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What Is Unconstitutional Search and Seizure in Maryland?

Every American is protected from unreasonable search and seizure thanks to the fourth amendment, which guarantees “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Unfortunately, unconstitutional search and seizure can still occur. Maryland law carefully defines what conditions must be met for the legal search of your person or property. Whenever these conditions have not been met by a police officer, the search and seizure may have been illegal. What is unconstitutional search and seizure in Maryland?

What Is Search and Seizure?

Searches and seizures can happen in different types of cases and in many different ways. Anything from looking at your cell phone to searching through your entire vehicle could be considered a search. Seizures could include taking property from your home or taking your DNA using a DNA warrant. Search and seizure can occur with or without a warrant, but warrantless searches and seizures do not often hold up in court.

Reasonable Search and Seizure

The specific protection we are afforded is protection against “unreasonable” search and seizure. If the search was reasonable, then the police could have the right to examine your vehicle, home or private property. In order for a search to be constitutional:

  • The police must have probable cause that there is evidence you committed a crime and a judge issued a search warrant
  • The circumstances justify the search without the need for a warrant

Probable cause is a key factor in whether or not the situation is deemed an unconstitutional search and seizure. Probable cause is whether or not there is a “fair” probability that evidence of a crime or prohibited materials could be found in a particular place.

Another critical factor is whether or not there is a legitimate expectation of privacy. If you leave something in plain sight where police are lawfully present, it could be searched or seized. The court will consider whether or not you expected a degree of privacy and whether or not your expectation was reasonable.

Do You Have a Case of Unconstitutional Search and Seizure?

If you are concerned that you were the victim of an unconstitutional search and seizure, you need legal representation. Mobley & Brown, LLP can meet with you to assess your case and determine whether or not you could have been a victim of unconstitutional actions.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Unconstitutional Search and Seizure Lawsuits in 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.

Understanding Trade Secret Lawsuits in Maryland

As a business, you are always looking to protect your business now and in the future. One of the most complex parts of business law is trade secret law. Unlike copyrights or patents that have a wealth of legal mechanisms to protect them from someone stealing them, trade secrets rely on employees and team members keeping them secret. When it comes to trade secret lawsuits in Maryland, choosing the right attorney to prove your case is essential.

What Is a Trade Secret?

Trade secrets are one of the different types of intellectual property, or IP. Intellectual property is not something tangible, like a product you created, but instead something that your business has the right to possess despite intangibility. As a business, you can elect to copyright your process or technique, but that can mean taking the risk of your proprietary methods being exposed to your competitors and the world. The same thing happens when you get a patent.

As a result, many companies elect to rely on trade secrets. Trade secret lawsuits in Maryland can be filed when a trade secret was attempted to be kept secret with “reasonable effort” and has value. We can help you in determining if trade secret lawsuits in Maryland could be applicable to your situation.

What Are Some Examples of Trade Secrets?

To help give you a better idea of what things could be regulated by trade secret lawsuits in Maryland, here are some trade secret examples:

  • Secret Recipes: The ingredients, process, or mix of flavors that makes a food or drink product special
  • Formulas: Chemical formulas, like WD-40, might be protected by trade secrets instead of patents
  • Software: While plenty of different types of software give users access to the code, others, like the Google search algorithm, are kept under lock-and-key and considered trade secrets

Could You File Trade Secret Lawsuits in Maryland?

As the owner of a trade secret, you have the right to protect your secret if someone steals that confidential information. Depending on your situation, the judge can issue an order preventing them from further disclosing the secrets and force them to pay damages for any economic losses you experienced as a result.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Trade Secret Lawsuits in 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.

Maryland Power of Attorney

When you complete your estate planning, you need to understand the rules governing the documents that you create. Maryland power of attorney guidelines cover how a power of attorney can be executed, who can create a power of attorney and more. What should you know about a Maryland power of attorney?

What Is Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney document grants another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. A power of attorney is essential if you are incapacitated and unable to make medical or financial decisions on your own behalf. A general power of attorney gives someone the power and authority to act on your behalf in personal or professional matters.  A limited power of attorney grants someone specific abilities, such as overseeing finances or sale of real estate.

Who Can Make a Power of Attorney Document?

In line with Maryland power of attorney rules, in order to create a power of attorney you must be:

  • 18 years or older
  • Intend to grant the power to the person designated in the document
  • Be mentally competent (able to understand the document, the powers you are granting and what impact that can have)

How Can a Power of Attorney Be Executed?

In order to execute a power of attorney based on Maryland power of attorney rules, the document must be:

  • In writing;
  • Signed by the person the document governs or another person in their presence and at their express direction;
  • Acknowledged by the person the document governs in the presence of a notary public and
  • Signed by at least two adult witnesses in front of each other and the person the document governs (one of which can be a notary public)

Some power of attorney documents can be used immediately, while others can be used only after a precipitating event. Working with a lawyer is essential to make sure that the document is precisely worded so there is not any doubt as to whether or not the power of attorney should go into effect. You can also specify a third party who can denote when the specified event has occurred. For example, if the power of attorney can be used if you are “sick or hurt,” a doctor, judge or specified third party can make that determination.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Assistance with a Maryland Power of Attorney

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.

What Is Disorderly Conduct in Maryland?

Particularly during times of protest, even peaceful protest, there can be an uptick in charges of disorderly conduct in Maryland. The law specifies several actions that are considered disorderly conduct, but the charge can also be applied in a fairly broad manner. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Maryland, it’s important to work with the right lawyer to understand the consequences.

What Can Lead to a Charge of Disorderly Conduct in Maryland?

Disorderly conduct is also known as disturbing the peace, and it can be used to charge someone who is:

  • Making excessive noise
  • Willfully obstructing the entrance into a public place (parking lot, street, school, building)
  • Willfully obstructing a path on public transportation (train, school bus, airplane)
  • Making obscene actions or gestures that others find offensive or disturbing
  • Intoxicated in public
  • Interrupting a sporting event
  • Refusing to leave a public building after being asked to do so
  • Willfully acting in a manner that disturbs the peace
  • Disobeying an order from law enforcement to prevent disturbance of the peace

A public place could be anywhere that is not a home or office, including a street, sidewalk, park, bus station, restaurant or store. Unfortunately, sometimes disorderly conduct is used to prevent people from peacefully protesting. However, in other cases, this charge can be used to protect the public from nuisances like public arguments and bar fights where other charges might not apply.

What Happens If You Are Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Maryland?

It’s critical to get an attorney involved early on in the process, as disorderly conduct in Maryland is a misdemeanor and very serious. Disorderly conduct can be punished with a fine up to $500 and jail time up to 60 days. If you are charged with interfering with access to a medical facility, like a hospital, it could come with up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. While there are no standardized guidelines for repeat offenders, the court takes disturbing the peace seriously and will likely increase the penalties awarded for repeat offenders.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP if You Are Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in 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.

4 Myths About Car Accident Claims in Maryland

If you are in a car accident in Maryland, do you know what your rights are? Understanding the truth about car accident claims in Maryland is critical to ensure that you receive the relief that you deserve in the event that you are injured or incapacitated. What are some of the myths about automobile accidents and the legal aftermath in Maryland?

4 Myths About Car Accident Claims in Maryland

  1. You Can Make a Claim at Any Time: Unfortunately, this is false. Just like with other types of claims, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Depending on the exact details of your case, the statute of limitations may differ, but in many cases in Maryland you must file within 3 years of the date of the crash. Therefore, if your accident happened on October 1, 2020, you would have until October 1, 2023 to file suit.
  2. It’s Too Hard to Prove Negligence: This is not the case when you work with an experienced lawyer. Many car accident claims involve negligence, or proving that the other party did something wrong that led to the accident. Whether it’s running a red light or being under the influence, our lawyers understand how to make a strong case.
  3. You Can Be Awarded Damages If You Are Partially Responsible: Unfortunately, when it comes to car accident claims in Maryland, there is a rule called contributory negligence. This rule means that the court can decide you contributed to your injury or the accident in any way, which will prevent any damages from being awarded. For example, if you were driving 20 mph over the speed limit on a rainy night, the jury could decide you were partially responsible. Even if you are only thought to be 1% negligent, that will lead to no favorable outcome in your case.
  4. Insurance Companies Are There to Help You: Even if you are the one paying for the insurance, you should never assume that any insurance company is there to help you. When it comes to car accident claims, they are only there to help themselves! Always contact your attorney at Mobley & Brown, LLP before you speak to anyone at your insurance agency to admit guilt or discuss what happened.

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

If you are searching for the right estate planning 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.

How to Safeguard Your Estate Planning Documents

Once you complete the estate planning process with your attorney, that’s it, right? Not quite! The most important step in the estate planning process is securing and safeguarding your documents. After all, if you wrote a will but nobody knows that it exists or is able to locate it, it’s the same as having never written a will at all. How can you safeguard your estate planning documents?

Keep Estate Planning Documents Safe and Organized

Start by organizing all of your estate planning documents in a central location. You should keep the original, signed documents in a safe and protected place that your estate executor will be able to access. Some people choose a safety deposit box in a bank, while others store them in a fireproof and waterproof safe inside of their home. Your attorney and the estate executor should both be aware of where the original copies are located. You should also keep a copy of your estate planning documents with your attorney at Mobley & Brown, LLP in case the original copies cannot be located in the future. You can also create electronic copies and store them digitally as well.

Make Sure Your Loved Ones Know What You Want

While you don’t need to tell everyone in your family where your estate planning documents are located, you should have regular discussions with them to communicate your intentions. This includes information about your power of attorney and your wishes after you are gone. It’s a good idea to include written documents that convey your wishes about things like funeral arrangements, cremation, organ donation and other post-death plans in your estate planning documents. Make sure that family members know where this document is located, as your will might not be read until after your funeral and this information should be easily accessible.

Do I Need to File My Will?

You do not have to file your will in Maryland, but you can choose to file your estate planning documents. Look up your local Register of Wills Office in your jurisdiction of residence and send your will in a sealed envelope. You must write your name, address, social security number and the date of the will on the outside of the inner sealed envelope containing the will. The state charges a $5 fee for every will that is filed.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Your Estate Planning Documents

If you are searching for the right estate planning 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.

Why You Need an Attorney to Fight DUI Charges

As we prepare to enter the holiday season and people drive home from family gatherings and holiday parties, it’s important to remember the seriousness of DUI and DWI charges in the state of Maryland. If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI, do you really need a lawyer? Yes! A lawyer is the best way to fight DUI charges and protect your reputation.

A DUI Is a Very Serious Charge

Maryland takes DUI charges very seriously, and defensive legal action is critical to dismissing the charges as quickly as possible. Noah’s Law, which went into effect on October 1, 2016, means 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 suspension of your license, revocation of your license, points on your license, fines of $1,000 or more and even prison time. When the stakes are so high, you must fight DUI charges aggressively.

There Might Be Errors That Help You to Fight DUI Charges

One of the biggest myths that many drivers are misled by is that failing a breathalyzer or field test means that a conviction is inevitable. That isn’t the case. Breathalyzer machines and law enforcement officers can make numerous errors over the course of the testing and arrest process, and lawyers are able to pinpoint these issues and leverage them to fight DUI charges on your behalf.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

Many drivers don’t realize how many ways a lawyer can help them when facing DUI charges in Maryland. Lawyers can:

  • Explain the exact charges against you and what the consequences in your specific situation might be.
  • Help you in performing proactive steps to show you understand the seriousness of the charge and fight DUI charges from a proactive position.
  • Analyze the circumstances of your case and investigate what happened.
  • 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 to Fight DUI Charges

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. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.

The Hazards of DIY-ing Your Estate Planning During COVID-19

With the popularity of YouTube and the accessibility of information on the internet, do-it-yourself culture has never been more prevalent than it is today. While COVID-19 might be keeping you socially distanced from your attorney, you should never attempt to do estate planning on your own.

Legal Terms

First, legal terminology can be very dense and confusing. Attorneys at Mobley and Brown, LLP specialize in breaking down complex terms, and understand exactly what each piece of your estate planning puzzle means. Unfortunately, people who misunderstand legal terms can create estate plans that are virtually useless or not legally valid.

Missing Pieces

A very common mistake when you choose to DIY your estate planning is missing pieces, signatures or attachments. If you do not thoroughly understand the process of estate planning and all of the moving parts involved, you could void the document thanks to a single missing signature. Estate planning attorneys know how to complete everything right the first time.

Lost Will

One of the most tragic problems with DIY estate planning is that, if you complete it by yourself and do not inform others, the court may assume that a will does not exist and it may die with you. Lawyers can serve as custodians of your will and estate plan, which prevents it from being lost or revoked in court after your passing. One recent example of this occurred with Aretha Franklin. It was initially believed that there was no will left behind, but later three separate handwritten wills were discovered. This has now led to tremendous confusion and a long legal battle, when a single professionally-drafted will could have already dispensed her assets to the rightful beneficiaries.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Finally, when you complete your estate planning, you should remember that one size does not fit all. The fill-in-the-blank documents available online are not customized to your unique family and life situations. Why would you risk your intentions not being followed through and leave everything in the hands of a free printable form you found online? Mobley and Brown, LLP is here to help ensure your wishes are carried out.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Your Estate Planning

If you are searching for the right estate planning/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.

4 Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

If you are injured during a car accident, it can be stressful to need medical treatment and face steep bills to help you recover. A personal injury attorney can fight for what you deserve and ensure that you do everything right in the aftermath of your accident. Why should you hire an attorney in the immediate aftermath instead of trying to manage things on your own?

4 Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

  1. You Need to Focus on Recovery

When you are injured, you need to focus your energy on healing and recovery. A personal injury attorney works on your behalf tirelessly, so that you can have peace of mind and time to rest. Let us guide you through the legal side of things and take the stress of insurance companies and court cases off of your plate.

  1. We Are Experienced

When you are trying to work with insurance companies and attorneys who aren’t on your side, a paperwork error, statement, technicality or loophole can lead to you not receiving the compensation that you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that you don’t make any missteps and create an effective, customized legal strategy to help you in your specific situation.

  1. Correct Damage Evaluation

One of the most complex parts of a personal injury case can be assessing the damage that occurred. A personal injury attorney knows how to survey and quantify damages in an appropriate fashion. We can also help establish proof that you were not at fault for the accident and demonstrate liability. Many people minimize their damages in the aftermath of an accident and regret doing so when costly medical bills continue, but we will always fight for what you deserve.

  1. You Need to Get It Right the First Time

If your car accident personal injury case does end up in the courtroom, you get one opportunity to get it right while avoiding the case dragging on for years in appeals courts. Lawyers know how the legal system works and how to make a great case the first time. Because the court lacks the context of the case and only knows what your attorney presents to them at a hearing, you can’t afford to get things wrong. At Mobley & Brown, LLP, we are here to help.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP, a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney in Maryland

If you are searching for the right personal injury 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.

3 Myths About Trespassing Charges in Maryland

While you probably drive by “NO TRESPASSING” signs every day, do you really know what they mean or what the penalty for violating them would be? Trespassing charges in Maryland vary in severity, but a single conviction could result in a fine or jail time. Knowing the truth behind the myths about trespassing is critical to protect yourself.

Myths About Trespassing Charges in Maryland

  1. Every “No Trespassing” Sign Is Legally Valid

You can be convicted of trespassing if you ignore “no trespassing” signs, but every sign is not created equal. Maryland law requires the signs to be clearly visible on the property that should not be entered. The signs also need to be placed at possible points of entry, like roads, adjoining land and adjoining waterways. If the signs are not visible or hard to read, or there is only one sign posted far away from the entire area that should not be entered, they may not hold up in court. If there are clear signs posted throughout the area, the person who deliberately ignores them could be charged with criminal trespassing charges in Maryland.

  1. Trespassing Charges Aren’t a Big Deal

While trespassing charges in Maryland are not as serious as other types of charges, they are considered a misdemeanor and carry a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense. For subsequent offenses, you could receive sentences up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000 if the crime was committed within 2 years of the first offense.

  1. You Can Defend Trespassing Charges on Your Own

Any crime that is considered a misdemeanor should be taken seriously, and you should never start defending yourself against trespassing charges in Maryland without the help of a skilled lawyer. Mobley & Brown, LLP has a wealth of experience defending clients against trespassing charges and keeping a misdemeanor and jail time off of their records. Many property owners and businesses try to use trespass laws to prevent people from returning to their property, so a lack of defense could impact your future ability to visit the locations you were accused of trespassing on in the future. We are here to help.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Trespassing Charges in Maryland

If you are searching for the right 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.