Retaining a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor Charge
Anyone can make a mistake. Unfortunately, it can carry some pretty big consequences. From speeding to drinking too much – a momentary lapse can result in a ticket. Even when it is a simple misdemeanor charge, it is scary to face legal proceedings. That’s why it is important to have someone in your corner who knows what they’re doing.
A misdemeanor is typically seen as a minor crime. While less severe than felonies, misdemeanor charges can mean embarrassment, a criminal record and, in some cases, jail time. Even if you know what the penalties are for a misdemeanor, you don’t know what you personally can expect from your case. A good law firm can offer you information, explanations, and reliable, respectable representation. That will make a big difference in putting you at ease about your situation.
What to Expect
While a misdemeanor charge generally covers more minor infractions, it is important to remember that it is still seen as a criminal offense and could mean jail time of up to one year. The severity of the punishment depends on the type of misdemeanor offense – courts set different “classes” or levels of misdemeanors and each carries its own penalty.
There is a wide range of categories for misdemeanor offenses. For instance, trespassing can be a misdemeanor. So can simple assault, petty theft, underage drinking and public intoxication. In some cases, even a speeding citation (for reckless driving) can be a misdemeanor.
Think about this: if you are convicted, a misdemeanor charge goes on your permanent record. That doesn’t just carry a penalty today; it could affect your future. You’ll have to explain it to any potential employer now and down the road, and even the smallest offense could hurt your chances of getting a job. This is definitely not the time to blindly choose a lawyer from the phone book.
How Does a Lawyer Help?
While television shows often depict lawyers squaring off in dramatic fashion, in real life, defense attorneys perform several roles on your behalf long before a trial is conducted. They assist with everything from pretrial issues to filing motions that could even potentially get your case dismissed.
Your attorney should provide you with valuable legal advice, ensuring you understand the charges against you. A good counsel will really listen to your side of the story, making sure they understand everything from your point of view. Should your case go to trial, legal counsel is also there to represent you in court, presenting your case to the judge and making sure that everyone understands what happened from your view point. Equally important, your attorney can go to bat for you, arguing for a less severe penalty. Whether that means reduced fines or even reduced jail time, you need – and deserve – to have someone standing beside you who has the necessary knowledge and experience.
The law office of Petrovich & Walsh, located in Fairfax, services all of Northern Virginia. Their lawyers have been in the business of criminal defense for more than 20 years, protecting the rights of others who dealt with the same charges you are currently facing. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, count on the commitment, knowledge and experience that Petrovich & Walsh can offer.