Category: Criminal Law

Expanding Mutual Consent Divorce

Amendments to Maryland Family Law 7-103 During the 2018 legislative session, the Maryland Legislature voted in favor of significant changes to the mutual consent grounds for divorce in Maryland. The changes will make the mutual consent grounds available to a significantly larger number of parties and should allow for a more cost-effective and efficient avenue to obtaining a fast divorce in Maryland. When mutual consent became grounds for absolute divorce in 2014, it became possible for certain parties seeking a divorce to file with the court immediately and, oftentimes, receive a judgment of absolute divorce within a matter of weeks. Specifically, to be eligible under Md. Family Law  7-103(a)(8) Mutual Consent, the parties were required to have no minor children in common, to have executed a written settlement agreement resolving all marital property issues and alimony, and for both parties to appear at the final hearing. The statute’s requirement that

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Smell of Marijuana is Probable Cause for Search

Marijuana Musk The Aroma of Cannabis as Probable Cause for a Search Lewis v. State, No. 1115, SEPT.TERM,2017, 2018 WL 3199217, at *1 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. June 28, 2018) A casual walk down a busy street in Denver, San Francisco, or Washington D.C., for that matter, is all one needs to recognize that the state of marijuana laws across the country is in significant flux. Being the purple state it is, Maryland seemingly appears not far behind our more liberal contemporaries when it comes to the evolution in thinking around marijuana legalization. Medical marijuana is now available in abundance in Maryland. There are now approximately 30 dispensaries, 12 processors, and 14 growers operating in the state’s medical cannabis industry. In April 2014, marijuana use in the state was decriminalized by the legislature (after overriding a veto by Governor Hogan). The casual observer or occasional partoker might begin to develop

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Federal Forfeiture Law’s Expansionary Trend: Implications for the Targets of White-Collar Crime & Enforcement

The United States has adopted a broad set of forfeiture statutes designed to disgorge illicit proceeds generated through criminal activity. When many of these laws were adopted by Congress in 1984 the idea was to target property that represents the profits from illegal activity. S. Rep. No. 98-225, at 84 (1984), reprinted 1984 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3182, 3267. The level of power provided to the federal government to enforce its forfeiture laws is vast. Along with the complex criminal and civil procedure issues presented, it can be difficult to grasp how to respond when confronted with a forfeiture claim civil or criminal. It is important to understand that forfeiture is a proceeding against property. This allows the government to seek forfeiture through a criminal, civil, or parallel criminal and civil actions. In a criminal case, forfeiture is a form of punishment directed at the convicted person. See e.g., 18 U.S.C. 982 (a)(1)

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