Criminal charges are nothing to take lightly. They carry harsh penalties and may mar your record for years to come. Nevertheless, not all charges are created equal. Felony charges significantly increase the exposure for jail time and large financial repercussions. As a result, an accused is urged to consult with an Upper Marlboro criminal defense lawyer to explain the situation.
For instance, if a defendant is convicted of a felony charge, generally they will receive a prison sentence of at least one year. This is significant because a misdemeanor may only require a diversionary program or fine. Despite the disparity in potential penalties, the line between a misdemeanor and a felony is often slim.
While murder charges almost always carry a felony distinction with them, other crimes like assault may be deemed a misdemeanor or felony based solely on the whim of a county prosecutor. Therefore, you may find yourself facing felony charges and the felony penalties that go along with them for a minor infraction.
These cases can be extremely challenging for the accused as they plead with the court to get the true story out. This is where an experienced criminal defense attorney can prove invaluable. They understand the criminal justice system and the process each case must undergo. As a result, they know exactly how to best portray the facts and manage the case.
Their experience and know-how has resulted in dropped charges, a reduction from a felony to misdemeanor or plea deals with significantly less impositions. If you or your child is facing felony charges or other serious criminal charges, it is wise to discuss your options with someone who has seen it all.
Source: Felony Guide, "Maryland Felony," Accessed on December 23, 2014