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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

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.

Is the truth used in criminal defense cases?

People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that criminal defense cases in Baltimore, Maryland, simply focus on lying to the judge and jury in an attempt to get away with a crime. However, the fact of the matter is that much of a successful defense strategy is simply based around telling the truth.

One of the best ways to put this into perspective is to think of a map of Maryland. On a traffic map, you will see all of the lines for major highways, back roads, rivers, bridges, and more. On a population density map, you will see none of that, but you will instead see various colors indicating how many people live in each specific area.

Your rights in Baltimore when accused of violent crimes

All people in Baltimore have the fundamental right to a fair trial, regardless of what types of crimes they have been accused of committing. It does not matter if you just want to fight a traffic ticket or if you have been accused of violent crimes like assault or even murder. You still have this basic right, and it must be upheld. It is critical that you understand this before a trial begins.

It also does not matter how you arrived at the charges. For example, perhaps you are facing weapons charges. When most people think about these types of crimes, they assume that they actually mean gun charges, but this is simply not the case. You can be given related charges for incidents involving all manner of items, such as:

How drug laws and a legal professional can work for you

In Texas, drug offenses are taken very seriously by the authorities. If you decide to plead not guilty, it may be possible to avoid a lot of jail time if you have the right defense. Even if you had the drugs on you and it appears that there is sufficient evidence that you may have intended to sell them, there may still be a reasonable defense available for you based on some of the following factors.

There is such a thing as unlawful search and seizure, and it states this in the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It guarantees the right to due process of law even before you are arrested. If the drugs are obvious and in plain sight during, for example, a traffic stop, then they can be taken by the police as evidence. However, drugs found in your trunk or under your seat are not permissible as evidence if you did not give your express consent for the search.

Why do domestic violence victims recant?

The main thing that sets domestic violence cases apart from other types of assault in Baltimore, Maryland, is that the two parties -- both the alleged assaulter and the accuser -- are from the same household. They may be dating, married or related through paternity.

In these cases, alleged victims will sometimes start out by contacting the authorities, but then they will seemingly change their minds. They will withdraw their claims or they might start telling a different story than the one that they originally told police. They may even begin being uncooperative. This is called recanting. Why do people decide to do it?

What is the true definition of a DWI offense?

You may have heard the term "drunk driving" in the past, but do you know the real meaning of driving under the influence? Many Maryland residents may not know that they are at risk of being charged with DUI, even if their blood alcohol content measures under the legal limit. All Maryland drivers need to know about their legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to allegations of operating under the influence.

What is the definition of drunk driving? In most states, drunk driving means that the defendant is accused of operating a motor vehicle on a road while intoxicated because of alcohol or drugs. Even those defendants whose blood alcohol content level measures less than 0.08 percent may be charged with a "per se offense" if they were driving erratically or unsafely.

DUI prosecution involves many different factors

DUI law often differs between jurisdictions, with the definition of a drunk driving offense seeming to be quite fluid depending on the state in which you reside. Most states, including Maryland, define a DUI as operating a motor vehicle on a road while intoxicated. However, there may be some surprising elements to these definitions that you are not expecting. Consider, for example, that you can still be convicted of DUI even if you have a low blood alcohol content; the fact that you are driving poorly may qualify you for a "per se offense," which occurs with a BAC under 0.08 percent. You may consider yourself a DUI expert, but double-checking the law is always a smart decision.

Several factors are used to determine whether the driver has actually committed a drunk driving offense. In general, those include the location of the vehicle or whether it was on or off of the road. The location of the keys in the vehicle is also a critical factor, as is the physical condition of the vehicle. If the car is inoperable, for example, an intoxicated person inside should not be charged with drunk driving.

Changes to Maryland domestic violence law have major implications

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With serious domestic violence incidents dominating headlines in recent weeks, there has never been a more opportune time for the Maryland legislature to respond to this public health epidemic. Maryland residents should be aware of several recent legal changes that have been implemented during this 2014 Legislative Session.

The legal changes are designed to expand protections for those who have suffered from sexual assault and domestic violence. As of Oct. 1, a new standard of proof will be used in courtroom proceedings in which a victim is seeking a protective order. The previous standard, known as "clear and convincing evidence," has now been reduced to "preponderance of the evidence." This key change will help victims of domestic violence receive protective orders even though they may not have an entirely convincing case.

Violent crimes allegations come in many varieties

Did you know that you can be charged with a variety of different crimes after the death of another person? Although we most often think of homicide as the criminal charge associated with this type of violent crime, other options also exist. In addition to the traditional murder charge, legal homicide and manslaughter exist as charges that may be brought by Baltimore-area prosecutors. Knowing the different definitions of murder and homicide may help you mount a more effective criminal defense against the charges you are facing.

First, let us discuss murder. This is the most serious type of criminal homicide. First-degree murder is generally categorized as intentional and premeditated. What do we mean by premeditated? In these cases, the defendant is accused of making a plan to kill the person; even a short-term plan may suffice. Lesser charges are generally brought for those who are thought to have committed the crime "in the heat of passion" and without prior planning.

Former Governor's grandson facing drug charges for heroin

A relative of the former Maryland Governor Harry Hughes is facing serious criminal allegations after he allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for his drug habit. The young man, Hughes' grandson, is accused of drug offenses including possession and distribution of heroin. The 26-year-old was apprehended in connection with a major heroin trafficking operation on the Eastern Shore of the state.

Official reports indicate that about 20 people have been arrested in connection with the operation, though authorities say that number is expected to grow. The arrests are part of a concerted effort to prevent the flow of heroin and other controlled substances through the Eastern Shore, which is generally considered a "quiet area." In all, Hughes' grandson is facing 20 criminal counts, including possessing and distributing narcotics, along with theft and obtaining property from a vulnerable adult. The young man is accused of stealing about $250,000 from his grandfather to pay for his purchases.