Maryland Criminal Lawyer
Are you facing criminal or misdemeanor charges in Maryland? Are you scared for your future and worried about what it might hold for you? Our Maryland criminal lawyers at Henault & Sysko Chartered understand that a great part of your fear stems from not knowing what comes next. When you work with our law firm, we will inform you of what to expect from both a felony and misdemeanor charge and advise you of what to expect from the whole legal process.
Felony Vs. Misdemeanor Charges in MD
Most people are aware that felony charges are far more serious in nature than misdemeanor charges, but not many MD residents are aware of what offenses warrant a misdemeanor and which warrant a felony. Reviewing Maryland statutes does not yield many answers either, as each crime is classified differently under state and federal law. That said, there are some crimes that are serious enough or minor enough to fall into one category without question.
A felony is considered a serious crime throughout all of the U.S. and generally carries more than one year in prison. In Maryland, felony charges carry higher fines and penalties than misdemeanors, and prison sentences can range from one year to life. Some crimes even warrant the death penalty. Examples of felonies include:
- First degree assault;
- Drug possession with intent to distribute;
- Crimes against property;
- Sexual assault; and
- Theft of over $1,000 in property.
In addition to being slapped with heavy fines and prison times, convicted felons often lose some of their more fundamental and most basic rights as a U.S. citizen. Some of those rights include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to join the armed services. If you are not a citizen of the U.S. and are convicted of a felony, you face deportation and permanent exclusion from the country.
Misdemeanor charges are much less severe than felony charges, but they are criminal charges all the same. A misdemeanor charge is generally punished by fines and, in extreme misdemeanor cases, up to one year in county jail. Some examples of misdemeanor crimes include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Minor drug possession;
- Reckless driving;
- Theft of under $1,000 in property;
- Second degree assault; and
- Failure to appear in court.
Though misdemeanor charges are treated with less severity by the Maryland courts, they still have the potential to negatively impact your life. For this reason, you should not treat any criminal charge—felony or misdemeanor—lightly. An aggressive criminal defense attorney can protect your rights by examining the circumstances surrounding your arrest, gathering evidence, and putting together a case that, at the very least, creates a reasonable doubt.
Our Criminal Defense Team Has Your Back
Both a misdemeanor and felony conviction can impact your life for the negative. Do not let a stupid mistake or a misunderstanding control the outcome of your future. Reach out to a Maryland criminal lawyer who has experience in handling cases like yours and who has a successful track record. Contact Henault & Sysko Chartered to schedule your consultation today.