Garrett County Criminal Attorney
Being charged with a crime in Garrett County, or any part of Maryland, can be a scary and frustrating experience—but you don’t need to face it alone. You can choose an experienced attorney who you feel will defend you vigorously before and in court. If you have been charged with committing any criminal offense, a Garrett County criminal lawyer can help explain the charges you are facing and the associated penalties.
Garrett County Criminal Lawyers Handle These Cases
In Maryland, as in many other states across the nation, crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. The Maryland courts define the types of offenses below:
A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense (other than a felony or an infraction) punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
A felony is a serious criminal offense, punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or death.
While many states limit the term of incarceration to a maximum of 12 months for a misdemeanor, Maryland may impose a jail term of up to 10 years for a misdemeanor offense. In addition to or in lieu of imprisonment, a convicted offender may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Felony offenses can incur fines of a much greater magnitude, even up to $1,000,000, and the term of incarceration can range anywhere from 12 months to life in prison.
Individuals in Garrett County may be charged with several different types of misdemeanor or felony offenses, including:
The penalties that accompany these charges will vary depending on the severity of the offense. Consulting with an experienced Garrett County criminal lawyer will enable you to explore your options for building the strongest possible defense against your charges.
Garrett County Criminal Lawyers Can Fight For You In Court
When charges are filed against an adult (or a juvenile charged as an adult) in Maryland, there is a certain process by which the legal proceedings take place within the circuit court system. Upon the occurrence of an alleged crime, the person accused will be arrested and/or charged.
This may occur at the scene of the crime with police as witnesses, there may be a warrant issued for the person’s arrest, or the person may be charged and served with a summons without arrest. If an individual is arrested and charged, a pretrial hearing will take place and bail conditions will be set. If the individual is charged without arrest and served with a summons, there will be no pretrial hearing necessary. At this point, the case will then go to the State’s Attorney’s Office for prosecution and a trial date will be set. Once a trial date is set, the defense has two options: go to trial or negotiate a plea agreement.
There are benefits to a plea bargain if one is unsure of the effectiveness of his or her defense strategy. While the defendant may be forced to accept some level of guilt regarding the charges against him or her, a plea bargain typically involves a lesser charge or only one of several charges, or it may result in the prosecution’s request for leniency. A plea bargain must be agreed upon by both parties and then approved by the court. There is benefit for all parties, in some cases, including:
- Both the defense and prosecution avoid an uncertain trial
- Reduces the time and cost of defense/prosecution
- Saves the court system from having to oversee a lengthy trial for every case
- Often imposes a reduction of penalties for the defendant
If the defense is sure of its case, then they may advise the client to go to trial. After the course of the trial, the defendant will be found guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is convicted of the crime, he or she will receive sentencing, which may include imprisonment, fines, probation, and a criminal record. If the verdict is not guilty, then the defendant will walk away with a clean slate.
Deciding how to approach the legal process for a crime should be left to a professional, and defense strategies will differ on a case-by-case basis. If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced Garrett County criminal attorney to find out what your next step should be.
A Criminal Lawyer in Garrett County Can Help
Understanding the Maryland Criminal Code is a complex process. If you have been charged with a crime in Garrett County, MD, no matter how big or how small the offense, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling criminal cases in the state. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Common Criminal Charges in Garrett County, MD
According to the Maryland State Police Department’s annual report entitled “Crime in Maryland,” the overall incidence of crime in the state decreased between 2011 and 2012. This report uses data involving the crimes of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, breaking and entering, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson as an indicator of total crime patterns. In 2012 there were slightly fewer than 190,000 total crime incidents reported, and the incidence of violent crimes as a whole, including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, decreased by roughly two percent.
Garrett County, MD is the third least populous county in the state with just more than 30,000 residents. In Garrett County, there was a total of 611 crimes reported in 2012. The total incidence of crime followed the state-wide pattern, indicating a two percent decrease as well. Those arrested and charged with any crime face serious penalties upon conviction. Whether a misdemeanor offense or serious felony, the consequences are great. Imprisonment, costly fines, and a reputation-damaging criminal record are just a few of the penalties that accompany a conviction. A Garrett County criminal lawyer can provide invaluable legal representation to help minimize the impact criminal charges can have on your personal and professional life.