A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is considered less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction. The keyword here, however, is serious. If you look up the definition of misdemeanor, words like “not very serious” and “minor wrongdoing” are thrown around. This mindset can be detrimental to your personal record.
While it is true that misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies, they still need to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions regarding misdemeanor charges that put individuals at risk. Read on to learn the most common misconceptions and how you can keep yourself out of trouble.
1. Misdemeanors are minor offenses
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding misdemeanor charges is that they are minor offenses. While it is true that a misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony charge, this in no way, shape, or form means that misdemeanors are not a big deal. Ultimately, any charge against you, whether a misdemeanor or not, is not something to take lightly. A misdemeanor can follow you for the rest of your life no matter how minor you believe your actions were.
2. You can’t go to jail for a misdemeanor
A misdemeanor conviction can result in costly fines as well as jail time. In Florida, a second-degree misdemeanor can result in incarceration for up to 60 days, and a first-degree misdemeanor can result in incarceration for up to one year.
3. Misdemeanors don’t affect your personal record
Many falsely believe that misdemeanors won’t affect their personal records. However, any sort of criminal record has the potential to affect your personal record. No matter how insignificant you believe your actions were, if you are charged with a misdemeanor, it will be on your personal record unless the charges are dropped or expunged.
4. A misdemeanor won’t prevent you from getting a job
Any sort of criminal record has the potential to hinder your job search. If a potential employer sees you have a misdemeanor charge on your record, he or she will likely be more hesitant to hire you. Unfortunately, this can be a serious blow to your application — especially if there are others applicants with clean records.
Contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins for Misdemeanor Help
Misdemeanors can create major problems including time behind bars. In addition to your freedom being at stake, you could be placed on probation, you could lose your driver’s license, and you could have to attend court-ordered counseling. At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, we understand that people make mistakes. That’s why we are here to help you if you are facing legal issues. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.