The first step to preparing for a misdemeanor crime defense case is to hire a criminal attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal system, perform legal research, and provide the best representation in court. He can also advise you on your legal rights and let you know when those rights have been violated.
A misdemeanor offense requires a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney. This type of lawyer understands the legal process and has successfully represented others in similar situations. Scott Limmer, a former assistant district attorney in Nassau County, has over 20 years of experience defending clients charged with a variety of misdemeanor crimes.
Criminal defense attorneys can help you invoke your right to remain silent and protect your Fourth Amendment rights. Public defenders are often burdened with large caseloads and lack the experience to represent every case. Hiring a criminal defense attorney increases your chances of winning your case.
A misdemeanor crime can escalate to a felony crime if the accused repeats the offense. The punishment for a felony is much more severe. If convicted, you can face prison time, fines, and the loss of your civil rights.
Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony offenses, but the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction can have devastating consequences. A misdemeanor conviction may affect your ability to get a job, secure housing, apply for a loan, or volunteer for your community.
Even though misdemeanor offenses carry lighter sentences than felony crimes, they can still leave you in jail for years. Even if you aren’t facing a felony conviction, a misdemeanor conviction can ruin your professional, personal, and family life.
Misdemeanor crimes come in three classes: class A, class B, and unclassified. Class A misdemeanors are less serious than class B misdemeanors, and carry the potential of prison time of three months to one year. A misdemeanor offense can result in a fine as high as $500, which can double the amount the defendant earned through the crime. Unclassified misdemeanor crimes, on the other hand, do not carry a felony sentence, and can often result in a probation term up to one year.
The initial hearing is when formal charges are filed against you. Once the court informs you of the charges, the discovery phase begins. During this stage, your attorney will investigate the prosecution’s case. This usually involves depositions from both sides.
The next step is to process the criminal history document. The NYSID report is a document that is filed with the criminal court. It provides the public with information about the defendant’s criminal history. This document is also called a “rap sheet.”