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Clinton MD Criminal Defense Law Blog

College admissions scandal rocks the nation

"Cheating on college entrance exams" seems like something that would involve some misguided teenagers and end in an expulsion or two -- not the sort of thing that catches dozens of high-profile adults across the nation in a net of charges that range from bribery to fraud.

Yet, that's exactly what happened. Approximately 50 people were investigated (and ultimately arrested) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through what was known as "Operation Varsity Blues." In the end, 33 parents (many of them celebrities, company executives and doctors), a college administrator, nine coaches from various universities, two entrance-exam administrators and one exam proctor were arrested.

Tips for safety traveling with prescription drugs

Are you planning a road trip? Do you need to bring prescription medications with you? If you answered yes to these questions, it's important that you know how to safely transport prescription medication in Maryland. Take a look at the tips outlined below so you do not find yourself in trouble if stopped by a law enforcement officer.

Make sure you pack all of your prescription medications in their original containers for the trip. Even if you use a weekly distribution case, you still need to put the medication in the original containers. You can still bring the weekly dispenser. Just wait to set it up until you have arrived at your destination.

Fomer official sentenced in $6.7 million theft of public funds

A former economic development official in Montgomery County, Maryland, has been sentenced to prison after he admitted to stealing $6.7 million from the county.

In November, he entered a guilty plea to federal charges of fraud and false statements, as well as wire fraud. He also pleaded guilty to state charges of the theft of more than $100,000 and official misconduct.

What is perjury on a federal level?

It is possible for otherwise law-abiding citizens of Maryland to wind up in serious trouble for committing perjury. It's a federal crime to give false information to Congress, federal agencies and the courts.

It can be possible to unwittingly stumble into a perjury charge if it's believed that you purposely misled a person or investigation when you actually were unaware of the truth. But just what does a perjury charge entail?

What should you expect during a field sobriety test?

We've all seen field sobriety tests being carried out on television or in the movies, but how many of us have actually been subjected to one? If you're reading this article, you may have been accused of a DUI and you might not be certain if the police carried out your field sobriety test appropriately. In some cases, if the police violated standard procedure and regulations when performing a field sobriety test, you might be able to get the evidence form the test thrown out of court.

Here's what a standard field sobriety test entails:

2 men are arrested in Prince George's County on weapons charges

A traffic stop for speeding in Prince George's County on Feb. 4 ended up with two of the vehicle's passengers being placed behind bars on weapons and assault charges.

Police patrolling the area near the intersection of Maryland Route 410 and Route 50 westbound noticed a motorist speeding right before 5:30 p.m. on Monday. The pursuing officer turned on his cruiser's lights to initiate a stop.

Maryland lawmakers seek to close Noah's Law loophole

Many of our readers have heard of Noah's Law. It was implemented in 2016 to mandate that anyone convicted of DUI -- even for the first time -- be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle if they want their driver's license back. The law was named after a Montgomery County police officer killed the previous year by a drunk driver.

An IID connects to a vehicle's ignition. A driver must breathe into it before they can start the car. If the IID detects alcohol, the ignition won't work.

Mutual consent law for divorce with children has changed

In October, a new law went into effect that allows couples with minor children to seek a divorce by mutual consent.

Maryland's mutual consent law was first passed in 2015. It allowed couples to seek a divorce if they agreed on all matters of alimony and property distribution. It was called an "absolute divorce" or "divorce by mutual consent" and its biggest appeal was that it did not require the mandatory one-year period in which the couple had to show they were living separate and apart.

However, it excluded couples with minor children. 

Income tax fraud and tax mistakes: Are they the same thing?

There is nothing simple about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax codes. Even the most experienced tax professionals run into challenges, especially with rules and regulations changing so often.

It's your responsibility to ensure that you pay the proper amount of federal, state and local taxes. If you don't, you could find yourself in trouble with the law, while also owing additional money in penalties and interest.

Maryland looks to expand penalties for hate crimes

Legislators in Maryland are taking a renewed interest in hate crimes. The state's House Judiciary Committee is even considering a bill that would redefine what would constitute a hate crime and what kind of penalties someone might face.

In particular, they're considering changing the law so that hanging a noose on someone's property or painting a swastika in order to harass, intimidate or threaten someone would be criminal acts. The Committee proposes to make such an act a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

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