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Legal Mistakes

The Most Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Starting & Building

Starting and building a small business or start-up is anything but easy. Because of how complicated and labor-intensive the process can be, some businesses cut corners early on and pay the price later. What are the most common legal mistakes that small businesses make when starting and building their businesses?

5 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make

  1. Skipping an Attorney: Many partnerships and people starting a business by themselves assume that they don’t need a lawyer in the same way that larger businesses do. Instead of starting out with an attorney, they plan on seeking legal representation in the future. However, that can lead to a great deal of wasted money and resources. Work with a lawyer when structuring your company to ensure you are set up the right way from the start.
  2. Not Using Terms & Conditions: Whenever you access a website or download an app, you usually see an important legal agreement called the “Terms and Conditions.” This lists out the obligations that everyone accessing the website or purchasing a product agrees to before making a purchase, creating an account or even using the website. If you don’t have a check box before a customer makes a purchase, you could be leaving yourself open to lawsuits.
  3. Ignoring Business Tax Laws: Is your company subject to sales taxes? When should returns be filed? Are you eligible for quarterly tax payments? Working with a skilled attorney can ensure that you obey all relevant business tax laws and structure your business in a manner that is most beneficial tax-wise.
  4. Insufficient Documentation: As you hire more employees and grow, there are many legal mistakes that you can experience. Federal law requires every employer to have certain documents on file. If you do not have proper documentation and are caught skirting regulations, you can face serious consequences, including your business being fined or shut down.
  5. Not Protecting Your Property: Unfortunately, numerous small companies neglect to protect their intellectual property with copyrights, patents or trademarks until they have been stolen. If you fail to protect the name of your business, you will not have much recourse if another competitor in the same industry names themselves the same thing. Intellectual property laws are complex, so it’s vital that you work with a lawyer to protect your ideas and brand. 

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Avoiding Legal Mistakes

If you are seeking business law assistance in Maryland and unsure of how to proceed, 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.

Expungements in Maryland

All About Expungements in Maryland

Are you eligible for an expungement in Maryland? A wide variety of factors, including your criminal record, will determine whether or not this is possible. If you are granted an expungement, it will formally remove all records of your offense from law enforcement and court records. Should you give Mobley and Brown, LLP to start the process for expungements in Maryland?

When Is an Expungement Appropriate?

Expungements in Maryland can be completed for both adult and juvenile cases. In adult cases, expungements are used for clearing records of peace or protective orders, civil cases or criminal convictions. If you were the defendant in a criminal case, there are numerous requirements that you must meet to have your record be eligible for expungement:

You could be eligible for an expungement now if:

  • You received a gubernatorial pardon within the past 10 years
  • You can show good cause
  • The act that your conviction was based upon is no longer a criminal act
  • The case was filed in criminal court and transferred to juvenile court

You could be eligible for an expungement if three years have passed and:

  • You had probation before judgment for a case (other than DUI/DWI)
  • The court indefinitely postponed your case
  • The crime you were convicted of can be found in Md Code, Criminal Procedure §10-105(a)(9)
  • You were deemed not criminally responsible for disturbing the peace, trespass or telephone misuse

You could be eligible for an expungement if ten years have passed and:

You could be eligible for an expungement if three years have passed or you correctly file a General Waiver and Release [form CC-DC-CR-078] and:

  • Your case was dismissed
  • The state chose not to prosecute
  • You were found not guilty

You could be eligible for an expungement if fifteen years have passed and:

How Can You File a Petition for Expungement in Maryland?

You should start by calling your lawyer at Mobley and Brown, LLP. We can help you to complete the correct Petition for Expungement of Records form for your situation, along with obtaining a copy of your criminal record. We can then assist with filing petitions for each case or in each court. 

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP

If you are seeking expungements in Maryland and unsure of how to proceed, 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

The Basics of Estate Planning for Unmarried Adults With and Without Children

If you don’t have a surviving spouse, estate planning can become a complicated affair with or without children. Unmarried adults have specific estate planning concerns that they should consider with the help of an experienced law firm like Mobley and Brown, LLP. 

Unmarried Adults With Children

Estate planning for unmarried adults with children can be straightforward if you are interested in passing on your assets to your children. It’s important that you formalize your intentions in a will, even if you want everything to be passed to your children. Without a will, Maryland will follow intestate succession laws. Under intestate succession laws, your children will automatically inherit everything if you are an unmarried adult. 

Unmarried Adults Without Children

If you are an unmarried adult without children, your estate planning situation could be complex. You do not only need to decide what will happen to your assets when you are no longer here, but also who to name as executor of your will and who you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. In many cases, estate planning will involve focusing on your interests and tying them in with charitable giving. What do you care about? How could you use your assets to give back to the world? If you’re interested in education, you could create a scholarship at a school that you went to. Your estate planning could also involve starting to distribute your assets while you are still here. If you start gifting money during retirement and have the means to do so, you could see the fruits of your labor. 

A Will Matters

Unmarried adults with or without children need to have a will in Maryland. If you do not have a will in place, the state of Maryland will get to decide how all of your physical and financial assets are divided up. Without a will, you will not get to have a say in how all of the things that belong to you are distributed when you are no longer here. Mobley and Brown, LLP can assist you with estate planning and creating a will that reflects who you are and your priorities. 

Trust Mobley and Brown, LLP for Your Estate Planning

If you are seeking assistance in estate planning whether or not you are married or a parent, 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 Beach

Drink Responsibly at the Maryland Beach this Summer

Summer is here, which makes it the perfect time to head to the beach and enjoy the beautiful weather. While there is nothing wrong with legally and safely enjoying a few alcoholic beverages while you are on vacation, there are serious consequences to not legally and safely doing so.

What Is Drunk Driving in Maryland?

In Maryland, DWIs and DUIs are two distinct things. If you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.07 and 0.08 percent, you can be charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI). A DWI is considered the lesser offense of the two, but charges are still serious. For a first offense, you could face up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. If you are driving with a BAC anywhere 0.08 percent or higher, you could be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This offense is taken very seriously, even if you are at a Maryland beach, and can come with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

What Initiatives Do Ocean City Police Officers Participate In?

Ocean City is a Maryland beach that takes drunk and impaired driving very seriously. Because many people go to the beach to have a good time and let loose on vacation, local officers cannot afford to be relaxed with law enforcement. Worcester County boasts the highest DUI conviction ratein the state of Maryland, with 91% of those charged also being convicted. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI in Ocean City, you need to contact an experienced lawyer at a firm like Mobley and Brown, LLP as soon as possible.

Understanding the Law

If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, you might be asked to take a field sobriety test or portable breath test. If you are being arrested for impaired driving, the police officer will read you your rights and give you a form before asking you to submit to a BAC test. If you test above the legal limit or refuse to submit to the test, you will be given an Order of Suspension form with your traffic citations. Your license will be confiscated and could be replaced with a 45-day temporary license. You should call your attorney immediately. 

Trust Mobley and Brown, LLP for Your Personal Injury Claims

If you are seeking compensation in the aftermath of an accident, 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.

Nursing Home Abuse

Maryland Nursing Home Abuse: What Your Family Needs to Know

The vast majority of nursing homes in Maryland are safe havens for the elderly. They provide skilled care in a comfortable environment and allow seniors to age with dignity. Unfortunately, all nursing homes are not the safe and caring places that they should be. If you suspect that one of your loved ones is suffering from nursing home abuse, it is critical that you report the abuse to the right authorities in the fastest fashion possible.

What Are Your Rights?

Every nursing home resident in Maryland is guaranteed a number of rights under federal and state law, including:

  • A monthly account statement every month, and an itemized bill upon request.
  • The right to manage money independently or have a family member manage it.
  • The ability to keep and use personal belongings and clothing.
  • Access to a locked storage space for valuables upon request.
  • The right to be treated with respect, be free from physical and mental abuse and plan your own medical treatment.
  • Private telephone conversations and private interactions with visitors.
  • The right to a quality of care that does not prevent your condition from deteriorating, unless it was unavoidable.
  • The ability to access and examine your medical records.
  • The right to be free from chemical and physical restraints unless ordered for your safety or health.

What Happens in Cases of Nursing Home Abuse?

In Maryland, neglect and physical abuse of nursing home residents is a serious crime. If you are concerned about your care or a loved one’s care in a nursing home, you should first speak to the nurse in charge of the unit. If the nurse cannot address your concern or is the abuser, you should escalate things up the chain of command.

If their health, safety or life is at imminent risk, you should contact the police. If you place a complaint, the nursing home’s administrator is required to complete an investigation within 30 days. You can also contact the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality at (410) 402-8201, your local ombudsman, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General’s Office and your lawyer. Mobley and Brown, LLP has years of experiencing working with nursing home residents and their families to ensure health and safety and get compensation when the law is broken. 

Are You Concerned About Nursing Home Abuse? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are concerned about nursing home abuse in your nursing home or for a loved one, 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.

Drunk Driving Arrest

What to Do Following a Drunk Driving Arrest in Maryland

A drunk driving arrest in Maryland is a very serious situation that you should not take lightly. While DUI arrests are not uncommon, the consequences of being charged with a DUI can seriously impact your livelihood. Depending on the situation and aftermath of your drunk driving arrest, you could lose your job, your driver’s license and potentially be forced to serve a jail sentence or pay a fine.

In the Immediate Aftermath of a Drunk Driving Arrest

If you do not already have representation from Mobley and Brown, LLP you should first call a family member, friend or trusted acquaintance. By hearing your voice and having a conversation with you, they can testify as to whether or not your speech was slurred or you seemed disoriented over the phone. You also want to keep careful track of everything that you were doing prior to the arrest. You should also partner with a skilled drunk driving arrest firm in Maryland, like Mobley and Brown, LLP for case-specific guidance.

Read Your Paperwork

Following your drunk driving arrest, you will be given paperwork by the police officer or commissioner. When processing the arrest, there are numerous tight deadlines that need to be met. The consequences for missing a deadline could be very serious, so familiarize yourself with the timeline as soon as you can.

Request a Hearing

Were you given an Order of Suspension and Officer’s Certification at the time of your drunk driving arrest in Maryland? That means that you need to request, in writing, a formal hearing with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) within 10 days of the date of the stop to contest the suspension of your license. The MVA and the police will not give you a hearing date without the proper paperwork and fees, so you must stay on top of scheduling.

Choose an Experienced Attorney

When your ability to drive, hold a job and be a productive member of society is threatened, why would you risk your future in the hands of someone without experience handling DUI cases? Just like you would choose the best possible doctor to treat a serious health condition, you should select the best possible lawyer to handle your drunk driving case. Maryland DUI law is very complex, and consequences can be irreparably damaging. 

Need Help After a Drunk Driving Arrest? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are in the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving arrest in Maryland, 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.

Permanent Disability

What Are Your Rights When Facing Permanent Disability After an Auto Accident?

Car accidents vary a great deal in their severity, and some drivers can walk away without a scratch while others face permanent disability in the aftermath. If you have sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident in Maryland, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side. What are your rights when facing permanent disability after a car accident?

Filing a Lawsuit

In the aftermath of an auto accident, it is very common for survivors to receive compensation by filing a claim against the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver. When there are serious injuries that lead to permanent disability, sometimes the settlement offered by an insurance company is not nearly enough to cover current and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, lost wages and other damages.

In those cases, it’s smarter to file a lawsuit. When you consult with an attorney, they might recommend an independent evaluator to assess the total damages to your vehicle, your health, your livelihood and more. Things like your work and earnings history, current medical bills, anticipated future medical needs and a number of other factors will be weighed when determining what amount you need to support you and your family in the aftermath of permanent disability. Your lawyer will then work on your behalf to get you the money that you deserve.

Receiving Disability

Beyond filing a lawsuit, you might also be able to pursue Social Security disability benefits. Many disability claims are denied the first time that they are filed, so it’s always a good idea to work alongside an attorney. Your lawyer can determine whether you meet the requirements under Social Security eligibility requirements. You will only be able to recover disability benefits if you are totally unable to work and your permanent disability is expected to last for over a year or eventually result in death. With the guidance of a Maryland permanent disability lawyer, you will be able to initially file for disability and file any necessary appeals to receive the compensation that you deserve. 

Need Help When Facing Permanent Disability After an Auto Accident? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are struggling with permanent disability in the aftermath of a tragic car accident and need a way to pay for your medical costs and recover lost earnings, 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

Long-Term Care Planning

Why Is Long-Term Care Planning Important?

Unfortunately, we never know when or if we will need long-term care. In fact, you might never need to take advantage of any of the plans that you have put in place. However, having them in place is vital to ensuring that you receive the care you desire as you age or if you become disabled. Why is long-term care planning so vital to the future of your loved ones and your family?

 

Make Decisions About Your Home

 

When considering long-term care contingencies, it’s important to think about where you would like to live as you age. The time to make modifications for aging-in-place is now, not when you’re in crisis mode as a result of not having a plan in place. Most older adults would prefer to stay in their own home, so their long-term care planning decisions might revolve around fitting the space with modifications like grab bars in the shower, ramps with handrails to the front door and additional light switches. Make your intention to stay in your home as long as possible clear to your children and family members. 

 

Think About Your Health

 

Becoming ill or disabled is not something that anyone wants to think about, but it’s important to include any possible future outcomes in your long-term care planning.  Work with an attorney at Mobley and Brown, LLP to work through preparing healthcare advance directives and other documents that are essential to the long-term care planning process, like a living trust. 

 

Long-term care planning earlier in life is also essential because it gives you the opportunity to limit risk for certain illnesses and stay healthy and independent for as long as possible by identifying potential problems early. Talk with your doctor about your family history, medical history and lifestyle. Limiting risk activities like smoking, drinking alcohol and maintaining a more active lifestyle can increase your chances of staying healthy as long as possible. 

 

Consider Your Financial Situation

 

Americans spend billions of dollars on healthcare annually, including long-term care. How you will cover the cost of long-term care varies depending on your current financial situation, the kind of services you anticipate needing to use and savings. In many cases, long term care plans incorporate numerous sources of funding, including:

·     Government insurance programs, like Medicare and Medicaid 

·     Veterans’ benefits

·     Services through the Older Americans Act

·     Personal funds (pensions, savings, stocks, etc.)

·     Private financing options, such as long-term care insurance 

 

By planning ahead and organizing the information you have on your finances now, you will be prepared with all necessary information to implement your plan. 

 

Need Help with Long-Term Care Planning? Call Mobley & Brown, LLP

 

 

Contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 261-4952 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897. 

Bedsore Lawsuits

What You Should Know About Bedsore Lawsuits In Maryland

When you are caring for a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home healthcare, it’s understandable you are concerned about potential neglect. After all, you are investing a great deal into excellent care for your friend or family member. Unfortunately, bedsore lawsuits often arise due to neglect or abuse. What does everyone with an elderly loved one need to know about bedsore lawsuits in Maryland?

What Are Bedsores?

Pressure sores are also known as bedsores and decubitus ulcers. They are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue due to extended periods of compression. Bedsores typically occur at places in the skin covering bony areas, like the hips, ankles, lower back and heels. Elders and people who are bedridden with limited mobility are at the highest risk of developing pressure sores, which is why they are such a problem in nursing and care facilities.

Bedsores happen due to a lack of blood flow to the area being compressed. Without nutrients and oxygen from blood, the tissue around the point decays and can die. According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, over 2.5 million patients suffer from pressure sores every year. A National Nursing Home Survey in 2004 found that 160,000 nursing home residents had bedsores every year, meaning that approximately 1 in 10 residents have them. Tragically, pressure sores are estimated to be the originating cause of 60,000 deaths annually.

Bedsore Lawsuits

Because pressure sores are such a unique injury that requires an extended period of pressure without movement, they are almost always preventable. Even completely immobile patients can avoid developing bedsores with the right attention and care. As a result, it’s always appropriate to question the standard of care when a patient develops pressure sores.

Nursing homes and assisted healthcare facilities have a duty to prevent severe and debilitating bedsores. While pressure sores can occur naturally without neglect, serious, life-threatening bedsores cannot. At the first sign of bedsores, appropriate medical care should be offered.

Why Your Attorney Matters

Bedsore lawsuits can be complex, as the mere presence of a pressure sore is not enough to prove fault. Our lawyers know how to understand the medical documentation that nursing homes and hospitals keep and build a compelling case. If your loved one received a bedsore, it is not their fault, and they deserve the opportunity for recourse if it happened as a result of neglect. 

Need Help with Bedsore Lawsuits? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are concerned about bedsores or pressure sores that your loved one received while in someone else’s care, 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 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Car Insurance

How Will a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance?

Have you been convicted of a DUI in Maryland? There is a high probability that car insurance companies will now see you as an elevated risk. Depending on which car insurance provider you are using and other factors, including any other convictions, you could see a small bump in rates or a dramatic increase.  

How Does a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance Rate?

Based on a survey of leading car insurance companies, a DUI conviction can raise your car insurance premium by an average of $392, which is actually much lower than the United States average increase. However, if you are trying to purchase an inexpensive policy after your conviction, you should expect to shop around and be prepared to compromise. A DUI often leads to a steeper increase in insurance rates than reckless driving, racing or even an at-fault accident.

What Other Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

A DUI conviction is weighed in conjunction with a number of other factors when deciding what premium will be extended to you. Some of the other most important factors include:

  • Age: For anyone under the legal drinking age of 21, a single DUI conviction can lead to a hike 5-10% more than someone with the same conviction over the legal drinking age.
  • Time: How much time has passed since your DUI conviction? If you are getting a new policy, insurance companies typically only judge the past 3-5 years harshly. For someone with a DUI four years ago, a new car insurance policy would cost 15-20% less than someone with a DUI in the last twelve months.
  • Number of DUIs: If you have more than one DUI conviction, that will dramatically affect the premium you are offered. In one study of premiums, a 30-year-old with four DUI convictions had 58% higher bodily injury coverage premiums than someone the same age with only one conviction.
  • Car Insurance Company: Every company has different rules for handling a DUI conviction, and a 30% increase could be a 50% increase with another provider. Don’t be afraid to shop around instead of settling for the first quote. 

Concerned About a Potential DUI Conviction? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you have been charged with a DUI or are 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 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.