In Maryland, crimes are either considered felonies or misdemeanors. Traditionally, felonies are considered more serious crimes. However, both felonies and misdemeanors can carry very long sentences.
Under Maryland law, a crime is a felony if either:
- The crime has historically been a felony under the common law (e.g., murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape, burglary, larceny, arson); OR
- The statute defining the crime says that the crime is a felony.
If a crime is not a felony, then it is a misdemeanor.
Read the case: Bowser v. State, 136 Md. 342 (Court of Appeals, 1920)