Everyone makes mistakes in life, including committing crimes when you’re young or desperate. It is inherently important not to compound your mistake by facing the consequences of your actions alone. If you’ve been arrested for a misdemeanor crime like shoplifting, being drunk in public, or prostitution, you need to seek help from a criminal lawyer in Suffolk, VA.
Consequences of Conviction
If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, you could face a fine and jail time, depending on the classification of the crime. In Virginia, the most serious misdemeanors are class 1 misdemeanors and you could face fines of up to $2,500, go to jail for up to 12 months, or in the worse scenario, both. Even a class 3 or 4 misdemeanor could result in fines of up to $500 if you are found guilty.
Even if you’ve committed a class 4 misdemeanor, you should at the very least consult with a criminal lawyer before paying the fine. Although you don’t have to admit to misdemeanors on most job applications, being found guilty of any crime can keep you from seeking employment with companies in which you need a security clearance, so it can limit your options substantially. In addition, if you want to become a police officer, join the military or go to work for the federal government, you could be disqualified for those jobs after a background check is done.
Hire an Attorney
Even though you may think it is less expensive to pay a fine than to hire a criminal lawyer to help you, if you have been arrested for a misdemeanor like drinking while driving, or driving under the influence, the charges can be serious if you were involved in an accident. An attorney may be able to help you get charges or fines reduced or dismissed depending on the circumstances under which you were arrested, so never face the consequences in court alone.