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Questions Answered by Mark Oakley
1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Q: What are my chances of jail? How does the community service work?

Maryland driver here. Got pulled over in Marion VA for reckless driving going 102 in 70 for about 5 seconds trying to get around a cluster of slow drivers (they were going about 55-60). Clean record otherwise though theres some speeding tickets from cams on my vehicle. Wondering about the chances... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

You need to repost this with Virginia selected as the geographic region as you need the advice of a Virginia lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Maryland on
Q: Is it easier to wait until my daughter is 18 before filing for divorce.

We own a home together but have no other joint accounts

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

Too little information and two totally unrelated issues (child’s age and property). You need to consult with a lawyer before doing anything and learn first what your rights are as well as the definition of “marital property” which is not determined based on whose name is on the title or the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland on
Q: My neighbor is accusing us of “noise violations” because our dog barks at him (while he’s taking pictures of them).

We live on an acre of land and the dog ONLY barks when the man is creeping around our property (in bushes and driveway) he’s taking us to an animal services hearing where we’ll supposedly be charged $250 for “noise violation” He claims dogs can’t bark at all but I want the dog to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

Each county or local government has its own code (or not) regarding excessive barking. They are vague. For instance, Montgomery County’s reads, “An owner must not allow an animal to cause noise that is loud enough and persistent enough to disturb another person’s quiet enjoyment.“ This... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Maryland on
Q: If a contract is signed and the party does not send a copy after a week of asking what should I do? Can it be voided?

A talent management deal was signed last week. He has been asking for a copy of the contract and we keep hearing “I need to scan it” , “only have the last page”, etc, when we know he has the pdf in his email. Is there any actions that can be taken since this seems like bad business practices.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

Not receiving a copy of a signed contract is not a basis to void a contract. However, a contract may be terminated for other reasons, and employment contracts are often terminable at will. It is unclear what terms or provisions are in your contract that address this. Perhaps a written demand for a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Can a family member act as a witness on a Power of Attorney?

One witness can be the notary and the other witness, not named on the paper as an agent, successor, or alternate, witness the document, even if the witness is a family member?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

Yes, family members can witness a power of attorney. If it is a health care POA, at least one of the witnesses cannot be one of the person’s health care providers or an employee of one of their health care providers, or entitled to inherit under the person’s will.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Banking for Maryland on
Q: Does the buyer's bank have an obligation to complete their actions on a home sale in a certain period of time?

I'm selling my home in Allegheny County and buying another close by on a contingency of selling my house. The purchase of the new house has gone without a hitch. The sale of my current home however has been difficult. Buyer took a lot of time getting final documentation to her bank. Now her... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 15, 2019

Your remedies are strictly with your buyer, pursuant to the terms of your real estate contract, and not against the buyer’s bank. Breach of contract remedies for a seller are either declare the contract breached and forfeit the deposit, or sue for specific performance. Either way, your seller of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Maryland on
Q: Is a final domestic protection order a conviction?

Trying to find out if I qualify to purchase a firearm.

I was subject to a protective order, 6 years ago, in a petty domestic violence case, where I was not convicted of the assault but was still placed on a final protective order. It was never disclosed to me exactly when the order... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

It is not a conviction, because it is not a criminal matter. It is a civil case order. It is not part of a criminal history record.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland on
Q: Visiting FL family and our dog bite/attacked neighbors dog loose in familys yard...can cause legal action?

Neighbors dog left unattended in family yard and caused my dog to attack it...can they pursue legal action to pay vet bill and surgery

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

This should be posted under Florida law, not Maryland, as the laws different. I imagine that anytime a pet owner allows their dog to run loose (the very definition of not being under control) AND off their property, then their intentional, negligent or careless acts that allowed that and subsequent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law for Maryland on
Q: Under the 5th Amendment an individual who is placed under arrest has the right to an attorney...

During questioning. What attorney would be appointed during questioning? In the state of Maryland (where I reside), a public defender (attorney assigned to the poor to represent them at trial) cannot be contacted/assigned until the accused has received charging documents. So in this case... In... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

It is not a right to immediate appointment at any time you are prepared to answer questions. It is a right NOT to answer questions without legal representation present. Therefore, you exercise this right by remaining silent. The police may not question you against your will at any time. Once you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Internet Law for Maryland on
Q: What can I do about someone using my email address to set up an CVS account. CVS says there is nothing they can do.

I can not use my email address with this company because someone is wrongfully using my email address. CVS is stating there is nothing they can do about it.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

First, change your email password to something at least 16 characters long. Then, try to log into the cvs website with your email, and click the”forgot my password” option, and change the password to the cvs account. Then report your cvs card lost or stolen, and have a new card and number... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland on
Q: I was walkng my dog and he jumped on someone but I quickly pulled my dog away. Can I get sued? Can I get my dog taken?

My dog is only 2 years old and the person he jumped on threaten the sue me? Is that even possible?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

In theory, the person can sue you for negligence in failing to control your dog and allowing it to cause injury to him. However, it is unclear what his damages would be: was he bit? Scratched? Clothes torn? Suffered severe fright from the “attack”? How severe was your dog’s interaction? Was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Civil Rights and Communications Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal in MD to record, without permission/consent, the conversations occurring after an auto accident?

Is it legal in MD to record, without permission/consent, the conversations occurring after an auto accident?

I read an article that cited MD 2013 Code, which explained that it was legal to record the conversations after an auto accident, citing that the law (or case law) did not deem the... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

Maryland is a two-party consent state when it comes to audio recordings: both parties must consent to the recording. There is no exceptions for auto accidents. Video recording is not covered under this law, but unless you have a way to turn off the audio recording capacity of your video device, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for Maryland on
Q: I got a DUI in Maryland and was given a PBJ but I have a CDL. Will I be assessed points on my license?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 10, 2019

The PBJ will not mask the DUI offense on your CDL. Even if you received a PBJ the DUI will not only appear on your CDL record, it will trigger a one year suspension. Maryland’s laws are written to comply with federal laws that treat dispositions like a OBJ as a conviction for purposes of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Trust Fund Mis-use

My uncle is a fiduciary to my sons trust fund. The fund was created when my mother passed. We have never seen an accounting of the money. How do we find out what's going on with the fund? He is not returning phone calls or emails or snail mail in regards to this matter.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 8, 2019

A beneficiary is entitled to receive a statement of account from the trustee of a trust. I suggest you have a lawyer write a letter on your son's behalf, citing the relevant code section, and formally documenting the request, which will be more likely to generate a substantive response (most... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Q: TA-21-201(a1). Will there be any points to this citation? A driver of mine went into a street that trucks aren't allowed

My driver accidentally went into a street that trucks weren't allowed in, the officer issued a citation, court date isn't set up yet. Will there be any points to this citation?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 29, 2019

It's 1 point. Request a trial (not a waiver hearing) and there's a chance to either get a not guilty if the officer fails to show, or a "probation before judgment" disposition which strikes the guilty finding (no conviction, no points, but still pay a fine).

2 Answers | Asked in Banking for Maryland on
Q: I have recently come across a scam that involves the use of united states post office boxes and a local bank branch.

My banking account was accessed using this scam and money is now missing. Do I need a lawyer or should I continue to look into this problem on my own.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 29, 2019

You need to immediately, in writing, notify the bank of the fraudulent activity. The Commercial Code allows banks and other financial depository institutions to be released from liability if you fail to contest improper transactions on your account within 30-60 days of receiving your bank... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: what recourse do I have getting monies returned that an attorney was holding after he suddenly passed away?

The attorney was the executor of my mom’s estate (small estate), I was the beneficiary on life insurance. He had the money to pay bills, etc. He had completed paying all monies, and 2 weeks after my last conversation with him, he passed away suddenly. I filed a claim against his estate after no... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 22, 2019

You need to go to the Register of Wills and find out who took over as PR of the estate after he died. The PR has the ability to recover estate assets. If he was the estate lawyer, and not the PR, then any money should be held in an estate account and the PR would have access to it. If there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: October 2, police confiscated phone and have yet to get warrant as of today 10/22. Is there a way to get phone returned?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 22, 2019

It depends. Were you arrested? Were you charged? What was the probable cause for seizing your cell phone? Have the police applied for a search warrant for your cell phone? If the police can articulate a basis to believe that the phone contains evidence of a crime, or evidence that will help... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I was in a unlocked van Smoking and didn’t know the owner And got charged with rogue am I going to jail for this ???
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 9, 2019

Jail is rare for this offense unless you have an extensive criminal history. Further, it is often difficult for this crime to fit entering an unlocked vehicle unless you had on you tools or other objects used for breaking into a vehicle. Therefore, a lawyer might very well convince a prosecutor to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for District of Columbia on
Q: is there case law that supports reducing attorney's fees based on lost counts of a summary judgment?

Example: Defendant motions for summary judgment for 3 counts (fraud, breach of k, and negligence)after 1 year of litigation.The court rules in defendants favor for 2 of the 3 counts, ultimately after 1 more year of litigation the court finds for the Plaintiff on the remaining count and they award... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 8, 2019

No, but the amount of fees must be reasonable, and an argument can be made that the time and billing associated with the lost counts were not reasonable since the claims were rejected; therefore, some adjustment is appropriate. In the end, the amount of fees are left to the “sound judgment “ of... Read more »

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