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Weird and Wacky Laws

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | criminal defense |

We here at Maronick Law have sworn an oath to represent our clients with the utmost professionalism and to the best of our ability in defense of each person’s constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are, however, still ordinary people who like to have fun in our downtime. As such, we felt like it would be a good time to take a break from our typical posts stressing the seriousness of the penalties you may be facing as a defendant and the importance of hiring an attorney to represent you through any interactions with law enforcement or the criminal justice system and highlight some of the quirky, interesting, and sometimes humorous laws that are still in the book in Maryland or one of her localities.

Under Section 50-4 of Article 19 of the Baltimore City Code, for example, it is unlawful for any person “to throw any bale or bulky article from the 2nd or higher story door or window into the street.” As is almost always the case with the law, there is an exception: you may do so in case of danger of fire. The penalty for every offense? A $20 fine.

As you might expect, the people of Baltimore take great pride in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and that adoration is enshrined in the City’s laws. Section 49-3 requires any individuals performing a rendition of our national anthem to stand while doing so, and the following section actually allows the proprietor of any establishment where such a performance takes place to be held liable for a violation of this requirement, subject to a maximum fine of $100.

If you’re from Rockville, Maryland, you may already know this. Section 13-53 of the Rockville Code of Ordinances specifically makes it a misdemeanor to “profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway.” This could carry a maximum penalty of a fine of up to $100 or imprisonment for a maximum of 90 days!

Although many jurisdictions throughout the State have repealed their prohibitions against fortune telling and palm reading for monetary gain, the Town of Ridgely in Caroline County still has an ordinance on the books making it a “municipal infraction to do so within the town limits. If you’re cited for this offense, you could face a fine of up to $100, or $200 if you are a repeat offender.

Finally, if your home is starting to get a bit messy, you may want to take some time to tidy up before inviting over anyone with knowledge of Section 10-202 of the Maryland Criminal Law Article. Under that portion of the code, any person who keeps a “disorderly house” is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be ordered to pay a fine between $50 and $300 or to serve a sentence of up to six months in jail.

How can Maronick Law help?

While we don’t expect many prosecutions for the above offenses, the attorneys at Maronick Law stand ready and eager to help defend you.

In order to find you guilty, the prosecutor in your case would have to prove the various elements of these cases beyond a reasonable doubt, which equates to a level of certainty of roughly 98-99%. Anything less certain than that, and a judge or jury must find you not guilty. While we may have been having some fun with this post, any interaction with law enforcement and the criminal justice system is a serious matter. Our attorneys have the training, knowledge, and experience to understand the elements of any crimes that are ripe for attack and are fully prepared to represent you through trial.





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