If you face charges of a crime in Frederick, Maryland, you may have many questions about how the criminal justice system works. The consequences of a criminal conviction can leave a lasting impact on your life. If you or a loved one is facing criminal allegations, please contact an experienced Frederick criminal defense attorney to examine your legal rights and options.
MARYLAND CRIME STATISTICS
In a single year in Frederick, 2,330 violent and property crimes took place, according to local statistics. The following is a brief breakdown of the offenses committed in the area:
- Murder = 2
- Rape = 12
- Robbery = 126
- Aggravated assault = 332
- Breaking and entering = 379
- Larceny theft = 1,335
- Motor vehicle theft = 144
These statistics do not include offenses such as driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, drug possession, and other common crimes.
Sadly, many criminal defendants are wrongfully convicted for offenses they did not commit, or they receive substantially harsher sentences than necessary. It is the reality of the criminal justice system that unrepresented defendants often receive more severe outcomes than defendants who have a skilled defense attorney on their side. If authorities accuse you of any crime, make your first call to our Frederick criminal defense law firm to discuss how we may help.
WE HANDLE A WIDE RANGE OF CRIMINAL CASES
Each criminal case is unique based on the charges in question. Maryland laws set out different elements for each offense, which the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, challenging the prosecutor’s evidence will require different strategies in each case. You want to ensure you have a defense attorney who has experience in defending against the charges at issue in your case.
At Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, our attorneys know how to defend against any type of criminal charges, from misdemeanor to felony cases.
We handle everything from petty theft to violent crimes. Examples of cases we regularly handle include:
- DUI and DWI – If authorities allege you drove with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can face charges of driving under the influence (DUI). If your BAC is between 0.04 and 0.08 percent, a prosecutor may issue charges of driving while impaired (DWI). DUI and DWI convictions can mean fines, jail time, probation, and many lasting effects on your life.
- Assault – You can face assault charges if you cause harm to someone, engage in offensive contact with someone, or even make someone fear you may cause them harm. Self-defense is a common defense in assault cases, though it can prove complicated to support this defense without the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
- Drug crimes – Drug possession cases are extremely common in the Frederick area and throughout Maryland. Even a small amount of a controlled substance can trigger felony charges and prison sentences. Other drug charges include manufacturing, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, and more.
- Theft crimes – Maryland categorizes a wide variety of offenses as theft crimes. These offenses can include larceny (stealing), shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and white collar financial crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, and identity theft. The penalties for theft often depend directly on the value of the money, objects, or services stolen.
- Disorderly conduct – Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense that can apply to many behaviors, similar to disturbing the peace. While many people fail to take disorderly conduct charges seriously, a conviction can mean fines, probation, jail time, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.
- Sex crimes – Sex crimes are some of the most aggressively prosecuted offenses in Maryland. These crimes can range from indecent exposure to forcible rape, and many sex-related convictions will mean years in prison and a requirement to register as a sex offender for years, or even for the rest of your life. This can cause many issues with your professional and personal life.
- Weapons and gun crimes – Maryland has strict gun laws and harsh penalties for people convicted of unlawful possession or use of weapons. In many cases, a prosecutor may allege that you used a gun in the commission of a different criminal offense. This can result in additional charges and a more severe sentence.
These are not the only cases we handle, and you should not hesitate to contact our law firm no matter what charges you face. We will evaluate the circumstances of your case and start building an aggressive defense strategy tailored to your situation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin reviewing evidence, contacting witnesses, and taking any additional necessary steps to advance your defense.
CRIMINAL LAW FAQ
Each criminal case will involve different evidence and legal questions. To make matters more confusing, the criminal justice system can intimidate anyone, as many different players and procedures may seem to work against you. Defendants often feel alone and helpless against the system, though with the right defense attorney you do not have to feel this way. It is only natural to have many questions regarding the criminal process, and the following are some common questions that we hear.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A PROSECUTOR?
When the government suspects criminal activity, it is the role of the government to prosecute the person or persons it suspects to have committed the crime. The prosecutor is the lawyer who will work with the government to hold the defendant accountable. Depending on the case and the court, a district attorney or an attorney for the county, city, or state may serve as the prosecutor.
WHAT CASES WILL A PROSECUTOR PURSUE?
Not all criminal charges go to trial. The prosecutor will determine, using available evidence, if a crime was committed. If, in the opinion of the prosecutor, enough evidence exists and police did not violate the defendant’s rights during the arrest, the prosecutor will file charges and the case may proceed to trial.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAROLE AND PROBATION?
Both parole and probation occur after the penalty phase of a criminal proceeding, but there are important differences between them. Parole is when a person is allowed a release from prison. Probation is a different criminal sentence from incarceration. The state may release on probation defendants found guilty of lesser crimes or first-time offenders. When a defendant violates probation, a judge may decide to hand down a jail sentence.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY IF I’M NOT GUILTY OF THE CRIME?
A common mistake is to assume that the court will find you not guilty if you believe your innocence. Nothing could be further from the truth. The court makes mistakes and convicts wrongfully accused defendants every day. Leaving your fate up to chance could prove a costly mistake.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY IF I INTEND TO PLEAD GUILTY?
Skilled Frederick criminal defense attorneys can often reduce your charges by negotiating the terms of a plea deal. Pleading guilty without quality legal representation could result in maximum penalties during sentencing. Hiring a knowledgeable Frederick, Maryland, criminal defense attorney can protect your constitutional rights and ensure that you receive fair treatment during a criminal proceeding.
HOW OUR DEFENSE LAWYERS CAN HELP
The above are only some of the many questions that criminal defendants may have. The system is not set up to be transparent to defendants or to work in their favor. It is often difficult to get a judge or prosecutor to address even your simplest questions or concerns.
Instead of risking an unnecessarily harsh outcome, discuss your charges with our attorneys who can answer all of your questions. We then navigate every step of the process, helping with the following matters and more:
- Representing you during all police communications
- Seeking a bail reduction
- Representing you at your arraignment and all court appearances
- Advising you on all your options—to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest
- Investigating the circumstances of your arrest and the alleged offenses
- Identifying whether authorities violated your constitutional rights
- Identifying all possible legal defenses that apply in your case
- Challenging the sufficiency of the prosecutor’s evidence against you
- Negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable plea bargain
- Examining any possible alternative sentencing options
- Representing you at a jury trial, if necessary
With our legal team handling your case, you can trust that you will have the most effective defense possible in your situation.
CONTACT OUR FREDERICK CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM TODAY
If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, please contact the skilled Frederick criminal defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, for a free and confidential consultation. We have a proven track record of obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients. Our goal is to protect your legal rights and make sure you receive fair treatment.
To visit us at our Frederick office:
25 East Patrick St., Ste. 200
Frederick, MD 21701