Misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies, but this is small comfort if you are charged with one. If you are facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor offense, you may be facing monetary fines or even jail time.
A misdemeanor on your record can also pose a problem for you in the future if you pursue certain jobs or other opportunities.
If you or someone you care about are facing misdemeanor charges, treat them as seriously as any other crime. You need to contact a criminal defense attorney to assess your options and the best strategy to deal with the situation.
Here are three major items to consider in finding representation to help you with charges against you.
1. Non-Violent Misdemeanor Charges Can Severely Impact Your Career Prospects
One common misperception is that a misdemeanor, especially a non-violent one, will not affect your future as seriously as a felony charge.
it is true that felonies can result in significant jail time and fines, but a misdemeanor will also have long-lasting ramifications.
If you are thinking of following any of the career paths below, a misdemeanor on your record may prevent you from following those dreams. If you happen to already be in any of these professions, you may risk losing that career.
Numerous professions will not license people if they have committed any crime, no matter the level of its severity or nature.many corporate jobs will deny corporate indemnity to people who have these marks on their record.
Jobs impacted by misdemeanor charges include:
- Law enforcement, the practice of law or judgeships
- CEO/Board of Directors
- Financial Investments, Banking, CPA
- Optometrist and some medical specialties
- Architecture and engineering
It could also affect your ability to get FAFSA, grants or other financial aid.
2. Misdemeanors Do Not Just Disappear from Your Record
A misdemeanor does not disappear over time. from your record. However, some misdemeanors may be eligible for expungement like passing a bad check or possession of marijuana, provided that these are first offenses.
If you participate in a pre-trial intervention program or rehab on alcohol or substance-related charges, you may also be able to request that the record of your charges be expunged.
Some charges are not eligible for expungement, like driving under the influence and serious violent crimes.
3. Misdemeanor Penalties Can be Tough
A judge may have some discretion in determining your sentence, depending on your age, your likelihood of repeating the offense and danger to the community.
Many crimes have predetermined sentences, with maximum and minimum punishments set by law.
In addition to jail time, you may also be required to compensate others for damage to their property. You may be asked to pay fines, court costs and give restitution to people you may have harmed.
A Criminal Defense Attorney is Your Best Bet when Facing Misdemeanor Charges
If you are charged with a misdemeanor crime, you need an attorney who understands the criminal justice system and has a strong track record in mounting an effective defense for people like you.
Look for a lawyer who has defended people charged with the same crime for which you are charged, and who has achieved satisfactory results for his or her clients.
For more information on defending against misdemeanor criminal charges, contact us.