Even though a misdemeanor isn’t as serious as a felony, you would still be better off hiring a lawyer in Alabama. A conviction, even a misdemeanor, can have serious consequences that significantly impact your life.
You aren’t required to hire a criminal defense attorney in Alabama to defend you against misdemeanor charges, yet there are several reasons why you should seriously consider doing so.
Below we will discuss misdemeanors in Alabama and why it is in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to provide legal representation.
What is a Misdemeanor in Alabama?
Alabama misdemeanors are less serious crimes, like petty theft, vandalism, drug abuse or possession, DUIs, and other offenses.
The three classes of misdemeanors are the following:
- Class A involves offenses like harassment that inflict injury on another person, real theft, DUI, etc. which carries a punishment of up to 1 year in the municipal or county jail, a fine up to $2000, or both depending on the severity. The value of the theft may not exceed $250 in value.
- Class B involves criminal surveillance, such as viewing someone in privacy without their awareness or consent with photography or a recording device which carries a punishment of up to 6 months in a municipal or county jail, a fine up to $1000, or both.
- Class C involves offenses that inflict minor injuries on another person, drug abuse, petty theft, etc., which carries a punishment of up to 3 months in municipal or county jail, or both.
Those found guilty of a misdemeanor crime won’t lose their civil rights but can be denied certain privileges such as public employment, professional licenses, access to certain places, etc. Even so, there are consequences to being charged or found guilty of a misdemeanor, so it is crucial to hire an attorney.
Top 7 Reasons to Hire an Attorney For a Misdemeanor
You may think it is unnecessary to hire a criminal defense attorney in Alabama; however, we are here to tell you why that is a mistake you don’t want to make.
#1. Misdemeanors in Alabama Often Result in a Plea Deal
Most of the time, misdemeanor cases never end up before a jury or judge and are usually settled by creating a plea agreement deal. Typically, a prosecutor may offer a nominal penalty, such as community service or a small fine, in exchange for a guilty plea.
Most people facing misdemeanor charges will accept a plea deal even when they aren’t guilty to avoid going to court. Prosecutors count on this happening, and you will be the one to pay the price.
#2. A Misdemeanor in Alabama Stays on Your Record
Even though a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, you will still have a criminal record. Sometimes a criminal attorney may even encourage you to accept a plea agreement in exchange for it being sealed or expunged from your record. Plea deals that include this type of agreement usually require you to keep your record clean for a while without further incidents to expunge or seal your record. The period is typically a year or two, after which charges will no longer appear on a criminal background check.
However, the misdemeanor could stay on your record for life if a deal like this is not made. While there is no guarantee, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
#3. Misdemeanors Charges Can Escalate Quickly
Sometimes a misdemeanor charge starts as a minor offense and can quickly escalate, resulting in more serious charges. For example, a DUI can become a felony if the injured person dies because of the accident; it is another reason why it is always best to have an experienced criminal attorney fighting for your rights and freedom.
Even if you think the crime you were accused of is ridiculous or minor, having a strong advocate in your corner is best. An experienced criminal attorney will ensure your constitutional rights and freedoms are protected.
#4. An Experienced Criminal Attorney Knows The Law
Whether you have a record or not, your attorney will be able to outline the best options available for your situation. For those that do have a criminal record hiring a criminal attorney will be the best choice for you to help Improve your chances of a favorable outcome. An experienced criminal attorney knows the law and understands how the criminal justice system works and can keep you from making some big mistakes.
#5. Your Attorney Can Appear In Court On Your Behalf
If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in Alabama and cannot attend your court date, your attorney may be able to appear for you in court.
#6. You Are Planning on Pleading Guilty
If you want to plead guilty, consulting with an attorney is crucial as they can help you negotiate a plea deal and reduce charges and sentences.
#7. You Are Innocent
If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge in Alabama for a crime you did not commit, it is crucial to remember that all charges will stay until you can prove your innocence. To ensure you have the best legal representation possible, you must hire an attorney to help you communicate effectively and prove your innocence.
Get The Results You Deserve With Brackin Law Firm
At Brackin Law Firm, we have represented Baldwin County families for over 35 years in criminal defense cases, family law, divorce and child custody cases, estate planning, and more. We will fight for your rights and freedom to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today, and we will get to work for you!