Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney
In Columbia, solving crimes is a top priority for law enforcement. What this means for you is that you may be charged with a crime without all of the facts and evidence being known. Having a Columbia criminal lawyer as your legal champion can be an asset in avoiding the consequences of a criminal conviction. In addition to the impact to your reputation and career, you face jail, prison, or a fine, depending on the crime.
Columbia Criminal Lawyers Can Help With Violent Crime Cases
For instance, you could be charged with murder or attempted murder. First-degree murder (Section 2-201) makes it illegal to intentionally commit unlawful homicide. The sentence for first-degree murder ranges from life in prison without the possibility of parole, to death.
Section 2-207 describes manslaughter. It is unlawful to kill someone in the heat of the moment, such as finding a person finding a spouse committing adultery. Manslaughter is punishable by 10 years in prison, 2 years in a local prison and a fine of $500, or both.
Robbery (Section 3-402)
Robbery is the intentional act of taking and carrying away someone’s personal property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it.
Assault (Sections 3-202, 3-203, and 3-204)
Assault in the second degree is a misdemeanor and involves the same intentional act, but to a lesser degree. Instead of trying to kill someone, a person is accused of causing some type of physical harm.
Reckless endangerment per Section 3-204 implies that someone acted in a negligent way. He or she engaged in conduct that didn’t take anyone’s safety into account.
Rape in Maryland has two degrees. Under Section 3-303, it is defined as having vaginal intercourse without consent of the person. In addition, the perpetrator does it by force or threat of force. Rape also includes this act being committed with a weapon. However, rape in the second degree involves engaging in vaginal intercourse without consent of the individual and by force, but the person is also unable to give consent because of age and/or physical or mental inability.
Whether you are charged with murder, manslaughter, or another crime, a Columbia criminal lawyer will help you.
Other Types of Criminal Charges in Columbia
There are three main types of assault you can be charged with. Assault in the first degree is a felony and is defined as the intentional act or attempt to cause an individual serious physical harm. This means the person tried to cause someone to die, or nearly die, by severely injuring them.
One type of gun charge is carrying, wearing, or transporting a handgun, under Section 4-203. The law criminalizes any of those things in Columbia and throughout Maryland. It doesn’t matter if the person concealed the gun.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Per Section 7-105, motor vehicle theft is defined as intentionally and willfully taking control of someone’s vehicle without their consent.
A Columbia criminal lawyer is available to represent you with your criminal charge, whether it’s one listed above or a different charge.
Possible Punishment for Crimes in Columbia
Criminal convictions could bring a fine or prison or jail time. For instance, rape in the first degree carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. However, rape in the second degree carries up to 20 years in prison. A conviction of robbery carries up to 15 years in prison. Assault convictions include:
- 25 years for first-degree
- 10 and a $2,500 for second-degree
- A minimum of five years for reckless endangerment
The penalty for carrying, wearing, or transporting a handgun is 30 days to three years in jail. The conviction also includes a fine of $2,500. However, taking a vehicle without consent is considered a felony. The sentence for this criminal conviction is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Common Defenses Against Criminal Charges in Columbia
Your Columbia criminal lawyer will listen to you as you discuss your criminal charges during an initial consultation. After that, he or she will investigate the charges to discover which specific defense to use. The following are some common defenses used in a variety of criminal cases.
In criminal cases such as rape, other sexual offenses, or robbery, whether the alleged person gave consent is relevant to the defense. In some cases, the alleged victim will give consent then decide later that he or she didn’t.
Lack of Evidence
The prosecutor might not have enough evidence to bring the case to trial. For instance, you were arrested before all the facts were known. Your Columbia criminal lawyer will show evidence that you are actually innocent.
This defense is typically used in assault cases. You exercised your right to defend yourself with reasonable force. However, the alleged victim called the police first, which led to your arrest. You may be able to use this defense.
Contact a Columbia Criminal Lawyer Today
Again, your defense depends on the facts and evidence and your Columbia criminal defense lawyer. It is important for you to schedule a free initial consultation to protect your legal rights and freedom.