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October 2013 Archives

New Maryland laws concern weapon and drug charges

A variety of new laws recently passed in Maryland could affect the way individuals are charged.  The new laws concern use of cellphones while individuals are driving and the wearing of seatbelts in cars.  Most importantly as concerns criminal defense will be laws passed that will make it more difficult to purchase weapons and place a prohibition against possessing synthetic marijuana.

Retroactive Application of Sex Offender Registration Reversed

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently ruled that the retroactive application of Maryland's sex offender registration law violated the Maryland Declaration of Rights prohibition against ex post facto laws.  This significant decision was made in the case of John Doe v. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, 430 Md. 535 (2013).  The current version of Maryland's Sex Offender Registration law did not exist when John Doe committed his sex offense.  Maryland attempted to force John Doe to register based on Maryland's new sex offender law.  This law provides that the sex offender registration requirements shall be applied to sex offenses committed prior to the enactment of the law under certain circumstances.  Maryland's highest court held that Maryland could not make John Doe register because he committed his offense before the law existed.   This ruling could benefit many sex offenders who are being forced to comply with Maryland's new, more stringent, sex offender registration law for offenses that were committed before the law was passed.  However, these registrants will probably have to obtain legal counsel and fight to get their names removed from the registry.

Doing the right thing gets Maryland teen in alcohol trouble

Kids will be kids, and, yes, this includes experimenting with alcohol. More and more high school teens are trying alcohol at parties. Although we, as parents, cannot be with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we hope that we have taught them to make good decisions.

Former insurance agent accused of stealing from client

An out-of-state woman was handed down a sentence in Baltimore County for allegedly taking money from a client at the insurance company she had once been employed with. She was said to have been found guilty of one count of felony theft. She was given a two-year suspended sentence and two more years of probation. She was also ordered to pay $826.58 in restitution.

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