google-site-verification=lXbaRjpje3Rveo_vkCC2o0nZKaenG_aXATpDlBNm7T4 Common Offenses In Ocean City MD | Criminal Defense

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We see many of the same charges levied against clients over and over again. Drug charges are discussed in a separate section, but in the Ocean City and Salisbury areas we often see these common offenses charged:

Outstanding Warrants

Many people come to Ocean City , Maryland and get in trouble with the law. Sometimes, they do not show up for their court appearance and a bench warrant get s issued for their failure to appear. When the judge issues a bench warrant for their failure to appear, the outstanding warrant  lasts forever. So you might be driving along and get pulled over for speeding, and sure enough, you will be arrested and be detained until the warrant is satisfied.

 

 

f you have an Outstanding Warrant and if your charges are in District Court, depending on what the charges are, there is a possibility that I may be able to get the Warrant Recalled.

 

So before you decide to Turn Yourself In and pay a Bail Bondman a huge non-refundable fee call me Frank Benveuto  at 443-783-2451!

 

I have had a good track record for getting outstanding warrants recalled. If I am able to have the Warrant recalled, it will save you a lot of time, money and stress. 

 

Warrants remain in the system so  every time you get stopped you are going to be detained until the Warrant is addressed. 

 

You need to take care of the Warrant and address the situation.

 

Affray

The crime of Affray is a holdover from the English Common Law system, (originally adopted in Maryland’s early colonial days) which has never been revised, amended or repealed and is therefore still valid Md. law. The crime of Affray is essentially the fighting of two or more persons in some public place to the disturbance of others (the Public), essentially public disorderly fighting. It is possible that if you find yourself at a bar, house party, or just on a street corner and a fight breaks out that you get involved in, you could be charged with the crime of Affray. Since Affray is a common law crime without any statutory limitations, the maximum possible penalty for affray is any sentence that is not considered cruel nor unusual punishment.

 

First Degree

Assault

Pursuant to section 3-202 of the criminal law article of the annotated code of Maryland, a first degree assault is intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to another or the use of a firearm in an assault. “Serious physical injury” means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent and/or protracted, serious disfigurement, loss of the function of any bodily member or organ, or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of assault in the first degree and upon conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.

 

Second Degree Assault

Pursuant to section 3-203 of the criminal law article of  the annotated code of Maryland, second degree assault is not as serious as first degree assault and is intentionally causing or attempting to cause (such as a swing and a miss) physical injury. “Physical injury” in this case means any impairment of physical condition, including minor injuries.

In Maryland, upon conviction of a felony, a person who commits second degree assault is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be subject to imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or a fine not to exceed $2500 or both.

However – additionally a person convicted of second degree assault on a police officer in the performance of his/her official duties is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine of up to $5000, or both.

You should also know – In most jurisdictions the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the length of possible incarceration. Usually if you could receive a sentence of less than one year incarceration, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor; if you could receive a maximum sentence greater than one year, the crime is considered a felony. Not so in Maryland. In the state of Maryland, you can receive up to 10 years for a second degree assault conviction yet it is still considered a misdemeanor, unless the assault was committed upon a law enforcement officer, in which case it could possibly be considered a felony, especially if there was injury to a police officer.

Breaking and Entering & Burglary

In Maryland Breaking and entering is the crime of entering someone else's property or other enclosed property without authorization and some element of force. If there is intent to commit a crime, this is burglary. Without intent to commit a crime, breaking and entering by itself usually carries a charge of 4th degree burglary, which is essentially criminal trespassing. An example of 4th degree burglary occurs when a person is out drinking and gets so intoxicated and wander into the wrong unit, even if the door was left unlocked. There are cases of minors committing breaking and entering in recreational pursuits, unaware of the legal consequences of their offense. In many states, a minor can be charged and subject to serious penalties, including institutionalization, under a state’s juvenile offender laws covering offenses such as breaking and entering. This charge may also have a lasting effect on employment and other opportunities in adulthood.

 

Burglary

Burglary is the criminal offense of breaking and entering any dwelling or building illegally with the intent to commit a felony or crime. In order to constitute the offense the illegal entry should be into the place of another. Burglary laws vary by state. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, it can be classified into different degrees. Degrees of burglary are defined by each state’s laws. In Maryland, Fourth degree burglary requires no intent. It is essentially criminal trespassing, without permission.

 

Burglary In The First Degree is governed by Section 6-202 of the Criminal Law Articles of the Annotated Codes of Maryland. 1st degree Burglary - A person may not break and enter a dwelling of another with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence.

Penalty- A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of burglary in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.

In order to be convicted of First degree Burglary, the State must prove:

  • That there was a breaking;

  • That there was an entering;

  • That the breaking and entry was into someone else’s dwelling;

  • That it was done with the intent to commit (insert “theft” and/or the particular “crime of violence”) therein; and

  • That the defendant was the person who committed the act.

Burglary In The Second Degree is governed by Section 6-203 of the Criminal Law Articles of the Annotated Codes of Maryland. 2nd degree burglary- breaking and entering with intent to commit theft, violence, or arson.

A person may not break and enter the storehouse of another with the intent to commit theft, a crime of violence, or arson in the second degree.

Breaking and entering with the intent to steal firearm. A person may not break and enter the storehouse with the intent to steal, take, or carry away a firearm.

Penalty- a person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of burglary in the second degree and on conviction is subject to: For a violation of subsection a. of this section, imprisonment not to exceed 15 years, and for violation of subsection b. of this section, imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

In order to be convicted of Second degree Burglary, the State must prove:

  • That there was a breaking;

  • That there was an entering;

  • That the breaking and entry was into someone else’s building;

  • That it was done with the intent to commit (insert “theft” and/or the particular “crime of violence” and/or arson in the second degree”); and

  • That the defendant was the person who committed the act.

Burglary In The Third Degree is governed by Section 6-204 of the Criminal Law Articles of the Annotated Codes of Maryland. 3rd degree burglary- A person may not break or enter the dwelling of another with intent to commit a crime.

Penalty- a person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of burglary in the third degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

In order to be convicted of Third degree Burglary, the State must prove:

  • That there was a breaking

  • That there was an entering

  • That the breaking and entry was into someone else’s dwelling

  • That it was done with the intent to commit a crime inside; and

  • That the defendant was the person who committed the act.

Burglary In The Fourth Degree is governed by Section 6-205 of the Criminal Law Articles of the Annotated Codes of Maryland. 4th degree burglary-

(Breaking and entering of a dwelling)- A person may not break and enter the dwelling of another.

(Breaking and entering storehouse)- A person may not break and enter the storehouse of another.

(Being in or on dwelling, storehouse, or environs)- A person, with the intent to commit theft, may not be in or on the dwelling or storehouse of another; or a yard, garden, or are belonging to the dwelling or storehouse of another.

Penalty- A person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of burglary in the fourth degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years.

In order to be convicted of Fourth degree Burglary, the State must prove:

  • That there was a breaking;

  • That there was an entering;

  • That the breaking and entry was into someone else’s dwelling;

  • That the defendant was the person who committed the act; and

  • That the defendant did not honestly and reasonably believe that he/she had the right or invitation to enter the premise.

 

 

Rogue And Vagabond

(Possession of burglary tool) – Pursuant to 6-206 of the criminal law article of the annotated code of Maryland a person may not possess a burglar’s tool with the intent to use or allow the use of the burglar’s tool in the commission of a violation of this subtitle. Rogue and Vagabond is governed by section 6-205 (d) and section 6-206 (a) of the Criminal Law Articles of the Annotated codes of Maryland.

Reckless Endangerment

Pursuant to criminal law article 3-204 of annotated code of Maryland defined as engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another; or discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.

Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of reckless endangerment and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

 

Disorderly Conduct

In Maryland the crime of disorderly conduct is governed by Sect 10-201 of the criminal law of the Annotated Codes of Maryland. What you should be aware of is that in Maryland there are essentially six prongs by which you can be found guilty of the crime of Disorderly Conduct which carries the possibility of up to a 60 day jail term and a fine of $500 or both.

 
  • First prong: A person may not willfully and without lawful purpose obstruct or hinder the free passage of another in a public place on a public conveyance.

  • Second prong: A person may not willfully act in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace.

  • Third prong: A person my not willfully fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes to prevent a disturbance of the public peace.

  • Fourth prong: A person who enters the land or premises of another, whether an owner or lessee, on a beach adjacent to the residential riparian property may not willfully:

    • Disturb the peace of persons on the land, premises, or beach by making an unreasonable loud noise; or

    • Act in a disorderly manner

  • Fifth prong: a person from any location may not, by making an unreasonably loud noise, willfully disturb the peace of another:

    • On the other’s land or premises

    • In a public place; or

    • On a public conveyance

  • Sixth Prong: (local to Worcester County) A person may not build a bonfire or allow a bonfire to burn on a beach on others property between 1 am and 5am.

The gist of the crime of disorderly conduct, as it was in the cases of common law predecessor crimes, is the doing or saying, or both, of that which offends, disturbs, incites, or tends to incite, a number of people gathered in the same area. In other words, it is conduct of such a nature as to affect the peace and quiet of a person actually present who may witness the conduct or hear the language and who may be disturbed or provoked to resentment thereby. Nevertheless, the statute, in either its “doing” or “saying” prescriptions, may not punish acts or spoken words, although vulgar and offensive, which are protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Implicit [from the words of the statute] is the prohibition against a person willfully acting in a disorderly manner by making loud and unseemly noises or by profanely cursing, swearing or using obscene language. (Citations omitted). Reese v. State, 17 Md App. 73, 80 (1973). Dziekonski v. State, 127 Md, App. 191, 200-201 (1999). Matter of Nawrocki, 15 Md App. 252,257-58 (1972).

Many young adults run afoul of the Disorderly Conduct Statute because it encompasses many forms of behavior. This is a criminal charge and it should be taken seriously. No one wants a criminal record especially an employer.

Failure To Obey A Lawful Order

Someone “may not willfully fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes to prevent a disturbance to the public peace.”

 
Theft

Is unauthorized control over property, or unauthorized control over property--By deception, or possessing stolen personal property- this crime of theft is essentially the taking and carrying away of the property of another with the intent to deprive that person of their property

 
 Indecent Exposure 

The elements of indecent exposure are: (1) a public exposure; (2) made willfully and intentionally, as opposed to inadvertently or accidentally; (3) which was observed, or was likely to have been observed, by one or more persons, as opposed to performed in secret, or hidden from the view of others. There is not an additional element of indecent exposure requiring that a viewer be shocked and/or offended by the exposure. 

 
False Statement To Officer

(a) A person may not make, or cause to be made, a statement, report, or complaint that the person knows to be false as a whole or in material part, to a law enforcement officer of the State, of a county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State, or of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Police with intent to deceive and to cause an investigation or other action to be taken as a result of the statement, report, or complaint.

 
Intoxicated Endangerment 

§ 19-101.

      (a)      A person may not:

            (1)      Be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property; or

            (2)      Be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place and cause a public disturbance.

 
 Failure To Remain At The Scene Of An Accident

Is the duty of driver to stop the vehicle close to the scene of the accident resulting in injury,, property and or  a person. 

 
Fleeing, Eluding Or Escaping A Police Officer

Pursuant to 21-904 of the transportation article of the annotated code of  Maryland fleeing and eluding is defined as failure to obey signals from police officers in uniform

(b) If a police officer gives a visual or audible signal to stop and the police officer is in uniform, prominently displaying the police officer's badge or other insignia of office, a driver of a vehicle may not attempt to elude the police officer by:

(1) Willfully failing to stop the driver's vehicle;

(2) Fleeing on foot; or

(3) Any other means.

Signals to stop from officers in marked police vehicles

(c) If a police officer gives a visual or audible signal to stop and the police officer, whether or not in uniform, is in a vehicle appropriately marked as an official police vehicle, a driver of a vehicle may not attempt to elude the police officer by:

(1) Willfully failing to stop the driver's vehicle;

(2) Fleeing on foot; or

(3) Any other means.

 
Underage Possession

An individual under the age of 21 years may not: 

(1) possess or have under the individual's charge or control an alcoholic beverage

 
Handgun In Vehicle 

Prohibited.-   a person may not wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person; or the carrying of a handgun on the person or in a vehicle while the person is transporting the handgun to or from the place of legal purchase or sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between the bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster

 
Driving While Suspended

Pursuant to 16-303 of the transportation of article of the annotated code of Maryland It is unlawful to drive while your license is refused, suspended, or revoked. In the state of Maryland you must know that your license is suspended. McCallum V. State.

 
 Open Container 

Ocean City Code Sec. 58-72. - Public possession generally.

In the town of Ocean City, MD it shall be unlawful for any person to possess in an open container any alcoholic beverage on any public street, highway, avenue, alley, sidewalk, municipal parking lot, boardwalk, public beach or other public property or in vehicles upon any public street, highway, avenue, alley, municipal parking lot, or other public property within the corporate limits of Ocean City.

 
 
Sleeping In Vehicle  

Ocean City Code Sec. 58-4. - Use of vehicles for sleeping quarters.

In the town of Ocean City, MD it shall be unlawful for any person to sleep in or occupy as sleeping quarters any motor vehicle, or for an operator of any motor vehicle to allow any other person to sleep in or occupy as sleeping quarters said motor vehicle, while said motor vehicle is parked on any public way, alley, place, avenue, street, highway or parking lot or parked on any other public facility. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to the applicable penalties.

 Spring Assisted Knife Municipal Codes

Ocean City Code Sec. 58-123. - Prohibited acts.

In the town of Ocean City, MD it shall be unlawful for any person to display, possess, sell, barter, offer to sell, distribute, manufacture, give away, transfer or dispose of an assisted opening knife, nunchaku, a fighting knife, a throwing star, a spiked wristband, a spiked fist-band, a spiked glove, a flail mace, a butterfly knife, a spiked belt, a spike ring, metal knuckles, baton, fighting ax, fighting sword, pistol crossbow, or any part thereof, assembled or unassembled. As used herein, "person" includes individual, partnership, corporation or any other entity. The prohibitions relative to assisted opening knife and baton do not apply to officers of the Ocean City Police Department, The Maryland State Police, the Natural Resources Police, the Worcester County Sheriff's Department and any allied police department providing assistance in Ocean City. The prohibition relative to assisted opening knife does not apply to members of the Ocean City Fire Department and EMS, while on duty. (Essentially, you cannot possess a spring assisted knife within the city limits of the town of Ocean City, MD.

 

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