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Clinton MD Criminal Defense Law Blog

5 teens are arrested after allegedly robbing a Clinton pharmacy

Five teens were taken into custody and charged with armed robbery by Prince George's County Police Department late in the evening of July 16. They stand accused of having robbed a Clinton pharmacy located at 8000 Branch Avenue earlier that evening.

Police officers were first dispatched to the pharmacy after reports came flooding in that several individuals were attempting to rob that store. They then apparently watched as the suspects got back in their cars and sped away from the crime scene.

Don’t make these mistakes if pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Police officers are trained to spot drunk drivers. While they're not always right, if an officer believes you're drunk they're sure to pull you over to learn more.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are some of the many mistakes you don't want to make:

  • Fleeing in your vehicle: This is a huge mistake, as it can result in additional criminal charges. The moment you see police lights behind you is the moment you should move to the side of the road.
  • Talking back: Do whatever it takes to remain polite and respectful throughout your interaction with the officer. Talking back gives the police an additional reason to believe you're under the influence of alcohol.
  • Saying too much: You have the right to remain silent. If you don't understand a question or feel that it'll incriminate you, tell the officer you'd rather not answer.
  • Lashing out if you're arrested: If you're put under arrest for driving under the influence, remain calm and take mental notes of everything that's happening. If you lash out verbally and/or physically, it is likely to result in additional charges, such as resisting arrest.

How to get home if you’re intoxicated

There may come a point when you realize you've consumed too much alcohol to drive your vehicle home. If this happens, it's best to stay where you are for the time being and consider other modes of transportation.

Here are some of the best ways to get home if you're too drunk to drive:

  • Appoint a designated driver: This is something you need to do before hitting the town. With a designated driver in your group, you never have to worry about the temptation to drive drunk.
  • Public transportation: From a bus to a cab, from a train to Uber or Lyft, there are many options for public transportation. It may cost you a few dollars, but it's much better than taking the risk of driving drunk.
  • Car service for drunk drivers: Depending on where you live and where you're located, you may be able to contact a car service for drunk drivers to take you home. Some of these organizations are nonprofit, thus allowing you to get a ride home free of cost.

The many types of mortgage fraud

It doesn't matter if you're a homebuyer, loan officer, appraiser or broker, it's possible to get caught up in a mortgage fraud scheme. While it may sound like an innocent way to save money, you could soon find out that you're in serious trouble with the law.

There are many types of mortgage fraud, including but not limited to:

  • Fraudulent loan documentation: A common example of this is submitting a forged or altered pay stub as a means of receiving an approval to borrow a larger amount of money.
  • Stolen identity: You're only permitted to complete a loan application for yourself. If you steal someone else's identity to do so, it can result in a variety of criminal charges, including mortgage fraud and identity theft.
  • Inflated appraisal: This typically occurs when an appraiser works with a mortgage broker or loan officer to provide a high appraisal value to ensure that the buyer qualifies, and the deal goes through.
  • Silent second mortgage: This is when a buyer takes out a second mortgage to pay for the down payment on a first mortgage. It's illegal when the buyer doesn't tell the initial lender that they're doing so.

A tax audit can lead to bigger issues

The last thing you want to receive in the mail is a letter from the IRS. This is particularly true if it states that your tax return is being audited.

A tax audit is a formal examination by the IRS to verify the information included on your return. It can also be used to uncover fraud, such as hiding income and claiming deductions and credits you don't qualify for.

Be careful not to get caught driving drunk on July 4

Next week, many Dunkirk residents will celebrate the Fourth of July. Some people will commemorate the holiday by having barbecues or picnics and by lighting fireworks. Others will take road trips. Many Maryland residents will consume alcohol. It shouldn't come as a surprise that this holiday is one of the deadliest in terms of driving under the influence (DUI) crashes.

Data published by the insurance company Esurance captures how as many as 34.4 million individuals across the country take to the road every Independence Day weekend. It also captures how Americans purchased nearly 70 million cases of beer over that same weekend just last year.

What to do about a letter from the Internal Revenue Service

The last thing you want to see when opening your mailbox is a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While these letters are not always serious, you're sure to have some concerns as you open the envelope.

The first thing you should do is read the letter in its entirety, as to better understand what's being asked of you. Maybe it's something simple, such as to notify you that they received your request for an address change. Or maybe it's something much more serious, such as notifying you that you're under investigation for not paying your taxes.

What are Maryland's penalties for possessing drug paraphernalia?

Individuals who are arrested for drug crimes in Clinton or Dunkirk can be charged with misdemeanors or felonies. The charges that they'll face depend on what type and how much of a controlled substance that they're caught with.

Oftentimes, those arrested for possession also have drug paraphernalia charges also brought against them. Offenses of this type are considered to be misdemeanors. Even still, a conviction for such a crime can carry with it stiff penalties.

An arrest is made in a December Upper Marlboro assault case

A Laurel woman was taken into custody by the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office (PGCSO) on May 21. She now faces first and second-degree assault charges.

PGCSO officers were dispatched to a home located on Baltimore Avenue on Dec.r 4 of last year. When they arrived there, they found an unidentified female victim who said that the defendant had physically and verbally assaulted her. She was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Maryland councilman enters Alford plea in wiretap case

A town councilman from Chesapeake Beach has entered an Alford plea to a charge that he violated the state's wiretap laws. By entering the Alford plea, he is not admitting guilt. Rather, he is acknowledging that the state has enough evidence to bring the charge. He was fined $2,500 and put on supervised probation for three years.

During a court hearing, the councilman said he used a "lack of judgment" when he recorded conversations on a cellphone app but didn't tell the person on the other end of the phone that they were being recorded.

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