Since misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, many people assume they can handle their own case without hiring a lawyer. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system can be complex, and a conviction can still result in harsh criminal penalties.
Here are several reasons why you must still hire a lawyer when facing a misdemeanor offense in New York:
- You may serve time behind bars – There are two types of misdemeanors in New York: Class A misdemeanors and Class B misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by maximum jail term of 364 days and a fine not exceeding $1,000, while Class B misdemeanors carry up a jail sentence of up to three months and a maximum fine of $500. As you can see, getting convicted of a misdemeanor can lead to jail time.
- A conviction will result in criminal record – Whether you plead guilty or the jury finds you guilty, you will end up with a permanent criminal. Having a misdemeanor conviction appear in all types of background checks can make finding work, getting housing, applying for college, or living a normal life extremely hard.
- You don’t have the court experience to handle the case on your own – The average person is not qualified to represent themselves throughout their case. The legal process can be full of pitfalls, which makes you vulnerable to serving the maximum penalties. Although you have the right to a public defender, these hardworking individuals have a massive caseload to work with and may not give your case the same attention and dedication as a private attorney.
If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor charges in New York, our legal team at Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC has the experience and knowledgeable to help you obtain the most favorable result in your case. From DUI and drug offenses to theft and other misdemeanors, we understand what it takes to either get your entire case dismissed or your charges/penalties lowered.
Contact us today at (516) 218-5131 to schedule a free case review and learn more information about our legal services.