Legal Question in Criminal Law in Maryland

''Permitting'' of Unlawful license

Younger brotherl had an I.D. made using older brother's birth certificate and social security card and younger's picture so that he could be of drinking age. On last New Year's Eve younger was caught w/ it, but older brother was w/ him and didn't have prior knowledge of the I.D. Older brother charged w/ ''Permitting the Unlawful Use of a License.'' D.A. won't drop the charges, feel they have a case. If there's no prior knowledge, and they hadn't gone anywhere that night requiring an I.D. how can they charge. Is there a defense?

Asked on 5/16/01, 2:39 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Lease Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC

Re: ''Permitting'' of Unlawful license

A violation of Maryland Transportation article 16-301(p) (permitting unlawful use of license) could result in a sentence of two months in jail, $500 fine and 12 points assessed against your license. As such, I would strongly suggest you retain counsel or seek help from the public defenderís office.

Since the offense requires you to permit the unlawful use, the State would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had knowledge of the unlawful use. This would be a factual question for the trial judge to determine. Thus, your lack of knowledge would be a defense.

If you would like to discuss the matter in more detail, please feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 6/22/01, 12:25 pm

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