Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer for Misdemeanor Charges?
It is JUST a misdemeanor. How serious can it be? Do I even really need a lawyer for misdemeanor charges? These might be the thoughts running through your mind if you have been charged with a misdemeanor. Because misdemeanors are usually thought of as minor offenses, people charged with misdemeanors often think they can go it alone in court because the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are minimal.
In our experience, there is no such thing as a small crime. Any criminal charge, even a misdemeanor, can have serious, long term consequences as it will go on your criminal record. While it may feel like a pain, especially financially, hiring a criminal defense attorney for your misdemeanor charge is usually worth it in the long run.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, consider these recommendations when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney since they know the criminal justice system.
What is a misdemeanor?
Nevada law defines a misdemeanor as a crime punishable by up to 6 months or less in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. Misdemeanors are not as severe as felonies or even gross misdemeanors, but the consequences of a misdemeanor can be more serious than a simple traffic ticket. Some misdemeanors have mandatory jail time imposed if a person is convicted, while other misdemeanors carry only a fine.
What types of crimes are commonly charged as misdemeanors?
Common types of crimes that are charged as misdemeanors include: assault, battery, domestic violence first and second offense, DUI first offense, petit Las Vegas theft, Las Vegas drug possession (depending on the type and amount of drug), prostitution, trespass, shoplifting and vandalism. Traffic tickets are also considered misdemeanors. Most of the misdemeanors mentioned above carry jail time of not more than 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Of course, traffic tickets do not require jail time. However, a conviction for a misdemeanor domestic violence could result in a loss of custody of your children, mandatory classes and your inability to carry a firearm. Because the range of penalties is so diverse, depending upon the type of charges, it is important to at least consult an attorney if you are charged with a misdemeanor.
Why should I hire a lawyer for misdemeanor charges? Can’t I just represent myself?
You can definitely represent yourself if you are charged with a misdemeanor but we don’t recommend it. Keep in mind that most misdemeanors require some minimal amount of jail time – this is true even if you aren’t convicted. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to fight your misdemeanor may keep you out of jail.
Hiring a lawyer to fight your misdemeanor may also keep the misdemeanor from being on your permanent record. A criminal conviction, no matter how small the offense, will usually come up in employment background checks. It could even keep you from volunteering at your child’s school or coaching your child’s extracurricular sports teams. Having a reputable attorney on your side can help you either reduce the charges or have your case thrown out entirely.
Finally, the legal system can be scary and even overwhelming for a layperson. Prosecutors won’t care about your excuses or why you were charged. The Prosecutor’s job is to get the conviction. Hiring an experienced attorney for your misdemeanor will help you navigate through the complexities of the court system and will allow you the opportunity to explain yourself the right way, at the right time to avoid a conviction.
Hiring an attorney is expensive and I can’t afford it!
Let’s be honest, if you are facing a misdemeanor charge the last thing you need to worry about is your lawyer’s bill and the number one reason criminal defendants do not hire an attorney is their mistaken belief that they cannot afford one. This is a myth.
Defending a misdemeanor charge does not involve as many hearings, as much evidence, or, quite simply, as much time as defending a felony charge. This means that hiring an attorney could cost you considerably less in a misdemeanor case than it would in a felony case.
Navigating the complexities of the Nevada criminal justice system? Our website offers a structured array of resources to guide you through various legal situations:
Understanding the Need for Representation: Determine if you require legal assistance with our article, Do You Need Legal Assistance for Misdemeanor Charges?
– The Arraignment Process: Navigate through The Nevada Arraignment – FAQ for answers to common questions about the initial court process.
Firearms and Theft
Consult our expert team of Sex Crime Defense Attorneys.
Review our detailed page on Nevada Traffic Tickets.
Solicitation & Prostitution
Read our guide titled, “Need Help with Solicitation Charges?“
Stay updated with “Understanding Nevada Shoplifting Laws.”
Our “Warrant Defense Attorneys” guide sheds light on how to address outstanding warrants.
Learn the process with our “Comprehensive Guide to Sealing Criminal Records in Nevada.”
Remember, our website is a treasure trove of legal insights. Should you need personalized legal counsel, please connect with us.
Why You Still Haven't Hired an Attorney to Defend You
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Don’t feel overwhelmed or confused by daunting legal terminology- with us on your side it will all make sense soon enough.
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Now is the time – don’t hesitate any longer – call the Rosenblum Allen Law Firm today at (702) 433-2889 !