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Should I get a lawyer for a misdemeanor?

Any criminal charge can turn into a conviction that will affect your life in ways that you might not realize. When the crime you are charged with is a misdemeanor, you might start to think that you can handle things on your own. Before you make that decision, you should realize what is at stake in a misdemeanor case.

What are the possible penalties of a misdemeanor case?

In some misdemeanor cases, you face fines, probation, community service and incarceration if you are convicted. These can have a negative impact on your finances and your freedom. A misdmeanor conviction will show up on your criminal record, which means that it could stop you from getting certain jobs or places to live. That can be severely limiting, even in a big city like Baton Rouge.

Why would a lawyer help me?

A lawyer can often help to keep penalties to a minimum in misdemeanor cases. While that isn't a guarantee, it is certainly a trend that is worth thinking about. The prosecution might be willing to work out a deal with your lawyer that you couldn't get worked out on your own. A lawyer can also help to ensure that your rights are respected throughout the case. If your rights are being violated, the lawyer could put a stop to that and determine how to use that information in your defense.

Knowing how to build and present a misdemeanor defense can be difficult. These cases often don't have the same criminal processes as felonies. Understanding the system can help you to determine how to move forward with your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor?," Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed July 08, 2016

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