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Involved in a Car Accident? Be Sure to Gather These 3 Things at the Scene

So, you were just involved in a car accident and it’s time to start picking up the pieces and moving forward. After your adrenaline settles down, the immediate aftermath of an accident is the best chance to get the information from the “at-fault” party to pass along and begin building your case. Here are three key pieces of information you should be sure to retrieve at the scene of the accident.

But before you do anything, be sure to stop and assess yourself for injuries. If you or anyone in your vehicle is injured, be sure to call 911 right away. If you are not sure if making the call is necessary, it’s always best to call either way. Even if there are no signs after an injury, a responding officer can file a police report containing key details that are likely to benefit your case down the road.

After assessing yourself for injury, relocating your vehicle to a safe area, and confirming you can safely exit the vehicle under your own power, it’s time to make an effort to gather this critical information:

  • Contact information. The contact information you should collect from the other driver involved includes their name, driver’s license numbers, car insurance company, insurance policy number. To eliminate the chance for an error in transcribing, feel free to take a photo of the driver’s insurance card and vehicle tag rather than jotting it down.
  • Witness information. Did anyone witness your accident unfold? If so, make it a priority to gather their contact information as well. In the event that the other driver tries to assign blame to you, a witness account could potentially make all the difference.
  • Evidence. Once you have the contact information of all relevant parties, it’s time to star gathering evidence. Relevant information includes the make, model, and year of the car that collided with you. Additionally, be sure to snap plenty of photos of the accident, including any damages, traffic signals, and skid marks. Finally, survey the area and attempt to find surveillance cameras or traffic cameras. Be sure to remember their location, as this too could come in handy as you prepare to form a case and seek reparations for the damages you have experienced.

Your Next Step? 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.

Trust and Estate Planning is shown on the conceptual business photo

Is Now the Right Time to Consider Starting a Trust?

At some point, we will no longer be around to take care of our loved ones. Taking the time to create an estate plan will ensure one’s wishes are met when the inevitable takes place down the road. But can a will alone meet all your needs? There are a variety of scenarios in which individuals benefit from starting a trust to supplement their estate planning. Here are four examples of how a trust could benefit you!

What is a Trust?

Put simply, a trust is a document that holds property or assets for a specific group of beneficiaries. The most crucial thing to remember is that wills only take effect after an individual has passed. Until then, if one were to become incapacitated, they would be unable to provide critical information regarding the handling of their finances. Trusts, on the other hand, go into effect the moment they are signed.

Why Might Someone Start a Trust?

  1. Bypass Probate. The primary advantage of starting a trust is that it allows families to bypass the often-lengthy probate process. While the process can otherwise take up to two years, a trust grants your beneficiaries instant access to their inheritance. Plus, you can also avoid pesky probate fees that add up quickly.
  2. Eliminate Beneficiary Arguments. There is no question that the details of an estate plan can trigger family feuds. Luckily, trusts can prevent this unnecessary drama during the grieving period because of their complete customizability. Additionally, trusts are more resistant to contesting than a standard will, meaning one can ensure their exact wishes are being met after their passing.
  3. Divide Property. If your assets include real estate, you could potentially benefit from starting a trust. This way, you can spell out how the property will be transferred, who can access the property, how shared inheritors can buy out the property, and whether the property can be sold.
  4. Fund Your Favorite Causes. Starting a trust also gives individuals the flexibility to support a cause of their choosing after their passing. Whether you would like to set aside funds to cover a family member’s tuition or donate to a charity of your choosing, a trust will empower you to do so.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Assistance with Your Estate Planning Needs

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.

real estate plan on business folder showing buy a house concept

The Ethics of Estate Planning

The estate planning process is about much more than planning the distribution of assets in the quickest and most cost-effective manner. While that is certainly among our highest priorities, there are many ethical concerns associated with the estate planning process as well. You’ve likely heard a hand full of horror stories involving family disagreements and extended probate delays. While these things certainly happen, the Mobley and Brown legal team operates with the following ethical considerations to ensure we play a key role in offering thorough and morally sound legal counsel to our clients.

Competence

Any attorney you speak with regarding your upcoming or ongoing estate planning should be well versed in guiding individuals through the process from beginning to end. When matters directly impact you, your finances, and your loved ones are involved, be sure to rely on a team with a wealth of experience that makes conscious efforts to stay abreast of the latest best practices in the field.

Navigating Through Conflicts of Interest

We all hope for a seamless estate planning process, but the fact of the matter is that conflicts of interest can occasionally creep in. As such, our primary concern always remains the same: doing everything within our power to represent our client’s best interests. When you work with our team, you can enjoy the peace of mind that we’re working for you.

Testamentary Capacity

While we attempt to serve our clients’ best interests, it’s imperative to confirm our clients have full testamentary capacity. We assume the ethical responsibility of ensuring our clients have the mental capacity to make sound decisions when their future and the future of their loved ones is involved. If a client has become partially or fully unable to provide for themselves, we are happy to explore the possibility of guardianship to protect their best interests.

Diligence and Continued Obligation

Operating diligently is another major ethical concern of a qualified estate planning lawyer. We offer our clients the peace of mind that their wishes are being met in a cost-effective and law-abiding manner. Critically, we also place heavy emphasis on keeping our clients informed of our continued obligation. Estate planning isn’t a one-time thing that you can check off on your to-do list, but rather an ongoing process that will require attention from time to time. With Mobley and Brown, we are readily available to discuss the current state of your estate plan and make any adjustments with full transparency and open communication.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help for Families Who Need 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.

Traffic Ticket Police Vehicle - A police cruiser with the lights flashing has stopped a speeding car along the interstate highway and is issuing a ticket.

Have You Received a Traffic Charge in the State of Maryland? Here’s How to Proceed

Regardless of the severity of a traffic offense, there is no question that heightened feelings of anxiety are often part of the immediate aftermath of a traffic stop and the ensuing charge. In this blog, we offer peace of mind by outlining how the aftermath of your charge will likely unfold and how to secure the most positive outcome!

The Three Types of Maryland Traffic Charges

There are three types of traffic charges in the state of Maryland:

  • Infractions
  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies

These charges are met with either a payable offense or a must-appear offense.

Payable Offenses Vs Must-Appear Offenses

Payable Offenses

As the least severe of the three charges, infractions are mostly handled as payable offenses. Common payable violations include:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Illegal turning
  • Running a stop sign

After receiving notice of a payable offense, you will have three options to proceed:

  • Bypass the court process, plead guilty, and pay the required fine
  • Plead guilty with explanation and request a hearing
  • Plead not guilty and request a trial

Still debating your best route forward after receiving a payable offense? We’re happy to observe the specifics of your situation to help you make the best and most cost-effective decision. Critically, be sure to act fast! You must choose one of the three above options within 30 days of receiving the offense to avoid potential license suspension.

Must-Appear Offenses

While you may decide to go it alone in the aftermath of a minor traffic infraction, we highly advise consulting with an attorney as your ally for a criminal traffic charge. Most often, such charges include violations such as:

  • DUI
  • Hit and run
  • Fleeing the police
  • Driving with suspended license
  • Driving while revoked

Each of these charges are unique, but there are a few serious implications associated with each of them. In addition to paying the required fines, individuals charged with must-appear traffic offenses are also required to appear for a court ruling at a specified time. Depending on the severity you can receive a period of incarceration for must-appear offenses . When the stakes are that high, don’t go it alone! Trust an experienced criminal law attorney to leave no stone unturned when it comes to securing the best possible outcome for your future.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP to Represent You After a Traffic Charge in the State of Maryland

If you are searching for a criminal defense defense 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.

What Consequences Can One Expect After Being Charged with a Crime in the State of Maryland?

There are two types of crimes in the state of Maryland: felonies and misdemeanors. While most individuals are familiar with the fact that felonies are the more serious of the two charges, it’s worth bearing in mind that a conviction of any kind can be associated with consequences that could greatly impact one’s future. In this blog, we’ll outline the likely consequences of the more common convictions throughout the state of Maryland.

Misdemeanor Convictions in the State of Maryland

Though we have witnessed more delays than usual throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, misdemeanor cases are typically brought to court within 10 weeks after the charge was initially given. Depending on the nature of the charge, there are a variety of outcomes of a guilty misdemeanor charge:

DUI. The state of Maryland does not take DUI charges lightly due to the danger that they pose to other citizens on the road. After a first time DUI conviction, offenders can be charged a fine not exceeding $1,000 and may be imprisoned for up to one year. Offenders who receive a Probation Before Judgement (PBJ) for DUI or DWI are not eligible to have their records expunged.  To learn more about DUI/DWI, its potential consequences, and avenues to explore in the interest of reducing those consequences, check out our recent blog post on the subject!

Traffic Related Offenses. The scope of traffic related offenses is quite broad, so the consequences will naturally hinge on the specifics yet again. Without proper representation, however, charged individuals could be at greater risk for fines, license penalty points, license suspensions, and even potential jail time.

Assault. In the state of Maryland, a second-degree assault conviction can also be linked with a few life altering consequences. At maximum, guilty offenders may be required to pay a fine not exceeding $2,500 and serve up to ten years of jail time.

Theft. Petty theft is yet another common misdemeanor in the state of Maryland, and it can also bear significant consequences for such a seemingly minor offense. In addition to potential fines, offenders could be subjected to a maximum of 90 days of imprisonment. As a note, employers tend to shy away from applicants with theft convictions.

Felony Convictions

The consequences outlined in the previous section may seem steep, but they only ramp up in more serious felony cases. Naturally, we implore individuals in this situation to seek out legal guidance and assistance due to the incredibly high stakes. By going at it alone, you may be exposing yourself to a greater risk of multiple years of imprisonment, the loss of many civil rights, difficulty securing employment, and immigration status complications.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP to Represent You After Being Accused of a Crime in the State of Maryland

If you are searching for a criminal defense or disorderly conduct defense 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.

Two cups of cognac brandy or rum with car keys.

Remember These 3 Things if You Are Charged with DUI

As we move through the spring, there is a lot to be excited about! We are continuing to move away from the earlier state of the pandemic, the weather is improving, and we even have fun summer holidays like the 4th of July just over the horizon. People are ready to celebrate, and that unfortunately means that mistakes will be made. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a DUI charge, here are three things you should remember.

DUI is a Serious Charge in the State of Maryland

Maryland takes DUI charges very seriously, and defensive legal action is critical to help secure the most positive outcome. Noah’s Law, which went into effect back in 2016, states that most drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Maryland have to use an ignition interlock device to drive a vehicle, even if they are first-time offenders. This lock will sit in the vehicle for six months for first-time offenders and one year for subsequent offenses.

In Maryland, the penalties for a DUI also increased under Noah’s Law. For first-time offenders, you can also experience the following consequences:

  • Suspension of your license
  • Revocation of your license
  • Points added to your license
  • Fines of $500 or more
  • Jail time

Naturally, the severity of the consequences varies based on the severity of the offense and the quality of the defense.  Ultimately, when the stakes are so high, you must fight DUI charges aggressively.

There May be Errors that Can Help You Fight Back

Even if you are charged with DUI, do not assume that a conviction is inevitable! Even if you test over the legal limit on a Breathalyzer machine, for instance, you may still have a valid defense. Law enforcement officers can make numerous errors over the course of the testing and arresting process, and lawyers are able to pinpoint these issues and leverage them to fight DUI charges on your behalf.

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone!

Perhaps our most critical piece of advice is a reminder that you shouldn’t navigate the aftermath of a DUI charge alone. Many drivers don’t realize how many ways a lawyer can help them when facing DUI charges in Maryland. Here’s how we can step in and help right away:

  • Explain the exact charges against you and what the consequences in your specific situation could be.
  • Help you perform proactive steps to show you understand the seriousness of the charge and fight DUI charges from the best position.
  • Analyze the circumstances of your case and investigate how the traffic stop unfolded.
  • Prepare you for a court trial, if necessary.
  • Advocate for you and defend you through each step of the trial and sentencing processes.

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

If you are searching for the right DUI or DWI defense attorney 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.

Couple inside car after car accident with female passenger suffering whiplash injury

What are Your Rights as an Injured Passenger in an Auto Crash?

Over the years, we have published many blog posts outlining the proper driver response following their involvement in a car accident. Car accidents often lead to severe injuries, and we want to help drivers secure the recovery and compensation they deserve. However, drivers aren’t the only people who get injured in car accidents. So, what are your rights as an injured passenger in an auto crash?

Who is at Fault?

Maryland is an at fault state, which means that establishing the driver at fault is one of the primary focuses of many car accident cases. When you’re just the passenger, however, you are entitled to compensation for pain, medical bills, and lost wages regardless of which driver was deemed at fault.

If the driver of the other car involved in the accident is deemed at fault, the decision to file a claim or lawsuit for compensation is usually made. Things can get a little more complicated if the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was injured in is deemed at fault. In most cases, a friend or loved one is the individual at the wheel. How could you justify filing a claim against them? Well, you actually can justify it quite simply: they have an insurance policy for a reason! Insurance is a safety net that exists for both their benefit and your own, and the burden of financing your recovery after an injury you had no responsibility for should not fall on your shoulders.

What Should You Look Out For?

As stated earlier, it is fully within your rights to seek compensation after sustaining injuries as a passenger in an auto crash. Even still, you should expect the responding insurance company to launch their own investigation to reduce the payout.

Here are two situations that insurance companies may use in an effort to reduce the amount of compensation:

  • After a drunk driving incident, insurance companies may claim that you had a role in convincing the driver to make the drive.
  • After a distracted driving incident, insurance companies may attempt to argue that you played a role in distracting the driver and triggering the accident.

As your ally and attorney, Mobley and Brown will work to dispel these arguments and maximize your compensation to ultimately maximize your recovery.

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

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.

Business concept meaning Field Sobriety Tests with phrase on the sheet

Are You Legally Required to Take Field Sobriety Tests?

In the state of Maryland, law enforcement officers use field sobriety tests to help determine whether or not citizens are intoxicated while driving. While the implied consent law has clear penalties for refusing a chemical sobriety test, the guidelines surrounding field sobriety tests aren’t as clear. Here is some helpful information regarding field sobriety tests, that could help you in the event you are pulled over for a suspected DUI.

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are a battery of physical tests that assess a driver’s mental and physical impairments. They are typically conducted after a police officer has already deemed one’s driving to be dangerous and initiated a stop. The three most common field sobriety tests used in Maryland are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN): The police offer will ask the driver to follow a moving object with their eyes.
  • One-Leg Stand test (OLS): The police offer will ask the driver to stand on one foot, with the other foot six inches off the ground, for 30 seconds.
  • Walk and Turn test (W&T): In a heel-to-toe manner, the driver must walk in a straight line forward, pivot, and walk back to the original starting spot.

Field sobriety tests differ from chemical sobriety tests because chemical sobriety tests use a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to determine intoxication, while field sobriety tests are left to the discretion of the police offer performing the tests.

What is Implied Consent and Do You Have to Submit to Field Sobriety Tests?

Maryland has an implied consent law, which means that anyone who is driving a vehicle automatically consents to take a chemical sobriety test, (i.e., breathalyzer or blood test) if they are pulled over under suspicion of DWI or DUI. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test or blood test could have severe consequences separate from a possible DUI conviction in court.

However, the implied consent law does not mention anything regarding field sobriety tests. This is because field sobriety tests are voluntary in the state of Maryland. There are no penalties associated with refusing a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are highly subjective and inherently biased, which is why we advise politely refusing to submit to them.

What Should I Do If Pulled Over for Suspected DUI In Maryland?

In the event you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, it is important you know your rights, including your right to refuse to submit to field sobriety testing. It’s a good idea to contact your representation at Mobley & Brown, LLP immediately to determine your best legal options and protect you from the serious consequences of a DUI conviction.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP to Secure the Most Positive Outcome After a DUI Conviction

If you or someone you know is dealing with the aftermath of a DUI conviction, 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.

Probate sign, stack of papers and gavel.

4 Things That Can Slow the Probate Process

For those that want maximum control over the dispersal of their assets after their passing, we often recommend setting up a trust. However, trusts are not the end all be all of estate planning. Many families get by perfectly fine by creating a will with an experienced estate planning attorney as their ally. However, assets listed in your will must first pass through the probate process before they are dispersed to the individuals of your choosing. We’ve all heard the nightmare stores of the probate process lasting months or even years. So, what are some things you can look out for to make sure these situations don’t happen to your loved ones?

Many Beneficiaries

There is nothing wrong with listing many beneficiaries in a will, but it is one of the factors that could lead to a longer probate process. Simply put, more people must be notified, and more people must sign documentation to commence the probate process. With a legal team at your side, we can make sure each beneficiary is given ample time and reminders to fulfill their role in the process.

Beneficiaries or Assets Are Spread Out

Geography can also pose unique challenges in the probate process. In some cases, keeping relatives in the loop who live multiple states away (or even outside of the United States) can be a challenge. Conversely, sometimes the assets are dispersed across multiple states which requires the utilization of ancillary probates.

Executor Difficulties

It’s important to choose your executor wisely, as they too could potentially be the root of a slower than usual probate process. It’s not enough to simply trust a person enough to make them your executor. Ideally, they will also have good organizational skills, money skills, and won’t be too tied down by outside commitments.

Beneficiary Disagreements

Ideally, the executor will also be familiar with the relationships the individual who created the will has developed over the years. That’s because family feuds are another common source of probate delays. Attempting to defuse any potential disagreements before they develop into a feud state while remaining unbiased is something we are more than happy to assist in amid the probate process. This way, no further estate settlement court delays will keep your loved ones from receiving assets you’ve chosen to set aside for them.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Throughout the Probate Process

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.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve recently been injured, you may be curious whether the circumstances leading up to your injury could warrant opening a personal injury case. After all, the alternative may be funding your personal recovery for an incident that was outside of your control from the beginning. In this blog, we’ll cover a few of the most common injuries that give rise to valid personal injury claims.

What is a Personal Injury?

“Personal injury” refers to the law that governs victims of preventable accidents or injuries caused by another party. Personal injury claims take place when a victim seeks legal remedy from the party that they believe is at fault for the preventable accident or injury. Personal injury cases either occur as a result of negligence, carelessness, or disregard of the safety of others rather than an active attempt of malice.

Personal injury cases can include a variety of situations that directly led to an injury. In order to maximize the chances of securing the recovery, lost wage compensation, and medical compensation you deserve, it’s important to seek out an experienced lawyer to serve as your ally throughout the claim process.

The Most Common Personal Injury Claims

  • Motor vehicle accidents. Maryland is an at-fault insurance state, meaning accidents caused due to negligence of the other driver are a popular situation that result in personal injury claims.
  • Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall incidents are another very common personal injury, especially in the wintertime. Property owners have a legal responsibility to create a hazard free area for visitors, and the failure to do so can lead to a variety of injuries with a large scale of severity.
  • Medical malpractice. When a patient is directly harmed as a result of negligence from a medical professional, or they fail to provide the appropriate standard of care, a medical malpractice claim can be filed. While these claims are fairly common, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney prior to filing your own. Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to win, and this is not a situation where doing it alone is advisable.
  • Dog attacks. Dog bites are a common personal injury claim because they can cause serious and potentially permanent injuries. Those who file personal injury claims for dog bites often receive compensation for the damages from the owner’s homeowner’s insurance

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help in the Aftermath of Your Accident or Injury

If you are seeking assistance in Maryland in the aftermath of your accident or injury, 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.