Misdemeanors are typically defined as crimes in which the punishment is less than one year in jail. These are frequently relatively minor crimes and encompass a wide variety of crimes ranging from public intoxication to some types of theft. A person who is arrested and charged with a misdemeanor may have to decide whether they want to simply plead guilty and accept their sentence or if they’ll want to speak with a criminal law attorney in Bessemer, AL to find out what their options are.
If a person chooses to plead guilty, the next step is their sentencing. This is where they find out what the punishment for their crime will be, ranging from community service and fines to jail time. The type and amount of punishments typically depend on the crime the person is accused of, and they can generally get an idea of what others have been sentenced to in order to find out what they’re likely to receive if they plead guilty. After their sentence is completed, they’ll have an arrest and conviction on their record and may have to put this on their job applications, making it more difficult to find a job.
If the person chooses to work with a lawyer, they may find out they have quite a few options available to them. The lawyer might have them plead guilty to a lesser charge that includes a ticket, but no conviction on their criminal record. The lawyer might agree that pleading guilty is the only option, but they might be able to have the conviction expunged at a later date. They may also be able to help them fight the case by having it be dismissed or having the person found not guilty in a trial.
Anyone who has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor is not required to speak with a criminal law attorney in Bessemer, AL about their case, but it’s usually a good idea. They might be able to escape harsher sentences and avoid jail time altogether. For more information, or to get help with your misdemeanor charges, contact Forstman & Cutchen, LLP today.