Blog

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.

What Is First-Degree Assault in Maryland?

Assault in Maryland is a complex charge, as depending on the situation the accused could end up with a misdemeanor or a felony. The most serious conviction that you can receive for assault is assault in the first degree. What is considered first-degree assault in Maryland?

What Defines First-Degree Assault in Maryland?

The law defines first-degree assault as intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to someone else. If you commit assault with a firearm (handguns, rifles, shotguns, antique guns, machine guns, etc.), it is automatically considered a first-degree assault. Anyone who is convicted of first-degree assault in Maryland is considered a felon and can be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Maryland views people who try and fail to commit assault with the same level of culpability as if they had successfully committed the assault. As a result, people who have attempted first-degree assault in Maryland can be eligible for the same sentence or penalty as those who committed first-degree assault. It’s also important to note that there does not need to be serious bodily harm done in cases of first-degree assault. Pointing a gun during a robbery, for example, could be a first-degree assault conviction.

The Intent to Assault in Maryland

The critical distinction between first-degree and second-degree assault is intent. It is not enough to show that harm was committed. Instead, you must also show that someone intended to commit the harm that they did. The court does not need to see that there was malice towards the victim, but only that the defendant intentionally acted as they did.

The Penalties for First-Degree Assault

The mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree assault in Maryland is 10 years of prison time for a second offense and 25 years of prison time for a third offense. If someone is convicted four times, they must be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Because of the severity of the crime, judges cannot elect to lessen or not impose those mandatory minimum sentences.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with First-Degree Assault 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.

4 Common Causes of Non-Compete Agreement Violations

In a competitive business world, non-compete agreements are common to protect businesses from employees leaving and taking clients with them. Whenever an employee signs a non-compete, they are promising to not compete with their employer for a set amount of time within a certain geographic radius and industry. Unfortunately, sometimes employees make non-compete agreement violations that require legal intervention.

Is Your Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable?

Before you worry about potential non-compete agreement violations, you must ensure that your agreement is legally sound. If your non-compete agreement is overly restrictive, it might not hold up in court. The agreement can be enforced if a court determines that:

  • There was adequate consideration put into the contract
  • The agreement made sense when considered with the nature of the employment
  • It was limited in duration and geographic radius
  • It would not impose undue hardship on the employee
  • It is not in violation of public policy

In the state of Maryland, a non-compete could be enforced even if one of the above things is not true. That means that the court will instead strike out any unenforceable portions and focus only on what can be enforced.

4 Common Non-Compete Agreement Violations

  1. A former employee gave trade secrets from your business to a competitor, even if they are not working for the competitor in a full-time capacity
  2. A former employee was hired by a competitor within the geographic boundary and time period that you specified in your agreement
  3. A former employee solicited clients or customers from your business after leaving
  4. A former employee gave confidential information about your workplace to a competitor

Non-compete agreement violations are very serious because they could do catastrophic damage to your bottom line and the financial future of your business. Always consult with an experienced business attorney like Mobley & Brown, LLP when creating your non-compete agreement to ensure that it will be enforceable. A comprehensive agreement will protect you against financial damage in the aftermath of critical employees leaving now and in the future.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Creating Non-Compete Agreements 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.

Estate Planning When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Estate planning is never an easy task, but it can be more complicated when you are helping a loved one with Alzheimer’s complete the task. There are unique considerations that you should keep in mind when estate planning, as the condition can have many legal and financial ramifications. As the disease progresses, it can become more difficult to complete the planning process.

What Estate Planning Documents Do You Need?

You should always start the planning process with an experienced lawyer and work together to iron out the various legal, financial and healthcare planning documents that you will need. Some of the most critical documents that loved ones who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s need include:

  • Living Will: This contains the wishes of the adult regarding healthcare treatment near the end of life or if they become unable to make decisions themselves.
  • Living Trust: A living trust gives a trustee instructions regarding the senior’s estate and establishes their right to hold the property and funds if necessary. The trustee can follow all of the instructions given once the adult affected by Alzheimer’s can no longer make their own sound decisions.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document designates a proxy who can make healthcare decisions on their behalf if the adult with Alzheimer’s cannot do so any longer.
  • Will: A will details the ways that a person’s assets and estate will be divided up upon their passing. In a will, you can also specify things like gifts, trusts that will manage the estate, burial arrangements and arrangements for the care of any minor children that are involved.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: Just like with healthcare, the financial POA allows someone else to make financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual.

When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is critical that you move as quickly as possible to legally document their wishes and secure the estate. Elder law attorneys, like Mobley and Brown, LLP, can assist you with each step of the estate planning process and ensure that your loved one is able to age as healthily and peacefully as possible. Ironing out legal and financial matters now can eliminate concerns in the future. 

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Estate Planning 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.