Ocean City Criminal Lawyer
When you become aware that law enforcement officials have accused you of committing a crime, you likely are to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and understandably concerned about how a criminal conviction could impact your future.
Whether the police have appeared at your door with a search warrant, contacted you for an interview, or arrested you, you may need the services that only an Ocean City criminal lawyer can offer you.
By obtaining the legal advice that you need in this situation, you may be able to protect your rights more effectively and defend yourself against the allegations of criminal activity that you are facing.
The consequences of a criminal conviction can go far beyond a jail sentence and some fines. You may be subject to a term of probation, lose your job, and have a permanent criminal record that will appear on background checks by prospective employers, landlords, and more. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be instrumental to your ability to avoid or minimize some of these potential penalties.
Common Criminal Offenses
State law provides for a wide range of criminal offenses, which range from minor crimes to severe crimes that carry the prospect of significant prison time. Some of the crimes that individuals regularly face may include:
- Assault, disorderly conduct, and domestic violence
- Theft, robbery, and burglary
- DUI, reckless driving, and traffic offenses
- Drug offenses
Regardless of the severity of the crime, a criminal conviction creates a permanent criminal record that may cause difficulties in attaining employment, finding housing, and pursuing selected careers. A criminal conviction also may result in harsher penalties for any criminal charges that individuals may face in the future. Consulting a criminal lawyer in Ocean City when facing any criminal charges may result in a better outcome to the charges.
Classification of Criminal Offenses
Generally, most crimes are classified under Maryland law as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor offenses typically carry the potential for a jail sentence of less than one year, but in some cases, a conviction on a misdemeanor charge still can result in substantially more than one year in jail. Felony offenses, on the other hand, typically are more serious crimes that can cause lengthy terms of incarceration and high fines.
Additionally, some criminal offenses may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. For example, theft of merchandise worth less than $1,500 is generally a misdemeanor charge, whereas theft of merchandise worth more than $1,500 is usually a felony charge. Other aggravating and mitigating factors also can impact whether some criminal offenses result in a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Criminal Convictions and Collateral Consequences
Various criminal convictions can result in sanctions that go beyond the usual penalties of jail time, fines, and probation. For instance, the establishment of a permanent criminal record can cause difficulties for individuals long after they have served their jail sentences and moved on with their lives.
These individuals can experience problems finding employment, maintaining their immigration status, keeping custody of their children, and finding a place to live, depending on the nature of their criminal convictions.
Furthermore, some criminal offenses carry additional civil penalties. For instance, a DUI is likely to result in an administrative license suspension, which can impact the ability of individuals to work and transport family members to necessary appointments.
Likewise, as a criminal attorney in Ocean City may advise, a conviction for specific sex offenses can result in mandatory sex offender registration.
Contact an Ocean City Criminal Attorney Today
Although misdemeanors and felonies differ in their severity and their penalties, they both still create a criminal record that can pose a hindrance to various aspects of your life in the future. Working to fight back against any criminal charges may be necessary to protect your future sufficiently.
An Ocean City criminal lawyer may be able to represent your interests and help you build the most effective defense strategy in your case.
Working with legal counsel may allow you to overcome criminal charges or negotiate reduced penalties if you cannot avoid a conviction. Rather than attempting to tackle these often complex matters on your own, get the legal advice that may be crucial to the outcome of your case.