What is a misdemeanor criminal charge and how is it different?
Accused individuals facing misdemeanor criminal charges may wonder what types of criminal charges are considered misdemeanor charges and how they are different from other types of criminal charges. One commonality associated with most criminal charges is that the accused individual is facing possible jail time and other potential penalties and consequences. For that reason, it is helpful for accused individuals to be familiar with how misdemeanors fit into the criminal justice system and how they can defend themselves against any criminal charges they are facing.
The basics of misdemeanor charges
Misdemeanor criminal charges are typically considered less serious in nature than felony criminal charges. A misdemeanor criminal charge can typically be differentiated from a more serious felony charge on the basis of punishment. A misdemeanor criminal charge may generally be punishable by a year or less in jail, while a felony criminal charge may be punished by a year or greater in prison. This is not to suggest the facing misdemeanor criminal charges in not serious.
In addition to possible punishment, including incarceration and fines, having a misdemeanor charge on a criminal record can impact the accused individual personally, professionally and with regards to their education or housing. Accused individuals facing any type of misdemeanor criminal charge, including misdemeanor drug charges should take them seriously and respond accordingly.
Criminal defense options
Criminal defense options, and the protections of accused individuals in the criminal justice system, are available to them. Knowing how to defend themselves to avoid the potential penalties and consequences of misdemeanor charges is important for any accused individual facing the uncertainty and worry of criminal charges and what may lie ahead of them.