Although a misdemeanor charge is not as legally serious as a felony, it is nevertheless cause for concern and much anxiety. After all, being convicted of a misdemeanor can still result in an individual losing his or her liberty for a period of up to one year (twelve months) in a county jail. Punishment for a misdemeanor can also include fines not exceeding $1,000. Especially in today’s still recovering economy, when many people are still struggling, it is the rare person who can afford to lose their liberty, and thus lose their ability to pay bills, including keeping and maintaining a home, a car, etc. It is also increasingly the rare person who can afford to pay $1,000. Perhaps more importantly, however, a misdemeanor conviction can send a very real and negative signal to current and future employers and others of one’s history, even leading to denied employment or even educational opportunities. Therefore, while a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, it is still a serious charge, and if convicted, blemish on one’s personal history and criminal record.
In order to stand the best chance of achieving an optimal result when charged, having a passionate attorney who is not only knowledgeable about the law, but also about the local court system is not only advantageous- it is needed. An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected in a system designed to give the State the benefit of the doubt, often to the disadvantage of defendants. An attorney can not only advise a defendant regarding the possible legal outcomes of a criminal matter, but also the real life employment and educational consequences of a conviction as well. Therefore, there is no doubt that it is in a defendant’s best interests to hire an attorney qualified to handle misdemeanor cases.
The State of California has a number of types of misdemeanor crimes for which a person can be charged. The nature, including the severity of a crime can affect whether a misdemeanor is elevated to a charge of a felony. However, the following are examples of common misdemeanor charges: simple assault as well as simple battery, driving while under the influence, domestic violence, prostitution, and drug possession. It should also be noted that while much in life and the law stays the same, much also changes to varying degrees. Consequently, being represented by an attorney who stays current regarding passed legislation on hot topic social issues in California such as drug possession with respect to Marijuana, as well as changes to laws concerning driving under the influence. For example, for the latter, the common misconception has long been that drivers must be under the influence of illicit substances such as drugs or be drunk. However, this is not necessarily the case. A driver can be under the influence of cough medicine or a prescribed medication and not have allegedly taken the proper safety precautions, therefore leading to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. In such a case, the driver could have simply taken pain medication following a routine minor surgery but not be used to the effect of the medication, resulting in erratic driving – the probable cause for the stop – and a charge of drunken driving.
When your liberty is at stake contact us to allay your fears and begin advocating for you.