Prince George’s County Criminal Lawyer
The latest Maryland crime statistics reveal that the state of Maryland enjoyed historically low crime rates, with lowest rate of crime since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program began in 1975. This is particularly good news for Prince George’s County, where the county’s homicide rate was 20% higher than the state average between 1985 and 2006. In 2006, the county had the highest crime rate for the Washington metro area. Now, the county boasts its lowest overall crime rate, with 2011 seeing a decline of 11.5% in total reported crime compared with the preceding year.
Bordering Washington, D.C., to the north, south, and east, Prince George’s County is a major part of the DC metropolitan area. Law enforcement agencies serving the county include the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department, the Maryland State Police, Andrews Air Force Base Security Police, and other federal and municipal police departments. While most incorporated cities and towns in the county have their own municipal police departments, College Park does not.
These law enforcement agencies take pride in reducing the crime rate in Prince George’s County; however, an aggressive attempt to reduce crime can often mean overzealous prosecution of those accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses. Anyone arrested or charged with a crime should contact a defense attorney as quickly as possible to help preserve his or her rights and privileges, and to begin building a strategy for handling the case.
Violent Crime and Property Crime in Prince George’s County
Because of its high crime rates and homicide rates since the mid-1980’s, the reputation of Prince George’s County has suffered. However, in 2011, violent crime in the county was at an all-time low, down almost 17 percent from the previous year. Violent crimes reported in this statistic include Part I offenses listed on the FBI Uniform Crime Reports:
- Armed Robbery
- Strong-Arm Robbery
- Aggravated Assault
Part I Property crimes reported on the UCR fell 10.7% from 2010. These offenses include:
- Breaking and Entering / Burglary
- Theft / Larceny
- Motor Vehicle Theft
Other crimes not included on the UCR report make up the majority of criminal offenses in the county: DUI, simple assault, domestic violence, prostitution and solicitation, drug crimes, and other misdemeanor and felony crimes.
Prince George’s County Criminal Defense
According to the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP), violent crime in Prince George’s County has dropped by a staggering 39.1% over the past five years, and property crime has been reduced by 28.6% in the same span of time. The GOCCP attributes this reduction in crime to collaboration between law enforcement agencies and programs designed to prevent crime and recidivism:
- Collateral Offender Unit – designed to promptly prosecute probation violators
- Strategic Investigation Unit – designed to identify and prosecute violent offenders with a high risk of re-offending
- Alternative Sentencing – providing alternatives to jail or prison for non-violent offenders
- Gun Crime Reduction – providing overtime funding to the Prince George’s County Police Department to reduce firearm-related crimes
These efforts have reduced crime in the county; however, they mean vigorous prosecution for those charged with crimes. Most misdemeanor criminal cases are heard at one of two Prince George’s County District Court locations:
- 4990 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville
- 14735 Main Street, Upper Marlboro
Skilled criminal defense lawyers are necessary to protect defendants from improper arrests, inflated charges, and maximum sentencing.
Hyattsville, Maryland is home to one of two locations of the Prince George’s County District Court. The Hyattsville district courthouse presides over misdemeanor and felony criminal cases not served by the courthouse in Upper Marlboro, the county seat of Prince George’s County. Hyattsville is a Capital Beltway community featuring the Hyattsville Historic District and the Gateway Arts District.
College Park, Maryland, is best known as the home of University of Maryland, College Park. The university is the town’s largest employer. College Park is also partially located within the Calvert Hills Historic District.
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