New Laws in Maryland Today

October 1 is the normal day for new Maryland laws to take effect. These are the laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the last legislative session.

And a slew of interesting laws do take effect today. Here is a rundown. Future blog posts will expound on some of more interesting of these laws. As always, the devil is in the details!

  • Easier Divorce Laws – this is by the far the one which will have most impact on the practice of law. You no longer need the one year separation to get a divorce in Maryland IF you have no minor children in common and you resolve your divorce with a separation agreement. We will have a longer post on the details of this law Monday. 
  • Shielding Your Criminal Record – You will now be allowed to keep private certain non violent misdemeanors. This law is designed to help people with minor criminal records get jobs. We will have a longer post on the details of this law coming soon. 
  • Higher Speed Limits? – The State Highway Administration is empowered to raise the speed limit to 70 mph in certain locations. The first is I-68 in Western Maryland. They will study if other areas are safe for this increase. Don’t hold your breath living in Southern Maryland for a speed increase any time soon. We don’t have any roads that qualify.
  • Leave Your Car Unattended & Running – You can leave your car running and unattended if you have a remote ignition and the car is locked on private property. This is for all of you who like to pre-warm your car in the winter months.
  • Stronger DUI penalties – If you are drunk and involved in a deadly crash, you will have your license suspended automatically for 6 months instead of the old rule of 45 days. 
  • Prevent Heroin Overdose Deaths – Maryland made it easier to get Naxolone, which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose. 
  • Other laws – Laws on sexual harrassment are now extended to interns, anyone applying for a corrections officer job must now pass a polygraph, the police are going to issue alerts for hit and run drivers, and social services can more easily put a kid in foster care if their family is neglecting them or failing to shield them from abuse.

About Southern Maryland Law


Andrews, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Southern Maryland. We have been serving clients here for over 50 years. We have more attorneys and a larger staff than most other local law firms, so we can handle a wider variety of legal matters. Each attorney concentrates his or her practice in a few key areas, so you can be assured of the expertise you need.


But we are not so big that we forget about personal service! Your legal matter is unique, and requires a personalized approach. We will always remember that. If you have a legal issue, contact us today to schedule your consultation.