Misdemeanor Defense Lawyers Serving Baltimore
Former Baltimore County Prosecutors on Your Side
In any criminal case in and around the greater Baltimore area, the seriousness of the alleged crime is extremely important because it will dictate whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor crime is considered less serious and thus will generally carry less severe penalties. However, even the conviction of a misdemeanor can lead to jail or prison time, heavy fines, probation, and a future with a permanent criminal record.
Because your life can be seriously derailed and your personal and professional image damaged, it is vital that you seek capable legal advice and representation in the face of any misdemeanor charge. It is never advisable to face the criminal justice system alone or with overworked, incompetent, or even “average” legal help; your future is too important to trust to anyone but a proven professional. At T. Wray McCurdy, P.A., you can turn to a team of former prosecutors who have a strong reputation for outstanding legal ability and service. This is backed up by our founding attorney’s AV-Preeminent® rating by Martindale-Hubbell® based on peer review.
Accused of a misdemeanor? Reach out to a Baltimore misdemeanor defense attorney at (410) 834-8466 or online to arrange for a free, initial consultation. Never talk to law enforcement without legal representation.
Misdemeanor Crimes in Maryland
Under Maryland law, misdemeanors are not classified into separate categories. Generally, across the country, misdemeanors are distinguished from felonies because they only carry up to a year in jail. However, in Maryland, some misdemeanors can carry much longer sentences. While many Maryland misdemeanors may be punishable by up a year in jail and/or fines, some of these offenses can carry prison terms of up to 10 years.
Examples of Maryland misdemeanors include (but are not limited to):
- Shoplifting or theft of goods or services with a value of less than $1,000
- Fourth-degree sexual offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 which can be increased up to three years in jail if you have a previous conviction
- Possession of 10 grams up to 50 pounds of marijuana punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Reckless driving generally punishable by a fine of up to $1,000
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs punishable in a first offense by up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000
- Carrying a concealed weapon punishable by up to three years in jail and/or fines that can range up to $2,500
- Second-degree assault which carries a maximum of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $2,500
- Harassment and stalking, carrying penalties of up to five years in jail and/or fines of up to $5,000
- Prostitution or solicitation, carrying penalties of up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $500
- Malicious destruction of property (vandalism) punishable according to the value of the damage done; under $1,000 worth of damage punishable by up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $500; more than $1,000 punishable by up to three years in prison and/or fines of up to $2,500
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record?
A misdemeanor will stay on your record for the rest of your life unless you successfully petition for expungement. There is no preset “expiration date” for misdemeanor crimes. Even though misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, they are still serious breaches in the eyes of the law. Even though they will stay on your record for the rest of your life, certain background checks will not detect them because at certain circumstances, they only go back a certain number of years. Depending on the salary of the job that you are applying to, type of job a misdemeanor from a decade ago may not even show up on the background check. The best way to deal with this is to get your misdemeanor expunged. Your chances of getting your record expunged will vary depending on many factors, including your state of residence, the amount of time since the conviction, the misdemeanor you are trying to expunge, and whether you have any other criminal activity on your record.
You Can Rely on T. Wray McCurdy, P.A.’s Criminal Trial Practice
Depending on the specifics of the charge you face, your life could be seriously upended by extended jail time and hefty fines. Add to that a criminal record that could result in the loss of a professional license and make future employment, housing, and educational aid difficult or land you with immigration difficulties if you are a noncitizen, you need to fight back with a strong defense. Our firm has the experience, skills, and determination to help you in such a crisis. Put experience and a strong track record of competence on your side.
Learn more about the charges you face and what can be done in your defense. Call (410) 834-8466.