If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, you may wonder what that means for you and for your future. Misdemeanor charges are a category of criminal charges that are generally less serious than felony charges but should not be taken lightly because they can still result in serious penalties and consequences for the accused individual.
Misdemeanor charges may be considered less serious than felony charges but they are also more serious than infractions. While misdemeanors may be punished by a year or less in jail, a felony charge can be punished by a year or greater in prison. Infractions do not result in jail time. All criminal charges can carry the potential for fees and may result in a criminal record and criminal history that can significantly impact the accused individual.
A misdemeanor charge can have a derogatory impact on the accused individual's education and employment opportunities well into the future so it is essential to know how to respond to the criminal charges you are facing. Additionally, because states may vary in their treatment of misdemeanor crimes, it is important to be familiar with the laws in your state and is also helpful to know how the prosecutors where you are at handle those types of charging decisions generally.
Understanding the criminal justice process in your state and how to develop a criminal defense strategy that helps mitigate the charges and potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing is important for any type of criminal charge. Criminal charges can have a lasting impact on the life of the accused individual and even a misdemeanor charge should never be taken lightly.