Carroll County Criminal Lawyer
Those who are charged with a crime in Carroll County, Maryland are most likely concerned with retaining their freedom as well as community standing, and that of their family while awaiting trial. Depending on the crime you are charged with, and your criminal record, you could spend years in prison. Without an experienced Carroll County criminal lawyer you could be facing serious consequences if you are charged with a criminal offense.
Carroll County Criminal Lawyers Handle These Cases
A Carroll County criminal attorney is an asset in fighting the charges against you and protecting your reputation in the community. For a conviction, the prosecution needs to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. An aggressive criminal defense lawyer will review the government’s case and fight the prosecution on every element possible under the circumstances. Your criminal lawyer can also conduct independent investigations when needed to build a strong defense in your favor. By thoroughly examining the evidence against you and taking advantage of the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, your attorney will fight to protect your rights and freedom. Below we discuss some of the common criminal charges seen in Carroll County:
Carroll County Criminal Attorneys Can Help Fight Theft Charges
The State of Maryland classifies theft crimes in the following manner.
- False pretenses
- Receiving stolen property
- Bad checks
- Employee theft
The severity of the theft penalty depends on the dollar amount stolen. Generally, if the value is less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor. But if the value is between $100 and $1,000, the number of previous theft convictions can be factored into the penalty which can be five years in prison and a $5,000 fine: [Maryland Annotated Code Section 7-104(4)].
In addition to the possibility of jail time, Maryland law requires the property to be restored to the owner or that the owner is compensated for the value of the stolen property (known as restitution).
- Misdemeanor: less than $100 (up to 90 days in jail)
- Misdemeanor: less than $1,000 (up to 18 months in jail and $1,000 in fines)
- Felony: greater than $1,000 (up to 15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines)
- Felony: theft of use by computer service, less than $1,000 (up to 18 months in jail and $500 in fines)
- Felony: theft of use by computer service, greater than $1,000 (up to 15 years in jail and $25,000 in fines)
- Felony: theft of motor vehicle (up to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines)
Receiving or possessing stolen property is punishable by the same penalties as theft. [Section 7-104(g)]. Anyone convicted of such an offense must reimburse the victim for the value of the stolen property. [Section 7-104(g)]
Often times, if you are charged with theft, you may also be charged with burglary or robbery, which are serious crimes, punishable with significantly more jail time.
Burglary involves breaking and entering, and comes in different degrees, the most serious degree, felony burglary carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Robbery is a theft by force or threat of force. Robbery is a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years or 20 years if the robbery involved the use of a dangerous weapon.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help With Drug Charges
No one may possess any type of controlled substance without a prescription. It is illegal to buy, manufacture, sell or acquire a controlled substance (including non-medical marijuana): [Section 5-601(a)]. Maryland’s listing of controlled substances is the same as the Federal Drug Schedules.
Schedule I drugs carry harsher penalties than Schedule V. The penalties for misdemeanor possession can be as high as four years in prison and/or a fine of no more than $25,000:[Section 5-601(c)(1)]. Felony possession with intent to distribute, cultivate, manufacture and/or sell penalties can range from a five year prison sentence and/or a $15,000 fine to 40 years and up to $100,000 for possessing PCP, LSD, or MDMA . [Section 5-609(d)].
And if the drug offense becomes a federal case, where the substances are transported or sold across state lines, the penalties could be more severe.
Criminal Lawyers Handle Assault Cases
Assault is a common law crime consisting of assault, battery, assault & battery, and some domestic violence charges. [Section 3-201(b)]. It is generally classified as first degree (a felony) or second degree which can be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries.
Those who are convicted of first degree assault face a sentence of up to 25 years in prison: [Section 3-202(b)]. Misdemeanor assault convictions can carry lower penalties, though certain offenses can result in penalties of between one to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500: [Section 3-203(b)].
The crimes of murder and attempted murder are considered assault crimes and are punishable by up to to 30 years in prison or life in prison without parole.
Carroll County Criminal Lawyers Also Handle Sex Crimes Cases
Generally, Maryland sex crimes are defined under Section 3-301 of the state’s Annotated Code. The victim can be an adult or a minor, and offenses can range from improper touching to rape or prostitution (of an adult or minor) to possession of child pornography. Penalties for a felony sex crime can be harsh depending on the crime, the victim, and if assault is present or if a weapon was used during the course of the crime. The number of previous sex crime convictions can also be a factor in the length of a sentence.
Additionally many sex crimes have a federal component especially if state lines are crossed during the crime(transportation of a child or adult from one state to another for the purposes of prostitution as well as any Internet-related sex crimes, child porn or solicitation of anyone to commit a federal sex offense).
Criminal Attorneys Can Help With DUI and Other Traffic Matters
Maryland has four different types of “substance-related” driving offenses:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol – DUI. [Section 21-902(a)]
- Driving while impaired by alcohol – DWI: [Section 21-902(b)]
- Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs & alcohol– DWI: [Section 21-902(c)]
- Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance– DWI: [Section 21-902(d)]
The maximum penalties for a first-time DUI or conviction include:
- Up to one year in jail
- $1,000 fine
- Suspension of your driver’s license
DWI convictions generally bring lesser penalties. But a conviction of any of these offenses means your insurance rates are certain to rise and a DUI/DWI conviction will negatively impact your life for years to come. In addition, you will be assessed demerit points against your Maryland driving record.
Reckless driving laws are subject to prosecution thorough Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-901.1 which states: “wanton or willful disregard of the safety of other people or property around them.” Penalties for reckless driving are a fine of up to $1,000 (depending on the number of previous driving convictions) and six MVA points. Penalties for negligent driving: [Section 21-901.1(b)] and aggressive driving [Section 21-901.2] are not as serious as reckless driving. But there are fines and penalty points that are assessed for both.
Other serious traffic matters that a Carroll County criminal lawyer can help with include driving without a license.
Carroll County Criminal Lawyers Can Represent You In Court
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, don’t panic. Contact our office and speak to a criminal attorney with experience in Carroll County today for a free consultation where you can learn about your options.