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rights in a DUI stop

Know Your Rights in a DUI Stop in Maryland

When you are pulled over for a DUI stop in Maryland, it’s easy to panic, regardless of whether or not you have been drinking. Understanding your rights in a DUI stop is essential to ensure that you do not unintentionally reveal information or imply fault. We can help you protect yourself and avoid jeopardizing your case.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Almost anyone who has watched television and movies has heard about the “right to remain silent,” and it is one of your rights in a DUI stop. This right is protected by the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution, which gives you protection against being compelled to say things that might incriminate yourself. It’s important to know that this right to silence is not the same as a right to being silent at all times. You must invoke your right to silence—you cannot simply stay silent. How can you invoke this right?

  • “I will not speak until I have the opportunity to speak to my attorney.”
  • “I am invoking my Miranda
  • “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”

You Have the Right to Avoid Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Another one of your rights in a DUI stop is granted by the fourth amendment, the protection against unreasonable search and seizure. This means that you do not have to voluntarily submit to the police searching your car. However, particularly in a DUI, the police can search without a warrant if there is evidence of a crime in plain view. For example, if you have a visible bottle of wine or an open container in the car, the police do not need your permission or a warrant to complete a search.

You Have the Right to Refuse Field Sobriety Testing

You do have the right to refuse to submit to testing, including blood testing, breath testing, and field sobriety testing. However, before you act on this right, it’s important to understand that it does not come without consequences. First, if the police want to test you, they can obtain a warrant for your blood test results. Additionally, if you refuse testing, the police officer will take your Maryland license, give you a paper temporary license, and create a case for the MVA to review. As a result of your refusal, you may receive a 270-day license suspension or 2 year license suspension for a second or subsequent offense.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP to Protect Your Rights in a DUI Stop

If you want to make sure that your family and friends receive your assets as soon as possible after passing, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

HIPAA myths

3 HIPAA Myths and Misconceptions

Every patient wants their private health information to stay private, and most understand that HIPAA is one of the ways that can be ensured. However, there are many HIPAA myths that distort the truth about what a HIPAA violation is and when your right to privacy has been violated.

Myth: Patients must sign an authorization or give specific consent when a healthcare provider releases information to another healthcare provider for the purpose of treatment or payment.

This is one of the more common HIPAA myths, as HIPAA does not require patients to give formal written permission for doctors to be able to disclose protected health information (PHI) to another provider for the purpose of treatment or payment. However, the patient’s identity will need to be verified to avoid the wrong person getting access to the information. This verification can be done using the last four digits of your SSN, address, or date of birth.

Myth: Sign-in sheets at medical offices and calling a patient by their first and last name in front of other patients in a waiting room are HIPAA violations.

No, this is another one of the HIPAA myths that some patients mistakenly believe. As long as a sign-in or registration sheet does not have more than the minimum of information to accurately call and identify a patient for their appointment, it is not a HIPAA violation. Things like the name of the patient (first and last), appointment time, and doctor you are seeing are all reasonable questions to ask. However, asking you to write down the reason for your appointment or your phone number and email address would be inappropriate. Additionally, using the first and last name is common practice for names that are common or that sound similar to other names.

Myth: Telehealth providers are not subject to HIPAA.

There has been a big push toward telehealth over the past couple of years, and that has led to even more HIPAA myths. HIPAA rules still do apply to all telehealth services, but some companies have put into place COVID-19 exception regulations that allow certain providers to use non-HIPAA programs to offer healthcare services. What does this mean? You may technically receive services over a platform that is not HIPAA-compliant, like FaceTime or Skype, but not over an app that is public-facing like Twitch or TikTok.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Your Privacy

If you want to ensure that your rights are not violated during the process of receiving medical care, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

law enforcement mistakes

4 Law Enforcement Mistakes That Could Help Your DUI Case

If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and charged with a DUI, it’s critical that you understand your rights. In some cases, law enforcement mistakes result in innocent people being charged with a DUI and paying the price. What are some of the most common errors that are made during DUI investigations and arrests that might help your case?

No Reasonable Grounds You are Violating the Law

In order to pull your vehicle over, the police officer must have reasonable grounds you are violating a law. For example, if you are driving home from work at 2:30 AM, it is not suspicious to be driving. However, if you did not have your headlights turned on and were driving at 2:30 AM, that could be a cause for suspicion.

Not Wearing a Uniform in an Unmarked Vehicle

Another one of the most common law enforcement mistakes is an off-duty police officer not in uniform and driving an unmarked vehicle making the stop. Police officers driving unmarked cars in Maryland must use both lights and sirens to alert the driver. If the officer didn’t do so, you may have been wrongly stopped.

Not Administering Your Field Sobriety Test Properly

There are multiple types of field sobriety tests that can be administered to determine whether or not someone is driving under the influence. One of the common law enforcement mistakes during a DUI arrest is not administering them properly. If you suspect that your test was not done in accordance with standard operating procedure, your attorney can help you determine whether or not a failure to properly administer your test could help your case. This is particularly common with breathalyzer analysis.

Failure to Record What Occurred

In today’s day and age, every police officer has access to a dash cam and almost every police officer is also wearing a body cam. If there is no video tape or footage available from your arrest, it might be a serious one of the potential law-enforcement mistakes. There is no legal requirement to have a video of what occurred, but without that evidence, there is plenty of room for doubt. Additionally, you might be surprised to know that all police officers do not properly complete their field notes. We know how to read and analyze field notes to determine whether or not a police officer is telling the truth, exaggerating what occurred, or improperly cataloging their activities. A typed report that was written one week after the arrest is no substitute for field notations.

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

If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

probate process

Why Does the Probate Process Take So Long?

Anytime a loved one passes away, there are many tasks that need to be taken care of. While there are plenty of more obvious ones, like organizing a funeral, there are others that many people forget about or don’t even realize are required in the first place. One such thing is probate. What is the probate process, and why does it take so long?

Why Does the Probate Process Take So Long?

 

There are many different reasons why your loved one’s estate might be stuck in probate for many months or even years, including:

  • Paperwork: There is a great deal of paperwork involved in the probate process, and all of the paperwork comes with tight deadlines and very strict expectations. This is one of the biggest reasons why people work with an attorney to make the process easier to complete.
  • Court Caseload: While things are not as backed up today as they have been in the past, many courts have extremely high caseloads, and your probate case might simply get stuck in the stack for a while. This extends the probate process and makes it harder to finish everything, as you cannot rush the court.
  • Complexity: If the estate you are trying to get through the probate process has a large number of assets, a complex variety of assets, or things that might make it harder to tackle than the average case, it will take longer than a simpler estate.
  • Challenges: If there are any challenges to the will or estate from beneficiaries, heirs, or people who believe that they should’ve been named beneficiaries, the probate process can take years. Just like court caseload, there is not necessarily a way to accelerate this after someone has passed, as all of the estate planning is already set in stone at that point.
  • Creditor Notifications: If the decedent had creditors, the executor of the will will notify them and give them a timeframe during which they have to submit any claims for unpaid debts. Because this is multiple months long, the probate process will have to last at least that length of time.

Is There Any Way to Avoid Probate?

Yes! One of the easiest ways to avoid the probate process is with a trust. Trust administration takes only a few months, compared to the few years that can be involved with the probate process, and it also has lower costs to complete. We can help you determine what estate planning method is right for your needs.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help With Estate Planning

If you want to make sure that your family and friends receive your assets as soon as possible after passing, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

solve Maryland accident claims

How to Solve Maryland Accident Claims

When you’ve been injured in a Maryland motor vehicle accident, it can be hard to know what to do next. Your first step after being in a crash should be contacting Mobley and Brown, LLP. We can walk you through each step of the claims process to ensure that you receive the restitution that you deserve. What can you expect as you solve Maryland accident claims?

Liability Investigation

After your initial consultation, your attorney will be able to investigate your potential liability. Because Maryland has contributory negligence laws, doing one thing the wrong way could have jeopardized your claim entirely. We will be able to assess the entirety of the situation using a variety of tools, including:

  • Your testimony
  • Police reports from the scene
  • Witness testimony
  • Camera evidence (traffic cameras, dash cams, security cameras, red-light cameras, etc.)
  • 911 calls
  • And more

We understand how to craft a compelling case for all of our clients.

Working With an Insurance Company

Lawyers do not just coordinate potential claims with the person who caused the accident. Instead, we also solve Maryland accident claims with the insurance companies. Depending on your insurance company, you may receive additional benefits like Personal Injury Protection (PIP), car rental credits, collision coverage, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Damages Investigation

Next, as we solve Maryland accident claims we complete an investigation into potential damages. This will include assessing things like paystubs if you missed time from work, medical bills, invoices or estimates for property damage, and records from recent visits to healthcare providers. Even if you don’t have all of the paperwork in order for your first visit, we can help guide you through the process of collecting information.

Negotiation

Depending on the circumstances of your case, we will then start the negotiation or litigation processes. If the other driver’s insurance carrier has not denied liability, we will be able to create a demand package and send it to them to start the negotiation process. Our team will work hard to negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, move things into the court.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Understanding Burglary in Maryland Law

If you are the victim of theft or charged with theft, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

burglary in Maryland law

Defining Burglary in Maryland Law

Maryland has approximately 37,000 breaking and entering cases every year, and that is not including other types of theft. There is a broad range of consequences for burglary depending on the value of what was stolen, the circumstances of the case, and the criminal history of the accused. What should every citizen know about burglary in Maryland law?

About Burglary in Maryland Law

Burglary is a crime, and it can be referred to using a variety of names, including housebreaking, breaking and entering, and trespassing. There are four different degrees of burglary in the state of Maryland, one of which is a misdemeanor and three of which are felonies. Depending on the realities of your case and a variety of other factors, you might experience a broad range of penalties including jail time.

First-Degree Burglary

The most serious type of burglary in Maryland law is first-degree burglary. This burglary charge is levied when someone breaks into and enters a home or dwelling with the intent of committing a violent crime or stealing something. The crime is considered a felony, and it can be punishable by two decades in prison.

Second-Degree Burglary

The main difference between first- and second-degree burglary in Maryland law is where the crime was being committed. Instead of being committed at a residence, second-degree burglary occurs at a storehouse, which could mean a school, public building, train car, or certain other vehicles. In order to be convicted of second-degree burglary, there must have been an intent to commit theft, arson, or a type of violent crime. This is also a felony and can lead to up to 15 years of prison time.

Third-Degree Burglary

Unlike first- and second-degree burglary in Maryland law, which require there to be a specific crime (theft, arson, etc.), third-degree burglary simply requires one to enter a dwelling with the intent of committing any crime. This is considered a felony and can come with a sentence of up to a decade in prison.

Fourth-Degree Burglary

The final type of burglary in Maryland law is fourth-degree burglary. This is a misdemeanor, and it can happen when you enter a storehouse or dwelling after breaking in. There is no requirement of intent to commit any type of crime.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Understanding Burglary in Maryland Law

If you are the victim of theft or charged with theft, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

Domestic Violence Isn’t Always Physical: Know the Signs of Domestic Violence

Intimate partner violence makes up 15% of all violent crime in the United States, and it’s a very serious problem. While many people associate domestic violence with being struck or physically attacked, there are many signs of domestic violence that don’t involve any physical contact at all. What are the more subtle indicators that your loved one may be in a domestic violence situation?

Domestic Violence Often Involves Power and Control

Every relationship has a different dynamic, which means what is healthy and consensual for one couple might be different from what is healthy for you. However, most domestic violence relationships involve an element of control. The abusive partner will find ways to control the other partner, whether that’s through the things that they say or financial manipulation. One of the more subtle signs of domestic violence is a need for power and control, as some abusive partners may try to pass it off as simply being possessive or protective.

Some signs of trying to gain control or power include:

  • Saying that you don’t do anything right
  • Being extremely jealous of time that you spend with friends or out of the house
  • Pressuring you to stay home or isolated instead of speaking with or spending time with family members or friends
  • Insulting or embarrassing you in front of others
  • Pressuring you to do anything you are uncomfortable with (sexual acts, drugs, alcohol, etc.)

Checking In Constantly

Another subtle one of the signs of domestic violence is frequently checking in to see where the other partner is, what they are doing, or who they are with. Something like this can be misinterpreted as being caring or just curious. However, it can escalate over time and make the partner hesitant to leave the house for fear of their partner spamming them with texts or calls. Constant checking in also often escalates to include things like tracking software.

Isolating the Victim

Abusers want to isolate their victims for a variety of reasons, including wanting to have more control. This is another one of the signs of domestic violence that can be defended by the abuser, as they might claim that they just want to spend more time together or that they don’t like a certain friend group. Isolating someone separates them from people who might be critical of the abuser, which can create a situation where gaslighting is more likely to occur.

Financial Control

Financial control is another type of non-physical abuse. Retaining access to all bank account passwords, giving the victim an allowance, or pushing them to stay home instead of working and earning their own money can all try to cut off their access to money that might help them leave or become more independent.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help in Any Domestic Violence Situation

If you are concerned that you or a loved one is being abused by a partner, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

4 Misconceptions About Maryland DUI

Alcohol impaired drivers get behind the wheel millions of times every year, which results in very sobering statistics involving alcohol related crashes. It has also resulted in the rise in popularity of several misleading or outright false misconceptions relating to Maryland DUI charges. In this blog, we are dispelling the most common myths pertaining to DUI in the state of Maryland.

“It is Best to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test”

The purpose of a breathalyzer test is to provide additional evidence when filing a police report. In other words, abstaining from the test is not an effective means to avoid a charge. Law enforcement can cite erratic driving and physical symptoms of being under the influence as adequate evidence for a DUI charge. Moreover, refusal to comply with the test can lead to a 120-day license suspension.

“Testing Under the Legal Limit Means I Have Not Committed a Crime”

The legal blood alcohol content limit of .08 simply serves as a threshold for presumption of impairment. Exceeding the limit presumes you are driving while impaired by alcohol. So, what if you test under the limit, or don’t test at all? In this case, you can in fact still be convicted of DUI. In some cases, field sobriety tests, witness statements, and even video surveillance provide enough evidence for a charge to be upheld in court.

“I Only Had a Few Drinks, I am Safe to Drive”

Deciphering the impact of alcohol on an individual involves more than simply measuring the quantity consumed. Metabolism and body weight largely impact the effects of alcohol, meaning you could be at risk for DUI even after minimal drinking. The effects only ramp up for those currently taking other types of medication. For complete peace of mind, be sure to make alternate transportation plans if you know alcohol will be served!

“My DUI Case is Open and Shut”

Even if it may feel like the evidence is beginning to stack up against you, your DUI case is not hopeless. There are often arguments or evidence that can be used in your favor to reduce charges or even eliminate them altogether. This is where an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer can step in and make the difference.

Whether a responding officer collected evidence unlawfully, lacked probable cause, or made an unreasonable stop, our team will explore all avenues to negotiate a just outcome for your DUI case.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Fighting Your DUI Charge

If you are searching for the right path forward after a DUI or DWI charge in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

Who is Liable in a Rear End Collision?

There are seemingly endless types of car accidents, ranging from minor parking lot fender benders to highspeed freeway pileups. The most common of all, however, is the rear-end collision. It’s no secret that the driver who collided with the leading car is the one who assumes liability most of the time, but are there any exceptions to the rule? Read on to learn more about establishing liability after a rear-end collision.

Establishing Fault After a Rear End Collision in Maryland

Maryland is an at-fault state, which means that every multi-car collision must ultimately end with one party being held liable. In the case of a rear-end accident, the trailing driver is usually pinned with negligence and held liable. This isn’t always the case, however. A closer look at the details of your collision may reveal that the negligence of the leading driver directly led to the impact.

Here are the most common scenarios that lead to leading drivers being held liable for rear-end accidents:

• The leading driver suddenly accelerates in reverse gear, causing a collision.
• The leading driver has a mechanical issue but fails to safely move over to the side of the road.
• The leading driver has nonfunctional brake lights.
• The leading driver drives unpredictably, or brake checks the trailing driver.

While the first three examples are mistakes that any driver could reasonably make, it’s worth being extra careful with the final example. Brake checking is a form of road rage that is used to intimidate or surprise a trailing driver. Unfortunately, it can very easily result in serious accidents with multiple cars involved. Additionally, it can lead to a reckless driving charge.

In addition to not letting the stress of high traffic driving cause a regrettable mistake, committing to the following driving practices will help ensure you never find yourself on the wrong side of a rear-end collision case:

• Keeping a safe distance behind other drivers
• Yielding the right of way
• Using turn signals
• Looking out for road hazards ahead
• Driving predictably
• Accounting for longer stopping time in inclement weather

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Your Maryland Car Accident Claims

After leaving the scene of the accident, it’s time to collaborate with an attorney who can provide legal counsel as you prepare to seek out compensation for any damages or injuries incurred. If you are searching for the right car accident attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

Estate Planning Tips When You’re Expecting a New Baby

Whether you’re a recent college graduate looking to get a head start or an individual planning their retirement, there really is no wrong time to take the plunge and start creating your estate plan. Even still, there are a few major life events that may serve as a reminder to take those first few steps toward outlining your wishes. For many individuals, the first time they seriously consider creating an estate plan is when their first child is on the way. Becoming a parent involves a ton of responsibility, including attempting to meet your child’s needs and create a structure that allows them to enjoy safety and security in life. In this blog post, we’ll outline a few simple steps you can take to begin the estate planning process when you’re expecting.

Purchase or Update Life Insurance

If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, a great time to start shopping for one is when you’re about to enter the world of parenthood. In the event of a tragedy involving either parent, life insurance can step in to ensure stability for the surviving spouse and children. Life insurance premiums are generally affordable, and they can provide a major safety net in the unfortunate event that they need to be utilized.

Do you already have a life insurance plan? Now is also a great time to review it to ensure your coverage is sufficient and that your new child is listed as a beneficiary.

Make a Will

We understand that getting into the details and assigning beneficiaries for your possessions may not be appealing at a younger age. This is something you can focus on later in life if you prefer. However, now is the perfect time to start getting your key estate planning documents up to date. Consider protecting your family’s security by reviewing or creating the following:

• Revocable Living Trust
• Health Care Powers of Attorney
• Financial Powers of Attorney
• Living wills
• Wills

At the very minimum, you will also want to update beneficiaries for your 401k/ IRA and life insurance to include both your spouse and your children.

Optional: Set Up a Trust

For those that want maximum control over the dispersal of their assets after their passing, we recommend setting up a trust. Typically, this is the most ideal way to transfer financial assets to those under the age of 18.

Unlike a will, a trust allows access to funds without court intervention or the probate process. As such, you can designate an individual to manage your trust and be in immediate strategic control of how your children should be taken care of after your passing.

Optional: Begin a College Fund

Many life insurance policies include tuition assistance in the event that both parents pass away prior to their child’s high school graduation. However, you should still consider starting a college fund now! Consider making contributions to 529 accounts to get a head start on this very large future expense.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Starting Your Estate Planning

If you are searching for an estate planning and family law attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.