Being accused of any crime is a frightening experience. Of course, some crimes are far more serious than others are, and they carry extremely harsh penalties. This can include federal offenses and serious felonies.
However, do not make the mistake of thinking that other offenses are insignificant. Even a conviction for a misdemeanor can take a significant toll on your future. Below, we examine the various ways a conviction for a misdemeanor offense, like marijuana possession or vandalism, can affect a person’s life.
- Fines: Oftentimes, misdemeanors will carry fines that get higher in conjunction with the degrees of the offense. These fines can be harder to pay than people realize, especially when you consider the next point.
- Criminal record: Having any criminal offense on your record, even a misdemeanor, can make it difficult to get certain jobs. You may be prohibited from working with specific people or in specific roles, and you could lose a professional license or scholarship.
- Jail time: Any length of time spent behind bars can be devastating. You can lose time with your family, your job and fall behind in school. Incarceration can also take a very real psychological toll on people.
- Criminal history: Once you have a record, you are a person with a criminal past. The next time something is damaged, money goes missing or someone is hurt in a fight, you can be among the first people that police and loved ones will suspect. Further, second and subsequent convictions, even for misdemeanors, can lead to harsher penalties.
If you are accused of a minor offense or misdemeanor, it can be a costly mistake to assume that you will just get a slap on the wrist. While the penalties you are facing are more lenient than the penalties for felonies, they are still criminal consequences that can damage your future.
With this in mind, we encourage anyone facing criminal charges to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance.