Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law can be frightening, no matter what the charge. A lot of people think that misdemeanors do not carry serious consequences and that by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge, they can avoid the hassle of fighting the charge in court. Unfortunately, this type of thinking could lead you down a dark path.
You don't want to mess around with a misdemeanor. Being aware of the consequences that could be associated with a misdemeanor charge will help you make informed decisions when it comes to hiring an attorney to help you mount a defense.
A misdemeanor conviction could cost you a lot of money.
Although the fines associated with misdemeanor charges are lower than those associated with felonies, you could still find yourself out a bunch of cash if you choose not to fight your misdemeanor charge in court.
Pleading guilty gives the judge the ability to punish you to the fullest extent of the law. You may be required to pay restitution for any damages associated with your crime and asked to pay the maximum fine outlined by law. These payments can be significant, affecting your financial health well into the future.
A misdemeanor could land you in jail.
You won't be sentenced to prison if convicted of a misdemeanor crime, but you could be given a lengthy jail sentence. For someone who has never been in trouble with the law, jail can be a frightening place to spend any amount of time.
Thinking that a judge will issue no more than a slap on the wrist for a misdemeanor crime to which you are pleading guilty could cause you to be in for a nasty surprise. Misdemeanor crimes can carry jail sentences up to two years in length. Don't risk the possibility of incarceration, hire a reputable attorney to help you fight your case in court.
A misdemeanor could cost you a job in the future.
Being convicted of any crime, even a misdemeanor, could cause you to fail a criminal background check. Many employers conduct these criminal background checks on prospective employees prior to extending an employment offer.
If you are competing for a job with other qualified candidates, having a misdemeanor on your permanent record could cost you the position. Working with a misdemeanor defense attorney to fight your misdemeanor charges will give the best chance at being found not guilty or having your case dismissed so that a misdemeanor doesn't impede your ability to find gainful employment in the future.