Felonies & Misdemeanors in Maryland Explained
Are you facing criminal charges in Maryland? Do you need to know whether you face a felony or misdemeanor charge? Houlon, Berman, Finci, Levenstein & Sandler can help you understand the difference between felonies and misdemeanors in Maryland and how it affects you.
Do you need a legal consultation with a criminal attorney? Don’t wait, get in touch with one of our highly qualified attorneys today. We have decades of experience with felonies and misdemeanors in Maryland. If you need an attorney in the Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, or surrounding communities, contact our team.
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
While misdemeanor crimes are generally considered less serious than felonies, identifying which crimes constitute which offense can be difficult because they are characterized differently under state and federal law.
A felony is considered a serious crime by the state of Maryland and the U.S. Federal Government. Under Federal law, any crime carrying more than one year in prison is considered a felony. Under Maryland law, a crime is designated a felony or misdemeanor by statute. Felony charges carry higher fines and severe penalties that can range from one year to life in prison, and even the death penalty in Maryland.
Examples of felonies include:
- First degree assault
- Sexual assault
- Crimes against property (burglary, major theft, arson)
- Drug possession with intent to distribute
- Theft over $1,000
In addition to prison and/or fines, convicted felons may lose many of their civil rights, including the right to vote, join the armed services, and hold public office as a U.S. citizen.
A felony conviction can also make it difficult to secure employment, as employers are legally allowed to ask you about past felony convictions, and lead to deportation or exclusion from the United States for non-citizens.
Since these offenses are considered less serious in the Maryland and federal law code, misdemeanor charges carry less severe penalties than felony crimes. Misdemeanors are generally punished by fines and/or no more than twelve months in prison.
Examples of misdemeanors include:
- Theft under $1,000
- Drunk driving (DUI/DWI)
- Reckless driving and other traffic offenses
- Minor drug possession
- Second degree assault
- Failure to appear in court
It is important to note that while misdemeanor charges are considered less severe than felonies, being convicted of these crimes can have severe impact on your daily life. A criminal attorney is necessary to protect your rights in any criminal case.
How A Criminal Attorney Can Help
Misdemeanors and felonies in Maryland may differ in severity, but both can dramatically impact your everyday life. A conviction can damage your reputation, deprive you of your rights, and damage your financial security.
At Houlon Berman, we understand the pain and struggle of facing criminal charges, and will provide the personal attention your case needs. We will be with you through every step of the process to ensure that you have a strong legal defense by your side.
Our criminal attorneys are experienced in handling both misdemeanors and felonies, and have worked extensively in both the state and federal courts protecting the rights of people like you.
We will be there for you with the legal excellence necessary to get the best results for your case – because results are what matters most.
Contact Houlon Berman
If you’re facing charges for a felony or misdemeanor, reach out to one of our experienced criminal attorneys today about your case.
The Maryland criminal attorneys at Houlon, Berman, Finci, Levenstein & Sandler are proud to hold a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ certification of AV®. We can provide legal defense for felonies and misdemeanors in Maryland, including Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, Greenbelt, College Park, Upper Marlboro and the District of Columbia.
Return to the Houlon Berman Homepage