Misconceptions About Misdemeanors

When it comes to misdemeanors, there is a wide-range of public perceptions, and many are riddled with misunderstandings. While a misdemeanor is, in fact, less serious than a felony crime, it remains a criminal offense, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. In general, there are three common misconceptions about misdemeanors.

They Are Only A Minor Offense

When someone reads that a misdemeanor is “only a minor offense,” there’s an assumption that it’s not a big deal, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. While a person may incur a fine and no jail time, there are other serious repercussions that may last a lifetime. It’s important to know—any conviction, a misdemeanor included, has the potential to affect a person’s job, their ability to get a loan or professional license, and can work against them in child custody disputes. It also may serve as a roadblock for someone trying to obtain public housing.

They Won’t Show Up On Background Checks

For those that believe that misdemeanors are not a big deal, it’s likely that they also believe they will not show up on background checks. Simply put, this is not true. Conviction of a misdemeanor means that a person has a criminal record, despite how insignificant the charges or details of their arrest may seem.

You Won’t Go To Jail With A Misdemeanor

Contrary to what some believe, jail time is possible when charged with a misdemeanor. For instance, misdemeanors are classified in each state, according to the criminal offense. If a misdemeanor is noted as a Class C offense, a person may spend up to a year in jail. For other offenses, noted as Class A, 3 years may be spent in jail. In other cases, multiple misdemeanors may result in longer jail time. While classification may vary from state to state, it’s important to understand the implications of being charged with a misdemeanor.

Effective Legal Representation Is Necessary

At Shepard, Plunkett, and Hamilton, LLP, we support clients by navigating the criminal justice system, ensuring that they are protected. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor and are seeking aggressive and effective representation, call Shepard, Plunkett, and Hamilton for an initial consultation. We look forward to helping you gain a final resolution for your case.

Posted on Behalf of Shepard, Plunkett, and Hamilton, LLP

 

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