Defendants charged with misdemeanor offenses often assume they don’t need a lawyer. It’s “just a misdemeanor,” after all. Unfortunately, they realize their mistake only when it is too late. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you need legal advice on the potential penalties you face and your options. Criminal defense lawyer Nathan Evershed can help you understand what you are facing and help you take the right steps to protect yourself.
It’s Never “Just a Misdemeanor”
Under Utah law, there are three classifications of misdemeanor offenses:
- Class C misdemeanor: If convicted, you could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750 or be ordered to perform community service.
- Class B misdemeanor: If convicted, you could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 or be ordered to perform community service.
- Class A misdemeanor: If convicted, you could face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
As you can see, the potential penalties of a misdemeanor offense can include at least 90 days in jail. And while many misdemeanors are resolved without jail time, the defendant may have to serve probation. In addition, you will now have a criminal conviction that will now be public record. Lastly, your conviction means that you will face even harsher penalties if you find yourself facing subsequent criminal charges.
Do not assume that you will avoid jail time in your case. Instead, get help from a criminal defense lawyer who can help you get a just result.
Common Misdemeanor Offenses
Some of the most common misdemeanor offenses that we handle include the following:
- Possession of marijuana
- Criminal mischief
- Public intoxication
- Driving without a valid license/ driving with a suspended license
- Probation violations
- Serious traffic violations
It is not always clear whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor charge. Whatever your offense, protect yourself by getting help from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
There are situations where what would have been a misdemeanor charge is charged as a felony due to the presence of aggravating factors. Prosecutors may charge you with a felony if they believe they can prove the presence of one or more of the following aggravating factors:
- Your offense resulted in substantial bodily injury
- You were in a position of trust or authority over the victim
- You allegedly chose your victim based on a personal attribute
- The victim was unusually vulnerable
- You used a dangerous weapon in committing the offense
- You are a habitual offender
- The offense was committed in the presence of a child
- The offense was committed near a school
It is important to remember that the prosecution must prove that these factors were present. A criminal defense lawyer will know whether you can get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor or even dismissed, depending on the law and the evidence available.
Charged with a Misdemeanor? Contact Nathan Evershed
Don’t leave your case in the hands of the prosecution—get the help you need to put your misdemeanor charge behind you. Call or email Nathan today to schedule a free consultation.