Pleading to a Misdemeanor
The police only charged me with a misdemeanor. It's not very serious, should I just plead guilty?
Many people underestimate the seriousness of their case when they hear that a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony. Felonies are generally considered a much more serious offense, but that doesn't mean that a misdemeanor offense is not also serious in its own way. In Utah, there are three levels of misdemeanor offenses. Class A Misdemeanors are the most serious, and they carry a maximum sentence of one full year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Class B Misdemeanors are next, and they carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Class C Misdemeanors are the least serious, but even those carry a maximum sentence of three months in jail and a $750 fine. With possible jail and fines like these, it would be very foolish to pretend that misdemeanor charges are not serious.
Aside from jail time and expensive fines, misdemeanor convictions also carry other lasting consequences. For example, misdemeanor convictions will become part of your criminal record. In today's world, criminal background checks have become a routine procedure for most employers and landlords. Having a misdemeanor on your record, even for something that might seem small, will most likely mean that you don't get hired or don't get the apartment because it will always go to the next applicant who has nothing on their criminal record. A misdemeanor conviction for can follow you around for the rest of your life.
There are still further consequences that could also follow a misdemeanor conviction. A conviction for any Class A Misdemeanor will require you to submit a DNA sample to law enforcement and pay for the process. Misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence will make it illegal for you to possess a firearm or go hunting. A misdemeanor drug conviction can result in a 6 month suspension of your driver’s license if the case also involved a car. These are just a few of the additional consequences that might accompany a misdemeanor conviction in Utah.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate your misdemeanor case, and potentially help you to minimize the costs and damages that come with a misdemeanor conviction. Andrew McAdams and his team have wide experience handling all kinds of misdemeanor and felony charges and can help you obtain the best possible outcomes in your case. Please call today or click here to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney.