Criminal Charges in Maryland
Whether you’re facing your first-ever criminal charge or you’ve been down this road before, any allegations of criminal behavior can feel complex and overwhelming. Police and prosecutors may seem certain that a crime was committed and you were responsible, while you scramble to figure out what happened, why you’re being accused of a crime, and how you can protect your legal rights.
Maryland sees its fair share of criminal arrests and charges in the state. Charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol or drugs are especially common.
But although a criminal charge can turn your world upside-down, the fact that you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t mean you committed it. A charge is an accusation – not proof. No matter what happened to result in criminal charges, you have the legal right to seek help from an experienced defense attorney and vigorously defend your legal rights in court.
Alpert Schreyer’s dedicated criminal defense attorneys have spent decades aggressively defending the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses. Whether you’re facing a single misdemeanor charge or charges for multiple serious felonies, we will strive to protect your legal rights and win the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to learn more about our record of success as well as the laws that apply to your case.
What Happens if I’m Convicted of a Crime?
Maryland divides most crimes into one of two categories: “misdemeanors,” and “felonies“. Unlike in other states where misdemeanors are punishable by less than one year in jail and felonies punishable by longer jail terms, in Maryland you can serve decades in jail and pay significant fines if you are convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Hiring the right criminal defense attorney is vital to your future.
In addition to jail time and fines, a person convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony may face additional penalties including but not limited to:
- probation or parole requirements
- mandated community service
- drug or alcohol counseling, rehabilitation, or treatment
- court costs and fees
- restitution payments to anyone harmed in the incident
- anger management or other required counseling sessions
- loss of driver’s license, professional licenses, or other credentials
Maryland courts have the power to impose a wide range of penalties, and not all of them are listed here.
In addition, if you are convicted of DUI or DWI, you may face penalties that are specific to drunk driving convictions. These include requirements like attending alcohol treatment and having ignition interlock devices placed on your vehicle as a condition of driving. Simply being arrested on suspicion of DUI or DWI, may result in your driver’s license being suspended. An experienced defense attorney can help you fight to regain your driver’s license, whether or not your arrest results in a conviction.
Defending Your Rights after a Criminal Charge
Every criminal case is different, involving a unique set of facts and circumstances. If you’re facing a criminal charge of any kind, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer. Our skilled lawyers will aggressively fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.
Misdemeanor charges may be less serious than felony charges but they can still have a negative impact on many aspects of your life. If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Maryland, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of a skilled Rockville criminal defense attorney. Without the proper representation you run the risk of being unfairly punished for a crime you didn’t commit.
The penalties for a misdemeanor are not as severe or as serious as they are for Maryland felony charges. But that does not mean that they shouldn’t be taken seriously. Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor may still face time in prison, heavy fines and a mark on their criminal record. Prosecutors sometimes make the mistake of charging what should have been a misdemeanor as a felony. “Overcharging” someone occurs more commonly in the criminal justice system than we hear about. If you have been charged with any crime, you need a skilled Rockville criminal defense lawyer on your side – an attorney who will fight for your rights and aggressively defend your case.
Examples of Maryland Misdemeanor Crimes
There is a wide range of criminal acts that may result in misdemeanor charges. Maryland has degrees of charges with a 1st degree misdemeanor being the most serious class with the highest penalties. In general, a misdemeanor conviction will result in less than 12 months of incarceration. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include:
- Petty Theft
- Public Drunkenness
- Resisting Arrest
- Disorderly Conduct
- Driving With A Revoked License
- DWI / DUI (First Time Offenders)
The Importance of Fighting Misdemeanor Charges
Two common mistakes that individuals facing misdemeanor charges make is failing to recognize the seriousness of their situation and failing to seek representation because it is “just a misdemeanor charge.” It is important to know that some misdemeanor charges carry fines as large as $1,000 and jail sentences as long as one year. Additionally, having a criminal record can seriously affect your personal and professional life. Employers may be hesitant to hire you if you have a criminal record and the stigma of being a convicted criminal may be difficult to overcome. It is also important to remember that having a conviction, even for a minor offense, could make you a repeat offender if you are ever arrested again. Repeat offenders often face felony charges and extensive periods of incarceration.
The knowledgeable Maryland criminal attorneys at Alpert Schreyer have decades of experience handling all types of misdemeanor cases. If you are facing charges and you would like to discuss your options at no cost, please call us right away. We will help you determine if it is possible to have the charges dropped, the penalties lessened or if a plea deal is your best option. Remember, all charges should be taken seriously. Don’t leave your future up to chance.