Any time a person is charged with a crime, there is the potential for serious consequences. However, many people will approach certain charges with the mindset that they only are misdemeanors. This is not the right approach as misdemeanor crimes can have a serious impact on the lives of those who are convicted of these offenses.
Although a misdemeanor conviction does not have the same penalties as a felony, a person who has been convicted may face:
- Jail time of up to 12 months;
- Up to 12 months in a state diversion center;
- Monetary fines;
- Restitution – this is payment to the victim of the crime and is separate from the legal fines that may be imposed; and
- Probation – having to regularly check in with a probation officer as part of a formal supervision order is a serious commitments.
Being convicted of a misdemeanor crime can lead to the following negative consequences:
- Lost employment opportunities – an employer who conducts a background check may decide not to hire a person with a misdemeanor conviction on the record;
- Failure to obtain certain loans – there are financial aid packages that are not available to people with any type of criminal convictions;
- Failure to qualify for some forms of public aid;
- Social stigma – criminal convictions can lead to a loss of social status;
- Inability to obtain professional licenses – there are certain licensing regulations that prohibit a person with a misdemeanor conviction from obtaining a license; and
- Other potential lost opportunities.
It is important to take any criminal charge very seriously. In Georgia, a misdemeanor may result in jail time and fines. Nobody wants to spend months in jail. Some of the more common misdemeanor crimes include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) – this may be charged based on alcohol or drug use;
- Public intoxication;
- Property crimes;
- Disorderly conduct;
- Drug charges – it is important to remember that the type of drug and the amount of drug in the person’s possession will dictate whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony;
- Assault – battery and assault each can be charged as a felony depending on the facts of the crime.
There are crimes that are charged with a high and aggravated misdemeanor, which include simple battery if the victim falls within a specified class. These crimes may result in larger fines and up to one year in jail. A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor in Georgia may also face additional problems if he has been convicted of other crimes in the past. Depending on the nature of the misdemeanor charge, an individual may be facing a third strike and the harsh penalties that this brings.
As with all crimes, there is a specified period of time in which the crime must be charged or the prosecutor loses the ability to go after the person accused of the criminal activity. The statutes of limitations for misdemeanor crimes are much shorter in duration than felony crimes, generally speaking. There are times when the prosecution will be precluded from charging the crime, so it is important to pay attention to these limitations.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Fights for its Clients
It may be easy to shrug off the severity of a misdemeanor charge, but this can have long-term negative consequences that shut down many opportunities. It is critical to sit down with an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney in order to avoid the adverse impact. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. understands how serious a misdemeanor conviction can be and will do everything possible to prevent this outcome. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.