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Charged with a Misdemeanor? You Might Want a Lawyer

Charged with a Misdemeanor? You Might Want a Lawyer

Most people know that if they are charged with a felony, then they need a lawyer. However, it can be harder to determine if an attorney is necessary when faced with a misdemeanor. Often, people believe that misdemeanor offenses aren’t “serious” or think that the repercussions of a conviction are minimal.

In fact, being convicted of a misdemeanor can have real consequences that can follow you the rest of your life. Before you decide that it’s wise to skip hiring a criminal attorney for your misdemeanor case, consider these points.

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It’s Your Right

When facing any criminal charges, you have a right to an attorney based on the United States Constitution. Additionally, you can request a lawyer be present whenever you are being questioned by law enforcement in regards to being accused of a crime. In fact, if you want a lawyer present, and cannot afford one, the state will provide one to you to ensure your rights are protected.

Now, just because you can have a lawyer doesn’t always seem like enough of a reason to work with one. However, it is important to realize that you have other rights, and an attorney can help clarify your options in regards to exercising those rights while ensuring others don’t overstep.

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Misdemeanors Carry Consequences

Any conviction, misdemeanor or felony, has the potential to complicate your life. Depending on the nature of the crime, it can prevent you from obtaining work with certain employers, and may prevent you from pursuing certain careers entirely. It can also limit your access to housing, certain financial products and loans, and family rights.

For example, in a child custody case, a person convicted of a misdemeanor may have trouble obtaining primary custody if the other parent does not have a record. Additionally, misdemeanor convictions may make it difficult, if not impossible, to adopt in some cases.

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Hefty fines are also common with misdemeanor offenses, and some convictions do result in jail time. In fact, if you are unable to make bail, you may find yourself waiting in jail just for the opportunity to be heard, regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent.

The issues associated with a misdemeanor conviction don’t necessarily ease with time. Unless you are able to get the record expunged or sealed, you may face the consequences for the rest of your life. To give a point of comparison, those who file for bankruptcy can expect that information to fall off their credit report in seven to 10 years depending on the exact circumstances. While bankruptcy isn’t a crime, it is one of the few actions a person can take with such lasting consequences, and even they are no longer accessible on a credit report once enough time has passed.

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What to Do                                                            

Before you decide that you don’t need an attorney, consider the potential consequences associated with a conviction. Since you have a legal right to representation, you can often consult with a lawyer to determine exactly what the charges mean and how they can affect the rest of your life. And, since a lawyer will be provided if you can’t afford your own, you don’t have to worry about the financial obligations associated with simply exploring the possibility.

Once you have all of the information regarding how your life can change with a conviction, then you can determine how you want to proceed. It is important to understand that, even with a lawyer, the outcome is never guaranteed. However, you may feel more comfortable fighting against the conviction if you have a skilled attorney on your side. In the end, the decision is yours; just make sure you understand the potential consequences of the decision.

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

10 Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

10 Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

Problems and heartaches in life are inevitable. However, there are some things to remember when you’re right in the thick of it that can help you get through it. When everything seems to be going wrong, practice telling yourself these things.

1. This Too Shall Pass

Sometimes life’s rough patches feel like they’re going to last forever. Whether you’re dealing with work-related issues, family problems, or stressful situations, very few problems last for a lifetime. So remind yourself, that things won’t be this bad forever.

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2. Some Things are Going Right

When things are going wrong, it’s hard to recognize what is going right. It’s easy to screen out the good things and only focus on the bad things. Remind yourself that some things are going right. Purposely look for the positive, even if it is something very small.

3. I Have Some Control

One of the most most important things to remember is that you have some control of the situation. Even if you aren’t in complete control of the situation, one thing you can always control is your attitude and reaction. Focus on managing what is within your control.

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4. I Can Ask for Help

Asking for help can be hard sometimes. However, it’s one of the best ways to deal with tough situations. Tell people what you need specifically if they offer to help. Don’t be afraid to call on friends and family and ask them for help, whether you need financial assistance, emotional support, or practical help.

5. Much of This Won’t Matter in a Few Years

Most of the problems we worry about today won’t actually matter five years from now. Remind yourself that whatever is going wrong now is only a small percentage of your actual life. Even if you’re dealing with a major problem, like a loved one’s illness, remember that a lot of good things are likely to happen in the course of a year or two as well.

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6. I Can Handle This

A lack of confidence in handling tough times can add to stress. One of the best things to remember is that you can handle tough situations. Even though you might feel angry, hurt, disappointed, or sad, it won’t kill you. You can get through it.

7. Something Good Will Come Out of This

No matter how bad a situation is, it’s almost certain that something good will come out of it. At the very least, it’s likely that you will learn a life lesson. Perhaps you learn not to repeat the same mistake in the future or maybe you move on from a bad situation and find something better. Look for the one good thing that can result when bad things happen.

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8. I Can Accept What’s Out of my Control

There are many things that aren’t within your control. You can’t change the past, another person’s behavior, or a loved one’s health issues. Don’t waste time trying to force others to change or trying to make things be different if it isn’t within your control. Investing time and energy into trying to things you can’t will cause you to feel helpless and exhausted. Acceptance is one of the best way to establish resilience.

9. I Have Overcome Past Difficulties

One of the things to remember when you’re facing difficulties, is that you’ve handled problems in the past. Don’t overlook past difficulties that you’ve dealt with successfully. Remind yourself of all the past problems you’ve overcome and you’ll gain confidence in dealing with the current issues.

10. I Need to Take Care of Myself

When everything seems to be going wrong, take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, get some exercise, eat healthy, and spend some time doing leisure activities. When you’re taking better care of yourself you’ll be better equipped to deal with your problems.

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Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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