A misdemeanor is a less serious offense than a felony, so you may believe you don’t need a lawyer to represent you when facing this type of charge. However, being convicted of a misdemeanor can have a significantly negative impact on your life and future.
In addition to up to $2,500 in fines, a misdemeanor conviction can come with a sentence of up to a year in the county jail, as well as leave you with a permanent criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. Even a criminal record for a misdemeanor conviction can prevent you from getting a job, loan, or scholarship, and it can even impact your immigration status.
Why You Shouldn't Try to Represent Yourself—Even for a Minor Offense in Virginia
For many people facing misdemeanor charges, concern over the cost of legal services is the main reason they're hesitant to contact a lawyer. However, with so much at stake, going without legal representation would be a mistake, and the cost of an attorney is less severe than the potential consequences of not having one.
A lawyer hired to represent someone facing misdemeanor charges will do a number of important things on behalf of his client, including:
- Explain the charges, the possible sentence, your rights, and the criminal defense process
- Investigate the case, interview witnesses, request documents, and hire other investigators
- Develop a strategy to defend you
- Negotiate with the prosecutor to drop charges or reach a plea agreement (if that's in your best interest)
- Represent you at court hearings
- Negotiate sentencing alternatives to jail time if you're ultimately convicted
Don't Go It Alone When You're Facing Misdemeanor Charges
If you were charged with a misdemeanor in Virginia, Quest Law PLLC's skilled Midlothian criminal defense attorney can help you understand and fight for your rights. Contact our law office today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.