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Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer, Even for Small Charges

12th October 2017 | Sand Law, PLLC

Many people who are charged with a small crime considerably underestimate the possible consequences of that charge. Even if you are not convicted of the crime and don’t have to face official penalties, the proceedings themselves can have a significantly adverse effect on your life and livelihood. This is why you need a dedicated criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They will offer sound advice to deal with your personal circumstance and fight on your behalf for the minimum possible consequences of your actions. They can also help you ensure that other duties like childcare get taken care of while you are held by the legal system. From the moment the police take you into custody, the things you value from your freedom to your job are at risk.

Arrest and Bail

Getting arrested is bad enough, often pulling you away from your plans and duties alike. Whether you are pulled in for public intoxication or charged with petty theft, you will be unable to manage your own affairs for at least a few hours after arrest. Then there’s bail and your freedom from incarceration between the arrest and your hearing. There is always at least a small chance that the court will have a reason to set bail higher than you can pay. A lawyer at your bail hearing may be able to help lower the amount you or your family will have to pay.

On the Record

Should you be charged with a misdemeanor, you may feel that this is not the end of the world. While that’s true, it will have a significant impact on your future even if it is a very small charge. If this happens, you will have been officially convicted of a crime and will have to reference this one small mistake on every background check for the rest of your life. The misdemeanor will be on your record and if you ever get into trouble again, this charge will be used against you to justify a higher bail and more harsh sentencing consequences.

Paying Fines

After going on your record, misdemeanor crimes are often paired with a fine. Most small crimes have maximum amounts based on the severity, extent, and monetary value of your crime if any. However, these maximum fines are often a thousand dollars or more and the judge can assign any number up to that point. Even if you are not given jail time, a small crime could cut significantly into your personal finances and could possibly put you into debt if your savings are not sufficient to cover the losses.

Serving Jail Time

Do you really want to spend time in jail? Misdemeanor consequences can range from a few hours to a whole year. It may be easy to joke about catching up on reading but jail can be a dangerous place, and your other responsibilities will go unattended. During this time, you won’t be able to show up for work, take care of your kids, spend time with loved ones, or even choose your own action. This can easily result in losing your job and sending your family into a dire financial situation as they try to cope without you and pay your court fees.

A Strong Criminal Defense

No matter how minor your charge may seem, it’s important never to underestimate the negative consequences even a night in jail can have on your life. You can lose your job, cause your family hardship, and have to spend time in jail. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you along every step of the way including lowering your bail, minimizing fines, and keeping you out of jail if possible. Your lawyer will be dedicated to your defense in order to help you get past this one small mistake and enjoy the rest of your life. If you are facing criminal charges in North Dakota, contact us today for a consultation on your personal circumstances.

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