Harford County Criminal Lawyer
The state of Maryland is enjoying its lowest crime rates in 25 years, and Harford County is no exception. In fact, over the last five years, total crime in Harford County has been reduced by 17.7 percent, a dramatic statistic indeed. Both violent crimes and property crimes have been significantly reduced, and motor vehicle theft has decreased by an astounding 52.6 percent. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office points to collaboration with state agencies and programs such as the Safe Streets Initiative, the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center’s (SARC) Domestic Violence Crisis & Support Services, and better monitoring of gangs and gun control as integral in reducing the area’s crime rate. Despite these statistical improvements, crime will always be a part of any society. For those implicated in criminal activity, whether a misdemeanor property crime or felony violent crime, it is important that justice be upheld. When a community fervently cracks down on crime, defendants are often faced with overzealous prosecution. Contacting an experienced, aggressive defense attorney is one of the best ways to ensure a defendant’s rights are upheld in the face of prosecution.
Violent Crime and Property Crime in Harford County, Maryland
Between 2006 and 2011, Harford County saw a 22.2% reduction in violent crimes, including aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and homicide. According to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP), aggravated assault decreased from 579 incidents in 2006 to only 451 incidents five years later.
Property crimes, including breaking and entering, theft, and auto theft, saw similar declines, with auto theft plummeting.
Many violent crimes are charged as felonies. Aggravated assault, for example, is the most frequently occurring Part 1 violent crime on the county’s Uniform Crime Report. It is characterized as an assault that occurs through use of a weapon or firearm, or as an assault that results in serious bodily harm to the victim. As a felony, first degree assault is punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. However, even second degree assault, a lesser offense, carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Many property crimes, such as burglary or theft, may be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the property in question. Armed robbery, because it is perpetrated by force or threat of serious physical injury, is treated as a violent crime. Other theft crimes, such as shoplifting, are prosecuted as misdemeanors when the value of stolen merchandise is below $1,000. When the value exceeds $1,000, theft is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to 25 years, with the possible sentence dependent on the value of the property.
Bel Air Criminal Lawyer
As the county seat of Harford County, Maryland, Bel Air is home to the Harford County District Court, located at 2 South Bond Street. Bel Air, with a population one-third smaller than nearby Aberdeen, saw approximately half the number of violent crimes as the larger city. Of the 45 violent crimes reported in Bel Air, the vast majority (33) were aggravated assaults. While a much larger number of property crimes occurred in the town (453), virtually all were theft (407). Bel Air had only 12 motor vehicle thefts, compared to 31 in Aberdeen.
Criminal defense attorney Colleen Kirby provides misdemeanor and felony defense in Bel Air and throughout Harford County. Her practice areas include:
- Assault and Battery
- Second Degree Assault
- First Degree Assault
- Reckless Endangerment
- Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm
- Carrying a Concealed Firearm without a Permit
- Possession of a Firearm after Conviction of a Felon
- Misdemeanor Theft
- Felony Theft
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Armed Robbery
- Breaking and Entering
To consult with an attorney about your arrest or criminal charge, call (410) 441-5005.
Please call for a FREE consultation (410) 441-5005