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Cobb County Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Attorney / Should You Fight a Misdemeanor Charge?

Should You Fight a Misdemeanor Charge?


-Are you facing a misdemeanor charge and don’t know if you should hire a criminal defense lawyer to defend you? Do you think a public defender would serve you just as well? Are you considering not fighting the charge at all?

Misdemeanors are typically considered a lesser charge than a felony and carry lighter penalties in most cases. Should you be found guilty, a misdemeanor could result in jail time but not commonly a prison sentence. With that simple view, a misdemeanor charge may not seem like a big deal, but any criminal defense lawyer can tell you there’s much more to it.

The idea that “lesser charges” like misdemeanors won’t have a severe impact on your life is patently false. Such convictions still result in a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. Moreover, not fighting a misdemeanor can be more expensive than hiring a defense attorney.

At Schwartz Law, we specialize in criminal defense, encompassing both felonies and misdemeanors. We understand it can be difficult to choose representation, and you may be unsure what your options are. Let’s take a look at these options and examine the value of having a criminal defense attorney on your side.

The Impact of A Criminal Record

Because felonies carry so much weight, there’s a misconception that misdemeanors don’t do much to blemish a person’s record. Of course, misdemeanors are reported on a criminal record and can remain there for a long time, but still, many people don’t recognize them as being a sincere threat to their future. You might be able to shrug away a “small” offense as no big deal, but the criminal justice system does not, nor do employers, lenders, and several other entities that have an impact on your financial future.

Future employers and lenders who perform a background check will see an immediate red flag in your criminal history. It will be harder for you to open bank accounts, obtain lines of credit, get loans (student or otherwise), find jobs, and get employment-related certifications, all because of the existence of your criminal record. Many of the options you once took for granted will suddenly become a struggle.

And that’s to say nothing of how a criminal record can affect your social life. You may find yourself isolated from acquaintances in your life. Even if you’re open about it, others may choose not to associate with you based on their preconceived notions of criminal offenses. Any way you look at it, a criminal record will change your future, regardless of whether the conviction is a felony or a misdemeanor.

Loss of Certain Freedoms

According to Georgia law, misdemeanors are punishable with up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. However, aggravated misdemeanors can be punished with a fine of up to $5,000. In either case, a judge could penalize you with community service at their discretion.

At first glance, that doesn’t seem like much, but in truth, these are only punishments that apply to misdemeanors in general. They do not reflect penalties for specific misdemeanor crimes, which usually reflect the nature of the crime. For example, driving offenses can lead to your license being suspended or revoked. Violent crimes can cause you to lose your right to own a firearm. Consult with your criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and the potential consequences associated with the charges.

Such punishments can hurt you just as much, if not more so, than having a criminal record itself. For example, losing your license can make it difficult (or impossible) for you to get to your job or result in a loss of employment if you’re a rideshare, taxi, limo, or truck driver.

Fighting May Get the Charges Reduced

It isn’t always possible to have the charges against you dropped. Sometimes there’s simply too much evidence to dismiss a case outright. Still, you shouldn’t throw in the towel just because you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Fighting a misdemeanor could result in getting the charges, along with any penalties, reduced. However, you must seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you want a fighting chance at swinging the odds in your favor. For example, if you get charged with a DUI, a DUI lawyer would have the most tools at their disposal to mount an effective defense.

Another note about choosing the right lawyer to represent you: avoid hiring a public defender. It’s not that they’re unskilled or inexperienced, but public defenders often have to take on many clients. Dividing their time between all of them means they spend less time with each one. They can only commit limited resources to each one. At our law firm, we’re able to balance our client load so that you’ll get the proper time and attention your case demands.

Schwartz Law Will Fight For Your Freedom

A criminal charge must be handled in a professional and determined manner. Anything less can threaten your freedom and future. Andrew Schwartz has an enviable record of success in challenging criminal defense cases. He is one of the best Cobb County criminal attorneys and will work to develop a strong and effective defense of your rights and freedom. Mr. Schwartz devotes his entire practice to criminal defense, including:

  • -DUI-Both Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs
  • -Drug Charges, including Possession, Possession with Intent, Trafficking
  • -Theft, burglary and shoplifting
  • -White Collar and Internet Crimes
  • -Probation Violations
  • -Traffic Offenses
  • -Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

You probably have many questions about the criminal law process and what happens next. In a free, no-obligation consultation, Mr. Schwartz can evaluate your situation and discuss your legal options. For a free initial consultation with a criminal lawyers in Cobb County GA, call 678-853-2500 or contact us online today.

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