Montgomery County Criminal Lawyer
Whether you have a prior record or have never even been arrested before, being charged with a criminal offense of any kind can be a daunting and confusing experience. Because state law does not establish a uniform classification system for misdemeanor and felony offenses, it can be difficult to determine the severity of your charges or effectively contest your accusations without guidance from seasoned legal counsel.
A knowledgeable attorney could help you understand the nature of your charges and work to defend you in your case. Reach out to a Montgomery County criminal lawyer today to obtain skilled legal counsel.
Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses in Montgomery County
While state law does differentiate between felony and misdemeanor offenses, there is no classification system ranking offenses on their relative severity and potential punishments upon conviction. Instead, each statute defining a specific offense also specifies the sanctions a defendant could receive if they are convicted of committing that crime.
Most misdemeanor offenses are non-violent crimes, such as minor drug possession, drunk driving, and thefts of less than $1,000. These types of crimes are generally punishable by less than a year in jail, a fine between $500 and $5,000, or both. However, potentially violent offenses like second-degree assault are considered misdemeanors as well. This crime can be punished by up to ten years in jail, along with a fine up to $2500, or both.
Felonies convictions are typically punishable by a maximum prison term exceeding one year in length, steeper fines, and a long period of probation. Additionally, felony convictions often result in the permanent loss of certain civil privileges, including the right to vote and legally own a firearm. Regardless of the type of offense an individual is charged with, working with a criminal defense attorney is essential to effectively protecting their rights and best interests.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases?
Like civil cases, certain criminal cases also have a statute of limitations that determines how much time can pass before a case may no longer be pursued. The statutory filing deadline for a prosecutor bring charges against the alleged party typically ranges from between one to three years in length, depending on the specific offense.
Felony offenses, however, have no statute of limitations. Charges could potentially be brought years or even decades after the offense was allegedly committed. Anyone who suspects they are being investigated for an alleged felony offense should prioritize speaking with a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Get in Touch with a Montgomery County Criminal Attorney
Any kind of mark on your criminal record could have severe implications for your personal and professional future prospects. In addition to incarceration, you may lose certain civil privileges or have trouble finding a job. Whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, should take your case seriously.
Retaining an attorney could help you effectively defend yourself against a criminal allegation. Our team of attorneys has experience helping many others manage their criminal charges. Call today to schedule a consultation with a Montgomery County criminal lawyer and learn what our firm could do for you.