If you’re a student in Maryland, you’re faced with the day-to-day challenges of succeeding in your studies, maintaining a healthy social life, staying within the good graces of your family, earning money toward your education and living expenses through a part-time or even full-time job, and staying on the right side of the law. If you’re found guilty of a crime in Maryland, it could affect your ability to obtain financial aid in future semesters, or even your status as a student within the school in which you’re enrolled, depending on the severity of the crime and its resulting penalties. If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s imperative that you seek the legal assistance of an experienced Maryland defense attorney as soon as possible. Doing so will give you the best possible chance of maintaining your innocence, receiving a favorable outcome in court and proceeding with your academic life as normal.
Student Crime Info
According to Maryland criminal code ß 10-114, it is illegal to possess or control any alcoholic beverage if you’re under the age of 21, unless such possession is conducted as a necessity of work duties during regular work hours (such as if you’re a bartender or server under the age of 21). This same code makes it illegal to consume an alcoholic beverage if you’re under the age of 21. The only other exception to this law is if you’ve been given the alcoholic beverage by an adult within your immediate family, and you’re consume the beverage in a private residence of said adult.
The penalty for underage alcohol possession is neither a misdemeanor nor a felony, but rather a citation given by a law enforcement officer at the time of the alleged crime. The monetary fine associated with this ticket may vary from one location to the next within Maryland.
If you’re at least 21 years of age but you host parties that may involve underage possession of alcohol, you should be aware of criminal codes ß 10-116 and ß 10-117, which pertain to “obtaining for underage consumption” and “furnishing for or allowing underage consumption,” respectively. Code ß 10-116 makes it illegal to obtain or attempt to obtain an alcoholic beverage for the purpose of giving it to an individual you know to be under the age of 21.
Further, code ß 10-117 makes it illegal to furnish an alcoholic beverage to another individual if the individual in question is under the age of 21. This same code makes it illegal to knowingly and willfully allow a person under the age of 21 to consume or possess an alcoholic beverage in a residence you own or rent, even if you didn’t furnish the beverage to the minor. The only exceptions are if you’re participating in a religious ceremony, or if the minor is a member of your immediate family.
The penalties for adults found in violation of codes ß 10-116 and ß 10-117 include a misdemeanor conviction, as well as a fine of up to $2,500 for first-time offenders and up to $5,000 for repeat offenders.
As many students are aware, a disagreement at a house party or bar can quickly escalate into a physical altercation, especially when alcohol is involved. Depending on the circumstances of the physical fight, this could lead to charges of either first degree or second degree assault.
According to Maryland criminal code ß 3-202, assault in the first degree is defined as intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to an individual. It also includes any assault that includes a firearm. The penalty for first degree assault is a felony conviction, as well as a prison term not to exceed 25 years.
Maryland criminal code ß 3-203 prohibits any type of physical assault, and classifies this as assault in the second degree. If you’re found guilty of second degree assault, you’ll receive a misdemeanor conviction as well as a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison term of up to 10 years.
The penalties are more severe when second degree assault is committed against a law enforcement officer, or a probation or parole officer. Upon conviction, these charges result in a felony, as well as a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years.
Disorderly conduct and related crimes are covered by Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the Maryland criminal code. According to code ß 10-201, the following can be considered as disorderly conduct:
- Willfully and unlawfully obstructing the free passage of another individual in a public place
- Willfully acting in a manner that is disorderly and disturbs the peace of the public
- Willfully failing to obey a request of a law enforcement officer who is attempting to prevent the disturbance of the public
- Entering the premise or land of another individual and willfully acting in a disorderly manner, or making an unreasonably loud noise
- Making an unreasonably loud noise to disturb the peace in a public place or on the premises of another individual
According to state code ß 10-201(d), the penalty for disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor as well as a fine of up to $500, and a jail sentence of up to 60 days.
Keeping a disorderly house is prohibited by state code ß 10-202. According to this code, the penalty for keeping a disorderly house is a misdemeanor, as well as a jail sentence between 10 days and 6 months and a fine between $50 and $300.
According to Maryland criminal code ß 5-601, it is illegal to possess or administer a controlled dangerous substance, such as marijuana, without a prescription from a medical doctor. It is also illegal to obtain or attempt to obtain a controlled dangerous substance through fraud, misrepresentation, subterfuge, deceit, the use of a false name, or falsifying a prescription.
If you’re found guilty of possession or use of marijuana, you could face a jail sentence of up to 1 year as well as a fine of up to $1,000. If you can prove that you were in possession of the marijuana due to medical necessity, the penalty is a fine of up to $100.
If you’re found guilty of possession of another controlled dangerous substance, such as heroin or cocaine, you could face a misdemeanor conviction as well as up to 4 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.
Penalties for drug crimes can escalate with repeat offenses. Further, if you possess a large enough quantity of a dangerous controlled substance that the court deems you had intent to distribute, you could face felony charges, along with much heftier fines and longer incarceration terms.
A Maryland Defense Attorney can Help
If you’ve been charged with a crime as a student in Maryland your best course of action is to hire the a qualified, licensed Maryland criminal defense attorney. He or she will take your case seriously and examine every detail of your alleged offense, including gathering eyewitness testimony and utilizing every available legal resource to build a strong defense. This will give you the greatest possible chance of receiving the best possible outcome in court, allowing you to continue your studies with minimal interruption and avoid repercussions such as the loss of future financial aid.
No matter where you’re attending school in Maryland, our expert team of defense lawyers is ready to assist you. In locations like College Park and Bethesda, defense attorneys for students have expertise in the special considerations of college students charged with crimes. Defense attorneys are available in offices at any of the following locations.
Baltimore, Maryland is home to a variety of public and private universities, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Peabody Institute. The presence of seven major private colleges and five major public universities makes for a large student population in Baltimore, all of whom have the potential to need expert legal representation at some point during their studies.
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences contributes a fair student population to the Bethesda area. Property crimes make up the majority of the annual 1,687 crimes Bethesda sees on average, but violent crimes in the city average 2.05 for every 1,000 residents, less than half the Maryland average.
This appropriately named city is home to the University of Maryland, College Park, which acts as the flagship school in the state’s university system. This university is both the largest in the state and in the Washington Metropolitan area (37,000 students enrolled in 2010). Our College Park, Maryland defense attorneys have offices in the city with expertise in defending students charged with a crime.
While there are no major universities within Columbia, Howard Community College, John Hopkins University, and Loyola University Maryland all have facilities in the city limits. College students attending schools in neighboring areas also contribute to Columbia’s, sizable student population. Maryland defense attorneys keep offices in Columbia to assist students charged with a crime.
Montgomery County is home to Montgomery College, a public community college, but has no four-year colleges within its city limits. Students charged with a crime in Montgomery County typically attend school at a neighboring college or university. Our defense attorneys in Montgomery County are familiar with the criminal legal system in your local area, and have expertise in handling special considerations for college students charged with a crime.
Prince George’s County
Prince George’s County is home to a number of colleges and universities, including Bowie State University, Prince George’s Community College, and Capitol College. Students charged with a crime in Prince George’s County need dedicated legal counsel with experience in the local legal system. Hyattsville is also home to a number of students who attend the University of Maryland.
While nine major colleges and universities have Rockville addresses, none are within the city limits. Only Montgomery College directly impacts the local student population of the area. But students attending other Maryland schools can be charged with a crime in Rockville, which requires a specialized attorney familiar with prosecutors, police officers, and judges working in Rockville and Silver Spring.