Baltimore County Criminal Lawyer
Located in northern Maryland, Baltimore County is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. As a part of such a large metro, the county has had a significant rate of crime over the last several years. However, reports by the Baltimore County Police Department show that recent crime rates have declined significantly. While 2011 saw more than 38,000 Part 1 Crimes (serious crimes indexed by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports) in the county, this number represented a decrease in all crime categories, for a nine percent decrease over the preceding five-year average. Even with declining rates in violent crime and property crime, thousands of individuals will stand accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses. For those accused, arrested, and charged with crimes, consulting an experienced defense lawyer should be first step in protecting oneself against a criminal charge.
Misdemeanor Defense in Baltimore County
Misdemeanor crimes are generally considered to be less serious offenses than felony crimes. As such, the penalties associated with conviction of a misdemeanor are often much lighter than those associated with a felony. Misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for a jail sentence of up to one year in addition to fines, probation, and other sanctions such as loss of a driver’s license or security clearance. Though many offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense, common misdemeanor charges include:
- Reckless Endangerment
- Drug Possession
- Prostitution / Solicitation
- Driving while Suspended
- Second Degree Assault
Though the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are less severe than those of a felony, no one should make the mistake of taking any criminal charge lightly. Even a minor incident can have a serious impact. Consult an attorney to determine the best way to handle your case.
Felony offenses are those which carry far more serious potential penalties then misdemeanors. These include many of the Part 1 violent crimes and property crimes associated with the FBI Uniform Crime Reports—those which comprised the 38,409 crimes reported by the Baltimore County Police Department:
Some crimes may be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. For example, shoplifting an item valued at less than $100 is a misdemeanor; theft of property valued at more than $1,000 is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Your attorney can help you understand the nature of your charge and can help you make wise decisions regarding your case.
The county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland, Towson is located just north of Baltimore City. Baltimore County police reported more than 3,600 Part 1 crimes in Towson in 2011. As the county seat, Towson is home to one location of the Baltimore County District Court, located at 401 Bosley Ave.
Home to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville is situated in the southwest portion of the county and is bordered by Baltimore City to the east. Criminal charges in Catonsville are prosecuted and defended at the District Courthouse located at 900 Walker Avenue.
The third district courthouse is in Essex Maryland, and is located at 8914 Kelso Dr.
The city of Baltimore is an independent city, and is not a part of Baltimore County. The largest city in Maryland, Baltimore City is located on the Patapsco River near the Chesapeake Bay. In 2011, this major city saw its lowest homicide rate since the late 1970’s. Though its population continues to decline, Baltimore is among the nation’s 25 most populous cities. It is home to several notable private and public universities and institutes of higher learning, including Johns Hopkins, Loyola, and the Peabody Institute.
Some criminal cases are handled by the Baltimore City District Court in the Borgerding District Court Building, located at 5800 Wabash Avenue.
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