Many people believe a misdemeanor isn’t such a big deal, which is why they often attempt to handle their case on their own, rather than hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for them. However, misdemeanor charges are still serious in nature and a conviction can lead to harsh penalties.
The following are reasons why you still need a lawyer when facing a misdemeanor charge:
- Protect your rights, reputation, and freedom – As soon as you hire an attorney, he/she can guide you through the complexities of the legal process and make sure you take the right steps to avoid incriminating yourself and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
- Avoid jail time – There are three types of misdemeanors in Michigan: misdemeanors with a maximum 93-day jail sentence, misdemeanors with a maximum one-year jail term, and high court misdemeanors that are punishable by up to two years in prison. This means a conviction can result in serving time behind bars. Your attorney will do his/her best to get your charges dismissed or reduced to avoid jail or prison time by either making a plea deal with the prosecutor or making you enter a diversion program.
- Avoid a criminal record – A misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record can also lead to significant consequences in the real world. You may find it difficult to get employed, find a place to live, or apply to college. A lawyer can help you get your case dismissed to avoid getting a conviction on your criminal record or get your criminal record expunged, so you can honestly say that you’ve never been arrested or charged with a crime.
Keep in mind, you have the right to legal counsel. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the state will provide one for you. However, public defenders have massive caseloads, they may not have enough time and resources to help you get the most favorable outcome in your case. By contrast, a private attorney can provide effective and personalized legal solutions, as well as spend as much time as possible working on your case.
If you are facing misdemeanor charges in Bay City, contact Gower Law PLC today at (989) 244-4333 to schedule a confidential consultation.