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Beyond Jail: Other Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction

Posted on in Criminal Defense

misdemeanor, Lake County criminal defense attorneyWhen some people hear that a crime is a misdemeanor, they automatically assume the crime is not a big deal. While it is true that the punishment for a misdemeanor is usually much less serious than for a felony, a single misdemeanor can still disrupt your entire life.

What is Happens With Probation

The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is one year in jail. However, many people who are convicted of a misdemeanor will serve little, if any, jail time. Instead, most will be sentenced to a period of probation.

While probation is often preferable to jail time, it is not easy. Depending on the crime you are convicted of you will have a set of conditions that you must follow.

Common probation conditions include:

  • Paying fines
  • Not committing another crime
  • Submitting to random drug tests
  • Not going anywhere alcohol is served
  • No contact with the victim
  • Regular reports to a probation officer
  • Not leaving the state without permission

If you fail to obey the conditions of probation, you can be sent to jail, or you can have probation extended. It is possible to be on probation much longer than if you had just served a short jail sentence. You also have fewer rights while on probation.

Background Check Issues

Once you have been convicted of a crime, even a misdemeanor, it stays on your record forever, unless you qualify to have it removed. This means that anytime you have a background check done, your conviction will follow you. Depending on the offense, you can be fired from your job for a conviction. It can difficult to get a new job, find an apartment, get a professional license, or even volunteer at your child’s school once you have a criminal record.

Once you have a single conviction on your record, it can change the way law enforcement interacts with you in the future and make it more difficult if you get into criminal trouble again in the future.

Expungement and Sealing

For some misdemeanors, you may be able to eventually have them removed from your record. You will need to ask a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you qualify to have your records sealed or the conviction expunged. If you do qualify, you will be able to reestablish a “clean” record.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you need to speak with a skilled Lake County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Do not talk to anyone else about your case until you have met with a lawyer. Call 847-239-4703 to schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C.. today.



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