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Classifying Different Criminal Charges

Defense attorneys in Rockville regularly defend clients against a wide range of felony and misdemeanor charges, including sex crimes, drug crimes, and DUI. Crimes are almost always charged under state law, but it can be tricky to understand the intricacies between different charges and potential penalties. If you or a loved one have been charged with any crime, always consult with a lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case. Here is an overview of the three main kinds of criminal charges.

Infractions
Infractions are petty offenses that are usually punished by fines but carry no potential jail time. For that reason, defendants charged with infractions do not have a right to a jury trial. A good example of this crime is a speeding Defense Attorney in Rockville ticket. While you may want to consult with a lawyer to see if you can challenge the case and avoid increases to your car insurance, you may not need to hire a criminal defense attorney.

Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that carry significant punishment and can destroy a person’s record, especially with crimes of moral ___, like theft over $1000 which carries 15 years and tells all future employers that you are a thief with no character. While misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies, a misdemeanor charge should never be taken lightly. Being convicted will give you a criminal record for years if not for life. Additionally, misdemeanors may also be punished by a combination of fines, probation, community service, and restitution. Depending on your case, a criminal lawyer may be able to negotiate a misdemeanor charge down to a diversion, a PBJ disposition, or have the case dismissed.

Felonies
Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offense, often including sex crimes, assaults with a weapon, or drug crimes. Like misdemeanors, felony convictions do not always result in prison time, especially if your defense lawyer is able to arrange a plea bargain. Felony convictions carry potential mandatory sentences, sentences of 20 years, 30 years, and life sentences. If there is a choice to win your case this is where the litigation skills of your attorney come in. The best criminal attorney gets the jury to see the case through your eyes and that’s how you win.

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