3 Reasons You Still Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Criminal Defense

There are two main types of crimes in Pennsylvania: misdemeanors and felonies. Although a misdemeanor is less serious compared to a felony, that does not mean you should not hire a criminal defense attorney to handle your case.

The following are three reasons why you still need to seek legal representation when facing a misdemeanor offense:

  • A conviction can lead to a jail sentence – If convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, you could serve a maximum county jail or a state prison sentence of five years. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years of jail time, while a third-degree misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence. There are also mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses, such as DUI and drug crimes.

  • A conviction can result in a criminal record – Getting convicted can also result in a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can have a negative impact on your personal and professional life. You may have trouble getting a job, applying to college/university, finding housing, or living a normal life with a criminal conviction following you around.

  • You are innocent until proven guilty – Just because you have been arrested, does not mean you will automatically be convicted of the alleged crime. Unfortunately, too many people facing criminal charges plead guilty at their first court hearing (arraignment). Doing so moves the case to the sentencing phase, which means you may serve the maximum penalties. If you plead not guilty, your lawyer will have an opportunity to investigate the case, collect evidence, negotiate with the prosecution, and help you avoid serious criminal penalties.

At the Law Offices of William D. Thompson, our Scranton criminal defense attorney has more than 15 years of experience handling a wide range of misdemeanor cases throughout Pennsylvania. We provide personalized and responsive legal representation and have helped our clients obtain the most favorable outcome in their cases.

If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a misdemeanor in Scranton or within the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of William D. Thompson today at 570-846-2819 for a free consultation. Available 24/7!