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In Maryland, if you are accused of a federal crime, you need to understand that the weight of punishments is typically heavier than if you were tried in a state court for a misdemeanor or state-recognized felony. Generally speaking, if you face federal sentencing, your case will call for longer sentences in jail or prison and potentially higher fines.

As a person who wants to avoid any unnecessary penalties, knowing that simply being tried at a different level could result in more serious punishments is frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways you can help yourself and hopefully reduce the sentence you might receive.

More on Criminal Defense in Maryland

There are a few things that will affect how your penalties and sentencing will be completed. For instance, if you cooperate well with the officials working on your case, that could work in your favor and provide you a reason to ask for a lighter sentence. The reason you’re being charged at the federal level will also play into your sentence. If you played a smaller part in a fraud case, for instance, you might receive a lighter sentence than others involved. Of course, if you can prove you weren’t involved in the criminal activities, that could result in your case being dropped completely.

Before you go to court, you need to understand how to defend yourself against these federal sentences. There are guidelines in place that can make it seem like those are the only options for the judge to choose, but because of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision, judges can deviate from those guidelines and change your sentence to one that isn’t as harsh. Our site has more on this interesting topic, so you can understand how to work through a federal case.