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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

Study: Maryland second weakest DUI penalties

While getting charged with a DUI is never a good thing, perhaps where you get charged with one can make a big difference. According to a new study by WalletHub.com, Maryland has the second most lenient penalties for DUI in the country. The most lenient state when it comes to DUIs is South Dakota.

The WalletHub study reports that Maryland also ranked 32nd when it came to DUI prevention rate. Washington D.C. was ranked 50th for weak DUI penalties. Virginia, though, was certainly not at the bottom of any list when it comes to strict penalties for DUIs -- it ranked eighth for harshest penalties and 13th for their DUI prevention rate.

Former Ravens cheerleader accepts plea deal in sex case

A 48-year-old former cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens entered a guilty plea to statutory rape this month for having a clandestine affair with a then 15-year-old friend of her son.

The plea leaves the fitness fanatic who was the oldest NFL cheerleader as well as being a frequent flier on the Baltimore charity circuit with a couple of new labels — sex offender and felon. At her sentencing hearing in August, she faces a possible 15 year prison term for fourth-degree rape.

Understanding child custody and protective orders

Domestic abuse is a serious problem in this country. For many decades, it was swept quietly under a rug, but there are now more resources available to domestic violence victims and their children. Some of these resources include:

-- Domestic abuse hotlines

How do I fight a driver's license suspension?

Your driver's license can be suspended for a few different reasons in Maryland, including failing a breath test or refusing to take one. Once it is gone, what can you do to fight it and get your license back?

Your best option is to ask for a hearing. You have a legal right to do this, and it gives you a chance to show why your license should not have been taken away and why it should be returned to you.

Drug charges filed against Cove Point protestor

A large protest against Dominion Cove Point Liquefied National Gas Plant didn't have too many problems. In fact, it went off with a hitch. Unfortunately, some protesters in the area on March 31 did not fare so well.

According to a We Are Cove Point organizer, Calvert County sheriff's deputies harassed some of protesters who were going to walk on Cove Point Beach. The man said his vehicle was followed and eventually stopped. He said that a deputy -- who was also wearing identification as a Dominion contractor -- told the man that the protesters did not belong in Cove Point.

The truth about underage DUI laws

You've probably heard a thousand times how the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08 in Maryland, as it is all over the United States. You know that blowing a 0.08 or higher on a breath test, after being pulled over, means you're going to face charges.

If you're under 21, though, this law doesn't apply to you. Instead, your legal limit is just 0.02. This is actually a bit generous, as some states outside of Maryland have the limit set at 0.00.

Understanding Maryland laws on manslaughter

In Maryland, manslaughter is not a crime that is defined in the state's statutes. This crime is a "common law" crime, which means it is created by cases. It can be involuntary or voluntary. In most cases, involuntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of someone unintentionally while doing an unlawful act. It could also occur when someone "negligently fails to perform a legal duty."

One of the most common forms of involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone is killed in a car, truck, motorcycle, boat or another vehicle accident where the driver acted recklessly or negligently. There are four statutes in Maryland that deal with drunk driving accidents that result in the death of someone.

Defending individuals accused of prostitution and solicitation

Prostitution is illegal in the state of Maryland. Whether you are performing services as a prostitute or you are contracting the services of a prostitute, the action is illegal and those who engage in the behavior can be arrested and charged with serious crimes.

Simply being arrested for a prostitution-related crime can have devastating consequences for an individual's personal reputation and career. However, if a conviction occurs, then the accused person will also suffer criminal punishments that range in severity.

What are the differences between synthetic and real marijuana?

It hasn't been very long ago that different types of synthetic marijuana began to make their way into gas stations, head shops and other similar retailers. It goes by names that number in hundreds, such as Spice, K-2, Bliss, Skunk, JWH-018, Moon Rocks, Yucatan Fire and Blaze.

The symptoms of synthetic pot are numerous, unlike real marijuana. Synthetic marijuana can cause hallucinations, vomiting, agitation, seizures, chest pain, brain damage and stroke. It even causes death. Researchers are finally beginning to understand more about this drug. They have determined that the synthetic variant of marijuana is not the same thing as regular pot. In fact, the way that synthetic cannabis affects the brain can cause death.

Father acquitted on charges of assaulting his son

A jury in Harford County, Maryland, has found a 56-year-old man not guilty of assaulting his son and not guilty of reckless endangerment. Prosecutors accused the man of stabbing his son during a verbal argument. They said that the man used a Swiss Army knife to attack his son, who was about 23 years of age at the time.

However, the man's defense attorneys argued that the state was not able to prove the charges it was bringing against him and he actually acted out of self-defense. The man's defense attorney said that the state was trying to move forward with the matter without sufficient evidence.