Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Must the clerk accept a proper filing?

According to statute, generally yes:§ 2-201. In general(a) Enumeration. -- The clerk of a court shall:(1) Have custody of the books, records, and papers of his office;(2) Make proper legible entries of all proceedings of the court and keep them in well-bound books or other permanent form;(3) When requested in writing to do so, record any paper filed with his office and required by law to be recorded
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What does "shall" mean?

In Maryland there is some debate as to the term shall. Sometimes I like to equate shall with must. Excerpts from this opinion seem to support that position:Lovero v. Joelma Da Silva., 200 Md.App. 433, 28 A.3d 43 (Md. App., 2011It is important to note that in each iteration of the rule the clerk is directed not to “file” any paper or pleading requiring service that does not contain the appropriate
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Diversion of Prosecution in Prince Georges County District Court

Prince Georges County has a diversion system in place for certain categories of crime. There are a variety of factors which affect a defendant's ability to enter into a diversion program. There are many upsides to entering into a diversion program such as certainty of outcome and eventual dismissal of charges with the possibility of expungement. There are some downsides, actual innocence or inability
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What does it mean if my case is put on the stet docket

Maryland has a rule allowing a case to resolve other than a trial, dismissal or guilty plea.  With the defendant's consent the case can be put on the stet docket. The following is from an information sheet found in the District Court for Prince Georges County and it summarizes the situation neatly: If the state moves to place your case on the stet docket, and you agree to the stet, and the
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Child Support Statute

Child support and the general assembly. Under Maryland law an individual is entitled to child support under the following conditions: an individual who has attained the age of 18 years and he was enrolled in secondary school has the right to receive support and maintenance from both of the individual's parents until the first to occur of the following events:The individual diesThe individual marriesThe
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Further Expansion of Maryland Expungement Law

Maryland expungement law has become applicable to ever more situations. One of the newer situations is where the person is found guilty of the crime. I found information on the Maryland People's Law Library which is very helpful; below is a list of crimes which might be expunged even if you were found guilty. You will note that some of these crimes are felonies. You owe it to yourself to clean
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Expungement Tool I Found

I have no relation with this service provider, I don't receive anything from them, I do recommend it as an efficient tool to help you file for your expungement requests.https://www.mdexpungement.com/
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It does not take a great deal of evidence to be charged with driving while impaired

I have been practicing law since 1986.When I first began practicing law it was much harder to prove alcohol-related driving cases and the sanctions were lower. For example, the alcohol driving crimes back then were driving while intoxicated which required a .15 BAC and driving under the influence of alcohol which required a .13 BAC.There was no administrative per say sanctions for a high breath test.Currently
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Why it's often worthwhile defending your speeding ticket

Speeding charges or one of the most common charges seen in traffic court. In Maryland speeding convictions put points on your driving record. Points on your driving record lead to increased insurance premiums and even cancellation of insurance coverage.In Maryland speeds from 1 mile over to 9 miles over equals one point10 miles to 29 miles over the limit two points30 miles over the limit
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Federal Housing Assistance/Section 8 Housing and Criminal Convictions

I practice criminal defense. Besides the direct possible consequences of a criminal conviction such as incarceration, probation with home inspections, drug tests, counseling, etc. can come collateral consequences such as termination of housing privileges.Federal Housing Assistance, Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8 Housing) provides housing assistance to qualified persons. The programs are
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