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Criminal Defense Laws

Possession with the Intent to Distribute

A person may not manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance, or possess a controlled dangerous substance in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.

Penalties

  • Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana
    • 1st time maximum of 5 years and or $15,000 fine
    • 2nd time maximum of 5 years and 2 years mandatory minimum without parole
  • Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, PCP, etc.
    • 1st time maximum of 20 years and or $25,000
    • 2nd time maximum of 20 years and 10 year mandatory minimum without parole
    • 3rd time 25 year mandatory minimum without parole
    • 4th time 40 year mandatory minimum without parole

Drug Possession

A person may not possess a controlled dangerous substance, unless obtained directly or by prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of professional practice.

Penalties

  • Possession of Marijuana under 10 grams
    • Civil Citation with fine not to exceed $100
  •  Possession of Marijuana over 10 grams
    • Maximum sentence of 1 year and or $1,000
  • Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, PCP, etc.
    • Maximum sentence of 4 years and or $25,000

Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs

A person may not pass, issue, make or possess a false, counterfeit, or altered prescription for a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute the controlled dangerous substance.

Penalties

  • 1st time maximum of 5 years and or $15,000 fine
  • 2nd time maximum of 5 years and 2 years mandatory minimum without parole

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as violence, abuse, or willful neglect that occurs between two parties who are related to each other or who share an intimate relationship. It is also defined as an individual who has received deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury, or is in fear of imminent deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury. Domestic crime can be perpetrated by a child, parent, grandparent, other family member, spouse, former spouse, dating partner, former dating partner, household member, caretaker, and the like. In Maryland there is not a separate statue for Domestic Violence from Assault and other violent crimes.

Sexual Offenses

&#167 3-305: Sexual Offense in the First Degree

A person may not engage in a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other or if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim.

Penalty

  • The maximum sentence is Life

&#167 3-306: Sexual Offense in the Second Degree

A person may not engage in a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other or if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim.

Penalty

  • The maximum sentence is 20 Years

&#167 3-307: Sexual Offense in the Third Degree

A person may not engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other; and employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon or engage in a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 21 years old or older.

Penalty

  • The maximum sentence is 10 Years

&#167 3-308: Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree

A person may not engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other or a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim.

Penalty

  • The maximum sentence is 1 Year and a $1,000 fine

&#167 11-207: Distribution of Child Pornography

A person may not knowingly promote, distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute any matter, visual representation, or performance that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct.

Penalties

  • 1st time maximum of 10 years and or fine of $25,000
  • 2nd or more maximum of 20 years and or fine of $50,000

&#167 11-207 Possession of Child Pornography

A person may not knowingly possess a film, videotape, photograph, or other visual representation depicting an individual under the age of 16 years engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse, engaged in sexual conduct or in a state of sexual excitement.

Penalties

  • 1st time maximum of 5 years and or fine of $2,500
  • 2nd or more maximum of 10 years and or fine of $10,000

Violent Crimes

&#167 2-201: Murder in the First Degree

Murder in the first degree is the intentional killing of another person with willfulness, deliberation, and premeditation.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is Death

&#167 2-204: Murder in the Second Degree

Murder in the Second Degree is the killing of another person with either the intent to kill or the intent to inflict such serious bodily harm that death would be the likely result.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 30 years

&#167 2-207 Manslaughter

Manslaughter occurs when a person acting has no intention to injure anyone, but death is the result of the unlawful action endangering life.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 10 years

&#167 2-205: Attempted Murder in the First Degree

Attempted murder in the first degree is a substantial step, beyond mere preparation, toward the commission of murder in the first degree.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is Life years

&#167 2-206: Attempted Murder in the Second Degree

Attempted murder in the second degree Is a substantial step, beyond mere preparation, toward the commission of murder in the second degree.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 30 years

&#167 3-302: Assault in the First Degree

A person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 25 years

&#167 3-302: Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree is an unlawful application of force to another person resulting in either, bodily injury, an offensive touching or an intentional freighting.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 10 years and or a fine of $5,000

Carjacking/Robbery/Theft

&#167 3-405(c): Armed Carjacking

An individual may not take unauthorized possession or control of a motor vehicle from another individual who actually possesses the motor vehicle, by force or violence and may not employ or display a dangerous weapon during the commission of a carjacking.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 30 years plus the Maximum for the weapons charge

&#167 3-405(b): Carjacking

An individual may not take unauthorized possession or control of a motor vehicle from another individual who actually possesses the motor vehicle, by force or violence , or by putting that individual in fear through intimidation or threat of force or violence.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 30 years

&#167 3-403: Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon

Robbery with a dangerous weapon is the taking and carrying away of property from someone else, by force or threat of force, with the intent to deprive the victim of the property and the individual may not employ or display a dangerous weapon during the commission of a robbery.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 20 years

&#167 3-402: Robbery

Robbery is the taking and carrying away of property from someone else, by force or threat of force, with the intent to deprive the victim of the property.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 15 years

&#167 7-104: Theft less than $100 - Theft over $100,000

The taking and carrying away of property from someone else, without authorization and with the intent to deprive the victim of the property. There are five levels of misdemeanor and felony theft in Maryland:
  • Theft of less than $100 is a misdemeanor; Maximum sentence is 90 days and or a $500 fine.
  • Theft of $100 to $1,000 is a misdemeanor; Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $500 fine.
  • Theft of $1,000 to $10,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 10 years and or a $10,000 fine.
  • Theft of $10,000 to $100,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 15 years and or a $15,000 fine.
  • Theft of more than $100,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 25 years and or a $25,000 fine.

&#167 4-101: Dangerous Weapons

A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon; Nunchaku, Star Knife, Dirk Knife, Bowie Knife, Switchblade Knife, Sand club, Metal Knuckles, Razor, Chemical Mace, Pepper Mace, and/or Tear Gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 3 years and or a $1,000 fine

&#167 4-203: Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Handgun

A person may not wear, carry or transport a handgun openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 3 years and or a $2,500 fine

&#167 4-204: Use of a Handgun in Commission of a Crime

A person may not use a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, or any felony, whether the handgun is operable or inoperable at the time of the crime.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 20 years and a 5 year mandatory minimum without parole

Crimes Against Property

&#167 6-202: Burglary in the First Degree

A person may not break and enter the dwelling of another with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 20 years

&#167 6-203: Burglary in the Second Degree

A person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence or arson in the second degree.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 15 years

&#167 6-204: Burglary in the Thrid Degree

A person may not break and enter the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a crime.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 10 years

&#167 6-205: Burglary in the Fourth Degree

A person may not break and enter the dwelling or storehouse of another. A person may not possess a burglar’s tool with the intent to use or allow the use of the burglar’s tool in the commission of a violation of a Fourth Degree Burglary.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 3 years

&#167 7-104: Theft less than $100 - Theft over $100,000

The taking and carrying away of property from someone else, without authorization and with the intent to deprive the victim of the property. There are five levels of misdemeanor and felony theft in Maryland:
  • Theft of less than $100 is a misdemeanor; Maximum sentence is 90 days and or a $500 fine.
  • Theft of $100 to $1,000 is a misdemeanor; Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $500 fine.
  • Theft of $1,000 to $10,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 10 years and or a $10,000 fine.
  • Theft of $10,000 to $100,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 15 years and or a $15,000 fine.
  • Theft of more than $100,000 is a felony; Maximum sentence is 25 years and or a $25,000 fine.

&#167 6-301: Malicious Destruction of Property (MDOP) under $500 and over $500

A person may not willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, or deface the real or personal property of another.

Penalties

  • MDOP under $500 - Maximum sentence is 60 days and or a $500 fine
  • MDOP over $500 - Maximum sentence is 3 years and or a $2,500 fine

&#167 6-402: Trespass on Posted Property

A person may not enter or trespass on property that is posted where an individual could reasonably see the posted signs.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 90 days and or a $500 fine

&#167 6-403: Wanton Trespass on Private Property

A person may not enter of cross over private property or board the boat or other marine vessel of another, after having been notified by the owner or the owner’s agent not to do so, unless entering or crossing under a good faith claim of right or ownership.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 90 days and or a $500 fine

White Collar Crimes

&#167 3-701: Extortion under $500 and over $500

A person may not obtain or attempt to obtain money, property, or anything of value from another person with the person’s consent, if the consent is induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force or violence, or by wrongful threat of economic injury.

Penalties

  • Extortion under $500 - Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $500 fine
  • Extortion over $500 - Maximum sentence is 10 years and or a $5,000 fine

&#167 8-301: Identity Fraud under $500 and over $500

A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another to possess or obtain any personal identifying information of an individual, without the consent of the individual, in order to use, sell, or transfer the information to get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value in the name of the individual.
  • Identity Fraud under $500 - Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $5,000 fine
  • Identity Fraud over $500 - Maximum sentence is 15 years and or a $25,000 fine

&#167 8-204: Credit Card Theft

A person may not take a credit card from another, or from the possession, custody, or control of another without the consent of the cardholder or receive the credit card with the intent to use it or sell or transfer it to another who is not the issuer or the cardholder.

Penalty

  • Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $500 fine

&#167 8-611: Trademark Counterfeiting under $1,000 and over $1,000

A person may not willfully manufacture, produce, display, advertise, distribute, offer for sale, sell, or possess with the intent to sell or distribute goods or services that the person knows are bearing or are identified by a counterfeit mark.

Penalties

  • Trademark Counterfeiting under $1,000 - Maximum sentence is 18 months and or a $1,000 fine
  • Trademark Counterfeiting over $1,000 - Maximum sentence is 15 years and or a $10,000 fine

Parole and Probation Violations

Parole and Parole Violation

Parole - Parole is the discretionary and conditional release of an offender into the community to continue serving the sentence under supervision by an agent of the Division of Parole and Probation, until the offender’s obligation to the State for the offense or the sentence reaches maximum expiration. If the parolee violates any of the conditions of parole, the offender is subject to revocation and re-incarceration. Parole Violation - If an Individual is alleged to have violated one or more of the conditions of release, a parole violation hearing will be scheduled based on a warrant or a subpoena. If the offender is found guilty of violating the conditions of release, the release may be revoked and the offender may have to serve the balance of the original sentence.

Penalty

  • Maximum Sentence - Street Time and Diminution Credit Revoked and Defendant must server the remainder of his/her sentence

Probation and Probation Violation

Probation - Probation is within the discretion of the Judge. A Judge can put a Defendant on probation for as long as 3 years in the District Court and as long as 5 years in the Circuit Court. A Judge may also impose conditions on that probation, such as remain law abiding, attend AA or NA, Anger Management classes, etc.. If the individual violates any of the conditions of probation, the individual is subject to a violation of probation and re-incarceration.
  • Unsupervised Probation - Individual does not have to report to an agent. He/She must simply remain law abiding
  • Supervised Probation - The Individual will have to report to a probation agent at the agents discretion and if the agent deems that the Individual is in need of certain services such as NA, AA, Anger Management they can order it.
Probation Violation - If an individual is alleged to have violated one or more of the conditions of probation, a violation of probation hearing will be scheduled based on a warrant or a subpoena. If the individual is found guilty of violating the conditions of probation, the probation may be revoked and the offender may have to serve the balance of the original sentence.

Penalty

  • Maximum Sentence - all the time that was suspended in the original sentence

Expungements

An Expungement is the removal of court and police records from public inspection. This does not include Motor Vehicle Administration records, which may have minor traffic violations, such as a speeding ticket. This process should take no more than 90 days unless there is an objection or an appeal. Each case costs $30 to process, which is submitted, to the clerk at the time of application. Who is eligible?
  • If you have been charged with a crime, including a traffic violation for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed, you may file a petition for expungement if:
    • You were found not guilty
    • The charge was dismissed
    • The charge resulted in probation before judgment (excluding charges of driving while under the influence or driving while impaired)
    • The State's Attorney did not prosecute (Nolle Prosequi) your charge
    • The court indefinitely postponed your case (stet)
    • Your case was compromised (settled)
    • You were convicted of only one non-violent criminal act and you were granted a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor. For a Pardon packet contact the Parole Commission's Office at 410-585-3200
    • Juvenile Waived

Bail Review/Bench Warrant

Bails

Three Types of Bail

  1. Surety Bail: An Individual needs to put up the entire Bail. This Bail but can be put up by a bail bonds man who gets 10% of the bail and that money is not returned.
  2. Cash Only Bail: Need to put up the entire amount in cash. NO SURETY. Bail Bond Companies won’t usually touch these unless there is a lot of equity in a house that they can be guaranteed to get it out. This is the worst kind of bail.
  3. Property: Can post real property if there is enough equity in the house. An Individual needs to bring in the tax bill, the last Mortgage Payment or anything that shows the Mortgage balance, any home equity loans that are on the property and all the people that own the home have to be there with ID. Once everything is signed if Defendant owns the house as well a copy is sent to him in where he is being held and he signs it and then he gets out.

Bail Review

Once an individual is arrested on a warrant he/she is taken before the commissioner and the commissioner sets a bail. The bail can be posted by any of the 3 options above or it can go to a bail review before a Judge. The Judge can either reduce the bail set by the commission or increase the bail.

Bench Warrants

Bench warrants are issued by Judges when an individual fails to appear for court when ordered to do so, a violation of probation, material witness warrant, child support or any instance a Judge legally believes an individual did not comply with an order of that Court.

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