Crimes generally fall into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. Infractions, including parking violations, are the most minor crimes and are generally result in a ticket or fine. These generally don't carry the possibility of a jail sentence, though they can become serious matters if the fine goes unpaid. More serious crimes fall under the categories of misdemeanors and felonies. It's important for Maryland residents who have been accused of crimes to understand the distinction between the two.
In Maryland and elsewhere, many people who have never been involved with the criminal justice system likely underestimate how complex and exhaustive it can be. Common misconceptions regarding what occurs following an arrest are often starkly opposed to what constitutes reality in criminal law.
When police talk with a person, it is important that the person understands their rights. Sometimes police approach people that they think look suspicious, or who just might be in a place with a high crime rate. When a person is arrested they should understand their rights and might be wise to speak with an experienced attorney before speaking with police.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a case that asks if authorities have the right to take DNA samples from people accused of serious crimes or whether it infringes defendants' Fourth Amendment rights.