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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 January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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