It’s that time of year again. Every year on October 1st, Maryland institutes a wealth of new laws passed earlier in the year. This year, there will be quite a few new changes taking place on Wednesday, October 1st. The first step to compliance with the law is knowing the law. It is best to make sure that there are no loopholes for cops to find if they pull you over arbitrarily or for judges to find if you have a criminal offense that gets taken to court. The following laws go into effect on Wednesday.
New Maryland Laws
- Marijuana Decriminalization – As we’ve been telling you for months, this is just the beginning. If you are caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana, it will now be a civil offense rather than criminal. The first offense will cost you $100, the second $250, and any subsequent offense $500. This law only applies to those 18 and older. Those under the age of 18 will still be evaluated for treatment and considered to be violating a criminal law.
- Domestic Violence – Maryland is cracking down harder on instances of domestic violence committed in front of a child. Perpetrators could receive an extra five years in prison if a child is present for a domestic violence situation. Victims can also obtain a final protective order in the “preponderance of evidence” stage and second-degree assault will be a valid case for a final protective order as well.
- Corrections Changes – Correctional facilities will have harsher laws for visitors as well as guards. Attempting to smuggle a cellphone or other contraband into a correctional facility can now result in five years in prison and a $3,000 fine. Prison authorities will also be able to immediately suspend guards who are caught smuggling in any type of contraband.
- Road Laws – Some of the driving laws will be changing. The “Move Over” law has been expanded to include tow trucks on the side of the road. Jake’s Law has also been passed and will add penalties for drivers who are at fault for a fatal accident due to the use of a hand-held device. The penalty is up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Maryland Criminal Lawyer
While some of these laws add some leniency to Maryland residents, others crack down harder. If you are ever in a situation where you are arrested for criminal activity, you need to retain a lawyer, and fast. To schedule your free consultation for a drug charge or any other criminal behavior, contact Robinson & Associates at 443-524-7395 or visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Source: CBS Washington