Posted On: September 26, 2012

What are the Penalties for Identity Theft in Maryland?

MD Identity Theft PenaltiesAccording to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), identity theft refers to any type of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, and typically is done for economic gain.

Maryland state law prohibits several types of identity theft, and the following are three forms deemed illegal under state law and the penalties for each:

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Posted On: September 24, 2012

Lawmakers in MD Request Law be Upheld that Allows for DNA Collection

Maryland DNA Collection LawAccording to a news report by The Baltimore Sun, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Maryland has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state law that allows police to collect DNA samples from those arrested for violent crimes and some burglary crimes. The group of lawmakers, led by Montgomery County Del. Sam Arora, asserts that the law is a critical tool for law enforcement and should be reinstated as it has helped put rapists and other criminals behind bars. Presently, 18 others have signed the amicus brief, and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has also asked the Supreme Court to uphold the law.

The 2008 DNA collection law was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals in April when court judges agreed with civil liberties groups that argued that people are presumed innocent at the time of arrest. The groups also stated during the case that only a small fraction of law enforcement’s DNA collections lead to arrests; for example, more than 10,000 samples were collected in 2011, but only 19 people were arrested and even less were convicted as a result.

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Posted On: September 17, 2012

Crime Rates in Maryland at Historic Lows

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, crime in Maryland has dropped to its lowest levels since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began tracking national crime data in 1975. Governor Martin O’Malley recently released the crime data for 2011, which shows property crime and violent crimes are at historic lows. The total number of reported crimes in MD has dropped by 4.6 percent with almost 10,000 fewer crimes reported compared to 2010. Arrests in Maryland have also decreased by three percent.

Overall, the number of crimes and the total crime rate were the lowest in Maryland since the FBI adopted its Uniform Crime Reporting Program in 1975.

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Posted On: September 14, 2012

MD Task Force Examining Laws & Policies Regarding Gun Access by Mentally Ill

MD Gun Access LawA state task force comprised of gun rights representatives, mental health advocates, and police is examining current laws and policies governing gun access by the mentally ill and may propose changes to existing guidelines. The Baltimore Sun reports that the 17-member panel will consider several different questions, including whether the criteria for finding someone dangerous should be changed, whether the 30-day state hospital that triggers a prohibition on purchasing firearms should be revised, and also whether there should be a court process for restoring gun ownership rights.

Created by legislators in the spring, the state task force is expected to make recommendations to the governor at the end of the year.

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Posted On: September 12, 2012

What Questions You Should Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney

MD Criminal DefenseFacing criminal charges in Maryland can be very frightening, and from the time of the arrest to your trial it can be a confusing, upsetting, and difficult time. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is extremely important that you hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

The benefits of hiring professional legal counsel are many. An experienced criminal defense attorney can build an aggressive defense on your behalf in order to protect your future and, negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.

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Posted On: September 6, 2012

Alleged Baltimore School Shooter Indicted on 29 Counts

As reported by WFTV.com, a 15-year-old high school sophomore was recently indicted by a Baltimore County grand jury on 29 counts related to the shooting of a classmate. The report notes that the high school student brought an antique shotgun to Perry Hall High School, a suburban Baltimore school, on the first day of classes and fired two shots. The first shot struck and critically wounded a 17-year-old classmate who was seated at a lunch table with several other students.

The alleged shooter fired a second shot into the ceiling as a guidance counselor and other employees tried wrestling the gun away from him.

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