percent for every 100,000 people. The city reported 233 murders to the FBI for 2013. As of Nov. 10, 2014, there have been 188 murders in Baltimore. Non-fatal shootings showed a decrease of 12 percent.

How a date rape arrest can evolve into first-degree rape charges

As criminal defense attorneys, we cannot stress strongly enough how serious an arrest for date rape can become in Baltimore and other Maryland communities. In our state, the law does not distinguish date rape from any other form of rape, which essentially means defendants arrested for date rape can find themselves quickly drowning in very hot water.

In Maryland, date rape is simply a term for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred during some kind of social event such as a date or a party. In the eyes of the law, it does not matter if the alleged offender knew or had a previous sexual relationship with the alleged victim. All it takes is an allegation of force or threatening coercion for the law to take the accusations seriously. As a result, a conviction of date or any other rape can result in life-changing consequences, including prison time, reputation loss and long-lasting social stigmas.

Drug crime defendants released after federal agent investigated

There are a number of reasons why a defendant may be released from custody. However, it's not very common to see it happen because of an investigation into a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. One such case has resulted in at least dozen defendants being released and possibly up to 21 more.

There is even one man who was convicted, but hadn't been sentenced yet who has been released. The release of the defendants happened very quietly. However, defense attorneys believe that the scope of the investigation is "virtually unprecedented."

Alcohol classes required after certain traffic offenses

If you have been required to attend a 12-hour alcohol education program in Baltimore, you may not be entirely sure what to expect from this experience. Many criminal defendants are sentenced to attend AEP after having their driver's licenses revoked because of DWI or other alcohol-related traffic offenses. You deserve to know exactly what you are getting into before you begin attending AEP; this article can serve as a quick primer.

First, you should understand exactly why you were assigned to attend AEP. You may have been referred to the program by an Administrative Law Judge or a District Court Judge. Alternatively, you may be required to attend the program after applying for a new driver's license after your license was seized because of a DUI charge.

Maryland man charged after knowingly exposing 2 women to HIV

A man who is infected with HIV is facing charges after having sex with two women and the prosecutor believes there may be more victims. According to the prosecutor from Montgomery County, "Our concern, quite frankly, is that he is a serial offender in that he continues to engage in this behavior with numerous victims in Maryland as well as Virginia."

While that was what the prosecutor told the judge, the man's attorney and mother had a different view. They believe that the man "should be considered safe." The man, who is a recovering alcoholic, is currently attending Alcoholics Anonymous, but had two months where he consumed a lot of alcohol.