There’s Nothing Minor About a Misdemeanor

You’ve been charged with a misdemeanor that you didn’t even commit. Your friends suggest that it’s not worth hiring a lawyer to fight it. It’s only a misdemeanor, right? That’s a minor charge.

Actually, it isn’t. Not where your future is concerned.

Every year, people across the country plead guilty to misdemeanor crimes that they did not commit. Although miscarriages of justice, these incidents rarely make it into the headlines because they involve comparatively “minor” offenses such as loitering or disorderly conduct. Misdemeanor crimes are “minor” enough that judges, prosecutors, and even some defense lawyers urge defendants to simply plead guilty so they can avoid jail and get on with their lives.

If convicted of a misdemeanor in South Carolina, you might “get off” with a fine, but the repercussions are not minor at all. Any type of conviction can ruin your job prospects and hurt your eligibility for professional licenses, student loans, child custody, and even health care. A misdemeanor conviction could cause you to lose your job or be kicked out of your school. In some places across the country, a misdemeanor on your record can deny you access to public housing. If you are not a citizen, you could end up being deported.

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges… you need to take them seriously. And that starts with hiring an experienced defense lawyer. Here’s how hiring an attorney can help.

  • If you have a record already, you could be looking at jail time for something as insignificant as loitering. Hiring an attorney will give you a better chance of avoiding jail.
  • If you don’t have a record, you may be eligible for programs, which could help dismiss the charges. Your lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation.
  • An attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and sometimes have your case dropped altogether.
  • If attending court can cause you to miss work and other obligations, your attorney can appear on your behalf.

If you do opt to plead guilty because of irrefutable evidence against you, a criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you are treated fairly. They will help you negotiate to reduce potential charges and sentences.

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges, please do not take the matter lightly. Your future could be compromised by a guilty plea or a conviction. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, please contact us today to discuss your options.

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Written by Greg McCollum CLDT

Greg McCollum CLDT

At the Complete Legal Defense Team we represent, assist, and defend people who are accused of crimes. Being accused of a crime is a harrowing experience. You experience public shame and humiliation and do not know where to turn for help. We are experienced and knowledgeable and will take immediate steps to begin repairing your life. We evaluate how the allegation affects your reputation in the community, how it affects your time and your life, and how it will affect you financially. Believe it or not, many people who are arrested and charged with crimes are innocent.