Gaithersburg Criminal Lawyer
Any involvement in the criminal justice system can be intimidating, stressful, and frightening. You may have justifiable concerns about the outcome of your criminal charges and the impact that it could have on your future. Enlisting the help of a Gaithersburg criminal lawyer may be the best means of defending yourself against the charges.
The effects of a criminal conviction on your life can be substantial. You may lose your license, lose your job, and be subject to various unanticipated fines and expenses. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help reduce or lessen the charges or penalties that you are facing in your criminal case.
Common Crimes in Gaithersburg
State criminal laws address a wide range of illegal behaviors. While some crimes are minor and carry lenient penalties, others are severe crimes that can result in substantial amounts of prison time. Individuals commonly face charges for crimes:
- Against people, such as assault, rape, and robbery
- Against property, including theft, fraud, and burglary
- Involving driving, such as DUI, reckless driving, and traffic offenses
- Involving drugs, such as possession and distribution offenses
Specific factors can enhance the penalties that individuals can receive for a criminal conviction. For instance, the existence of a prior criminal record, use of a firearm or dangerous weapon, or the involvement of minors in the offense all can lead to increased penalties.
Crimes that result in physical harm to others also tend to have weightier penalties than those that purely involve money or property. Drug offenses carry the potential for significant penalties, mainly if the situation consists of the distribution of large amounts of Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances. A criminal attorney in Gaithersburg can explain the full range of penalties that individuals may face for all criminal offenses and how to build the best defense to the charges.
Classifying Criminal Offenses
Most crimes are either misdemeanor or felony offenses under state law. A conviction for a misdemeanor usually results in less than one year in jail, but some offenses carry the potential for significantly longer jail sentences. Felony offenses, however, typically are more severe crimes that can cause lengthy prison sentences and thousands of dollars in fines.
Other offenses may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the situation. For example, theft offenses differ in their classification according to the value of the stolen merchandise or goods. Likewise, second-degree assault charges may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the status of the individuals who were the subject of the assault.
Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions
Aside from the prospect of incarceration, fines, and other penalties that can arise from criminal proceedings, individuals can face collateral consequences that they might not expect. These ramifications can impact their lives well beyond their convictions. A permanent criminal record alone can harm job opportunities, career advancement, and living arrangements.
Some convictions carry additional administrative penalties. For example, a conviction for DUI or a related offense is likely to result in a license suspension, which can create a hardship personally and professionally. The financial implications of a criminal conviction also can be overwhelming.
Criminal convictions also may impact the immigration status of individuals, the ability to retain custody of or visit with their children, and eligibility for some professional licenses and certifications. For a complete explanation of the penalties and repercussions that you can face for a criminal conviction, individuals should seek the counsel of a criminal lawyer in Gaithersburg.
Call a Gaithersburg Criminal Defense Attorney for Guidance
No criminal case is too big or too small for legal advice. You are more likely to reach a better outcome to the charges against you if you have a Gaithersburg criminal lawyer on your side throughout your criminal proceedings. Without getting the legal advice that you need from the outset of your case, you can end up facing harsher penalties and ramifications of a criminal conviction.
Legal counsel can help ease the stress and uncertainty of going through criminal proceedings. You also may be able to more effectively raise the defenses applicable in your case and reach a better resolution to your charges. Contact an attorney today.