When clients find themselves in legal trouble, it can be tempting to assume you don’t need a lawyer for minor charges. Going to court without a lawyer can be risky, but it’s important to recognize that even misdemeanor charges can have serious consequences. While hiring an attorney is certainly not a requirement, it could prove disastrous for your future. There are civil state penalties that include loss of future benefits, voting, and even gun rights.
What is a Misdemeanor in Florida?
While a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony crime, it is still serious. If you’re charged and found guilty of a misdemeanor, the crime typically carries less than a year in jail. Because the consequences and penalties for misdemeanors aren’t as dire as years of prison time, many people feel they can arrive at court without legal representation and face their misdemeanor charges alone. While it’s true that a misdemeanor is less severe than a felony, it’s still a legal charge against you. You shouldn’t take it lightly. Suppose you don’t have the legal knowledge to navigate the process. In that case, a minor misdemeanor can become a much more substantial problem that includes time behind bars, a large fine, and a criminal record that could impact your future.
Common misdemeanors in Florida:
• Domestic Violence
• Simple Possession of Marijuana (20 grams or less)
• Petty Theft
Even if you think the crime is a minor offense that should end without serious penalties, you could find yourself dealing with impactful consequences. Without an attorney, you could end up with a criminal record. Many employers and landlords perform background checks, and you could lose employment opportunities and be forced to make difficult choices for your future. Whether you’re dealing with your misdemeanor charge or your third charge, every court case and judge is different. If you have a criminal record, you could be facing more severe penalties, which is why you need to consult with a Miami criminal defense attorney.
Reasons to Hire a Palm Beach Defense Attorney for a Misdemeanor
If you or someone you care about is struggling to decide whether to hire an attorney to defend against a misdemeanor charge, it’s important to consider the consequences a misdemeanor charge could have on the rest of your life. Is it worth the risk? Once you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel so you can verify you understand the charges against you and you’re prepared for court. One of the Mitchell & West LLC lawyers can sit down with you to develop a strategy for your case. Call today at (305) 783-3301 to schedule a consultation with our Miami criminal defense attorneys.