Catonsville Criminal Attorney
Many people make mistakes and can end up in the criminal justice system. Criminal charges could include misdemeanors that are not considered very serious, such as shoplifting, to much more serious felonies, such as armed robbery, sex crimes, or murder. If you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor charge, there could be lifetime ramifications, even after you have served your sentence. A Catonsville criminal lawyer can not only handle the criminal charges you are facing, but will also be familiar with the law enforcement and the court system in Catonsville, Maryland.
Catonsville has a relatively small population of about 41,000. The crime rate is relatively low and most of the crimes that do take place are nonviolent property crimes, which means that Catonsville is somewhat safer than the rest of the state of Maryland. Despite a low crime rate, people are still charged with criminal offenses and if you are accused of a crime, you would be well-served by a Catonsville criminal attorney who has experience defending charges in this part of Maryland.
Catonsville Criminal Lawyers Handle These Cases
Crimes are divided into two different types: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are often referred to as less serious crimes because they don’t carry as harsh of a sentence as felonies typically do. Most of the time, a sentence for a misdemeanor would be less than one year in jail, although there are some types of misdemeanors that allow for longer sentences. Felony crimes are generally considered to be more serious and can therefore carry much harsher sentences, including up to life in prison. There are many different types of charges within these two categories of crimes with which you could be charged.
Some of the more common types of crimes fall into the category of either a violent crime or a property crime. Examples of cases handled by Catonsville criminal lawyers include:
- Murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter
- Sex Crimes
- Armed robbery
- Theft (including motor vehicle theft and embezzlement)
These are only a few examples and there are some crimes that may not fit into either category, such as driving under the influence, some drug crimes, or gun possession.
How Do Catonsville Courts Decide Sentencing in Criminal Cases?
Sentencing in criminal cases depends on important factors. The statute for the specific crime you are being charged with will dictate what the maximum sentence is. Some crimes also have mandatory minimum sentences. If you are found guilty of a crime, the judge uses specific guidelines to decide what your sentence should be. There are many different things that will affect this decision such as whether or not you have prior offenses on your record, the specific circumstances of the offense that you are accused of, whether there was physical injury to the alleged victims of the crime, and the severity of the crime. Sentences could involve anything from probation and a fine for a first offense misdemeanor all the way up to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Lifetime Penalties for Criminal Convictions
Having a criminal conviction on your record can have consequences that last your entire life, even if your crime was relatively minor and you have long since completed your sentence. Many employers are hesitant to hire someone with any sort of criminal record, especially a record that includes felony offenses. Additionally, a criminal record can have an impact on things such as professional licenses, a security clearance for government agencies, and even obtaining a financial loan. Felony convictions can even impact your constitutional rights, such as your right to own a firearm. In Maryland, felons are allowed to register to vote and serve on juries, but this would not be the case in other states. For certain types of crimes there may be additional repercussions, such as having to register as a sex offender.
A Catonsville, MD Criminal Lawyer Can Help
Even if you believe the crime you are being charged with is a minor one, it is important to contact a skilled criminal lawyer who can help you protect yourself and your freedom. A Catonsville criminal attorney has extensive experience defending cases throughout the state of Maryland. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation.