A recent post here detailed the conditions for conducting searches as laid out in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. However, not all situations culminate in a full search. As Maryland residents may be aware, in some situations people are often detained briefly. The conditions for these brief detentions and stops also stem from the Fourth Amendment.
A previous post here noted that there is a great burden on the prosecution to prove their case against a Maryland resident suspected of committing a crime, due to the severe penalties associated with the felony conviction. The Constitution of the United States of America has provided certain procedural safeguards that must be met before either an arrest or a search and seizure can be conducted.
Felonies are serious charges that come with serious consequences. This is why there is a heavy burden on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and why there are certain constitutional safeguards available to Maryland residents facing allegations of committing felonies.
The potential consequences and penalties associated with sex offense are significant and can be life-altering. Criminal penalties can be harsh and the impact on the personal and professional lives of the accused individual cannot be understated. In addition, a criminal conviction for almost all sexual offenses requires registration as a sex offender with a sex offender registry.
Though all felony charges have serious repercussions, once someone has been convicted, served their time in prison and is released, they have the opportunity to pick up the pieces of their life and move on. As discussed previously, due to various statutes such as Megan's Law, Adam Walsh Act and Jacob Wetterling Act, the repercussions of sexual offense charges do not simply end when someone has completed their sentence.
Even though a person accused of criminal charges has the assumption of innocence-innocent until proven guilty-many people forget this presumption and assume that if they have been accused of a crime, they must have committed it. When it comes to charges relating to sexual offenses and if children are involved, people are even more likely to assume the worst and the charges can taint a person's whole life, even if they are eventually cleared. In these instances, the penalties that result from a conviction can also be very severe.
Much has been said about the long-term consequences that stem from felony charges. As mentioned previously, Maryland residents may find that the whole course of their life changes if they are convicted of committing a crime. At the same time, many also believe that once they have done their time in a prison, they can move on with their lives as they have paid for their mistakes. However, that is often not the end, especially when the conviction was for sexual offenses.
When Maryland residents hear that someone has taken another person's property without their authorization, they think of the terms burglary, robbery or theft interchangeably. However, even though there are similarities between these terms, in the eyes of the law there are subtle differences that could alleviate the level of the crime and therefore the consequences associated with it.
Conspiracy charges, as discussed last week, can stem from either white-collar charges or from felonies such as homicide and murder charges. Those accused of murder in Maryland should take these charges very seriously and work diligently to present their side to the legal system. Though many tend to forget it, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and everyone has the right to have their day in court which they can choose to avail.
Many people in Maryland may not be aware that, when two or more people come together to commit a crime, they can be charged with conspiring to commit the crime, in addition to being charged with actually committing the crime. This means that conspiracy charges carry a penalty of their own and can be imposed even when no one has actually committed a criminal act.