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Mt. Airy Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being convicted of a crime, no matter the severity, can have damaging and lasting effects on your life. Criminal convictions can make seeking employment next to impossible, can cause societal embarrassment, and can lead to jail time. If you have been charged with a crime, you should seek the aid of a criminal defense lawyer in Mt. Airy, MD.

Maryland Misdemeanor & Felony Offenses

In Maryland, misdemeanors and felonies are two categories of crimes that differ primarily in terms of severity and potential punishment.

Misdemeanors are less serious offenses. They typically carry a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.

Examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, simple assault, certain types of drug possession, and some traffic offenses like driving under the influence (DUI) for the first or second time.

On the other hand, felonies in Maryland are more serious crimes and generally involve higher penalties, including imprisonment for more than a year and hefty fines. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, arson, burglary, certain drug trafficking offenses, and aggravated assault.

Differences between misdemeanors and felonies in Maryland include:

  • Severity: Felonies are more serious crimes compared to misdemeanors. Felonies often involve violence or significant harm to individuals or property, while misdemeanors are typically less severe offenses.
  • Punishment: Felonies carry harsher penalties, often including imprisonment for more than a year and substantial fines. Misdemeanors usually result in shorter jail sentences (less than a year) and lower fines.
  • Legal Process: Felonies involve more complex legal proceedings, including grand jury indictments, whereas misdemeanors may proceed through simpler court processes.
  • Collateral Consequences: Felonies often have lasting consequences beyond the completion of the sentence, including restrictions on voting rights, gun ownership, and certain employment opportunities. Misdemeanors might have fewer long-term consequences in these areas.
  • Expungement: In some cases, misdemeanors may be eligible for expungement (removal from public records) after a certain period, while felonies might have limited eligibility or more stringent criteria for expungement.

What Happens After I'm Arrested?

If law enforcement believes there is sufficient evidence, they may arrest the suspect. After the arrest, the individual may be taken into custody and booked at a police station or a detention facility.

The following are the next steps of the criminal process in Maryland:

  1. Charging: Prosecutors review the evidence provided by law enforcement. If they believe there's enough evidence to proceed, they file formal charges against the accused. The accused is informed of the charges against them during an initial appearance before a judge.
  2. Bail Hearing: The accused may have a bail hearing where a judge determines if they can be released before trial and under what conditions. Bail may be granted, denied, or set at a specific amount.
  3. Preliminary Hearing/Grand Jury Indictment: In felony cases, there might be a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. Alternatively, the case may go to a grand jury, which decides whether to issue an indictment based on the evidence presented.
  4. Arraignment: The accused enters a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest) during the arraignment. If they plead not guilty, a trial date is set. If they plead guilty or no contest, the case may proceed to sentencing.
  5. Discovery: Both the prosecution and defense exchange evidence and information they plan to use during the trial. This helps both sides prepare their cases.
  6. Pre-Trial Motions: Before the trial begins, both sides may file motions (requests) related to evidence, procedure, or other legal matters. The judge considers these motions and issues rulings.
  7. Trial: The trial takes place, where both sides present their case, call witnesses, and present evidence. A judge or jury (depending on the type of trial) determines the guilt or innocence of the accused.
  8. Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty, a sentencing hearing is held. The judge decides the appropriate punishment, considering factors such as the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal history.
  9. Appeals: The convicted individual may appeal the verdict or sentence if they believe legal errors occurred during the trial that affected the outcome. The case is reviewed by a higher court, which may uphold the decision, order a new trial, or modify the sentence.

Years of Experience and a Track Record We’re Proud of

There is no teacher quite like experience. Ross W. Albers has years of experience as both a Mt. Airy criminal defense lawyer and as a Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney. We’ve helped countless clients over the years, treating each individual with the respect, dignity, and professionalism that they deserve.

There are many reasons why Ross W. Albers has proved to be a successful Mt. Airy criminal defense lawyer, but perhaps one of the most explanatory reasons has to do with his aggressive representation. No matter your charge, whether it’s a first-time DUI infraction or a felony, he will ensure your case receives the care and attention it deserves, always looking and fighting for your best interest.

We Take All Clients

Some lawyers only specialize in a certain area of the law. They will either only deal with felony crimes, or only deal with drug charges, etc. but not Ross W. Albers. As a criminal defense lawyer, he has helped Mt. Airy clients with many different criminal charges. Here are some of the kinds of cases we have handled in the past:

Why Do I Need to Hire a Mt. Airy Criminal Defense Lawyer?

You may be thinking that you can represent yourself, and while you can legally, it’s not the best idea. As we already mentioned, criminal charges can seriously damage you later in life, so it’s best to be acquitted of them if possible. The best way to ensure your charges stay off your record is to hire a professional Mt. Airy criminal defense lawyer. We would be more than happy to help you in any way we can, give us a call today and we can answer any questions you may have, and can even offer a free consultation.

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