Being charged with any crime in Maryland needs to be taken extremely seriously. Even misdemeanors have serious consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life. The obvious consequence is being required to spend time in prison; however, there are long-term consequences that can affect your finances, your enjoyment of life, your rights, and your ability to work.

According to Bowie City records, the most common criminal charges for through April 2020 all involved theft of some kind:

  • Shoplifting
  • Stealing from vehicles
  • Theft of auto parts and/or accessories

Theft cases are generally misdemeanors if the value of the stolen items is less than $1,500, but a misdemeanor theft conviction can carry some heavy penalties:

  • Items worth at between $100 and $1500:
    • Up to six months in jail and/or up to $500 in fines for a first conviction.
    • Up to a year in jail and/or up to $500 in fines for a second or subsequent conviction
    • Restoration of the property or the value of the property
  • Items worth less than $100 are:
    • Imprisonment up to 90 days and/or a fine up to $500
    • Restoration of the property or the value of the property

If the value of the property is $1,500 or more, a conviction can result in 5-20 years of prison time, and/or $10,000 to $20,000 in fines.

The hidden consequences of criminal offenses

Whether you are found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony, a criminal background check will reveal the crime. If you have a criminal record, you may be denied employment, housing, and loan opportunities. In addition, a criminal record can:

  • Affect physical or legal custody of your children. The conviction
    • May cause you to lose custody if you already have custody
    • May be grounds to alter current visitation arrangements
    • May damage other marital rights
  • Lead to deportation proceedings for non-US citizens
  • Lead to the loss of your security clearance
  • Lead to the loss of a professional license
  • Damage your reputation

At Carey Law Office, an experienced Bowie and Crofton theft defense lawyer is here to help you if you are facing charges. We assert every factual and legal defense possible on your behalf. As a seasoned defense attorney, Joseph Carey understands when to negotiate with the prosecution and when to contest their every move. To meet with an attorney, call us at 301-464-2500 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment.