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The Weekly Writ: Maryland Legal News You Can Use for July 12, 2021

JC Law and The Maryland Weekly Writ return from the July 4th holiday with the biggest legal stories from the past couple of weeks. Today on July 12, 2021, read about:

Of course, if these or any other legal questions are impacting you and your family, then don't hesitate to reach out to JC Law for your free initial consultation with one of our expert domestic, criminal, or civil litigation attorneys.

Maryland Lawmakers Set To Bring Up Legal Pot Again in 2022

Original Story

What's Going On:

The push to legalize "adult-use" or recreational marijuana will go back to the General Assembly in 2022. Lawmakers who attempted to pass legislation this year stated they plan to try again in the next session but admit there are hurdles to overcome.

Both Senators and Delegates believe they can create common ground to get a deal done. Legislators want to get a bill passed through the General Assembly rather than have it go to referendum and leave it to the voters. There is also a worry that Gov. Larry Hogan may veto any recreational marijuana bill. Still, the governor has not made public comment whether he supports or is against such a bill.

The hope is to craft two similar bills for the House and Senate rather than two different ones as occurred in the last session. It is believed that eliminating the differences is the key to getting the bill passed.

Why This Matters To You:

There are thousands of inmates in Maryland's jail and prison system locked up for non-violent drug offenses, like possession of marijuana. These offenders are better served with treatment programs and probation services instead of overcrowding jails.

Passing legalization measures paves the way to have some of these charges expunged and inmates to be released. Although Maryland decriminalized marijuana a few years ago, that only covers small amounts, less than 10 grams. Medical users in Maryland are permitted to have up to 120 grams of marijuana. Quite a disparity.

There is also the fact that the majority of offenders are minorities, who probably do not have the means to cover the costs of a medical exemption in the state. Is it fair to punish those who cannot afford medicine?

JC Law stands behind passing such legislation and allowing Marylanders a second chance at a fresh start.

More About Maryland Drug Charges

 

Arbutus Baseball Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse

Original Story

What's Going On:

A former Arbutus youth baseball coach was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing children on the team. Baltimore County Police arrested him after a victim told them of the ongoing abuse.

Only one child has made an accusation thus far, but police believe there are more victims. The coach faces six charges that include second-degree rape and sexual abuse of a minor.

Why This Matters To You:

Positions of authority bring significant responsibilities, especially those entrusted with teaching or coaching our children. Accusations of sexual abuse can ruin reputations and lives, even when they are false.

Sometimes children misinterpret situations and accuse of abuse when there is no abuse occurring. And in today's world, many parents make their children aware of these types of problems, making accusations much more prevalent. Of course, no one wants to hear their child was inappropriately touched or abused, but sometimes a simple pat or touch is misconstrued.

This is why attacking these charges by hiring a criminal defense attorney well versed in sexual crimes is integral to salvaging a reputation. There are always two sides to a story and somewhere in between is the truth.

More on Child-Related Sex Charges in Maryland

 

Maryland Joins 37 Other States to Sue Google

Original Story

What's Going On:

Maryland's Attorney General Brian Frosh joined 37 other state AG's in filing an anti-trust lawsuit against Google. The latest lawsuit against the tech giant claims illegal, anticompetitive, and unfair business practices.

States believe that Google holds a monopoly position over Android app distribution.

Why This Matters To You:

Not all lawsuits are frivolous money grabs. Sometimes they benefit us as consumers, employees, business owners, etc. American capitalism is based on competition, and when there is no competition, an entity has complete control over price, distribution, and availability. This creates an unfairness to the consumer since they cannot look for competing offers from another business.

Could you imagine one oil company controlling all the gasoline in the US and setting the price at $7 per gallon because they're the only one offering the goods? We'd all be up in arms demanding an end to the monopoly.

As tech companies grow and claim more stake in the digital realm, they are bound to face anti-trust lawsuits, especially when they buy out and merge with competitors. The cost of living continues to rise, and digital services are becoming essential to life and business. Monopolies will only hurt us, the consumer, rather than help, which competition does.

More About Business & Civil Matters in Maryland

 

Police Officer Charged With Hiding Stepson's Dead Body

Original Story

What's Going On:

A Baltimore police officer is accused of hiding his stepson's body in his Anne Arundel County home. The cause of the boy's death is undetermined at the moment and is being investigated by the state medical examiner's office.

During a call related to a custody dispute, the officer was arrested and allegedly admitted to arresting officers that he moved and hid the body. The wife of the accused filed for a protective order in June to keep him away from the stepson and his biological sons, but a judge denied the petition a few days later.

Why This Matters To You:

Domestic violence situations almost always lead to tragedy when they are not appropriately handled. A protective order could have prevented this tragedy with a no-contact order, but unfortunately, a judge believed there was no danger and denied the petition.

Often, temporary protective orders are granted out of precaution. Why was this not the case here? In Maryland, it is the courts' job to protect our vulnerable citizens, like children, from harm. The mother asked for protection for herself and the children. Again, out of caution, this order should have been granted.

Now, a mother has lost her child, siblings lost their brother, and a community mourns the loss of a promising young citizen. However, a protective order can also come with stipulations for counseling or treatment, which may have helped the accused deal with some problems he was facing.

It is not just those who request the safeguards protected, but also those they believe may harm them by offering services to resolve the issue.

More About Maryland Protective Orders

 

Keith Davis Jr. to Remain Jailed Until 5th Murder Trial

Original Story

What's Going On:

Bail for Keith Davis Jr. was denied last week, and he is set to remain behind bars until his fifth murder trial is scheduled sometime next year. During the bail review hearing, his attorney argued that the multiple attempts at prosecution amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Davis has faced trial four times already for the shooting death of Pimlico security guard Kevin Jones in 2015. The trials have either had the convictions overturned or ended in a hung jury.

Why This Matters To You:

A fifth trial!? Unheard of. Prosecutors adhere to the burden of proof at trial, meaning they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. In this case, they have failed to provide that proof on four separate occasions.

The time for fishing has ended, and it's time for the prosecution to cut bait. Due to his incarceration, Davis has run into other legal problems which could have been avoided had he been allowed out on bail or released.

This case has reached levels of absurdity unthinkable to many. There's a three-strikes rule and your out rule for repeat offenders, shouldn't there be something similar for prosecutors?

More About Bail in Maryland

 

 

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