“It’s just a misdemeanor”.
As criminal defense lawyers we find this term to be maddening. All criminal charges need to be taken seriously, from Class C misdemeanors to federal felony crimes. Any criminal offense can result in long-term complications from having a criminal record and become a recurring stumbling block as you attempt to move on with the rest of your life.
We also understand that, while maddening, there is a perception that misdemeanors are minor crimes and felonies are the major leagues. This is not entirely untrue. The stakes are significantly higher for felony crimes due to a variety of factors that we will explore in this blog post.
The Penalties Are More Severe
The criminal penalties associated with felony crimes are more severe. While most misdemeanors carry three or four-figure fines and a relatively short jail sentence, felony crimes often come with long prison sentences and more substantial fines. Felony convictions typically come with probationary periods that can leave you walking a tightrope over additional charges as you attempt to rebuild your life outside of prison.
The Reputation Damage of a Felony Record
Any criminal offense can add an unwanted wrinkle to a criminal background check for a job application, but the perception of “just a misdemeanor” can result in misdemeanor offenses causing less damage. On the other hand, felony crimes stick out like a sore thumb. The label of “convicted felon” creates a weighty burden that remains long after you have served your time and pay your fines.
There’s no way around it: the stakes are high for felony crimes. It is essential to have a proven criminal defense attorney
looking out for your interests. Your future depends on it.