Reasons to Hire a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney for a Misdemeanor
If you or a loved one was arrested for a misdemeanor, you might assume there is no need to speak with or retain a Virginia criminal defense attorney. While misdemeanor charges are less severe than felony charges, you should always have a skilled defense attorney on your side. Even misdemeanors can be nerve racking and result in a criminal record, jail time, etc.
What is a Misdemeanor?
In Virginia, a misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail. There are different types of misdemeanors in Virginia as well. Class 1 misdemeanors carry the most severe penalties while Class 4 misdemeanors carry the least severe. While not as serious as a felony that will result in a prison sentence of one year or more, they are still criminal charges and show up on your criminal record. That can be serious enough to alter your life in a variety of negative ways.
Criminal misdemeanors are different than a traffic infraction like a speeding ticket. This is why you need to take a criminal misdemeanor seriously and consider retaining a good defense attorney.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Record
For someone facing their first criminal misdemeanor charge, there may be programs available that could help get a dismissal, rather than having a criminal record now. If you already have a criminal record, even a misdemeanor means you could be looking at more serious punishments. Hiring an attorney can help get the charges reduced and avoiding a lengthy jail sentence.
Your Attorney Can Handle Rescheduling Requests
If you miss your court date, you will be facing harsh penalties. If you have an attorney representing you, and something happens on the day you are supposed to appear, he or she can reschedule the court date and help you from being penalized even more.
If you are innocent and were falsely charged with a criminal misdemeanor, you don’t want to fight it alone. The chances of getting the charge dismissed are not going to be as high if you proceed on your own.
You Plan to Plead Guilty
You might think there is no need for an attorney if you plan to plead guilty, but having an attorney there can help ensure you are treated fairly. In addition, your attorney can help negotiate to hopefully get a lighter sentence. That could be the difference between serving time in jail and your freedom.
Finding the Right Virginia Criminal Lawyer
Finding the right criminal defense attorney to represent you is important. You want someone who is willing to treat your misdemeanor case as seriously as a case involving a felony. Choose someone who has previous experience of handling a variety of cases and obtaining favorable results for their clients. You need someone who has ample courtroom experience and is committed to preparing the best defense possible.
If you need a criminal attorney in Virginia, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982 to schedule a consultation today.