Excerpts from Delegate Steve Lafferty’s Report on 2018 Maryland General Assembly which ended April 9, 2018. The below are pertaining to Crime and Public Safety:

Crime and Public Safety

In addition to the protections addressed in the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, the General Assembly worked hard to address violence in Baltimore City and the state. Two major bills included efforts to address crimes of violence:


HB 101, Criminal Law – Crimes of Violence, Expungement and Drug Treatment

This bill covers a number of penalties but also provides for the expungement of some convictions for the first time:

  • Adds the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony as a “crime of violence” while the definition, previously, only applied to handguns
  • Provides that a person convicted of a second crime of violence, and who previously was confined to a prison, must serve at least 10  years and is not eligible for parole
  • A person may seek to have his/her record expunged for certain felonies 15 years after completing the sentence
  • Precludes the court from ordering an evaluation for drug treatment until certain defendants are eligible for parole

SB 1137, Criminal Law- Prohibitions, Prosecutions and Corrections

This bill altered a number of aspects of criminal law and increased certain penalties.  The bill:

  • Expands risk assessments of inmates to better identify needs and mental health
  • Increases the penalties for witness intimidation
  • Expands the wiretap statute to include the sale of hand guns used in crimes
  • Adds the sale of the deadly drug fentanyl to the statute regarding volume sales in order to increase the penalties if the dealer is selling larger amounts, and
  • Creates a Task Force to examine the statutes regarding gangs and gang activity