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Criminal Charges in Maryland
In Maryland there are a wide array of criminal offenses that you can be charged with ranging from serious felonies to less serious misdemeanors. Below, a Maryland criminal defense attorney discusses these cases and what people in Maryland are most often charged with. For more information regarding your charge, call and schedule a consultation today.
Common Criminal Charges in Maryland
Most of the charges that are common in Maryland are what you would expect. These include driving under the influence (DUI) which is extremely common, along with assault, drug cases, and prostitution and solicitation. Additionally theft, such as shoplifting and burglary are common as well simply because these are the kinds of criminal activities that the most people engage in.
How Might An Innocent Individual Get Accused of These Crimes?
There are a variety of ways in which someone who has done nothing wrong can be implicated. For example, often an individual will be pulled over and suspected of DUI even if they have had nothing to drink. Sometimes, false reports or incorrect reports can have an individual falsely accused of theft. In addition, drug possession could result from an individual riding in a vehicle where drugs are present and solicitation cases could result from a mistaken identity.
What Is The Value of a Lawyer If You Have Been Accused?
A lawyer can be extremely helpful if you are charged with any kind of criminal case for a few different reasons. First, a lawyer can explain the charges and possible legal or factual defenses to you. They can help in the trial and they can help in presenting mitigation to a judge or a jury as well. In addition to all this, a lawyer will be able to guide you through the legal process and make sure you stay informed and up to date of everything that is happening.
Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Maryland
Misdemeanors are generally less serious crimes than felonies. As a result, they carry a shorter jail sentence and they are generally heard in the District Court in Maryland, which is the lowest level court. Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious charges. They carry significantly longer jail time than do misdemeanors. Those cases are only heard in the Circuit Court in Maryland, which is the next higher court above the District Court.
Examples of Misdemeanors and Felonies
Second-degree assault which would be punching someone is a misdemeanor. First-degree assault, which would be assault with a deadly weapon or the intent to inflict significant bodily injury on a police officer, is a felony.
Additionally, low level possession of drugs can be a misdemeanor, whereas possession of a large amount of drugs would be a felony offense.