When an individual gets arrested for a misdemeanor, one of the first questions that come to mind is, “Should I get a lawyer?” Not only are misdemeanors not as serious as felonies, but skilled representation can be quite expensive. However, there are several reasons why having a criminal defense attorney on your side can be extremely beneficial to your criminal case.
The following are common reasons why hiring a lawyer is worth the cost:
- You can go to jail – There are two main types of misdemeanors in New York: Class A misdemeanors and Class B misdemeanors. A conviction of the former is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year, while a conviction of the latter results in a maximum jail sentence of three months. If you wish to avoid serving jail time an attorney can help you either get your charges reduced to avoid jail time or your case dismissed altogether.
- You can have a permanent criminal record – A misdemeanor conviction can result in a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can ruin your professional and personal reputation and make it difficult to obtain employment and educational opportunities. An attorney can help you either avoid conviction entirely or help you get your criminal record expunged to ensure prospective employers and other interested parties from knowing you have been charged with a crime.
- You leave yourself vulnerable to the judge’s and prosecutor’s discretion – Without an attorney to fight for you and protect your rights, you have a higher chance of making mistakes that can put you into further legal trouble. If you decide to plead guilty to your charge at arraignment, you will most likely serve the highest level of punishment. Remember, you have the right to legal counsel, so make sure you use it.
As soon as you are arrested, it is wise to contact a lawyer immediately. He/she can thoroughly evaluate your case, provide helpful legal advice, and develop an effective defense strategy to get a favorable outcome in your case.
For more information, contact Foley Griffin, LLP and schedule a free consultation with our Nassau County criminal defense attorney today.