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The Woods Law Firm

4 Reasons Why Misdemeanors Are Serious

Misdemeanors

If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, you need to take the situation very seriously. These charges aren’t something that you want to just plead guilty to and try to move on with your life because they can have a lasting impact in ways you have likely not thought of. An aggressive defense today can help protect you from problems for years to come. Read on to learn about some of the reasons that you need to take misdemeanor charges very seriously.

Serious Consequences

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you may assume that the penalties will be fairly minor, such as a small financial fine. The reality is, however, that the judges typically have a huge amount of leeway on penalties, and what they assign can vary drastically based on many factors. Depending on what the charges were, you could get anything from a small fine to having to pay thousands of dollars and spend countless hours performing community service. It is also possible that you could lose your driving privileges, or even go to jail (see below!). You don’t want to have such serious penalties left to the whims of a judge!

Visible on Background Checks

One of the biggest misconceptions about misdemeanor convictions is that they won’t show up on background checks. In reality, most misdemeanor charges will be visible on your police record for the rest of your life. In today’s world, background checks are run on people for many reasons including when they want to volunteer at their children’s school, coach a sporting team, and of course, when trying to get a job.

Direct Impact on Job Prospects

Most employers today will run a background check on potential job candidates to see what they find. While a misdemeanor charge may not appear serious to you, imagine looking at it from the point of view of an employer. If they have multiple qualified candidates, it is unlikely that they will hire someone with a conviction on their record when they don’t have to. Some employers will even terminate someone’s employment should they get convicted of any crime!

Potential Jail Time

As mentioned above, one of the penalties that a judge can assign for a misdemeanor conviction is jail time. The length of jail time will depend on what the charges were, other details on your record, and (unfortunately) how the judge feels about you personally. Jail time can range from nothing at all up to 6 months or more behind bars!

We will Help You Fight for Your Legal Rights

If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, you need to take the situation extremely seriously. Having an experienced defense attorney working on your behalf is critical for getting a not-guilty verdict, or even having the charges dropped entirely.