A felony conviction in Maryland will result in a minimum of one year in jail, but the actual amount of time sentenced is entirely dependent on the crime and the circumstances surrounding that crime. Unlike in other states, felonies in Maryland are not classified using letter determinations. Instead, the Maryland legislature has established some clear definitions and sentencing guidelines for anyone convicted of a felony in the state. Here are the Maryland felonies’ terms.
Types of Felony Charges
Murder charges are classified as First Degree, Second Degree, or Felony Murder. When a person plans and executes a murder, they are charged with First Degree Murder. This felony carries a life sentence in prison or the death penalty. The jury assigned to the case must agree on the death penalty.
The murder in Second Degree Murder cases is murder with malice aforethought or premeditated murder. Second-degree murder carries a life sentence in prison. In order to avoid the death penalty, a person will frequently plea bargain to this lesser degree. Finally, felony murder charges indicate that you were responsible for the death of a person or persons as a result of a separate crime. Arson in the first degree, rape in any degree, sexual offense in the first or second degree, sodomy, mayhem, robbery, carjacking or armed carjacking, burglary in the first, second, or third degree, or kidnapping are examples of these crimes. This felony crime carries a life sentence in prison.
Manslaughter is the final type of murder charge. This is charged when a death occurs as a result of negligence or a wrongful action but without intent. For this felony charge, a convicted person faces up to 25 years in prison.
Attempted First Degree Sex Offense and Attempted Second Degree Sex Offense are added to the list of Maryland Felony laws. When you commit a sexual assault without the victim’s consent, you are charged with the first degree. This crime carries a life sentence in prison. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime, a person can be convicted of attempted second degree sexual assault and face up to 20 years in prison.
There is also First Degree Assault and Second Degree Assault, which are felony offenses in Maryland. First Degree Assault can result in a prison sentence of up to 22 years, while Second Degree Assault can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Expunging Your Felony
As with many court proceedings, you have the option of having your record expunged. In Maryland, you must meet one or more of the following conditions in order to have your felony record expunged: you were found not guilty of the crime you were charged with, or the case was dismissed.
If you have been convicted of a crime that did not result in personal injury, you can also seek a pardon from the Governor. Because felony charges are the more serious charges, you are unlikely to have your records expunged. To find out if you qualify, you must file an application with the court.