Most Common Offenses in Ocean City
The following is taken from an interview with Ocean City criminal lawyer Angie DiPietro. To learn more schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
Common Criminal Charges in Ocean City
The bulk of what I see charged in Ocean City is DUIs, however there are still some marijuana possession cases despite the fact that the law in Maryland has essentially made a very small possession in Maryland a civil offense. Sometimes people have more than the allowable amount which makes it a criminal citation rather than simply a civil one.
Additionally open container violations happen quite a bit and the unfortunate thing for the client is that an individual is stopped by the police officer because of an open container or being too disorderly on the boardwalk, and then that can turn into a much more serious case if, for example, they were in possession of an illegal substance.
In other common scenarios, someone may be stopped because the radio is turned up too loud in the vehicle. And then the next thing you know the police officer is asking the driver how much they’ve had to drink. And then that could turn into a DUI.
Other Common Offenses
In addition to these criminal charges, I also see some very minor offenses that turn into much bigger problems.
I’ve seen many cases where individuals are sitting in their car, and the car could be parked illegally, which draws the officer’s attention. Then as the officer approaches, he believes he observes them doing something illegal in the car that leads to an arrest.
Specifically, there are frequent cases of young people who were smoking marijuana in a car that was parked on a public road way. And then police officers come by, and of course they’re going to smell that right away. There are many cases like this.
Or they see somebody violating a minor law by jaywalking or not crossing in the crosswalk and that turns into a criminal case because the individuals have an illegal substance on them or they were under the influence and they’re not even old enough to drink.
Serious Drug Charges
In addition to marijuana and DUI charges, there has been a pretty significant increase in drug offenses involving substances like heroin or illegal prescription pill possession and so these are now very common cases.
A defendant who’s struggling with substance abuse issues will often have additional charges as well with things like theft- maybe stealing from a loved one, stealing from other people’s property and it’s all just in an attempt to get money to purchase more drugs. So these cases go hand in hand with each other.
Also because there has been such a bad down turn in the economy, there are a great deal of theft, so I’m seeing a lot of shoplifting cases.