12 Very Interesting Maryland Laws You may Not Have Known About

January 7, 2018
Alex Tsironis
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 Fani Kantartzis is a local attorney that has frequently contributed to The MoCoShow in various ways. Due to the cold weather we’ve been having, she recently shared an eviction law on The MoCoShow wall that became a hit on Twitter. Naturally, I asked her if she could give me a few more that are MoCo or Maryland specific and she was more than willing to help out.

Mrs. Kantartzis (pronounced Fawn-ee Kun-tar-dsis) is a MoCo native. She is a Churchill High School graduate and she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the American College of Greece. In 2008, she received her Juris Doctor from the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska. Mrs. Kantartzis is licensed to practice in the State and Federal courts of Maryland and in the District of Columbia.

If you think you may be in need of assistance with a legal matter, she invites you to contact Kantartzis Law for a free consultation (http://legalk.com/contact/​), so that they can evaluate your matter and determine whether or not they can help.
 

Let’s get to the laws!

Note:  This article does not include the full text of each law referenced.  The full text of each law can be found in the accompanying citations.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.

1. Cheating on your spouse.  In Maryland it is a crime to commit adultery, which has been defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than that married person’s spouse.  A person convicted of adultery is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a hefty fine of $10.00.   Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-501. 
 
2. Empty threats could still land you in prison.  Anyone who threatens to cause a crime of violence that places five or more people in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed, regardless of whether or not the crime is actually committed,  could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.   Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-1001. 
 
3. Be kind to chicks.  It is a crime to color, dye, stain, or otherwise change the natural color of a chick (you read that correctly).  Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-614.   

4. The crime of keeping a “disorderly house.” A person who keeps a “disorderly house” is guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not less than 10 days and not exceeding 6 months, or a fine not less than $50 and not exceeding $300, or both.  Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-202.  While the statute itself does not define “disorderly house,” courts have interpreted this to include behavior that maintains, promotes, or continues that which “is a public outrage against common decency or common morality,” or “which tends plainly and directly to the corruption of the morals, honesty, and good habits of the people.”  Ward v. State, 9 Md. App. 583, 584–86, 267 A.2d 255, 257 (1970). Note the incorporated cities within Montgomery County may have a narrower definition of “disorderly house.”

5. Don’t be a jerk at funerals.  A person who addresses speech to a person attending a funeral, burial, memorial service, or funeral procession that is likely to incite or produce an imminent breach of the peace could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both. Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-205. 

6. Watch your mouth in Rockville.  In Rockville, it is illegal to profanely curse and swear or use obscene language while on or near a street, sidewalk, or highway within the hearing of people passing by (remember that next time you’re sitting in traffic on I-270).  Rockville Code, Sec. 13-53. 

7. Keep your body out of Rockville’s fountains.  In Rockville, it is illegal to immerse any part of your body in any city-owned fountain or pool (except designated swimming pools).  Rockville Code, Sec. 13-64. 

8. You don’t need to be in a car to get a DUI.  In Maryland, you can get a DUI while operating a bicycle, horse, skateboard, and golf cart, among other things that have been defined as “vehicles.”  Md. Code, Transp. § 21-902; Md. Code, Transp. § 11-176. 

9. Don’t throw things at sporting events.  Disrupting or interfering with a commercial athletic event by “throwing or projecting an object on the playing field or seating area,” even if you don’t hit anyone, is a criminal misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to $250, or both.  Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-203. 

10. Laser pointers.  A person that knowingly shines a laser pointer on another person in a public place in a manner that harasses or endangers them could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction is subject to a fine of up to $500.  Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-806. 

11. Revenge porn.  It is a crime for a person to intentionally cause someone else serious emotional distress by placing an image of that person on the Internet which reveals that person’s identity, along with his/her exposed intimate parts (this includes buttocks), or while engaged in an act of sexual contact, if the person depicted reasonably expected the image would be kept private and the person posting the image knew he/she did not have consent to post it.  A person convicted of this crime is subject to incarceration for up to two years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.  Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-809. 
 
12. Your old smoke detector could get you charged/fined.  Maryland law requires the replacement of any battery-only operated smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old. This means homeowners are required to replace these smoke alarms when they are 10 years old (the date of manufacture should be printed on the back of the smoke alarm).  Starting January 1, 2018, homeowners are required to install an alarm that has a sealed-in battery with a 10 year life. Anyone who violates this section could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction is subject to incarceration for up to 10 days, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Md. Public Safety §§ 9-101-9-109 
​For more on the smoke alarm requirements, visit 
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/MCFRS/Resources/Files/misc/Smoke_Alarm_Law_101.pdf 
Maryland Updates Smoke Alarm Law What You Need to Know
www.montgomerycountymd.gov
Maryland Updates Smoke Alarm Law What You Need to Know Fire and Rescue personnel are frequently the only smoke alarm “experts” the general public will meet. 
*Bonus Law* (the reason this list was made)

Getting evicted in inclement weather. If you reside in Montgomery County and you are scheduled to be evicted from your residence on a particular day, the Sheriff should not proceed with the eviction if it is raining/snowing at the time of the scheduled eviction, or if the predicted high temperature for the day is 32 degrees or below (as predicted by the National Weather Service). However, if precipitation starts after an eviction has commenced, the eviction will continue until completion.  For more information visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sheriff/sections/eviction-section.html 

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