About 21062278

DUI conviction

What Driving Restrictions Might You Have After a DUI Conviction in Maryland?

Maryland takes DUIs very seriously. As a result, there are harsh penalties levied for a DUI conviction, whether it is your first one or your third. Working with an attorney is essential to minimize the damages that you experience. What types of restrictions might be placed on your ability to drive in the state after your conviction?

DUIs in Maryland

Every year in Maryland, there are many accidents involving people who are driving under the influence. Sadly, in the past five years alone, almost 800 people have been killed in these accidents—approximately one-third of all fatalities related to car accidents in the state. Maryland takes driving while intoxicated very seriously, and there are special checkpoints and patrols throughout the roadways. The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort troopers specifically focus on impaired driving, and they have taken over 4,000 impaired drivers off of the streets in the past decade.

What Happens If You’re Convicted?

If you receive a DUI conviction, you will be dealing with criminal penalties and additional sanctions on your license. The penalties that you deal with will depend on how many (if any) convictions you’ve had before. Your criminal penalties can include:

  • First-Time Offenders: You will receive a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
  • Second-Time Offenders: You will face up to a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail.

Your driving penalties will include:

  • First-Time Offenders: 12 points will be added to your driving record and you may have your license revoked for up to six months.
  • Second-Time Offenders: 12 points will be added to your driving record and you may have your license taken away for up to a year.

If you have two convictions in a five-year period, there is a mandatory one-year period that your license will be suspended. Additionally, you will have to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. In some cases, you may be offered the opportunity to opt into the Ignition Interlock Program for a year instead of having your license suspended and your ability to drive taken away.

Why an Attorney Is So Important

While there are serious consequences for any DUI conviction in Maryland, working with an attorney can help minimize the most serious impacts on your life, like license suspension and jail time. Your attorney will work on your behalf and help ensure that your one-time mistake does not permanently harm your career or life.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your DUI Case

If you have experienced a DUI charge, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

car insurance coverage

The Importance of Having Full Car Insurance Coverage in Maryland

Car insurance coverage is not just a legal requirement in Maryland—it’s an important way to protect yourself and everyone else on the road. While liability insurance is mandatory in most states, many Maryland drivers choose collision insurance and comprehensive insurance to further protect themselves. Why is getting full car insurance coverage so important?

The Basics of Car Insurance Coverage

Maryland law requires motorists to maintain at least the minimum coverage level for bodily injury liability (30K per individual / 60K per accident), property damage liability (15K per accident), and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (30K per individual / 60K per accident). However, there are many other types of coverage that you should consider for increased protection. The basic types of policies include:

  • Liability Insurance: This helps protect you in an accident, and it can include bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. These help cover the cost of medical expenses or property damage claims that the other party makes in an accident where it is your fault.
  • Uninsured Motorist Insurance: This coverage helps give you financial protection if you or your property are harmed by someone who is driving without any insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage also includes those who do not have sufficient insurance to cover your claim.
  • Comprehensive or Collision Coverage: This type of coverage is required by most lenders if you don’t own your car outright, and it helps cover losses due to the damage or loss of your vehicle. Collision coverage is designed to cover the cost of repairs or make you whole on the value of your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle that happens due to something other than an accident, like theft or vandalism.

Some insurance companies also offer optional add-ons, like towing coverage.

The Benefits of Full Car Insurance Coverage in Maryland

  1. Legal Compliance: Full car insurance coverage makes it easy to stay compliant with Maryland’s legal requirements.
  2. Financial Protection: Comprehensive coverage is a great way to protect yourself from the steep financial burden of repairing or replacing your car in the event of non-crash incidents like theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disasters.
  3. Protect Your Car: Full car insurance coverage helps protect one of your biggest assets—your vehicle! By giving you financial protection against liabilities arising from accidents or damages caused by or to other drivers, you can rest assured that you won’t be financially devastated by an accident.
  4. Peace of Mind: Having comprehensive insurance coverage offers peace of mind every time you get on the road. You can focus on driving without worrying about potential legal or financial issues if you’re involved in an accident.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Car Accident Case

If you have experienced a car accident, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

driving defensively

5 Essential Tips for Driving Defensively Around Big Trucks

Driving alongside big trucks can be an intimidating experience for many motorists, regardless of their experience level. Large trucks have a dangerous combination of massive size and limited visibility. However, with a few defensive driving strategies, you can ensure your safety and that of others while sharing the road with large vehicles. Here are our best tips for driving defensively around big trucks.

Give Space on Turns

Big trucks require plenty of space to complete turns, and they often need to swing wider to accommodate their length. Be aware of truck turn signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver. Never try to squeeze in between a turning truck and the curb or attempt to pass on the inside while a truck is turning.

Maintain a Safe Distance

One of the biggest rules of driving defensively, especially around big trucks, is to maintain a safe following distance. Trucks have larger blind spots compared to passenger vehicles, which makes it difficult for truck drivers to see cars directly behind or beside them. Always stay at least four to six seconds behind a truck and allow for extra space when driving at high speeds or in poor weather. This distance gives you enough time to react to any sudden maneuvers or stops.

Avoid the Blind Spots

Big trucks have significant blind spots that are much larger than normal vehicles. These blind spots include the areas directly behind the truck, by the driver’s door, and towards the rear. To make sure that the truck driver can see you, you should avoid lingering in these blind spots. When driving defensively, accelerate or decelerate to maintain a safe position where the truck driver can see you in their mirrors.

Pass Quickly and With Purpose

When passing a big truck, you should do so carefully but also without hesitating. Signal your intentions early, check your mirrors, and ensure there’s enough space to complete the lane change without getting too close in front of the truck. Trucks have longer stopping distances, so you should allow enough space when driving defensively. Once you’ve passed, give the truck plenty of room before merging back into the lane.

Be Patient and Predictable

Patience and predictability are key when sharing the road with big trucks and driving defensively. Avoid rapid changes in your driving, like sudden lane changes, or tailgating. Bad driving behaviors radically increase the likelihood of an accident. Signal lane changes in advance, brake gradually, and maintain a consistent speed to allow trucks to anticipate your actions.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Car Accident Case

If you have experienced a car accident, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

ghost gun laws

Understanding Maryland Ghost Gun Laws

As of 2022, ghost gun laws in Maryland require ghost guns to be formally registered with the state. This legislation was designed to make Marylanders safer, as ghost guns have been a growing problem. What are ghost guns, and what ghost gun laws do you need to follow as a Maryland firearm owner?

What Are Ghost Guns?

Ghost guns are also known as privately made firearms. These guns can be made at home using kits or through 3D printing. Because ghost guns are privately manufactured instead of through another company, they do not have serial numbers, which can make them totally untraceable. These gun kits are incredibly dangerous, as they can put guns into the hands of those who would not pass a background check, including domestic abusers and violent offenders.

Through implementing ghost gun legislation, lawmakers are taking one step towards making it harder for criminals to obtain unregistered guns. For example, one of the biggest manufacturers of ghost guns recovered in Baltimore was a company named Polymer80. This company marketed its gun kits to gun traffickers, minors, and criminals who would otherwise be unable to get guns. The city filed a lawsuit against the company in 2022 and just reached a $1.2 million settlement with the company that prevents Polymer80 from advertising or selling ghost guns in the state and requiring them to immediately cease all operations in Maryland. Thanks to these laws, municipalities are able to prosecute businesses and individuals who were previously harder to stop.

Maryland’s Ghost Gun Laws

Maryland’s ghost gun laws were put into effect on June 1, 2022, and they were designed to close the registration loophole that ghost guns previously benefitted from. Anyone who possessed non-serialized firearms, including ones that were not finished, was required to have them marked with a personal identification number before March 1, 2023. As of June 1, 2022, all new firearms that are purchased in kit form must be serialized, whether or not they are assembled.

The ghost gun laws in Maryland forbid the purchase, sale, offer to sell, or transfer of any ghost guns that do not have a serial number. If you are caught in possession of a firearm that does not have a serial number, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor and receive a $10,000 fine and/or five years of jail time. These penalties can stack on top of other potential criminal penalties, like illegal possession of a firearm.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Case

If you are facing criminal charges, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

motorcycle accident

How Are Motorcycle Accident Cases Different from Car Accident Cases?

Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers in traditional cars. According to data from Zero Deaths Maryland, motorcyclists account for 91% of all people injured in motorcycle-involved crashes. A motorcycle accident also has almost three times more risk for injury or death compared to other accidents. What are some of the differences between motorcycle accidents and car accidents?

Motorcyclists Often Face Prejudice

While a few bad drivers have not soiled the perception of all drivers, a few bad motorcyclists often have soiled the perception of all motorcyclists in the minds of some people. These cultural stereotypes can lead to a bias against motorcyclists in a variety of ways, including in witness statements or during a jury trial. Working with the right attorney is critical to show that you are a safe and responsible driver.

Motorcycles Are More Vulnerable to Road Hazards

Cars can cope with road hazards like gravel, potholes, roadkill, or other hazards. While these things might damage the vehicle or lead to a flat tire, it is rare that they lead to a serious accident. These road hazards are much harder for motorcyclists to avoid, and they are also more likely to lead to an accident. Road hazards may be a contributing factor in any motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Riders Are More Likely to Be Hurt

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the biggest differences between a motorcycle accident and a car accident is the likelihood of injury. Nationally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcycle riders are over 26 times more likely to die in a collision than those traveling in a car. The lack of protection that a motorcycle provides dramatically increases injury and death risk, and the risk can be even higher when motorcyclists aren’t wearing proper protective gear.

Wearing a Helmet Matters

Maryland has contributory negligence laws that can make it hard for anyone to receive damages in a vehicle accident. However, there is a specific provision that is designed to help protect motorcycle riders. You are not allowed to consider evidence of a rider wearing or not wearing a helmet when determining whether negligence or contributory negligence occurred. Working with an experienced attorney will help ensure that whether or not you were wearing a helmet is not used against you.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Case

If you have experienced a motorcycle accident, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

harassment and stalking

Understanding Harassment and Stalking Charges in Maryland

In today’s digital and hyperconnected world, personal boundaries can sometimes be blurred. This can lead to situations that result in charges related to harassment and stalking. Maryland, like many states, takes these offenses seriously and has specific laws in place to address them. If you’ve received stalking charges in Maryland or you’re looking to press charges for harassment and stalking, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Harassment?

Maryland defines harassment as maliciously engaging in repeated conduct that bothers or scares the victim, including things that have the intent to alarm, abuse, torment, or harass. Harassment can take a variety of forms, including things like threats, unwanted communications, or other actions that lead to emotional distress. It is important to note that harassment does not need to happen in person. It can also occur online or over the phone. Maryland law carves out exceptions for those expressing political views or giving information. For example, someone canvassing for an election could not be charged with harassment.

What Is Stalking?

Stalking charges in Maryland are very serious, and harassment and stalking can go hand in hand in some cases. Stalking is defined as maliciously pursuing or approaching someone else. The person being charged with stalking must have known or reasonably should have known that their actions would impact the victim and lead to fear of harm. Fear of harm includes legitimate fear of sexual assault, assault, serious physical harm, death, or false imprisonment.

Some people misinterpret stalking as all unwanted contact, but that is not the case. For example, going over to an ex-girlfriend’s house to collect your personal belongings that are there one time is not generally stalking. However, if you show up multiple times with no reason or an illegitimate reason with the goal of intimidating or upsetting your ex-girlfriend, that could be considered stalking. As the result of laws put into place in late 2022, stalking can include digital technology, like trackers placed on a vehicle or hidden cameras placed in a home.

How Are They Different?

Harassment and stalking are two separate charges in Maryland, and stalking has more serious consequences. Harassment is a misdemeanor, and the first offense can carry a $500 fine or prison for up to 90 days. However, stalking is a misdemeanor that can lead to fines up to $5,000 and prison up to 5 years.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Harassment and Stalking Case

If you have experienced harassment and stalking or you are the recipient of stalking charges in Maryland, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

DWI conviction

What Will Happen to Your Car Insurance Premium After a DUI or DWI Conviction?

A DUI or DWI conviction is not just serious because it will impact your ability to drive or potentially keep your driving-based career; it is also serious because there are many other hidden consequences that you might not immediately think of. One such consequence is your car insurance premium. Maryland drivers see an alarming 85% increase in the average insurance premium after being convicted of a DUI, which is much higher than the national average of 53%. What can you expect after a conviction?

What Are the Consequences of a DUI or DWI Conviction?

While DUIs have harsher punishments than DWIs legally, some car insurance companies do not make a big distinction between the two. Even if this is your first offense, many companies will see the DWI conviction as a sign of a lack of judgment and a high-risk driver, so they will increase the amount that it costs to receive coverage to offset that perceived increase in liability.

Will You Be Labeled a High-Risk Driver?

After a DUI or DWI conviction, there is a high likelihood that insurance companies will label you a high-risk driver. Some companies will outright refuse to insure high-risk drivers, so you may lose your current policy and need to find a new insurance provider and pay their car insurance premium. Some of the other factors that will be considered when determining how risky you are to insure include:

  • Past convictions for DWI, DUI, or other driving-related offenses
  • A history of at-fault car accidents
  • Traffic violations
  • Numerous speeding tickets

Additionally, car insurance companies can pull from your insurance and financial history to make additional risk judgments. Some of the factors that can harm your car insurance premium include:

  • Poor credit or bad credit history
  • Insurance cancellations or lapses in coverage
  • Being a new driver
  • Having an expensive car
  • Filing numerous claims in the past few years

High-risk drivers will have a higher car insurance premium than lower-risk drivers, as insurance companies project that they will cost them more to protect. When you have a DUI or DWI conviction on top of other risk factors, it can put you in a tough spot. This is one of many reasons why it is critical to partner with a skilled attorney as quickly as possible after your arrest. If you are able to avoid a conviction entirely, you will not need to worry about your car insurance premium increasing and other potentially negative consequences of a conviction.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your DUI or DWI Case

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI and want to make sure that you are represented well in court, we can help. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

hospital negligence

What Counts as Hospital Negligence?

As a society, we entrust hospitals and medical professionals with our well-being when we are sick or in need of aid. While healthcare providers strive for excellence, there are times where negligence creeps in, resulting in dire consequences for patients. In fact, over 250,000 people every year die in the United States due to medical mistakes and negligence based on data from Johns Hopkins University. What counts as hospital negligence?

What Is Hospital Negligence?

Hospital negligence is also called medical negligence, and it can be a challenging thing to prove in court. Even if a mistake has occurred, it does not automatically equal negligence or something that is worthy of legal action. Medical negligence includes demonstrating that standards of care were violated by a healthcare professional providing you with care, including a nurse, surgeon, or doctor.

However, this mistake needs to lead to harm. Hospital negligence is hard to prove, as no outcome is 100% guaranteed in a healthcare environment. For example, if you have surgery, one of the potential outcomes is an infection. If you receive an infection, it does not necessarily mean that there was hospital negligence. Working with an attorney is essential to build a strong case.

How Can You Demonstrate Negligence?

As we mentioned above, proving hospital negligence can be challenging due to the inherent risk present with many different medical procedures. In order to have a successful case, you need to be able to show that their actions went beyond carelessness and that they were not in line with the care that a competent medical professional in the same situation would provide.

One way that you can work to prove hospital negligence is working with your attorney to consult medical experts. These experts can provide unbiased advice on whether or not the doctor involved provided acceptable care. For example, they might conclude that a competent doctor in the same situation might have ordered different tests based on how you presented at the time of treatment and that this led to your injury or negative outcome.

A negative outcome alone is not enough to show hospital negligence. However, you must have some type of negative consequence in order to collect damages. Your attorney will help you to show that the doctor had a duty of care to you, that the care they provided was not in line with the standard of care, that their deviation from the standard of care caused your injuries, and that you have suffered damages as a result.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case

If you have experienced hospital negligence or you are concerned that , you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

refusing a breath test

What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test in Maryland?

Winter is a dangerous time to drive due to road conditions, but it is even more dangerous due to the increase in drunk drivers. New Year’s Eve is one of the top holidays for DUI arrests and Maryland police typically plan numerous initiatives to find intoxicated drivers before they can harm themselves or someone else. One such method is traffic stops. If you are pulled over or pulled aside during a checkpoint, what are the consequences of refusing a breath test?

You’ll Face Some Consequences Immediately

Maryland has serious consequences for refusing a breath test. If you refuse a preliminary breath test, which is typically the test performed on the roadside, you cannot have your license suspended or have that used against you in court. However, if you also refuse to take a breath test when brought to the police station, you will start to face consequences.

First, the police officer will take your driver’s license if you are a Maryland driver and provide you with a temporary paper license that lasts for 45 days. The temporary license will expire on the 46th day.  They will also initiate a case with the MVA. You will be provided with an Order of Suspension.  The Order is the result of you refusing a breath test.  You will also receive an Advice of Rights Form which explains the administrative process of losing your Maryland driving privileges any other penalties that you might face.

What Happens Next?

You can request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to contest the Motor Vehicle Administration’s notice of suspension.  You have 30 days to request a hearing, or you will lose your ability to request a hearing and be subject to having your license suspended on the 46th day.  It is recommended that you request an administrative hearing within 10 days of the date given on the Order of Suspension to avoid the possibility of having your license suspended prior to your hearing.  Requesting a hearing within 10 days will guarantee that your driving privileges will not be suspended prior to your hearing.  You also have the option to forego a hearing and elect to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle.

Working with an experienced DUI attorney is important, as having a DUI charge on your record can lead to serious personal, professional, and driving consequences. If you do nothing, your license will automatically be suspended on the 46th day after the date on the Order of Suspension. If this is your first time refusing a breath test, your license will be suspended for 270 days. For second or subsequent offenses, you will have a two-year suspension.

What Happens if You Have a CDL?

If you have a CDL, you will be put into a tough situation if you refuse a breath test. If you are stopped, you can have your CDL suspended for a year or forever if you are refusing a test a second time. This can prevent you from working, so many CDL drivers choose to take a breath test when offered.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your DUI Case

If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Maryland or for a DUI on a bike, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

distracted driving

The Danger of Distracted Driving in Maryland

Every year, over 24,000 people are hurt and 200 are killed due to distracted driving in Maryland. This data from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office drives home the importance of staying safe and focused when on the road. What should all drivers know about distracted driving accidents in Maryland?

The Facts on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is currently one of the leading causes of accidents and fatalities in the state of Maryland. Sadly, every death from distracted driving is a preventable death, as these ‘accidents’ are the result of choices that drivers make on the road, not weather conditions or mechanical failures. Taking your eyes off the road for mere seconds can lead to a crash.

There are four different types of distracted driving:

  1. Visual: When you are looking at something else, whether it’s something on the shoulder of the road or your phone in front of your face, you are not paying attention as you operate your vehicle.
  2. Auditory: Many people listen to music while they drive, but it can be a legitimate distraction that divides your attention.
  3. Manual: Any time that you are using your hands to touch and manipulate something other than the wheel, you’re driving distracted.
  4. Cognitive: When you are thinking about other things or going over your to-do list, that’s brainpower that should be getting used for driving.

What Does the Law Say?

Maryland has specific laws that prevent any driver from using their phone while driving unless they are turning the phone on or off or starting or stopping a call. There are also exceptions for calling 9-1-1, a hospital, a police department, emergency medical services (EMS), or a fire department, but you should pull over whenever possible to make a call.

Maryland also has a law known as Jake’s Law. This law targets distracted driving specifically, and it has harsh penalties for drivers who don’t keep their attention on the road. The law was passed in response to the killing of a 5-year-old boy, Jake Owen, by a distracted driver who only paid a $1,000 fine in response. Now, drivers will face a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison if their distracted driving leads to a fatal or serious accident.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Only use your phone during emergencies on the road. Even hands-free devices can distract you from what you’re doing.
  • Avoid driving with a car full of passengers, especially if you are a young or inexperienced driver. Other people provide ample opportunities for distraction that can lead to a car accident.
  • Never eat while driving. Glancing away from the road for a few seconds is incredibly dangerous, and food spills can also be a distraction.
  • When you are driving, only worry about driving. Focus on the road and your surroundings, not what song is playing or the person in the backseat.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help

If you have been harmed due to distracted driving in Maryland, you need the right legal assistance. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.