Do I need a lawyer if I’ve been charged with a misdemeanor?

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 in Virginia 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.