Misdemeanor Defense Attorneys in Rockville, Maryland
Reputable and Pragmatic Defense Lawyers for The Accused
Have you been accused of a misdemeanor in Montgomery County? Whether this is your first misdemeanor charge or subsequent accusation, our defense lawyers at Felsen and Sargent, LLC are here to help.
The consequences of a criminal conviction, even for a seemingly small misdemeanor, could have long-lasting impacts. Don’t succumb to your charges without first discussing your legal options with an experienced attorney. Felsen & Sargent has been representing defendants throughout Montgomery County for 34 years, and they have cultivated a strong reputation for efficient, cost-effective, and pragmatic legal representation. We defend the accused in Frederick, Prince George's, Carroll, and Howard Counties and the District of Columbia.
Misdemeanor Sentencing Guidelines
Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by fines and/or a period of incarceration, depending on the severity of the crimes. It is at the judge’s discretion to impose the specific penalty based on the circumstances of the crime and your criminal history.
Maryland has a sentencing chart that lays out the specific penalties for each misdemeanor. Some examples of misdemeanor crimes and their penalties include:
Disorderly conduct – up to 60 days and/or $500 in fines
Second-degree assault – up to 10 years in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines
Child neglect – up to 5 years in jail and/or $5,000 in fines
Cyberbullying – up to 3 years in jail and/or $10,000 in fines
Theft of property or services worth $100-$1,500 – up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500, as well as the restoration of the stolen property or payment of stolen property’s value to the owner
Typically, sentences of 12 months or less are served in local jail. Individuals sentenced to 12-18 months may be ordered to serve in either local jail or state prison. Any misdemeanor sentence that lasts longer than 18 months will likely be served in state prison.
Misdemeanor crimes in Maryland have a statute of limitations of one year, which means prosecutors must file charges within one year of the crime taking place, otherwise, the judge will be unlikely to hear the case. There are exceptions for serious cases, however, such as cyber (computer) crimes, which have a statute of limitations of 3 years.
Enhancements and Alternative Sentencing
You may face harsher penalties if you have prior convictions for the same misdemeanor. Depending on the crime in question, you may either face an increased maximum sentence or receive a mandatory minimum sentence for the subsequent offense. For example, driving under the influence (DUI) is punishable by one year in jail and $1,000 for a first offense, but the penalties for a second offense increase to 2 years in jail and $2,000 in fines, as well as a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail if the second offense occurred within 5 years of the previous conviction.
In other situations, a judge may instead suspend all or part of your sentence and issue an alternative sentence, such as placing you on probation, which may establish conditions like home detention or completion of an alcohol or drug treatment.
Misdemeanors may stand on the less serious end of the criminal scale, but a criminal conviction on your record is serious regardless. You may lose months to years of your life in prison, as well as incur thousands in fines. Beyond that, you may face long-term consequences as a convict that could deter your ability to get a job.
Consult an experienced defense lawyer immediately to discuss your defense options against your misdemeanor charges. With 34 years of experience in the field, Felsen and Sargent, LLC can take a closer look at your situation and explore your legal options, which may include finding grounds for the dismissal of your charges, determining your plea options, and representing you assertively in court.
Don’t sacrifice your present and your future without a proper legal fight. Contact Felsen and Sargent, LLC for an initial consultation to get started on your misdemeanor defense today.