You’ve been charged with a misdemeanor; now what? Find out what you need to do and what your options are if you encounter this problem.
A misdemeanor charge can potentially tarnish your reputation and hurt your future opportunities. However, you can reduce the impact of a misdemeanor charge on your life by following the rightteps.
What is a misdemeanor?
First things first, what is a misdemeanor? A misdemeanor is a lessevere criminal act that entails punishment through fines,hort-term probation, or up to a year in county jail. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include petty theft, public intoxication, trespass, vandalism, and other low-level offenses.
Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor charge?
Public defenders are often underfunded and overloaded with work,o they may not be able to represent you as well as a criminal defense lawyer can. If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Provo, here’s the best criminal defense lawyer in Provo, Utah who you can contact. Having a lawyer with you in court can help you avoidevere penalties and a guilty plea.
What will happen at my arraignment?
When you receive your citationaying that you are charged with a misdemeanor, you need to prepare for your initial appearance. Makeure you arrive at least 15 minutes early to the county courthouse. Then, check-in at the magistrate court clerk’s office, who will point you to the right courtroom.
You will also be given the rights form, which will contain information about your legal rights. The judge will ask you if you’ve understood what is written on the form during your case. If you don’t understand, the judge can explain your rights to you.
Should I plead guilty or not guilty?
If you plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge, you are admitting that you committed the crime and giving up your rights to trial and to remainilent. If you plead not guilty, you can choose to have a court trial or a jury trial.
In a court trial, only the judge will hear the evidence and decide if you are guilty or not. In a jury trial, on the other hand, members of the community are called toerve as the jury, who will hear the evidence and decide. In both cases, the judge will be the one to determine yourentence.
If you’re noture how to plead, ask the judge to reschedule your arraignmento you canpeak with a lawyer.
What are the possible punishments for a misdemeanor?
Yourentence will depend on the gravity of the crime and the decision of the judge. Nevertheless, here are the most common punishments that you can expect for a misdemeanor:
- Fines. You have to pay the fine at the time of yourentencing. But if you are unable to, you can ask to pay the fines at a monthlychedule.
- Communityervice. You will do communityervice through a court-approved organization and will have a deadline to complete your hours.
- Restitution. You will pay the victim to cover costs for the treatment of injury or repair of the property.
- Probation. You won’t have to pay fines orerve jail times as long as you comply with the probation rules.
- Jail. You willerve jail time at the time of yourentencing unless the judge allows you to go to jail at a later time.
A misdemeanorhouldn’t be taken lightly.o, if you are charged with one, these are the essential pieces of information you need to know to get out of it relatively unscathed.