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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.

The new law concerning weapons will require anyone purchasing a handgun to undergo safety training and to be fingerprinted.  Magazines for guns will now be limited to 10 rounds.  Finally, as many as 45 different assault type weapons have now been banned.

The prohibition on synthetic marijuana will now include bans on substances known as Spice and K2. These will now be referred to as dangerous substances. Possession of these substances could result in criminal penalties.

We will likely now see a number of individuals arrested for offenses that they did not know even existed. This can occur anytime that new laws are put into place. Unfortunately, whether individuals arrested do or do not have knowledge of the new restrictions, county prosecutors may still prosecute these new laws as aggressively as the old laws. This may be especially true when it comes to young adults arrested for drug or weapons charges.

Criminal defense attorneys understand the dilemma that anyone faces when they are criminally charged for crimes they may not have known existed. Though these individuals may not escape fines or jail time for their alleged actions, the argument can still be made that the courts should not come down hard on such individuals.

Source: In The Capital, "5 New MD Laws That'll Affect How You Drive, Smoke Weed & Buy Guns," Anthony Sodd, Sep. 30, 2013

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