Frederick Criminal Defense Attorneys

Comprehensive Defense for Criminal Charges in Frederick, MD

Maryland has some of the harshest sentencing laws in the country, allowing years-long prison sentences for some misdemeanors. This can make facing any type of criminal prosecution a very alarming experience. Even if you are charged with a crime that is normally not considered very serious, you might reasonably fear harsh penalties. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case with skill and strategy can make all the difference.

The Law Offices of Gerstenfield & Demirji, PC. has the criminal defense experience needed to bring about the best possible result in your case. While your situation might feel hopeless, it is not. There is a lot we can do to protect your rights and guard you against excessively harsh sentencing even if you were led to believe that the evidence against you is overwhelming. We will examine all possible options for defending you, including proving that the police violated your constitutional rights to find evidence or plea bargaining to reduce the degree of your offense.

What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

There is much more at stake in a felony case than there is if you are charged with a misdemeanor. However, in Maryland, the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is less stark than in states with more lenient sentencing for misdemeanor offenses. A few of the key differences include:

  • Sentencing - You are more likely to serve a long prison sentence if you are convicted of a felony, while probation or shorter jail terms are more often used to punish misdemeanor crimes.
  • Seriousness - Many offenses can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on whether there were any aggravating factors - circumstances that made the crime more serious.
  • Future opportunities - A felony is more likely to have a major impact on your future prospects. You will not need to disclose misdemeanor convictions on most job or housing applications. A felony conviction, however, can close doors.

Crimes That Can be Charged as Felonies or Misdemeanors

A few of the offenses that come in both felony and misdemeanor forms include:

  • Assault - Assault is usually a misdemeanor, but can be treated as a felony if the victim was seriously injured or a weapon was used. Severe instances of domestic violence can also result in felony assault charges.
  • DUI - A DUI can become a felony if you have prior DUI convictions, were carrying a child passenger, caused an injury, or were driving at extremely high speeds.
  • Sexual assault - Sex offense is nearly always a felony, except in cases of statutory rape where the adult offender and child victim were close in age and in cases where nonconsensual sexual contact occurred, but the offense does not meet the criteria to be charged as a felony.

Categories of crime that include both felony and misdemeanor offenses include:

  • Drug crime - Simple possession for personal use is usually a misdemeanor, while any form of distribution or trafficking is a felony offense.
  • Weapons crimes - Misdemeanors include things like carrying a weapon without a permit or possessing certain weapons that are not allowed in the state of Maryland. Weapons felonies include using a weapon to commit another offense, possessing a banned destructive ordnance, or possessing a gun after being convicted of certain crimes.

Crimes that are always felonies include:

  • Murder and manslaughter - Killing another person, whether through negligent conduct or on purpose, is always a felony.
  • Rape - Rape is the most serious of the sex crimes. It is always prosecuted as a felony, regardless of the circumstances.

Contact a Frederick, MD Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law Offices of Gerstenfield & Demirji, PC. is dedicated to providing the best criminal defense services possible. Our experienced Montgomery County, MD criminal defense attorneys will do all we can to help you. Contact us at 301-589-9500 for a complimentary consultation.

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