Legal FAQ

Common Questions and Answers

Thank you for your interest in Salvado Law. For over 25 years, we have heard the questions and concerns of our clients.  Below are answers to frequently asked questions in various practice areas. 

Can a Protective Order help me as a victim of domestic violence?

Victims of domestic violence frequently do not seek protection from the courts because they are not fully aware of their rights under an Order of Protection, or “Protective Order.” Most people are aware that Protective Orders have the power to prevent abusers from threatening or harming their victims, but for many of these victims, especially those who earn little or no income on their own, and those with young children, that can be hurtful in other ways.

Oftentimes victims who would be eligible for relief under a Protective Order choose not to file for one because the abuser is the primary or sole income-earner of the family, and the father of the victims’ children. These victims are often unaware that in Maryland, a final Protective Order can afford relief beyond physical protection from their abusers. If the victim has minor children, a judge issuing a Protective Order may award temporary custody to the victim, and give the victim temporary use and possession of the family’s home and vehicle. The judge may also require the abuser to pay “emergency family maintenance” so that rent/mortgage, utilities, daycare, and other essential monthly expenses can be paid. However, because a Protective Order is temporary, a victim’s rights under it are temporary as well, and it may become necessary to file for a more permanent custody order. An experienced attorney can be beneficial in both presenting your “Petition for Order of Protection” to the court to obtain the maximum benefit, as well as evaluating what other measures may need to be taken to further protect you, your children, and your interests.

Protective Orders are designed to provide a swift process to assist victims of domestic violence in removing themselves and their children from harmful situations without causing them to uproot their lives, or to struggle financially. Knowing and understanding your rights under a Protective Order can mean the difference between living in fear, and living.

What happens if I am caught driving with a suspended or revoked drivers license?

In Maryland, driving with a suspended or revoked license can carry serious penalties. Often clients think, “I wasn’t hurting anyone; I was just driving regularly, so what is the big deal?” Unfortunately, offenses related to driving on a suspended or revoked license usually carry the possibility of jail time, as well as further complications for your license itself.

Our attorneys will assist you with fixing any licensure problems, guide you through the court process, and fight for your freedom. Call 301-933-1814 to make a free appointment.

MD Code, Transportation, § 16-303

16-303. Actions prohibited while license or privilege to drive is refused, suspended, or revoked

Driving while license or privilege to drive refused

(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is refused in this State or any other state.

Driving while license or privilege to drive canceled

(b) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is canceled in this State.

Driving while license or privilege to drive suspended

(c) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is suspended in this State.

Driving while license or privilege to drive revoked

(d) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is revoked in this State.

Driving while license issued by other state is canceled

(e) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license issued by any other state is canceled.

Driving while license issued by other state is suspended

(f) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license issued by any other state is suspended.

Driving while license issued by other state is revoked

(g) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license issued by any other state is revoked.

Driving while license or privilege to drive is suspended under §§ 17-106, 26-204, 26-206, or 27-103

(h) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is suspended under § 17-106, § 26-204, § 26-206, or § 27-103 of this article.

Driving while license or privilege to drive is suspended under traffic laws or regulations of other state

(i)(1) This subsection applies only to a person whose license or privilege to drive is suspended under the traffic laws or regulations of another state for:

(i) Failure to comply with a notice to appear in a court of that state contained in a traffic citation issued to the person; or

(ii) Failure to pay a fine for a violation of any traffic laws or regulations of that state.

(2) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege to drive is suspended under the traffic laws or regulations of any other state as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

Points assessed for violation of this section

(j)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any individual who violates a provision of this section shall be assessed the points as provided for in § 16-402(a)(34) of this title.

(2) Any individual who violates a provision of subsection (h) or subsection (i) of this section shall be assessed the points as provided for in § 16-402(a)(14) of this title.

What if I was charged with a criminal assault in Maryland.?

Assault in Maryland can be charged in various ways. Assault is defined as the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery. There are both Felony and Misdemeanor versions of the charge.

Contact one of our trusted criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation. Being charged with criminal assault in Maryland is a serious issue.

1ST DEGREE ASSAULT – FELONY

CRIM LAW 3-201

(a)(1) A person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.

(2) A person may not commit an assault with a firearm, including:

(i) a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, as those terms are defined in §4-201 of this article;

(ii) an assault pistol, as defined in § 4-301 of this article;

(iii) a machine gun, as defined in § 4-401 of this article; and

(iv) a regulated firearm, as defined in § 5-101 of the Public Safety Article.

Penalty

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

2ND DEGREE ASSAULT – MISDEMEANOR

CRIM LAW 3-203

(a) A person may not commit an assault.

Penalty:

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

2ND DEGREE ASSAULT – FELONY

(c)(1) In this subsection, “physical injury” means any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries.

(2) A person may not intentionally cause physical injury to another if the person knows or has reason to know that the other is:

(i) a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s official duties; or

(ii) a parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the agent’s official duties.

(3) A person who violates paragraph (2) of this subsection is guilty of the felony of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

Are Maryland theft charges a serious offense?

It is imperative to speak to an experienced criminal law attorney as soon as possible should you be charged with theft in Maryland.

Maryland’s theft statute covers various acts. Many individuals are surpised to learn that they have been charged with theft despite never actually having taken any property. Below you will find excerpts from the statute.

MD. CRIM LAW 7-104

Unauthorized control over property

(a) A person may not willfully or knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control over property, if the person:

(1) intends to deprive the owner of the property;

(2) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or

(3) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.

Unauthorized control over property–By deception

(b) A person may not obtain control over property by willfully or knowingly using deception, if the person:

(1) intends to deprive the owner of the property;

(2) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or

(3) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.

Possessing stolen personal property

(c)(1) A person may not possess stolen personal property knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it probably has been stolen, if the person:

(i) intends to deprive the owner of the property;

(ii) willfully or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or

(iii) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.

(2) In the case of a person in the business of buying or selling goods, the knowledge required under this subsection may be inferred if:

(i) the person possesses or exerts control over property stolen from more than one person on separate occasions;

(ii) during the year preceding the criminal possession charged, the person has acquired stolen property in a separate transaction; or

(iii) being in the business of buying or selling property of the sort possessed, the person acquired it for a consideration that the person knew was far below a reasonable value.

(3) In a prosecution for theft by possession of stolen property under this subsection, it is not a defense that

(i) the person who stole the property has not been convicted, apprehended, or identified;

(ii) the defendant stole or participated in the stealing of the property;

(iii) the property was provided by law enforcement as part of an investigation, if the property was described to the defendant as being obtained through the commission of theft; or

(iv) the stealing of the property did not occur in the State.

(4) Unless the person who criminally possesses stolen property participated in the stealing, the person who criminally possesses stolen property and a person who has stolen the property are not accomplices in theft for the purpose of any rule of evidence requiring corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice.

Control over property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake

(d) A person may not obtain control over property knowing that the property was lost, mislaid, or was delivered under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient or nature or amount of the property, if the person:

(1) knows or learns the identity of the owner or knows, is aware of, or learns of a reasonable method of identifying the owner;

(2) fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner; and

(3) intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when the person obtains the property or at a later time.

Services available only for compensation

(e) A person may not obtain the services of another that are available only for compensation:

(1) by deception; or

(2) with knowledge that the services are provided without the consent of the person providing them.

Inference of intention or knowledge

(f) Under this section, an offender’s intention or knowledge that a promise would not be performed may not be established by or inferred solely from the fact that the promise was not performed.

Penalty

(g)(1) A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of:

(i) at least $1,000 but less than $10,000 is guilty of a felony and:

is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both; and

shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services;

(ii) at least $10,000 but less than $100,000 is guilty of a felony and:

is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both; and

shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services; or

(iii) $100,000 or more is guilty of a felony and:

is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both; and

shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, a person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $1,000, is guilty of a misdemeanor and:

(i) is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or a fine not exceeding $500 or both; and

(ii) shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

(3) A person convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $100 is guilty of a misdemeanor and:

(i) is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both; and

(ii) shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) of this subsection, a person who has two or more prior convictions under this subtitle and who is convicted of theft of property or services with a value of less than $1,000 under paragraph (2) of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and:

(i) is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both; and

(ii) shall restore the property taken to the owner or pay the owner the value of the property or services.

(5) The court may not impose the penalties under paragraph (4) of this subsection unless the State’s Attorney serves notice on the defendant or the defendant’s counsel before the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or at least 15 days before trial that:

(i) the State will seek the penalties under paragraph (4) of this subsection; and

(ii) lists the alleged prior convictions.

Can Salvado Law help me with DUI charges?

A charge for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be complicated. In addition to a criminal trial and possible jail time, you may face numerous consequences both for your driver’s license, including suspension or revocation, and for your private and professional life. It is important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after being charged with a DUI; certain consequences are time-sensitive, and delaying speaking with an attorney can reduce the number of options you have available.

Consultations are free at Salvado Law for DUIs, so come and speak to an attorney today.

21-902. Driving while under the influence or impairment of alcohol or drugs prohibited

Driving while under the influence of alcohol

(a)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

(2) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol per se.

(3) A person may not violate paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection while transporting a minor.

Driving while impaired by alcohol

(b)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while impaired by alcohol.

(2) A person may not violate paragraph (1) of this subsection while transporting a minor.

Driving while under influence of drugs and/or alcohol

(c)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while he is so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that he cannot drive a vehicle safely.

(2) It is not a defense to any charge of violating this subsection that the person charged is or was entitled under the laws of this State to use the drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, unless the person was unaware that the drug or combination would make the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.

(3) A person may not violate paragraph (1) of this subsection while transporting a minor.

Driving while under influence of controlled dangerous substance

(d)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while the person is impaired by any controlled dangerous substance, as that term is defined in § 5-101 of the Criminal Law Article, if the person is not entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance under the laws of this State.

(2) A person may not violate paragraph (1) of this subsection while transporting a minor.

Subsequent offender penalties

(e) For purposes of the application of subsequent offender penalties under § 27-101 of this article, a conviction for a crime committed in another state or federal jurisdiction that, if committed in this State, would constitute a violation of subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section shall be considered a violation of subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section.

27-101. Fines and penalties for motor vehicle violations

Violations subject to fine not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both

(c) Any person who is convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of the following sections of this article is subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both:

(22) Except as provided in subsections (f) and (q) of this section, § 21-902(b) (“Driving while impaired by alcohol”);

(23) Except as provided in subsections (f) and (q) of this section, § 21-902(c) (“Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol”);

Violations of §§ 14-103 or 21-902

(f)(1) A person is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both, if the person is convicted of:

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (q) of this section, a second violation of:

§ 21-902(b) of this article (”Driving while impaired by alcohol”); or

§ 21-902(c) of this article (”Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol”).

(2) Except as provided in subsection (q) of this section, a person who is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of § 21-902(b) or (c) of this article is subject to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (q) of this section, for the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties for a violation of § 21-902(b) of this article provided under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a prior conviction of § 21-902(a), (c), or (d) of this article shall be considered a conviction of § 21-902(b) of this article.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (q) of this section, for the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties for a violation of § 21-902(c) of this article provided under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a prior conviction of § 21-902(a), (b), or (d) of this article shall be considered a conviction of § 21-902(c) of this article.

Imprisonment defined

(2)(i) A person who is convicted of a violation of § 21-902(a) of this article within 5 years after a prior conviction under that subsection is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days.

(ii) A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under § 21-902(a) of this article within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days.

(3)(i) A person who is convicted of a violation of § 21-902(d) of this article within 5 years after a prior conviction under that subsection is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days.

(ii) A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under § 21-902(d) of this article within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days.

(4) A person who is convicted of an offense under § 21-902(a) of this article within 5 years of a prior conviction of any offense under that subsection shall be required by the court to:

(i) Undergo a comprehensive alcohol abuse assessment; and

(ii) If recommended at the conclusion of the assessment, participate in an alcohol program as ordered by the court that is:

Certified by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene;

Certified by an agency in an adjacent state that has powers and duties similar to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; or

Approved by the court.

(5) A person who is convicted of an offense under § 21-902(d) of this article within 5 years of a prior conviction of any offense under that subsection shall be required by the court to:

(i) Undergo a comprehensive drug abuse assessment; and

(ii) If recommended at the conclusion of the assessment, participate in a drug program as ordered by the court that is:

Certified by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene;

Certified by an agency in an adjacent state that has powers and duties similar to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; or

Approved by the court.

(6) The penalties provided by this subsection are mandatory and are not subject to suspension or probation.

Violation of § 21-902

(k)(1) Except as provided in subsection (q) of this section, any person who is convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of § 21-902(a) of this article (“Driving while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se”) or § 21-902(d) of this article (“Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance”):

(i) For a first offense, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both;

(ii) For a second offense, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both; and

(iii) For a third or subsequent offense, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both.

(2) For the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties for violation of § 21-902(a) of this article provided under this subsection, a prior conviction under § 21-902(b), (c), or (d) of this article, within 5 years of the conviction for a violation of § 21-902(a) of this article, shall be considered a conviction under § 21-902(a) of this article.

(3) For the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties for violation of § 21-902(d) of this article provided under this subsection, a prior conviction under § 21-902(a), (b), or (c) of this article, within 5 years of the conviction for a violation of § 21-902(d) of this article, shall be considered a conviction under § 21-902(d) of this article.

Violation of § 21-902

(q)(1) Any person who is convicted of a violation of § 21-902(a)(3) or (d)(2) of this article is subject to:

(i) For a first offense, a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both;

(ii) For a second offense, a fine of not more than $3,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both; and

(iii) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both.

(2) Any person who is convicted of a violation of § 21-902(b)(2) or (c)(3) of this article is subject to:

(i) For a first offense, a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or both;

(ii) For a second offense, a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both; and

(iii) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both.

(3) For the purpose of determining second or subsequent offender penalties provided under this subsection, a prior conviction of any provision of § 21-902 of this article that subjected a person to the penalties under this subsection shall be considered a prior conviction.

Violation of § 21-902

(x)(1) In this section, “test” has the meaning stated in § 16-205.1 of this article.

(2) The penalties in this subsection are in addition to any other penalty under this title imposed for a violation of § 21-902 of this article.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) of this subsection, if a person is convicted of a violation of § 21-902 of this article and the trier of fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the person knowingly refused to take a test arising out of the same circumstances as the violation, the person is subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both.

(4) A court may not impose an additional penalty under this subsection unless the State’s Attorney serves notice of the alleged test refusal on the defendant or the defendant’s counsel before the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or at least 15 days before trial in a circuit court or 5 days before trial in the District Court, whichever is earlier.

I failed to stop at the seen of an accident, arrested and charged with "Hit and Run". Will you help?

A driver involved in an accident has certain duties under Maryland law. Charges for failing to stop at the scene of an accident carry serious consequences, but are often defendable in court. If you have been accused of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving property damage or personal injuries, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to analyze and prepare any defenses.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-102

20-102. Duty of driver to remain at scene of accident resulting in bodily injury or death-

Duty of driver to stop vehicle close to scene of accident resulting in bodily injury

(a)(1) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to another person immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

(2) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to another person immediately shall return to and remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has complied with § 20-104 of this title.

Duty of driver to stop vehicle close to scene of accident resulting in death

(b)(1) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in the death of another person immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

(2) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in the death of another person immediately shall return to and remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has complied with § 20-104 of this title.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-103

20-103. Duty of driver to stop or return to scene of accident resulting in damage to vehicle-

Duty of driver to stop near scene of accident

(a) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results only in damage to an attended vehicle or other attended property immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

Duty of driver to return and remain at scene of accident

(b) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results only in damage to an attended vehicle or other attended property shall return to and remain at the scene of the accident until he has complied with § 20-104 of this title.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-104

20-104. Duty of driver to render reasonable assistance to persons injured in accident-

Accidents resulting in bodily injury or death to persons in vehicle

(a) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to or death of any person or in damage to an attended vehicle or other attended property shall render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident and, if the person requests medical treatment or it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary, arrange for the transportation of the person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical treatment.

Request for name, address, and registration number of vehicle driven

(b) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to or death of any person or in damage to an attended vehicle or other attended property shall give his name, his address, and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and, on request, exhibit his license to drive, if it is available, to:

(1) Any person injured in the accident; and

(2) The driver, occupant of, or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident.

Request to display license to drive

(c) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to or death of any person or in damage to an attended vehicle or other attended property shall give the same information described in subsection (b) of this section and, on request, exhibit his license to drive, if it is available, to any police officer who is at the scene of or otherwise is investigating the accident.

Report of accident if police officer not present

(d) If a police officer is not present and none of the specified persons is in condition to receive the information to which the person otherwise would be entitled under this section, the driver, after fulfilling to the extent possible every other requirement of § 20-102 of this title and subsection (a) of this section, immediately shall report the accident to the nearest office of an authorized police authority and give the information specified in subsection (b) of this section.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-105

20-105. Duty of driver involved in accident with unattended vehicle or property

Duty to stop vehicle close to scene of accident

(a) The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in damage to an unattended vehicle or other unattended property immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

Information provided to driver, owner, or person in charge of damaged vehicle or property

(b) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in damage to an unattended vehicle or other unattended property shall attempt to locate the driver, owner, or person in charge of the damaged vehicle or other property and notify him of:

(1) His name and address;

(2) The registration number of the vehicle he is driving; and

(3) The name and address of the owner of that vehicle.

Driver, owner, or person in charge of damaged vehicle or property not located

(c) If the driver, owner, or person in charge of the damaged vehicle or other property cannot be located, leave in a conspicuous, secure place in or on the damaged vehicle or other property a written notice giving the same information.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-105.1

20-105.1. Additional information required of driver of vehicle involved in accident

Information relating to insurance carrier or security provider

(a) In addition to the information that is required to be given under §§ 20-104 and 20-105 of this title, the driver of each vehicle involved in an accident under either of those sections shall also give the following information:

(1) Name and address of the insurance carrier or other provider of security for the person giving the information;

(2) Policy or other identifying number of the liability insurance or other security, if it is available;

(3) Name and address of the local insurance producer or local office of the insurance carrier or other provider of security, if it is available; and

(4) For a vehicle that is self-insured under the Administration’s self-insurance program, evidence of self-insurance in the form required by the Administration.

Regulations

(b)(1) The Administration shall adopt regulations that:

(i) Establish the form and content of the evidence of self-insurance required under subsection (a)(4) of this section; and

(ii) Require each self-insurer to maintain the evidence of self-insurance in each vehicle covered under the self-insurer’s self-insurance certificate.

(2) Regulations adopted by the Administration under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall require the evidence of self-insurance to include:

(i) The name, address, and self-insurance certificate number of the self-insurer;

(ii) The name, address, and telephone number of the self-insurer’s third party administrator or third party adjuster; and

(iii) The vehicle identification number of the self-insured vehicle.

MD Code, Transportation, § 20-106

20-106. Duty of driver upon striking domestic animal with vehicle

Notification of State or local police

(a) In addition to the other requirements of this title, if a motor vehicle strikes and injures a domestic animal, the driver of the motor vehicle immediately shall notify the appropriate State or local police of the accident.

Notification of local organization or governmental agency to provide medical care

(b) On receipt of notice under this section, the police shall notify the local organization or governmental agency designated by the appropriate local government to give such injured animals medical care.

My spouse/romantic partner/ex-romantic partner or spouse accused me of hitting or threatening to hit him or her on one occasion. Why are there two legal cases - a Protective Order and a Criminal Case - open against me?

If your significant other—or ex-significant other—has filed a Protective Order and Criminal Charges against you, you must understand the differences between those two types of cases to know how to best proceed. A Civil Protective Order is basically a “stay away” restraining order. Here we will explain what a Protective Order is and how it is different from a criminal case. A Protective Order is not a criminal case, so the accused does not face even the possibility of going to jail under the Protective Order. A Defendant only faces jail or other punishments in a criminal case.

In Maryland, a Protective Order is only a legal action that a private individual can bring against another private person asking a judge to order the accused not to abuse the Petitioner—that is, the person requesting the Protective Order. Essentially, a Protective Order is a legal proceeding designed to promote peace (and safety for the alleged victim) by distancing the “abuser” from the “victim.” That is why Protective Orders usually result in a “no contact” order from a judge. In general, Final Protective Orders last one year. They can be extended for longer if the Petitioner alleges that the Respondent violated the terms of the Final Protective Order during the period in which the final protective order is in effect.

A Criminal case is a punitive legal proceeding brought by the government (i.e., the police or the prosecutor’s office)—not by a private person—against a Defendant for allegedly committing a crime. Because a criminal case is punishment-centered in nature—and not just cautionary like a civil Protective Order case—the Defendant in a criminal case faces the possibility of jail if he or she is convicted of a crime. Also, since the government is the party bringing a criminal case, the “victim” cannot “dismiss” the case. The government is the one that decides whether to take the case to trial or not. Still, even if the government decides to take the case to trial, there are sometimes defenses that can be raised to try to convince a judge or jury that the Defendant did not commit a crime, and, therefore, should not be punished at all with either jail, fines or probation.

My significant other did not bring the Criminal case and the Protective Order case at the same time. Is it legal for my significant other to file a Protective Order and a Criminal Case at different times?

Within certain parameters, it is legal for an alleged victim to bring the Criminal case and Protective Order case at different times. When a person is allegedly hit by a current or former domestic partner (for example, a spouse, person with whom one shares a child, or a person with whom the victim has had a sexual relation within the last year, among others) during one sole incident, then “victim” can pursue two legal proceedings. First, the alleged victim can go to the police or Commissioner’s office to request that the government bring criminal charges against the “abuser.” Additionally, the alleged victim can also request a protective order to make sure that the “abuser” does not have any direct or indirect contact of any sort with the “victim.” A Protective Order petitioner can file for a protective order up to a year after the alleged abuse. Therefore, there are times when the alleged victim will notify the police about alleged abuse and the police will charge the alleged abuser immediately. Then, the alleged victim will file for a Protective Order at a later time because the alleged victim can wait up to a year from the incident to apply for a Protective Order. There are also times when an alleged victim will seek a Protective Order first and seek criminal charges later. Again, that may be permitted by law, depending on the criminal charges that are brought at a later time. Generally, Maryland law has no statute of limitations for felony criminal charges, so felony charges can be brought even years after an incident. Most misdemeanor charges have a one year statute of limitations, so an alleged victim can seeks criminal charges up to a year—sometimes longer—after an alleged domestic violence incident.

Why can a Domestic Violence “victim” seek two different kinds of cases?

There are various reasons why, but two reasons are most common. First, Protective Orders and Criminal cases have different goals or purposes. The purpose of a Protective Order is to promote the Peace and ensure the alleged victim’s safety irrespective of whether the alleged abuser is punished in a criminal case. A Protective Order generally seeks to separate the parties to avoid any future violence. A Criminal case seeks to punish an alleged abuser with either jail, a fine, a period of probation accompanied by conditions that the accused must satisfy, or some other form of punishment. Second, the standard of proof for each proceeding is different. The standard for a criminal case is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the highest standard of proof under the law. On the other hand, the standard of proof for a protective order is “preponderance of the evidence,” which means this: the petitioner has to prove that it is more likely than not that the alleged abuse happened. As an example, if a feather falls on an evenly-calibrated old fashioned scale and tips it ever so slightly, the side with the feather on it carries the preponderance of the evidence. Thus, there are cases in which there is not enough evidence to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt (for example, no photos of injuries, medical records or witnesses), but the victim’s allegations of physical abuse are credible enough to convince a judge by the preponderance of the evidence in a Protective Order case (i.e., the feather falls on one side of the scales of justice). .

How do Protective Orders move through the legal system? That is, how many hearings are there? What is the nature of those hearings?

Usually, a Protective Order petitioner can walk into any Maryland State court during office hours, file an application, go before a judge that same day, and get a Temporary Protective Order, which is usually in effect for a week, but can be extended if the Respondent is not served with a copy of the Temporary Order and Protective Order Petition within a week. Once the Respondent is served with the Temporary Protective Order (in other words, once the Respondent personally receives a copy of the Temporary), then a Final Protective Order hearing can be held. At a Final Protective Order hearing, the Respondent can show up and provide his or her side of the story. When the Petitioner seeks Protective order while the Courts are closed, then he or she can go get an interim Protective Order from the District Court Commissioner. Then the Temporary and Final hearings will take place later.

At the Final Protective Order hearing, the Respondent can either (a) agree to the entry of a Protective Order without admitting the allegations and without a judicial finding that the Respondent committed any abuse; or (b) the Respondent can ask for a trial, in which the Petitioner testifies regarding the allegations, and the Respondent can also—but does not have to testify. Each of the two options has pros and cons. A party to a Protective Order should consult an attorney to learn and understand all the pros and cons of consenting to or trying a Protective Order. 

Pros/Cons of Consenting

By consenting, the Respondent can avoid a finding of wrongdoing, but there will be a consent Protective Order in effect for a year. If during that year, the Petitioner accuses the Respondent of violating the Protective Order, the Respondent will most likely be charged with the crime of violating a protective order, and can be held in contempt for disobeying the consent order. Thus, even though there is a potential benefit to consenting, the Petitioner will still hold some leverage over the Respondent for a full year. Another downside to consenting is that, if a Respondent consents, he or she cannot appeal later on, as Maryland does not allow people to appeal from orders they consent to.

Pros/cons of trial

If the Respondent goes to trial and loses, there will be a finding of abuse against the Respondent, and there will also be a year-long protective order against him or her. However, if the Respondent wins, then there is no protective order against him or her at all, and the Respondent’s freedom of movement and other rights are not limited at all. If there is a trial, either party can appeal the result of the trial. If the original Final Protective Order hearing takes place in the District Court, then, on appeal, there will automatically be a right to have new trial in the Circuit Court, and the “loser” in District Court can take another bite at the case. However, if the Final Protective Order takes place in Circuit Court, then an appeal is “on the record,” which means that there is no automatic right to a new trial and there will almost certainly not be a new trial. The Respondent in a Protective Order case should consult with a lawyer before deciding whether to consent to a Final Protective Order or go to trial, as the facts of every case are different.

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