Misdemeanor Charges Criminal Defense Attorney

It is both a traumatic and scary experience when you are being accused of committing a crime. Sometimes we make a poor judgement call and other times we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. While a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, it can still result in life-changing consequences and penalties if convicted. It is important to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney to help provide you a competent defense against your misdemeanor charge.

Understanding Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor is considered a minor crime or wrongdoing, which is punishable by up to $1,000 fine and 1 year in prison. This is less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors do not include extensive property damage or extreme violence.

Some misdemeanor charges may also carry other penalties, such as community service, probation, counseling, restitution, and/or suspension of driver’s license. Misdemeanor offenses will stay on the defendant’s criminal record unless they are able to successfully petition the court for the charge to be expunged or the case to be sealed.

How Can Misdemeanor Impact Your Life?

Although only a minor crime, a misdemeanor can have an impact on your life after a conviction.

Professional Licenses: Whether it is a teaching license, nursing license, medical license, real estate license, or another professional license, a conviction due to a misdemeanor can revoke or suspend that license. Even if you are applying for a license, your application could be denied.

Employment: Employers usually conduct a background check with most job application. Depending on the job you apply for, you may need a higher level security clearance, and subsequently, a more thorough background check. When finding out that you have been arrested and convicted, the employer may consider you a security or liability risk and steer clear of your application.

Housing: You may face hardship when planning to rent or lease a space. Most places refuse to lodge convicted felons, while others can deny the application of a person with just a misdemeanor in their history.

Loans: Having a criminal record of any extent can increase the possibility of your loan application being denied.

Stigma: An arrest by itself can be embarrassing. A conviction carries a deeper stigma against you when people find out.

Common Misdemeanors Charges

  • Assault: A threat of physical attack or bodily harm and the apparent and present ability to cause such harm.
  • Battery: Use of force against another; includes unwanted physical contact, sexual contact, or the use of a weapon to carry out the attack.
  • Theft: Stealing or taking something that is not yours without the intent to return the item.
  • Domestic Battery: The crime of touching or striking a family member, domestic partner, or member of your household against their will.
  • Criminal Property Damage: The knowingly and intentional damage to another’s personal property.
  • Driving on a Suspended License (DWLS): As the name suggests, this misdemeanor is the crime of continuing to drive when you have had you license suspended.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Can be committed if you engage in any behavior that constitutes a breach of the peace, like fighting or brawling.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Driving while intoxicated – either drug, chemical, or alcohol.
  • Loitering and Prowling: “Hanging out” in certain locations in a manner or at a time that would be unusual under normal circumstances.
  • Firearm Possession While Under The Influence: It is unlawful to be in possession of a gun while drinking alcohol or while intoxicated from any other substance.
  • Marijuana Possession: Possession of fewer than 20 grams of marijuana or cannabis meant for personal consumption
  • First Offense Prostitution: Legally defined as the receiving or giving of the body for sexual activity for hire. In other words, sexual engagement for the sake of money.

Choose Your Lawyer

Facing a misdemeanor charge without an attorney is unadvisable. It is highly recommended to engage the services of a private defense attorney rather than relying on an overworked court appointed public defender. McGinn Law serves all of Hillsborough County and surrounding counties for all types of misdemeanor charges. Hire a misdemeanor defense attorney to help secure your future.