There is no denying that a misdemeanor charge carries fewer consequences than a felony. Felony charges can seriously hamper your abilities to find a job, secure a safe place to live, or even apply for educational opportunities. So can misdemeanors. Misdemeanors carry their own serious consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. That’s why you need to hire an experienced criminal attorney for misdemeanor charges; they can help you fight the charges and attain a more favorable outcome for your case. It’s important that you know the potential consequences of a misdemeanor charge so you also know the importance of fighting it.
Having any sort of criminal charge, misdemeanor or felony, on your record can come back to haunt you later in life, no matter how much time has passed since you were charged with the crime.
Limiting your job prospects.
While in most states you are not required to disclose misdemeanor charges on a job application, most employers are going to run a background check on you before they offer you the job. If a misdemeanor charge shows up, they may think twice about hiring you, particularly if it’s a charge like shoplifting or another theft crime. It can paint you in an unfavorable light and make them thing you might not be a trustworthy candidate for the job.
Making it hard to find housing.
It’s not just your job prospects that are going to be affected, either. Many housing and apartment managers require you to disclose any criminal charges and could end up running a background check of their own. Charges on your record can greatly reduce your housing options, putting you in a part of town you might not like or forcing you to pay more rent to get into a place you actually want to live.
Difficulties continuing your education.
Your educational opportunities could be in jeopardy, as well. College admissions boards aren’t going to view any criminal activity in your record favorably, whether it’s a misdemeanor or not. It could also prevent you from applying for financial aid to attend a school that does accept you, meaning you will be paying those enormous tuition fees out of pocket.
Everyday rights harder to attain.
Even everyday things like voting and hunting licenses can be affected by misdemeanor charges depending on where you live and what kind of crime you were convicted of doing. It can be embarrassing to tell your friends you can’t participate in an activity with them because of a dumb mistake that you made years ago, but that’s what can happen to those with misdemeanor charges on their record.
How to Mitigate the Damage of a Misdemeanor Charge
The number one thing you can do to mitigate the damage that can be caused to your life by a misdemeanor charge is to hire a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help reduce the charges or get them dismissed altogether. If you already have the misdemeanor charges on your record, there may be options to expunge them and give you a clean slate. It’s important to hire an attorney as soon as possible; they earlier they can get to work on your case the more likely it is that they can help you get a favorable outcome.
Don’t assume that a misdemeanor charge is something you can shrug off. It can have lasting consequences. Get in touch with Cummings & Kennedy today. We offer free consultations on misdemeanor cases so you can learn more about how we can help you. Give us a call or contact us through our website for more information.