Becoming the subject of a criminal investigation or being charged with a crime could be a stressful and overwhelming situation. Warrants to search your home and vehicle could be invasive and disturbing, and the ordeal of being arrested and incarcerated, even temporarily, may be humiliating.
If you are facing any type of criminal charges at the state or federal level, you are strongly recommended to consider speaking with a Salisbury criminal lawyer for advice before taking any action in your case.
Criminal charges can adversely affect your career, your family, your financial situation, and ultimately, your freedom. To avoid or minimize the risk of these consequences, contacting a seasoned defense attorney could be important.
Common Types of Criminal Offenses
On the state level, individuals could face a wide variety of criminal charges based on the situation. Some of the more commonly charged criminal offenses may include:
- Assault, reckless endangerment, stalking, and domestic violence
- Theft, robbery, and burglary
- DUI and reckless driving
- Sex offenses
While some criminal charges are relatively minor in comparison to severe felony offenses, there could be negative repercussions to having any type of criminal conviction that appears on a background check. Consulting a criminal defense attorney in Salisbury could allow individuals to become aware of their rights and any defenses that may apply in their cases.
Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses
Maryland law categorizes some criminal offenses as felonies and others as misdemeanors. Typically, felony offenses are more severe and carry the potential for severe penalties. This may include long terms of incarceration and high fines. Under federal law, felonies typically result in one year or more of incarceration. As a practical matter, prison sentences for felony convictions could be far lengthier.
While misdemeanors are typically less serious of the criminal offenses, they also have the capacity for incarceration and fines. Federal law typically designates misdemeanors as those offenses for which the maximum penalty is one year in jail. There are some exceptions to this rule. While second-degree assault is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Depending upon the circumstances, some criminal offenses could be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. First-degree assault is a felony offense while second-degree assault is a misdemeanor offense. First-degree assault is a felony because it involves aggravating factors. These factors may include the use of a firearm or the infliction of serious bodily harm.
Collateral Consequences of a Conviction
Individuals who are charged with a crime may often consider only the immediate legal consequences of a criminal conviction, typically in terms of incarceration and fines. The consequences of a criminal conviction, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, could go well beyond the punishment handed down by the criminal justice system.
Once individuals have served their sentence, they may expect their lives to return to normal. Unexpected repercussions of a conviction could be severe and long-lasting. This may include difficulties finding employment, a loss of immigration status, an inability to pursue certain careers, and a loss of child custody. A DUI charge may keep individuals from being hired for certain jobs since their record could indicate to potential employers that they could exhibit reckless behavior. When combined with jail or prison sentences, the aftermath of a criminal conviction could be devastating. A Salisbury criminal lawyer could explain the potential long-term consequences of a criminal conviction.
Call a Salisbury Criminal Attorney
A criminal conviction could be a serious mark that shows up on background checks necessary for employers, landlords, and volunteer opportunities. You may experience long-term difficulties in your personal and professional life due to a single mistake or lapse in judgment. A Salisbury criminal lawyer could work with you to avoid some or all these potential repercussions of criminal charges.
Criminal charges may not be as straightforward as you might assume since certain facts could drastically change the outcome of a particular case. An experienced Salisbury criminal defense attorney could help you build a strong defense and work toward a positive resolution of your case.