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Salisbury Criminal Law Blog

Should I bring up estate planning over Thanksgiving?

Ah, the holidays. That happy time of year when Maryland families gather together to break bread, give thanks, share traditions . . . and discuss what happens when somebody dies?

If just the thought of the latter is enough to curdle your blood, perhaps it's time to reconsider your stance on estate planning.

Factors that affect your BAC

As the holidays approach, so do more opportunities to consume alcohol in celebration. You are probably well prepared for such events, planning to have a designated driver or use a ride service to get you home safely. You may even think you are fine to drive because you only had a few drinks and do not exhibit signs of intoxication.

Regardless of how responsible you may be, you must remember that many factors contribute to the level of alcohol in your system. Underestimating the effects alcohol has on your body can lead to unintentional drunk driving charges. A conviction can lead to multiple penalties, so avoid the situation altogether by not driving at all after any amount of drinking.

Defenses for noise violation charges in Ocean City, Maryland

Neighbors can become your greatest friends or your worst enemies, or even remain complete strangers. Regardless of your relationships with those who live or vacation near you, it is not uncommon for them to accuse you of some illegal activity or nuisance sometime.

Perhaps you have received complaints about the noise level from your residence, threats of legal action if the noise does not cease or follow-through of those threats. With a qualified criminal defense attorney, you can defend yourself against charges of noise violations in your Ocean City neighborhood.

Understand prosecutorial overcharging tactics

Prosecutorial overcharging is a tactic used by prosecutors to try to intimidate a defendant into accepting a guilty plea. In exchange, the prosecutor will drop the most serious charges.

Most of the time, people think of overcharging as a single act. However, a recent study demonstrates that there are actually three main tactics often in play:

Woman sent back to prison for previous drunk driving fatalities

A Maryland woman must return to prison after setting off the ignition interlock device in her car multiple times. A judge ordered her to serve 16 more years for a fatal 2009 drunk-driving crash.

The 42-year-old woman, who lives in Montgomery County, had been charged with killing two construction workers who were driving home from work. She rear-ended their pickup as she was driving to Virginia, sending the vehicle over a guard rail, and fled. Police apprehended her when she eventually drove into a tree.

Drug-related arrests rose last year -- what's next?

-The Obama administration, as most of our readers know, sought to minimize the incarceration rates and the severity of penalties for people convicted only of minor drug crimes --- particularly those involving marijuana.

In 2015, President Obama's drug czar Michael Botticelli called the practice "cruel" and "costly." He added that "it doesn't make the public any safer." He also noted that "we can't arrest our way out of the problem" of substance abuse, and that trying to do so will cost the country "billions upon billions of dollars."

What are your options when you inherit a house?

After a loved one has died, when people find out that they inherited a home, it may seem like a small glimmer of joy during an otherwise difficult time. However, inheriting property comes with complications, and important decisions will need to be made.

You may not feel up to making those decisions right away. However, it's important to at least begin thinking about what you want to do with the property and seek experienced legal, real estate and financial advice. There are a number of options most beneficiaries can consider:

3 tips for reducing your road rage

There is an important distinction between seeing responding defensively and with fury when you notice poor driving. You might be tempted to honk your horn or tailgate another driver out of spite. It is crucial to remember the dangers of aggressive driving and road rage. According to a report by ABC News, angry driving can be deadly

If you contribute to an accident, injury or even death because of your anger behind the wheel, you could wind up in court. Here are some tips for relaxing while you are on the road. 

How do sexual assault and sexual harassment differ?

The topic of sexual assault continues to be widely discussed thanks to some high-profile cases involving well-known people. Most recently, allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein led the board of directors of The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded, to fire him.

The terms "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault" are often used interchangeably when people discuss the issue. Both can leave a victim feeling violated. However, under the law, they are two different things. Sexual harassment isn't criminal, while sexual assault is.

How can you help avoid contests to your estate plan?

One of the key reasons that most people create estate plans is to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they have passed away. For many people, this means dividing their assets among their heirs.

A well-crafted estate plan can help minimize the possibility that family members and others will battle over it. However, there are additional steps that you can take while you're alive to further minimize the chances that anyone will contest it and cause delays, stress and unwanted expenses for your loved ones.

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