Questions Answered by Mark Oakley

Q: I have 2 Charges in MD TA.17.110 &TA.17.107. Is there a statue of limitation?What are the penalties?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 13, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
17-110: maximum penalty is 1 year, $1,000, for a first offense; 2 years for a subsequent offense under the same section. Conviction carries 12 points, which will trigger revocation of your license.

17-107: same maximum penalty. Conviction carries 5 points.

Jail is not common for a first offense, and a lawyer may be able to negotiate the charges down to lesser violations to avoid the points and jail, but convictions can impact your license in other states, and should you get...

Q: My husband has life with parole. How do we go about requesting a parole review? It's been 27 years and he's never been.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
It depends. He or his lawyer may need to review what all of his sentences are, because he could have multiple sentences that were imposed consecutively, and for violent crimes, he must serve 50% of the aggregate sentences before he is eligible, so it depends. So, if he has multiple sentences that add up to a number that is more than twice the 27 years he has served, then he is not yet eligible. If that is not the case, then Maryland Code, Correctional Services Article, Section 7-301(d),...

Q: . As is purchase ,but in an addendum on contract states owner to have water and elec for inspection.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
If you signed an addendum agreeing to have utilities on, and did not provide for being reimbursed for cost, you bear the cost. Read the addendum. If it’s your obligation to provide power and water, you either do it or risk breaching the contract and giving the buyer the option of declaring the deal off, or suing to specifically enforce the contract terms.

Q: My blood sister recently passed away intestate. Would I be able to assume her mortgage?

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
Yes, you can inherit real property “subject to” the existing mortgage and simply pay it according to its existing terms. The mortgage company cannot require an heir to refinance or become personally liable on the mortgage (although if you don’t pay they can still foreclose on the property). You will need to have a lawyer prepare a deed to transfer the property from the estate to you. This is a relatively inexpensive process, but by law the deed must be prepared by a lawyer. You will be...

Q: My house shares a chimney&both sides need to be fixed to correct water leak the other house is rental & no contact info

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
I’m sure you can track down the owner, but getting the owner to cooperate is another matter. Do you need access to the inside of the neighboring house to fix the chimney, or can it be done solely from your side and the outside of your neighbor’s house? If inside access is not necessary, and the owner can not be located or is not responsive, then if there is an urgent necessity to prevent ongoing water damage you may be justified in using self-help to just fix both sides. You do not state...

Q: In case adult child added to house deed, should he/she pay taxes on house?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
Is the adult child living in the house? Many people jointly own real property, and the owners share costs of ownership as well as the benefits (living there or rental income received). If the adult child was added primarily for estate planning purposes and does not live there, but the parents live there, then the parents get the benefit of use and possession of the house. They should pay all the costs and expenses. If on the other hand the child is living there, or sharing rental income...

Q: I have stopped making payments - for 4 mo. on credit card & medical debt - about 15,000. in debt. If they file judgement

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Maryland on
Answered on May 9, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
Sounds like you’d qualify for a discharge in bankruptcy of all your debt. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer about your options. No reason to live under a debt burden you cannot pay. Clean the slate and move on free and clear without the worry and stress of creditors and judgments hounding you all the time.

Q: I got a ticket with 2 charges, first is that I did not stop at a stop light and also for passing around a vehicle at

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
There are points, 2 to be exact for the stop light, 1 point (I believe) for the off road citation, but if paying both or if found guilty of both, you only receive the highest point total of any one ticket charged in the same incident (so, 2 points here). Request a trial, not a waiver hearing, because the officer is required to appear at a trial, but not at a waiver hearing where you are automatically guilty of both offenses. If the officer fails to appear for trial, you will be found not guilty...

Q: What is the penalty for recording a person with out notifying that person that he is being recorded in state of Maryland

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
The law only applies to audio recording, not video, and so long as the party being recorded is put on notice of the recording and continues the conversation then there is no violation. However, in the absence of either actual or implied consent, such a recording is a felony, and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Illegally obtained evidence will also be inadmissible into evidence in any court proceeding, regardless of its relevance, if introduced by the party who...

Q: My dog sitter lost my dog. She admits he wasn't properly leashed. He's been missing for 1 month. Whats her liability?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
I am sorry, as the loss of a pet can be devastating. I hope you find yours. Maryland law views pets as mere property, so the damage is measured by the fair market value of the dog (the reasonable cost to purchase a similar dog). You are also entitled to the breach of contract damages for the dog sitting agreement, which you state she already refunded or forfeited to you her sitting fees. The costs expended for searching for your pet may be recovered, but they must fall into a category of...

Q: If i recieved a "Spinning tires" ticket a few years ago and never paid. Will a warrant be issued in my name?

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
No warrants are issued for minor moving violations that do not carry jail time as a possible penalty, but failure to pay a traffic ticket will result in suspension of you drivers license until you do pay it. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, then you will be facing possible jail (depending on which section of the code you are charged under) and more points. If you pay the ticket now, any points will be assessed as of the date of violation, meaning once two years have passed from...

Q: Hello, Is money awarded in a wrongful death case taxable on the state(MD) and Federal level? Thank you.Tom

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
No, it is not. It is not defined as income because it is compensation for a loss. Sometimes a jury verdict will separate out lost income (past or future) that a party has suffered as a component of damages, and when that is done, that portion is subject to income tax. Otherwise, in a lump sum verdict or settlement, the entire amount is deemed nontaxable.

Q: I was told that my offer on a home was accepted by the seller only to have the listing agent turn around 2 hrs later

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on May 1, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
If the sellers made a written acceptance, either by signing the contract offer and returning it to you or your agent, or even by email stating the offer was accepted (directly or by their agent to your agent), then you have a basis to sue for specific performance of the contract. You will have to weigh whether the costs and risks of such a maneuver are worth it.

Q: I just became aware that my Siblings forged my name on a deed of a in 2007. I am unsure re SOL.

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 28, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
Maryland follows the “discovery rule” for purposes of the statute of limitations, meaning the three years SOL for suing for fraud would begin from the time you discovered, or should have discovered, the fraud. Now that you know of the fraud, you must act diligently to protect your rights. That should include immediately filing suit so as to set up “lis pendens” to extop any third party (like a lender or new purchaser of the property) from obtaining an interest in the property superior...

Q: How can I get reinstated as a Personal Representative? I never received notification of a show cause meeting.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 28, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
If you were appointed as his PR, why do you need to be “reinstated”? Either you are the PR, or you’re not. Only the PR can claim funds due to your father, as those funds are assets of his estate. It is irrelevant that you are his sole beneficiary. Hire an estate lawyer to assist you in sorting out what you need to do.

Q: Does my ex boyfriend have legal rights over our dog?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 19, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
A pet is considered personal property under the law, no different than jointly owning a suitcase or other object. If you both contributed to the purchase price, and intended by agreement (oral or otherwise, or by mutual understanding) that the dog was to be the joint property of both of you, then yes, he can claim joint ownership and a share of the FMV that he owned in the dog. If he claims equal ownership, he may claim equal fair market value for the dog, reduced by your right to claim to be...

Q: If an alleged child sex abuse victim states nothing happened, can the alleged offender be charged?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 19, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
Evidence of a crime is evidence of a crime, regardless of the source, and regardless of any contradictory evidence. It is up to the judge or jury hearing the evidence to decide what weight to give to the evidence. So, if there is medical or other evidence that supports a finding of abuse, that may outweigh a child's recollection or belief no abuse occurred. A child's statement may be discounted, in particular given the potential age and lack of awareness that what occurred was "abuse" in the...

Q: What is the definition of church and religious organization for Maryland? Massachusetts has defined church.

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 19, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
The term is defined differently for different purposes, and your question is not sufficiently narrow enough to give the context in which you would like the definition applied. For example, Maryland permits religious entities such as churches to incorporate as a religious corporation, and the term "church" has a specific definition for that purpose, limited to the formation and treatment of churches operating as a corporation or similar entity: " 'Church' means any church, religious society,...

Q: My child's father is facing a first degree assault charge and for what if the charge state a weapon had to been used

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 19, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
First Degree Assault carries a potential penalty of 25 years in jail. It is a very serious charge, and he needs a lawyer.

First Degree Assault can be charged in either of two factual circumstances: (1) intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another; or (2) commit any assault, including simple (2d Degree) assault, with a firearm. Either of these set of circumstances are sufficient to prove First Degree Assault. A firearm is not required, but it instantly...

Q: I got pulled over for not stopping for a school bus — how do I request to not have this show on my driving record???

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
You request a trial by filling in and mailing the request form portion of the ticket located on the lower right side of the sheet. Check the “trial” box, not the “waiver hearing.” If the officer does not show, you’ll be found not guilty. If they show, you plead not guilty and tell your version of what happened. If you’re found guilty you request a “probation before judgment” (PBJ) which has the effect of striking the conviction and keeping your driving record clean (no points)....

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