What are the penalties of altering a license plate in Maryland?

Here is a recent question asked on our website:

If someone is charged with changing the year on a license tag, how likely is it they will be sent to jail even if they have no record?

If the ONLY charge is changing the year on a license tag, AND the defendant does not have a criminal record, the chance of jail is quite low. The Court, in addition to looking at the seriousness of the crime, takes into consideration the Defendant’s criminal record, if any. Not having a record is a very positive factor and will likely lead to a disposition such as a Probation Before Judgment, which can be converted to a dropped charges under the right circumstances. It is rather serious, however, and likely that a large number of points are assessed, causing revocation of the license. An experienced lawyer will help have the number of points reduced.

Please give us a call if you would like to discuss this further or would like us to help you with this matter.
Transportation Article § 14-110(B)
Falsification or attempted falsification of certificate of title, registration card or plate, or other official documents of Administration

(b) A person may not, with fraudulent intent, falsify or attempt to falsify any certificate of title, registration card, registration plate, validation tab, permit, or any other official document issued by the Administration.

Is a Must Appear in Court.  The Total Point assessment is 12 points.  12 points would lead to a revocation of your license by the MVA.

After you are convicted of a vehicle-related law violation in Maryland, the Maryland District Court notifies the MVA of the conviction. The MVA then applies the appropriate points to your driver record. Other actions taken by the MVA in response to this notification depend upon the total number of points that you have accumulated during the two-year period prior to the violation:

  • 3 to 4 points – The MVA will send you a warning letter.
  • 5 to 7 points – The MVA will require you to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
  • 8 to 11 points – The MVA will send you a notice of suspension.
  • 12 or more points – The MVA will send you a notice of revocation.

After you are convicted of a vehicle-related law violation in Maryland, the Maryland District Court notifies the MVA of the conviction. The MVA then applies the appropriate points to your driver record. Other actions taken by the MVA in response to this notification depend upon the total number of points that you have accumulated during the two-year period prior to the violation:

  • 3 to 4 points – The MVA will send you a warning letter.
  • 5 to 7 points – The MVA will require you to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
  • 8 to 11 points – The MVA will send you a notice of suspension.
  • 12 or more points – The MVA will send you a notice of revocation.

What options do I have if I receive a notice of suspension from the MVA?

You may receive either a Notice of Point Suspension or a Notice of Suspension.

The Notice of Point Suspension means that you have accumulated 8, 9, 10 or 11 points. However, none of your points is for a conviction of an alcohol or drug-related violation. When you receive this notice, you have two options:

1. Accept the suspension – In this case, you must return your last issued driver’s license to the MVA no later than the suspension date shown on your notice. If you are late in returning your license, your suspension period will be extended by the number of days that you delay. You may return the license by mail or in person to any MVA office or to the Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD) in the Glen Burnie MVA office. You should ask for a receipt if you return the license in person. If you are no longer in possession of the driver’s license, you must submit a written explanation or visit any MVA full-service branch office and complete a Certified Statement form indicating why you no longer have the license.


OR

2. Request a hearing – If you would like to request a hearing to show cause why the suspension should not be imposed, you must complete and return the notice and the filing fee, within 15 days from the notice date. Details about how to request the hearing are included on the notice. Once your hearing request and fee have been received, your suspension will be held in abeyance until the hearing is completed. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), which conducts the hearing, will notify you of its location, date, and time.

The Notice of Suspension means that you have accumulated 8, 9, 10 or 11 points and that at least one of your convictions is for an alcohol or drug-related violation. When you receive this notice, you may have three options:

1. Accept the suspension – In this case, you must return your last issued driver’s license to the MVA before the suspension date shown on your notice. If you are late in returning your license, your suspension period will be extended by the number of days that you delay. You may return the license by mail or in person to any MVA office or to the Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD) in the Glen Burnie MVA office. You should ask for a receipt if you return your license in person.If you are no longer in possession of the driver’s license, you must submit a written explanation or visit any MVA full-service branch office and complete a Certified Statement form indicating why you no longer have the license.


OR

2. Request a hearing – If you would like to request a hearing to show cause why the suspension should not be imposed, you must complete and return the notice, along with the filing fee, within 15 days from the notice date. Details about how to request the hearing are included on the notice. Once your hearing request and fee have been received, your suspension will be held in abeyance until the hearing is completed. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), which conducts the hearing, will notify you of its location, date, and time.

OR

3. Apply to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program – If you participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, your license will not be suspended. However, your driving privileges will be restricted. The Ignition Interlock Program-Participant Requirements form enclosed with your notice provides application instructions.

What options do I have if I receive a notice of revocation from the MVA?

The Notice of Revocation means that you have accumulated 12 or more points.

If you have not been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related violations, you have two options:

1. Accept the revocation – In this case, you must return your last issued driver’s license to the MVA before the revocation date shown on your notice. If you are late in returning your license, your suspension period will be extended by the number of days that you delay. You may return the license by mail or in person to any MVA office or to the Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD) in the Glen Burnie MVA office. You should ask for a receipt if you return your license in person. If you are no longer in possession of the driver’s license, you must submit a written explanation or visit any MVA full-service branch office and complete a Certified Statement form indicating why you no longer have the license.

OR

2. Request a hearing – If you would like to request a hearing to show cause why the revocation should not be imposed, you must complete and return the notice, along with the filing fee, within 15 days from the notice date. Details about how to request the hearing are included on the notice. Once your hearing request and fee have been received, your revocation will be held in abeyance until the hearing is completed. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), which conducts the hearing, will notify you of its location, date, and time.

If you have been convicted of one or more alcohol or drug-related violations, you may have three options:

1. Accept the revocation – In this case, you must return your last issued driver’s license to the MVA before the revocation date shown on your notice. If you are late in returning your license, your suspension period will be extended by the number of days that you delay. You may return the license by mail or in person to any MVA office or to the Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD) in the Glen Burnie MVA office. You should ask for a receipt if you return your license in person. If you are no longer in possession of the driver’s license, you must submit a written explanation or visit any MVA full-service branch office and complete a Certified Statement form indicating why you no longer have the license.

OR

2. Request a hearing – If you would like to request a hearing to show cause why the revocation should not be imposed, you must complete and return the notice, along with the filing fee, within 15 days from the notice date. Details about how to request the hearing are included on the notice. Once your hearing request and fee have been received, your revocation will be held in abeyance until the hearing is completed. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), which conducts the hearing, will notify you of its location, date, and time.

OR

3. Apply to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program – If you participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, your license will not be revoked. However, your driving privileges will be restricted. The Ignition Interlock Program-Participant Requirements form enclosed with your notice provides application instructions.

For information about applying for the reinstatement of your driver’s license, see the form enclosed with your notice, Requirements for Applying for Reinstatement. Also see Reinstatement of a Revoked Driver’s License.

How long does a rape trial last if the defendant plead’s not guilty?

Question: How long does a rape trial last if the defendant plead’s not guilty?
Question Detail: Approximately how long does a rape trial last if the defendant pleads not guilty?

 

Answer: A Defendant’s  plea of not guilty tells the Court that he (or she) feel he  just that, not guilty. It has no bearing on the length of the subsequent trial. A trial will last as long or as short as is necessary to get in all of the evidence and include all of the arguments of both sides. The more complicated the case, and the more witnesses that are expected, the longer the trial will last. If the State has a lot of evidence against the Defendant, the case may be shorter, but there really is no way to predict.The bottom line is that a Defendant’s plea of not guilty does not have any impact on the length of a trial.

Can a cop arrest me for evading arrest when I never resisted?

Question: Can a cop arrest me for evading arrest when I never resisited?
Question Detail: A cop arrested me because when he pulled a car over, I did not stop when he yelled stop right there. I had no idea he was even talking to me. I allowed him to put on my handcuffs and I waited until he ran my information and took me in. I never fought back resisted are anything when he arrested me. How could he say that I evaded arrest? Also can if I’m found not guilty can I use false imprisonment?

 

Answer: From the information you provided, the police officer did not charge you for resisting arrest. He charged you for not stopping when he ordered you to. Whether you heard him or not or thought he was talking to you can be brought up at trial. But from your question, at least from the officer’s point of view, he asked you to stop and you kept going; that is evading. If you would like to discuss this matter further, contact a maryland criminal lawyer to discuss more.

Can two people be charged with the same crime if one has already been sentenced?

Question: Can two people be charged with the same crime if one has already been sentenced?
Question Detail: Two people are in a hotel room. The police come in to find drugs. One person claims all of it is theirs, but both were arrested. The person that took claim to all the charges was convicted and sentenced and is in probation. The other person was charged with the same charges but is still fighting it in court. My question is, can they charge someone with the same charges if someone else has already been charged with them?

 

Answer: The simple answer to your question is, yes: more than one person can be charged with the same crime. If the police raid a hotel room, and there are five people sitting around a coffee table, on which there is a large pile of cocaine, everyone there can be charged. The fact that one person has been charged and had had his case resolved, does not close the matter against any further responsible people. Under certain circumstances, it may have an impact on later cases, but it will not keep any others from being charged, as a matter of law. If this is a situation that you or someone you know are actually involved in, call an experienced maryland criminal attorney, especially one with experience with drug crime defense, for a consultation and representation

Does having a clean record help in felony charges?

Question: Does having a clean record help in felony charges?
Question Detail: I have never been in trouble with the law before. Does having a clean record help if I am facing felony charges? The charges stem from an indecent that happened with a former and the police were involved. I have never been through any thing like this and am scared.

 

Answer: First, you should contact an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer right away. Many people who have never been involved in “the system” before believe they can and should handle everything themselves. The opposite is actually true. The more innocent you are and the less of a criminal history you have, the more important it is that your case be handled the proper way, to ensure that there are no lasting or damaging consequences. With today’s technology and more frequent background checks, it is more important than ever to maintain a clean record.

To answer your specific question, your prior record, or lack thereof, can play a large role in how your case is handled and/or how the ultimate disposition (result) is arrived at. With no record, you can benefit from that which is usually offered to first time offenders. You should retina a lawyer right away so that he can explain the process to you and prepare your case so that you get the best result possible. If you want, you can think of a lawyer in your situation has a public relations expert, hired to make sure you present the best “you” to the State’s Attorney and the Court.

 

What should I do if I am being accused of child abuse?

Question: What should I do if I am being accused of child abuse?
Question Detail: In regards to an ongoing investigation of child abuse, I need legal advice from an attorney regarding my child abuse case which is completely unjustified. I am determined to settle this unfair matter but haven’t had any legal help so far. Any advice you can give me could help, please. Thank you.

Answer: Accusations of child-abuse create incredibly difficult situations. One, the children involve may have various motives for making such claims. Two, they may be being manipulated by other adults who are trying to accomplish some collateral goal. Children are very smart, and these days, they understand far more than we give them credit for. I have had more than one case where my client was falsely accused of abusing their child because they did not purchase something that was requested. No x-box game? Abuse. Unfortunately, proving such things can be very hard and most adults, parents and otherwise, feel bad about coming down hard on a child

Fortunately, when there is an accusation of child abuse, there are several official investigations that can, and usually do, take place. Child Protective Services (CPS), the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the police where the incident is alleged to have taken place will all look into the situations. There will be medical investigations to determine if there are any suspicious marks or injuries. Pictures should be taken showing either the presence, or the lack of, evidence of abuse.
You mention in your question that you are being investigated. Do you know for sure that an investigation is going on or are assuming so? Have you been contacted by any of the above authorities and asked to answer questions or give a statement? If anything approaching an investigation is underway, you should contact and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Especially with those people who are innocent, there is an overwhelming desire to demonstrate this and often people will speak to investigators freely, offering tons of information and making statements about everything under the sun. Even if you are innocent, it is incredibly important that you handle official investigations correctly. The first step is having a lawyer present when you do speak to anyone, assuming you are required to do so.
Your lawyer will be able to make sure you do not say or do anything that can hurt you down the road. What seems innocent to most people can be used in various ways to help prove guilt. A lawyer will be able to protect you from making such statements. In addition, even if you are innocent, it is possible that an investigation can turn into charges being filed and a prosecution being pursued.  lawyer will be able to protect you at all stages of this process, as well.

You probably have many questions, are unable to sleep at night, and have had your life turned upside down. A good Baltimore criminal lawyer will be able to take some of the pressure off your shoulders and represent you in all proceedings. This is not something you would want to, or should, do alone.

What can I do if my ex girlfriend is threatening to accuse me of rape?

Question: What can I do if my ex girlfriend is threatening to accuse me of rape?
Question Detail: I have this psycho ex girlfriend. She is also my baby’s mother who has and still is harassing me and my family constantly, threatening me to sign some papers or she’s going to make up lies that I raped her. Also she is one of those people that will lie, harass, but still look innocent in front of other people! I’m stuck and I feel bullied!

 

Answer:

You are in a difficult position. Our criminal system is set up so that anyone can accuse someone a crime. Of course, the police and/or the State’s Attorney’s Office will review the accusations and determine if charges are appropriate. Still, there is no denying that even an accusation can be very destructive. From what you describe, it sounds like you might want to move for a protective order from your ex-girlfriend. If she is harassing you and your family, that is against the law, and she could be prosecuted. At the very least, there will be a record of what she is doing and that may be very important if she were to seek charges against you down the line.

Many times, people don’t want to report something or have someone they know, and used to care about, investigated and maybe prosecuted. However, you are protecting yourself should she make false accusations down the line. If she were to try such a thing, there would be a record that she was harassing you and making this exact threats. This will go a long way in establishing your credibility and will make it much more likely that your side of the story will be believed.

Finally, in situations such as this, it is not uncommon for charges to ultimately be filed for assault, either stemming from an argument or based on something else. First, you should stay away from her and not let there even be a chance of something happening. Two, if she were to try and have charges filed against you, again your history of reporting her would be an advantage to you. Bottom line, in situations like this, you have to be proactive and sometimes make the first move. Of course, I am not advocating filing false charges, but if she is really acting how you say, you have a legitimate complaint and should seriously consider following up on it . Buena Serra.

Can someone convicted of rape be allowed to see his minor kids?

Question: Can someone convicted of rape be allowed to see his minor kids?
Question Detail: My son has been convicted of rape (date rape) and he has been told that when he gets through serving his time that he won’t be allowed to see his children until they are 18 years old. This “rape” was not with a minor. Is this true?

Answer:This is a difficult question to answer because it is very “case-specific.” In Maryland, the overriding concern when children are involved is, “what is in the best interest of the child?” The Courts will come down to this question when determine whether certain visitation should be approved, whether protective orders should be issued, and with any other issue where a child may be involved. the fact that someone has been convicted of rape will certainly be a consideration in deciding if your son will be able to visit his children. It will also depend on the ages of the children. I am not aware of a “hard and fast rule” that says he cannot see his kids until they are 18. However, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to investigate this, and if desired, present an argument requesting that he be allowed visitation.

Is a hit and run a felony?

Question: Is a hit and run a felony?
Question Detail: If you have an accident and leave the scene, while leaving your vehicle, is that a felony?

In Maryland, there is no hard and fast distinction between what is considered a misdemeanor and what is a felony. It will depend on the exact charges that are filed. For example, getting into an accident and leaving the scene, where there were no injuries is different than causing an accident and serious injuries and leaving without rendering aid. Again, the specific nature of the case will depend on the charges files and the underlying facts of the case. In reality, any “hit & run” type charges need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help present the matter most effectively to the State’s Attorney’s Office and, ultimately, the Judge. These can be very unpopular charges, especially if someone was injured, so it is important to contact a maryland criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Where is a juvenile going to be held during a course of a legal trial?

Question: Where is a juvenile going to be held during a course of legal trial?
Question Detail: Is the juvenile held in detention during the course of a trial, and how long would a proceeding last?

Answer:
The juvenile system is very different than the adult criminal system in Maryland. There are several options as to where a Juvenile can be held pending his hearing. If the matter is particularly serious and there is reason to believe he or she is a threat to others, the juvenile may be detained leading up to trial. This detention will be in a juvenile facility in the jurisdiction where the case will be heard. If it is determined that the matter was not very serious, was non-violent in nature, and there is no risk of further harm, the juvenile may be returned to his parent or guardian while he or she prepares for the hearing.

If you are asking where the juvenile is during the actual trial, the same answer as above applies. If he or she is detained, he or she will be brought into court for the proceeding. It is hard to estimate how long the actual hearing/trial will last without knowing the underlying charges, facts, prior record, etc. I would suggest you contact a Maryland Juvenile criminal defense attorney with experience working with juvenile in the Juvenile Justice System. Someone with this experience will be able to “walk you through” the process, answer all of your questions, and address all of your concerns. There is much a parent or guardian can to help the juvenile get a successful result and a good lawyer can show you how to best help the child.