Misdemeanor cases are not as complicated as murder cases but it can damage your record forever. If you don’t want this to happen, you should get a good criminal defense lawyer at once.
It’s a good thing if you can afford to pay for legal services because you get to choose the best defense lawyer in your area. Otherwise, you will need to wait for the appointed public defender that will be assigned to your particular misdemeanor case. If you’re charted with a certain misdemeanor case, the citation given to you will contain the date of your court appearance, as well as the time. There are those who disregard the citation but if you’re a smart person, you should seek legal help at once so that you will know what to do.
You will only get an appointed defense lawyer once you’ve filled out a form but it will be your obligation to reimburse the cost of the legal services to the state.
Suppose you’ve hired a good defense lawyer in your area. You need to provide all the details of your misdemeanor case. Don’t leave out even the smallest detail. You see, a case detail may seem insignificant to you but it can be used by the defense lawyer in the development of the defense strategy. A very good example is when you’re accused of possessing illegal items. By talking to your defense lawyer, you may be required to plead ‘not guilty’ during the arraignment on the ground that the illegal items were planted and that you have no idea how it came to your possession.
If you simply plead guilty, your right to undergo trial is given up whereas if you plead ‘not guilty’ you will stand for a trial in court and with help of your defense lawyer, you may be acquitted and be a free man once more.
Police reports, evidences, and witnesses will be presented by the prosecution and that is already expected in every criminal case. Your lawyer can dispute all these things and if he is good enough, he might be able to achieve a reasonable doubt in your favor.
After the closing arguments of the prosecution and the defense, the jury will deliberate and give the verdict. Guilty verdict will mean that you will have to pay a certain amount of fine and you will be placed on probation, community service, or a couple of months or years in jail. The defense lawyer can still help you make an appeal after the verdict was given. If you’re innocent, then you can walk out of the court room without any more problems.
Things often get complicated if you’re guilty of the misdemeanor charge. Some lawyers will encourage you to plead guilty especially if there is an option of making a deal or settlement. Since misdemeanor charges are not very serious, settlements are usually made out of court.
Some individuals who don’t want to get a lawyer can also represent themselves in court since misdemeanor is not a grave case. However, the accused must have adequate knowledge about the law and the different procedures involved. This is not advised although it is allowed because it would still be a good choice to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is already experienced in dealing with such cases. It can even ensure your freedom.