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The Weekly Writ: Maryland Legal News You Can Use for May 10, 2021

Today on May 10, 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.

What is Strict Liability and How Does It Affect You?

Original Story

What's Going On:

Maryland is one of the majority of states that enforce strict liability in lawsuits. If you do something that causes damage to property or injury to a person, you may be required to compensate the victim. That is if litigation is pursued.

From dog bites to dam bursts, in Maryland, the dog or dam owner may be liable for damage or injury.

Why This Matters To You:

We know that we are responsible for our behavior and actions. Laws are guiding how society expects us to act. Laws also dictate who is responsible for events that occur on our property or by our property.

Knowing your legal responsibilities when purchasing property helps you understand what you are about to get into. Many of us will never deal with strict liability during our lives, but accidents do happen.

We have highly experienced Bodily Injury and Personal Injury attorneys at JC Law ready to answer your questions about strict liability and what it means to you and your business or property. We can also help you with litigation that deals with strict liability.

Life throws curveballs, be ready and in the know when accidents DO happen and you're facing a lawsuit involving property damage or personal injury.

More About Personal Injury Cases in Maryland

 

Ocean City's Topless Ban Faces Another Court Challenge

Original Story

What's Going On:

A ruling banning women from going topless at Ocean City, Maryland beaches is back in front of a judge. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing the city's ordinance that bars women, but not men, from going topless on the beach.

A lower court upheld the ordinance last year, but now a challenge to its constitutionality sits before the court. Advocates for removing the topless ban say it violates the state constitution's guarantee of equal protection, while those in favor of the ordinance say it protects the "publics' sensibilities."

The city wants to keep the ban in place to protect its family-friendly character.

Why This Matters To You:

As we progress towards a more equitable society, issues about the law regarding differences based on biological sex will undoubtedly come up. Women continue to be underpaid and discriminated against compared to men, so the quest for equality remains.

We have been raised in a society that believes nudity is obscene and not fit for public display, but it comes with a double standard. Men are allowed to display their bare chests without facing prosecution for "public nudity," while a woman's breast is viewed as erotic and obscene and is prosecutable.

Female breasts are a unique attribute exclusive to human beings in their size and prominence in sexuality, but should they be treated differently from males? That is the question at the heart of the argument of the appeal.

Now, some issues arise with age. Minors on a beach being topless is a legal dilemma. Females who have not gone through puberty don't have breasts yet, but those who do and are younger than the legally defined age of adulthood represent an issue. A female in this age range being topless presents problems with child pornography. They are in public and open to strangers photographing them, then creating and distributing child porn from the image photographed.

A revised ordinance with an age restriction for females allowed to be topless is a good bet if the old one is found to be unconstitutional.

Nudity comes down to a person's comfort level with their skin, so the likelihood of swaths of topless beachgoers seen in Ocean City is low because we all have our neurosis about our body image. There will be some, but probably not enough to cause a bunch of pearl-clutching over it.

More About Public Indecency in Maryland

 

Supreme Court Declines Challenge to Maryland Bump Stock Law

Original Story

What's Going On:

Bump stocks will remain illegal in Maryland. The US Supreme Court declined to take on the challenge to the state's ban on the device that allows guns to fire faster.

The court did not include a comment about why it declined the case. Maryland preceded the federal ban on bump stocks in 2018. Both bans followed the 2017 mass shooting at a country concert in Las Vegas in which the shooter used the device on several assault-style rifles.

Why This Matters To You:

Our Second Amendment allows us the right to "bear and keep arms." Over the last several decades, challenges to that right have come about when terrible events occur. Proponents of gun control believe in keeping the public safe from gun violence, while gun-rights activists believe owning guns can protect them against that violence.

It's not surprising that the Supreme Court turned the case away as the last several weeks leading up to the news they declined the challenge there were a few mass shootings. The more violent gun crime rises, the less inclined our justice system will be to look at challenges to gun control.

The debate and changes to the law are far from over. Gun control is a hotly contested topic and sure to bring about many more challenges.

More About Maryland Gun Charges

 

Man Accidentally Bumps Police, Turns Into Arrest

Original Story

What's Going On:

A Hagerstown man found himself in more trouble than he bargained for after accidentally backing into a police cruiser. The man's vehicle reversed into the officer's car after being pulled over for erratic driving.

The officer conducted a field sobriety test, which the defendant failed, and a search of his vehicle turned up 12 grams of fentanyl in capsule form. The defendant is facing charges of maintaining a common nuisance for the distribution of narcotics, possession with intent to distribute narcotics, driving under the influence, reckless driving, and other offenses.

Why This Matters To You:

When drugs or alcohol are involved in driving, you ask for trouble. The two don't mix, and the results can be horrible and tragic.

Unfortunately, even with the rise of Uber and Lyft, we continue to see drivers getting behind the wheel impaired. The cost to you is high when caught. Not just with fines, ignition interlock devices, court costs, or jail time, but any other trouble that may be hiding in your car.

Imagine had this man just called a taxi to get home from the bar instead of driving home as he did. There would be no drug charges, DUI, or bail hearing. A litany of problems avoided had he made that decision.

Granted, not everyone can afford to Uber, Lyft, or a taxi home, but getting behind the wheel should not be in your options of choice for how to get home. Public transportation or calling a sober friend is always a better choice. Time, money, frustration, and dignity are saved when you don't drive impaired.

We get it, mistakes happen, and we don't always make the right decisions when impaired. That's why were here as lawyers to help you out of a tough spot.

Learn More About DUI Penalties

 

Maryland Becomes First State to Pardon Lynching Victims

Original Story

What's Going On:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan did something no other state government has done, pardoning 34 victims of racial lynching between 1854 and 1933. The governor issued the pardons at an event honoring Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old who was dragged from a jailhouse and hung before an appeal of his rape conviction could be filed.

Two years ago, state lawmakers created the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first of its kind in the nation, to document the history of lynching in the state.

Why This Matters To You:

Racial injustice has a long history in the US, a sad and disappointing truth. Crime committed due to racism is intolerable, and in today's world, we are striving to end it.

Violence committed without due process is a crime and should have consistently been recognized regardless of race. Our society says you are innocent until proven guilty, but lynch mobs removed due process and doled out the punishment they saw fit for the crime.

Many lynching victims were innocent of the crimes alleged against them; they were scapegoats because of the color of their skin and presumed guilty without trial.

More About Maryland Court System Matters