This is the second post in our series on the handling of misdemeanor cases in Georgetown, Texas. Our last post served as an overview of topics we will be discussing in this group of articles. This discussion will look at a serious issue we see from those who have been charged with a misdemeanor – the failure to recognize the seriousness of the crime. If you have been charged with such an offense then it is imperative that you realize that you are facing criminal charges and that you should contact a lawyer immediately.
It is understandable why residents of Georgetown may not feel that misdemeanor charges are a serious matter. This mistake may come from the fact that misdemeanors do not result in prison time and are often charged in cases, such as simple drug possession, which seem much more mild than cases involving violent offense. These misunderstandings lead to many defendants thinking that their case is “no big deal” and that they will simply explain their situation to the Judge when they arrive at Court. These defendants are then surprised to see that the prosecutor is aggressively pursuing jail time and that the Judge is fully prepared to issue a jail sentence. This surprise can be avoided by consulting with a criminal defense lawyer before your hearing.
A Texas misdemeanor charge will carry serious consequences. A “Class A” conviction, for example, can be punished by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. The person convicted will also have a criminal record. This can result in the loss of current employment, being unable to gain a future job, being unable to own a firearm if one was convicted of domestic violence, and the imposition of stiffer penalties for any future offenses. In other words, being charged with a misdemeanor is very much a “big deal” and one facing such charges should immediately consult with an attorney.