When someone breaks the law, they have committed a crime. Criminal litigation is interested in punishing someone for breaking the law. While many crimes such as murder, theft, and assault are obvious examples of criminal offenses, criminal litigation extends to many other aspects of the law that may not immediately come to mind.
Types of Crimes
In Maryland, crimes are divided into two categories – misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are considered “lesser” crimes while felonies are considered “more serious” crimes. Felonies usually carry more severe penalties than misdemeanors such as jail time and large fines. If convicted of a felony, a person may also lose his/her ability to vote, run for public office, or join the armed forces. Examples of felonies include robbery, murder, assault, fraud, drug possession with the intent to distribute, and theft of over $1,000. According to Maryland courts, a misdemeanor may also have fines, jail time, or both, but the duration and amount of fines are generally lower than that of a felony. Examples of misdemeanors are theft of less than $1,000, driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, failure to appear in court, or vandalism.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Accused of a Crime?
According to the constitution of the United States, everyone who is accused of or charged with a crime has the right to legal representation. The sooner a person gets help from a lawyer, the better. Having a lawyer present during questioning, when a search warrant is executed, or when a person is arrested, protects the accused person’s civil rights. While most police officers are only interested in upholding the law, an attorney can assure that all parts of the investigation meet the standards set forth by the law.
If you have been accused of, questioned about, or arrested for a crime, contact Orshan Legal Group LLC to discuss your case.