Cecil County Criminal Lawyer
No matter what criminal charge or charges you are facing, you have a right to notice and an opportunity to be heard. In addition, you have a constitutional right to trial by jury and the right to defend yourself in court. A Cecil County criminal lawyer could work to establish a credible defense. In all Cecil County criminal cases, the prosecutor must show that you committed the criminal offense beyond a doubt based upon common sense and ordinary reason. This is called the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. If the prosecutor fails to meet their burden (i.e. they fail to satisfy one or more of the criminal elements of the offense), your charge may be subject to dismissal.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Cecil County, an experienced defense lawyer could be an invaluable help. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer could detail all of your options for you. Depending upon your individual circumstances, those options may include asserting a defense to the charge, pursuing a charge reduction or other plea deal, and/or requesting a lighter penalty.
Misdemeanor and Felony Criminal Charges
In general, Cecil County misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies. Most misdemeanors are punishable by one year or less of incarceration. Instead of – or in addition to incarceration – a judge could still impose probation, monetary fines, and/or community service. Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious offenses which are usually punishable by more than one year in jail.
Crimes of the Person
Crimes involving the person include homicide (e.g., murder or felony-murder), assault, battery, and robbery. These crimes come in varying degrees, depending upon the seriousness of the offense. For example, first-degree murder is typically premeditated murder, while second-degree murder is murder committed with malice aforethought (i.e. an intent to kill, cause serious injury, or act with reckless disregard to human life).
Crimes of the person may be felonies or misdemeanors, depending upon the circumstances and the nature of the crime. First-degree assault, for instance, is a felony, while second-degree assault is a misdemeanor.
Property crimes – or crimes which involve property – include criminal offenses like the following:
- Robbery (including “petty theft,” or shoplifting)
In order to receive a criminal penalty, the judge or jury must ordinarily find the accused guilty of committing the underlying criminal offense. In many cases, the accused is also convicted, and the case proceeds to sentencing.
Judges handle the sentencing portion of a criminal case. The Maryland Criminal Code Annotated establishes the maximum sentences which a judge may impose upon conviction of a particular criminal offense.
The prosecutor may recommend that the judge impose the maximum criminal sentence for the offense or something less than the maximum, depending upon the circumstances. In some instances, a criminal attorney in Cecil County may be able to work out a favorable plea deal with the prosecutor or agree to a charge reduction. A defense lawyer could also recommend a sentencing reduction at the hearing and state their reasoning for such a reduction.
Defenses to Allegations
All crimes in Cecil County have potential defenses. If the accused can successfully assert a complete defense at trial, then the charge may be subject to dismissal. Potential defenses in criminal cases include lack of criminal intent, mistaken identity, alibi, entrapment, duress, and self-defense. A Cecil County criminal lawyer could determine which defenses apply under a given set of circumstances.
Let a Criminal Defense Attorney in Cecil County Assist
Criminal cases – and criminal defense lawyers – are not one size fits all. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and penalties, you should seek legal help right away. A Cecil County criminal lawyer could zealously advocate for you during plea negotiations, at trial, and during sentencing hearings.