Baltimore Criminal Defense Law Blog

Baltimore works to help juvenile offenders

Many young people get into trouble at some point. For many, it will be something minor and no concern of the law. Others, however, sometimes unknowingly, go a step too far. The unfortunate thing is that this can result in a mark on your record that can severely impact your future. However, in a bid to help youths break out of a downward spiral of illegal activity, Baltimore, Maryland, has initiated an intervention operation.

In a previous post, we looked at the implications of juvenile delinquency and how offenses are classified into two general types. As we saw, in some cases juveniles may be tried as adults, depending on the nature of the crime. Others may be deemed to have committed relatively minor offenses. In general, it is these youths that Baltimore's initiative targets.

Being implicated in drug distribution could destroy your future

Drug charges of any nature are taken extremely seriously in Maryland. Even relatively minor drug-related offenses can carry hefty penalties, as we saw in our discussion of drug classifications. Simply having a controlled substance in your possession illegally is enough to get you into trouble, resulting in fines or even time in prison. However, if you are thought to be involved in the distribution of that substance, you could face even harsher consequences.

In comparison with a sentence for possession, a distribution sentence can be as much as five times as long. This could mean losing a substantial portion of your life to a prison sentence. Furthermore, such a conviction mars your record and can cause you issues with finding future employment. You can even be charged for intending to distribute, whether or not you were successful in the endeavor.

What sort of actions are classed as assault?

Allegations of violent crimes can have serious repercussions. Maryland's authorities take such matters extremely seriously, as many of these incidents can result in serious injuries, emotional trauma or even death for those affected. However, it is possible that you could be accused of such a crime without realizing that you were doing anything illegal.

As is explained here, an assault charge does not require you to have physically harmed someone. It is enough if they simply believed you were about to do them harm. Although it is unusual, this could be caused by an act as simple as raising your voice in anger, if it is accompanied by a threatening demeanor. If the person affected can have a reasonable fear that they might come to immediate harm they may have a case against you for assault.

BAC plays a major role in drunk driving investigations

If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, you are likely to be asked to submit to a number of tests. Several of these may focus on determining your blood alcohol concentration. If it is found to be at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you may be charged. There are several methods that can be applied to determine your BAC, as is explained here.

In general, these tests involve the use of samples collected from your body. This can include the following:

  • Breath
  • Hair follicles
  • Body fluids such as blood, saliva or urine

Accused in molestation case faces 135-year sentence

Few charges are taken more seriously than those related to sexual offenses. Crimes of this nature have a severe and lasting impact on those involved, potentially changing the course of their lives. As such, the penalties for sex crimes are often severe, varying depending on the nature of the offenses of which you have been accused. 

How are drugs classified under law?

If you are facing drug-related charges, one of the things that may have come up is the schedule of drug you are suspected of having used or possessed. The schedule of a drug can have an impact on the severity of the charges against you and the penalties they may carry. We have seen previously how even the presence of drugs on your property can land you in trouble, but what dictates which schedule a drug falls into?

There are five schedules in all, each governed by specific rules. These depend on a drug's perceived potential for abuse, along with whether it has an approved medical use. For example, Schedule V drugs, such as codeine-infused cough syrups, tend to be thought of as having low potential for abuse or dependence. They also have been approved for medical use, so it is possible to acquire a prescription for them legally.

Juvenile criminal charges could drastically affect your future

Being suspected of involvement in a crime has serious implications for anybody. But what if you are still a minor? Or what if your child is accused of an offense? The implications can still be severe and the penalties could have a drastic affect on an individual's future. However, there are some different rules that apply when being tried as a minor. As we have seen in a previous post, juveniles have a few extra rights when dealing with the criminal justice system.

One of the ways in which the process differs for people under 18 years old is that they appear before a master rather than a judge. Furthermore, they do not choose to plead guilty, but instead either admit or do not admit to committing an offense. These cases are not made open to the public.

Be aware of implied consent laws before refusing a breath test

Everyone's limits are different and a good rule of thumb when it comes to drinking and driving is simply not to drive when you have had a drink. Of course, there are many reasons someone may be pulled over by police on suspicion of driving under the influence. What if you were overly tired, making your concentration poor, or your vehicle began to malfunction suddenly? We have discussed previously the sort of things to expect during a DUI stop.

It is important to understand that although officers will be looking for evidence that you may be intoxicated, being pulled over does not mean you will be charged. However, if you have had a drink and you are unsure if you are under the limit, you might feel inclined to refuse tests such as submitting to a Breathalyzer for fear of incriminating yourself.

Maryland man found not guilty

Being investigated for a criminal offense can be deeply distressing, especially if you know you did nothing wrong. The damage to your reputation along with the effects on your family and your relationships with friends and employers can be devastating. Furthermore, you have the worry of a potential conviction. However, you are to be considered innocent unless proven guilty, so it is important not to lose hope.

In Maryland, a 29-year-old man who was accused of being involved in a murder has been found not guilty. On Thanksgiving morning in 2013, a 35-year-old man was killed in his residence in Somerset County. It had been alleged that two individuals had been told by the 29-year-old man and another individual to go to the residence. Authorities claim that one of the two individuals who were allegedly told to go to the residence fired the shots that killed the 35-year-old man.

What does it mean to be classed as a juvenile delinquent?

Most people will remember a time when they were young that they did something they should not have and got into trouble. Some will have done more serious things than others, but at the heart of the matter is the fact that minors are often curious, mischievous and daring. As a result, they may not always make the best decisions. Unfortunately, such habits can occasionally cause them to come into conflict with the law.