Although Misdemeanor offenses are less severe than felonies, they are still crimes that create a permanent criminal record. They also can result in harsh penalties, including incarceration, fines, probation, and more. Some crimes are more severe than others, but any criminal conviction is likely to show up on background checks completed by employers. When given a choice between you and another person with a clear record, an employer is likely to choose the other person.
Due to the potential consequences of any criminal conviction, contacting a Ft. Lauderdale Misdemeanor Lawyer may be in your best interests. One of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert may be able to help you avoid these and other repercussions of a criminal conviction.
First-Degree Misdemeanors Under State Law
State law provides for two different classes of Misdemeanors: first-degree and second-degree Misdemeanors. First-degree Misdemeanors are more serious offenses with the potential for more severe punishments. Common examples of first-degree Misdemeanor crimes include a first-time DUI, disorderly conduct, minor marijuana possession, reckless driving, and shoplifting goods valued at less than $750.
The penalties for a first-degree Misdemeanor conviction can include up to one year in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. In many cases, individuals facing a first criminal offense will receive a term of probation rather than being required to serve any jail time. However, some people do receive a jail sentence even for a first-time offense.
Second-Degree Misdemeanor Offenses
Crimes classified as second-degree Misdemeanor offenses generally are less severe than first-degree Misdemeanors. These offenses typically do not result in any physical harm or significant financial damages. Second-degree Misdemeanor offenses include first-time petit theft, driving without a valid license, disorderly conduct, and simple assault.
A second-degree Misdemeanor conviction can result in a jail sentence of 60 days and a $500 fine. Again, a first-time offense may not result in any jail time, but only in a sentence of probation. As a Misdemeanor Attorney may advise, probation allows individuals to remain in the Ft. Lauderdale community while under supervision and subject to specific terms and conditions, such as obeying a curfew and not leaving the state.
Collateral Consequences of Misdemeanor Convictions
Pleading guilty to or being found guilty following a trial of a Misdemeanor offense results in a permanent criminal record. Prospective employers generally will be able to access this record when performing routine background checks. Even an arrest while employed may result in termination from specific jobs.
A criminal conviction also may interfere with the ability to obtain some professional licenses. Many occupations require licensing, and without the necessary license, individuals may be unable to pursue those careers. If already working in those occupations, a conviction could disqualify them from further employment in that field.
Repercussions of Specific Misdemeanor Convictions
Some Misdemeanor convictions, including DWI, may result in the suspension of driver’s licenses. If a job requires a valid license or a clean driving record, individuals may be unable to keep or pursue those jobs due to their criminal records. A Misdemeanor Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale may help prevent these ramifications of a criminal conviction.
Furthermore, federal law bars individuals with Misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from possessing or owning firearms. Although all individuals with Felony records are subject to this restriction, those with only Misdemeanor convictions also can face this ban. Criminal Misdemeanor convictions may be less severe than those for felonies, but they still can have significant effects on various aspects of life, both personally and professionally.
Call a Ft. Lauderdale Misdemeanor Attorney for Advice
Misdemeanor offenses are crimes that leave you with a permanent criminal record that is highly damaging to your future. The best means of defending yourself against Misdemeanor criminal charges may be to utilize the services of a Ft. Lauderdale Misdemeanor Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert. By getting the legal advice that you need in this situation, you may be able to work out a better resolution to your case.
Focusing on a successful future often involves keeping your criminal record as clean as possible. Legal counsel may be able to help you build a stronger defense strategy designed to achieve your goals for your case.