College Park Criminal Lawyer
Home to the Archives II facility of the U.S. National Archives and the main campus of the University of Maryland, College Park is a city primarily made up of young residents and government employees. While the demographics reveal a highly educated and wealthy population, crime is still a significant problem in the area. In addition to the typical traffic offenses (like DUIs in College Park) and property crimes common in college towns, College Park also experiences a high number of violent crimes when compared to the national average. College Park residents charged with a crime will need an experienced College Park criminal lawyer to navigate the Prince George’s County legal system, which handles most criminal cases in the city.
Federal crimes are also common in the College Park area, simply due to the area’s close proximity to the U.S. capital. This proximity also leads to a large number of FBI agents operating in the area. If you are charged with a federal crime in College Park, a qualified defense lawyer is vital; the resulting sentence for a felony conviction can be serious, including fines up to $100,000 and prison sentences exceeding 20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. A College Park criminal lawyer can help you confidently prepare your case against the government for the best possible outcome.
Crime Rates in College Park
The lower population of College Park compared to surrounding areas (30,413 residents as of 2011) reveals that a seemingly low violent and property crime rate is actually quite a bit higher than it seems. Annually, 145 violent crimes and 1,631 property crimes make up the 1,776 total crimes in the city. This translates to an average of 58.40 crimes per 1,000 residents. The violent crime rate of 4.77 per 1,000 residents is lower than the 5.48 Maryland average but higher than the 4.0 national median. Property crime, on the other hand, is nearly double the national average of 29.4 crimes per 1,000 residents, or 53.63. While there are nationally around 39.3 crimes per square mile each year, College Park experiences 193. It is also important to note that because so many residents live in College Park on only a part-time basis to attend the university, these statistics can be misleading. Like the rest of Maryland, College Park prosecutes gun charges very seriously in part because of its large population of university students.
Students living in College Park are a frequent target of property crimes in the city and they often incur misdemeanor charges like disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. Two police departments typically serve the College Park area with overlapping jurisdictions. Both the University of Maryland Police and Prince George’s County Police Department regularly make DWI/DUI arrests along with other arrests for property and violent crimes. Local law enforcement officials are also very vigilant when it comes to drug charges.
The Courthouse in College Park, MD
Residents of College Park, Maryland who have been charged with a criminal offense should choose a College Park criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in working with the Prince George’s County court system. The most common court for College Park residents is the Prince George’s County District Court located at 4990 Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville, MD. From the Beltway, take the exit for College Park/Route 1 and continue south on Baltimore Avenue. Shortly after crossing into Hyattsville, the road will change to Rhode Island Avenue and the court will be on your right shortly thereafter. There is a paid parking garage underneath the courthouse.
Demographics in College Park
The population of College Park is made up primarily of Caucasians, who represent around 58.2 percent of the residents in the area. At the time of the last census a further 13.8 percent of citizens were African-American. The population of College Park has been steadily increasing since 2000. In 2000, 24,657 lived within the College Park city limits. By 2010, the Census reported a total population of 30,413. The population of College Park is also relatively dense, with around 4,538 people living in each square mile. Largely thanks to the University of Maryland – College Park, the city is primarily made up of persons between the ages of 18 and 24, a demographic which includes a staggering 51.3% of its citizens.
Despite a young population, the annual median income for individuals in College Park is higher than many other cities in the state. In 2007, city officials estimated the median income among residents at $66,953, while families earned an average of $82,295. 19.9 percent of the population in Maryland is below the national poverty line, including 6.9 percent of people under 18 and 9.2 percent age 65 or older. Males make up a slim majority of the population; there are 111.2 males over the age of 18 for every 100 females.
The Geography of College Park
College Park is a relatively small city in Maryland when compared to major metropolitan areas like Baltimore. According the Census Bureau, College Park rests on an area of roughly 5.4 square miles, of which only about 0.18 percent is water. College Park is closer to Washington, D.C. than Baltimore, northeast and southwest of D.C. and Baltimore, respectively. The city is also directly east of Silver Spring. The city is technically a suburb, first incorporated along with Lakeland, Oak Spring, Branchville, Daniel’s Park, and Hollywood in 1945. College Park’s rapid population growth is largely due to its close proximity to Washington, D.C. as well as being the home of the University of Maryland – College Park campus.
Of particular note is College Park’s historic transportation hubs, such as the College Park Airport. This airport is the oldest continuously operated airport in the country, also making it one of the oldest in the world. Its position just a few miles outside restricted airspace over Washington, D.C. makes its status as a commercial airport dubious in the future. Major highways like Interstate 495 and I-95 connect College Park with surrounding areas such as Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia.