When someone is charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, it is imperative that they retain legal counsel immediately, as both types of charges can impose significant burdens on an individual’s life. On top of the initial sentencing (jail time, fines, etc.) those who have been convicted of misdemeanors or felonies will often obtain a criminal record, which will follow them for many years to come. A criminal record can prevent you from getting certain jobs, living in certain areas, obtaining certain professional licenses, and even securing certain loans, which is why hiring an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney is paramount.
The severity of the penalties you will face for your alleged crime largely depends on the nature of your crime and whether it is considered a felony or a misdemeanor. Though in most states, felony crimes are those that warrant more than one year in jail, this is not always the case in Maryland. For example, certain misdemeanor charges may warrant several years of incarceration, while certain felony charges may only warrant one year or less of incarceration. Please continue reading to learn more about the difference between felony and misdemeanor crimes in Maryland:
What are some examples of misdemeanor crimes under Maryland law?
There are various crimes that are generally considered misdemeanors in Maryland, and as previously stated, they come with a wide array of potential consequences. Some examples of misdemeanor crimes in Maryland are as follows:
- Reckless driving
- Second-degree assault
- Theft of property valued under $1,500
- Driving while impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of small quantities of drugs
- Stalking or harassment through electronic mail
- Violation of a Protective Order
- 4th Degree Burglary
- Possession of certain weapons
Some crimes that Maryland law considers felonies are as follows:
- Most types of burglary
- First-degree assault
- Most types of Sexual assault/Rape
- Most types of Fraud
- Possession of large quantities of drugs or distribution of drugs
- Possession of guns by disqualified people or with intent to commit a felony
All these crimes come with very serious consequences, though you should understand that the state of Maryland also has laws in place regarding minimum sentencing for repeat offenders or certain crimes. If you are convicted of committing a second or subsequent violent crime in Maryland, you will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years of incarceration for a second conviction, 25 years for a third conviction, and life without parole for a fourth violent crime. Regardless of your circumstances, you will need a Maryland criminal defense attorney who will aggressively combat your charges through every step of the legal process ahead. Our firm is here to help.
Contact our experienced Maryland firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Anne Arundel County and Howard County, Maryland who need legal assistance for criminal defense or personal injury matters. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.