A misdemeanor offense in Maryland is generally less serious than a felony offense. Nonetheless, being convicted of a misdemeanor may still result in jail time, a fine and other consequences. Because the criminal justice system can be tilted against the accused, best way to protect your rights is by having aggressive legal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Located in Silver Spring, the Law Office of Asher Weinberg routinely defends clients against misdemeanor charges in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties. I have a well-earned reputation for providing criminal defendants with trusted advice and objective insights. When you become my client, I will fully deploy my resources to protect your freedom.
How are misdemeanors different from felonies?
There are a number of differences between misdemeanors and felonies in Maryland. One is that felonies are punishable by incarceration in a state prison while sentences for misdemeanors are usually served in county jail. A felony conviction also means you will forfeit some of your civil rights, including the right to vote and to possess a weapon.
Being convicted of a felony also means you will be barred from holding certain licenses and you will not be eligible for government benefits. These so-called collateral consequences do not apply to misdemeanors. Although Maryland does not classify misdemeanor offenses into separate classes, such as first-degree and second-degree misdemeanors, it takes knowledge and skill to design an effective defense strategy.
Common Misdemeanors in Maryland
The Law Office of Asher Weinberg has successfully defended clients against a wide range of misdemeanor offenses including:
- Driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) — Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit or while impaired by illegal or prescription drugs.
- Reckless driving — Operating a motor vehicle in wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property, or in a manner that indicates such disregard.
- Disorderly conduct — Willfully acting in a manner that disturbs the peace, obstructing the passage of people in a public place, or disobeying a reasonable order from a police officer to prevent a disturbance of the peace.
- Assault in the second degree — The intent to place another person in fear of either immediate physical contact or harm, attempting to cause physical contact or harm, or intentionally causing physical contact with another person.
- Stalking — Repeatedly pursuing or approaching another individual with the intention of putting that person in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, assault, kidnapping or death.
- Harassment — Following another individual in or around a public place, or maliciously engaging in repeated behavior that seriously annoys or alarms another individual.
- Theft of property — The intentional taking of another’s property (goods/services valued at less than $1,000) with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of it.
- Possession of marijuana — Although possession of marijuana has been decriminalized, possession of more than 10 grams, without intent to distribute, is considered a misdemeanor.
- Vandalism — The malicious destruction of private or public property, if damage less than $1,000, punishable by up to 60 days jail, if damage $1,000 or more punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
- Carrying a concealed dangerous weapon — Unlawfully carrying a concealed dangerous weapon such as nunchaku, mace or pepper spray, throwing stars, dirks, bowie knives, switchblades, razors, and brass knuckles.
What are the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction?
A misdemeanor conviction may lead to a jail sentence for any period less than or up to the maximum, and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000. Depending on the circumstances, you may face no jail time, or a sentence ranging from 60 days, to 1 year, to 18 months, to as much as 10 years.
Misdemeanor charges typically result in suspended or minimum jail sentences, and probation, however. Depending on the nature of the crime, the court may also order payment of restitution to the victim. Other potential consequences include probation, community service, curfews, or mandatory counseling for substance abuse or anger issues.
In any event, being convicted of a misdemeanor means having a permanent criminal record, which will affect you in a number of ways. It may interfere with employment opportunities and also weigh heavily against you if you are arrested in the future — repeat offenders typically face stiffer penalties. This is why you need a criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight back.
Contact Our Silver Spring Misdemeanor Defense Attorney
A misdemeanor charge is not to be taken lightly if you want to avoid jail time and fines. When you enlist my services, you will be encouraged to participate in your defense so that you can make the best decisions about your future. While my objective is to clear your name and secure your freedom, I will take the time to explore all of your options and guide you through the process. When you need first-rate legal representation and superior personal service, contact the Law Office of Asher Weinberg.
The Law Offices of Asher Weinberg is located in Silver Spring and provides misdemeanor defense throughout Maryland including Montgomery County, Prince George County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County.