Have you been charged with a misdemeanor crime? You may be tempted to plead guilty or accept a plea agreement because you just want to put the whole ordeal behind you. You may be thinking, “It’s only a misdemeanor, right?” Wrong.
Misdemeanor convictions are far more severe than you might think. And accepting a misdemeanor conviction could change the course of your life. You must present a compelling defense.
Common Types of Misdemeanors in Ohio
Misdemeanor crimes are divided into five separate categories. There are first-, second-, third-, and fourth-degree misdemeanors followed by minor misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanor charges are the most severe. They carry penalties of up to 180 days in jail. You could be ordered to pay fines as high as $1,000 as well.
In contrast, fourth-degree misdemeanors carry less harsh penalties. A fourth-degree misdemeanor is still severe. You could spend up to thirty days in jail. You could also be ordered to pay fines of up to $250.
Minor misdemeanor convictions do not carry any jail time; however, a conviction could still result in a fine as high as $150. Some common types of misdemeanors you could face in Ohio include:
- Reckless driving
- Disorderly conduct
- Criminal trespass
- Loitering for prostitution
- Obstructing official business
- Abuse of a corpse
- Manufacture or sale of drug materials
- Petty theft
- Carrying a gun without a permit
- Unauthorized use of a vehicle
These are only a few of the different kinds of misdemeanor charges you could face. If you have been arrested and charged with another misdemeanor, you are still entitled to a legal defense.
3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Accept a Misdemeanor Conviction
You might be ready to put this experience behind you; however, accepting a conviction might not be the best way to move forward with your life. Here are the top three reasons why you should never accept a misdemeanor conviction.
1. You Will Still Face Criminal Penalties
Misdemeanor convictions do not mean that you won’t face criminal penalties. Although these are not felony charges, you can still spend a significant amount of time in jail.
You may be ordered to pay fines you can’t afford as well. This could land you in further trouble with the court. Other criminal penalties you could face if you are convicted include:
- Community service
- Completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
- License suspension or revocation
- Citizenship and immigration issues
As you can see, misdemeanor charges are still worth fighting if you are facing them. These penalties will undoubtedly impact your life.
2. Your Opportunities in Life Will Be Limited
The criminal penalties you will face are harsh. Therefore, your entire life will be changed by your conviction. Criminal penalties aren’t the only effects of a conviction.
If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, you could also:
- Lose your job
- Have trouble finding a job
- Have trouble finding housing
- Experience relationship issues
- Ruin your professional reputation
- Ruin your reputation
- Have your professional license suspended or revoked
The stakes are high. And it may not be in your best interests to accept a misdemeanor without a fight. You must consider all your options before accepting your misdemeanor charges.
3. Your Conviction Will Remain on Your Criminal Record
Felony convictions are not the only crime that can show up on a background check. A misdemeanor conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life. You may have the chance to expunge your record later; however, you’ll have to pay additional fees and get a qualified attorney to represent you.
You may also have to wait a certain amount of time after your conviction before being eligible for expungement. Is accepting a misdemeanor conviction worth these severe penalties?
Get Help From a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati
Misdemeanor criminal charges are serious. Maybe more so than you might have previously thought. You should never simply accept a misdemeanor conviction. It could follow you for the rest of your life. You have the right to defend yourself – exercise that right.
Get help from an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation when you call our office at 513-338-1890. Or fill out our quick contact form to get started on your defense strategy as soon as today.