Why You Shouldn't Take Misdemeanor Charges Lightly

If you have recently gotten in trouble with the law and were charged with a misdemeanor, you might not be too worried about the situation. After all, you might just be happy that you were not charged with a felony. However, even though it's true that misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, this does not mean that you should take the situation lightly. These are a few reasons why.

Consequences Can Still Be Serious

Don't assume that just because you are being charged with a misdemeanor that the consequences in court will not be serious. Depending on the situation, you could still be facing jail or prison time for your case. You could also be put on probation for a certain length of time, or you might have to pay a lot of money for fines, restitution and more.

Even though the consequences might not be as serious as they would be for a felony charge, they can still be substantial if you are found guilty. A criminal lawyer can talk to you a little more about what you might be facing if you are convicted of the charge and what you might be able to do to reduce the consequences.

Your Life Could Be Affected for Years to Come

Also, you don't just have to worry about the consequences that you might face in court for your charges; even if they are minor, you could have consequences years into the future. For example, even though some employers are only concerned about felonies, some require a spotless criminal record. Additionally, if a potential landlord runs a background check on you and finds that you have been in trouble before -- even for a misdemeanor -- he or she could be tempted to rent out the unit to someone else. Even though the long-term effects might not be as serious as they are for your average felony, they can still be serious nonetheless.

As you can see, even though you might be thankful that you are facing a misdemeanor rather than a felony charge, you shouldn't take the situation too lightly. Instead, you should consider working with a criminal defense attorney to see if there is anything that you can do about your case. If you contact a local lawyer, he or she should be willing to sit down with you for a consultation to talk a little more about your situation and what to expect when you go to court.