Maryland Felony

Being convicted of a felony in Maryland will result in a minimum of at least one year in jail, but the actual amount of time sentenced depends entirely on the crime and the circumstances surrounding that crime. Maryland felonies are not classified with letter determinations as they might be in other states. Instead, the Maryland legislature has set forth some concise definitions and sentencing guidelines for any person convicted of a felony in that state. Here are those terms of Maryland felonies.

Types of felony charges
There are three types of murder charges: First Degree, Second Degree and Felony Murder. First Degree Murder is charged when a person has planned and carried out the act of murder. The sentencing for this felony is life in prison or the death penalty. The death penalty has to be agreed upon by the jury serving in the case.

In Second Degree Murder cases the murder pertains to murder with malice aforethought or premeditated murder. The prison term for second degree murder is life in prison. Often a person will plea bargain to this lesser degree in order to avoid the death penalty. Finally for Felony Murder charges means you are you were responsible for the death of a person or persons as the result of committing a separate crime. These crimes can include: 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. The sentence for this felony crime is life in prison.

The final type of murder charge is Manslaughter. This is charged when a death is caused through neglect or a wrongful action but without intent. A convicted person can still receive up to 25 years in prison for this felony charge.

Attempted felonies
The list of Maryland Felony laws continue with Attempted First Degree Sex Offense and Attempted Second Degree Sex Offense. First Degree is when you commit an assault of a sexual nature without the consent of the victim. The penalty in this crime is life in prison. In Attempted Second Degree, depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime, a person can be convicted of second degree sexual assault and face up to 20 years in prison.

There is also First Degree Assault or Second Degree Assault that are considered felony crimes in Maryland. The sentence for First Degree Assault can be up to 22 years in prison while Second Degree Assault can land a person in jail for up to 10 years.

Expunging your felony
As with many matters before the court you have a chance to get your record expunged. In order to get your felony record expunged in Maryland you have to meet one or more of the following set of conditions: you were found not guilty of the crime you were charged with or the case was dismissed.

Another way to clear your record is to receive a pardon from the Governor if you have been convicted of a crime that didn't cause any personal injury. Because felony charges are the more severe charges, there is the likelihood that you will not have your records expunged. You must file an application with the court to determine if you qualify.

See also:
Maryland Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Maryland Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Maryland Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)