Sometimes people make mistakes. There isn't a single person in Silver Spring that hasn't made a mistake at least once in his or her life, and most people made a few more mistakes than they'd like to admit while they are young. Although most accidents can quickly be forgiven and forgotten, there are some that come with harsh criminal penalties. Unfortunately, not many Maryland judges will let someone off for merely making an error in judgment.
Many people in Maryland wouldn't believe that it is parents who are fighting against jailing people convicted of sex offenses on minors, but there is a growing movement of parents across the country that are doing just that. While laws criminalizing sex with anyone under the age of consent is meant to protect children, many parents are arguing that these laws are leaving many teenage men behind bars and forced onto the sex offender registry.
The war on drugs continues to wage on, leaving many people arrested and locked up for decades for merely possessing or taking a substance some find objectionable. Others are often kept under close scrutiny because they fit the "type" of person who uses drugs. Some people in Maryland may have heard that certain areas of the country have seen an increase in prescriptions for painkillers such as oxycodone, leading many to assume that there has been a similar increase in the illicit use of narcotics.
Sometimes young people don't realize the consequences of their actions until someone gets hurt or killed. This was the case for a 20-year-old man who accidentally killed three high school classmates while driving drunk last May after leaving a party.
For one 10-year-old boy, life may never be the same. The fifth-grade student is allegedly the newest child to be caught with what appeared to be, but wasn't, a gun on school property. A local district attorney's office has said that it has not yet indicted the child, but it is considering filing a felony firearm charge against the 10-year-old. In addition to the severe criminal sanctions the juvenile could be facing, he may also be expelled from his elementary school, creating both a criminal and academic record that may haunt him for years to come.
Across Maryland and Washington, D.C., there has been an increasing awareness among motorists that they do not have to take a breath test when asked by police. If a Montgomery County officer pulls you over after he or she suspects that you have been drinking and driving, it is likely that he or she will ask to test your blood alcohol content with a breath test, but in many situations you can refuse the test. In some states, however, this could lead to an arrest and a blood draw to test for alcohol in your system.
In some situations, it is better to work with a prosecutor or judge than going through a trial. The only way to know this, however, is to work closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately after Maryland or Washington, D.C., police make you a suspect. Because of the serious nature of many drug crimes, pleading guilty without consulting an attorney could land you behind bars for years, paying a large fine or dealing with an unfavorable criminal record. Luckily for a 21-year-old college student who was arrested and charged with an alleged prescription drug crime was able to get a satisfying plea deal.
For many people in Maryland, the idea that you can be charged for a crime that you did not even know you committed may be a little unsettling. Facing criminal charges because someone else has lied to you casts even more doubt on these types of criminal charges. Although a charge of statutory rape requires someone to consciously engage in sexual intercourse with another person, it apparently makes no allowance for a partner that lies about his or her age. A 23-year-old man is learning that even though a 14-year-old girl told him she was 17-years-old, he is still facing two counts of statutory rape.