A common misconception is that misdemeanors are minor and can be ignored. This is not true. Class A and B misdemeanor charges in New York have penalties such as jail time and heavy fines. These misdemeanors include offenses like assault, driving under the influence and drug possession. You need to take misdemeanor charges seriously by hiring an attorney from Joseph Potashnik and Associates. You should consider contacting a lawyer when facing misdemeanor charges for several reasons.
Search for Procedural Problems
Although misdemeanor charges are less serious than most felonies, police and prosecutors must still follow many of the same legal procedures to successfully convict you. Any mistakes or violations of the law along the way could invalidate the misdemeanor charges completely. A knowledgeable attorney can examine everything starting from initial contact with police to the filing of charges looking for procedural problems. Finding procedural mistakes could lead to dropped charges.
Fight to Reduce the Charges
One of the most important things a NYC lawyer can do is to fight to reduce the charges. The misdemeanor could be dropped to a class B or lower offense. An attorney might be able to convince the prosecutor to consolidate charges into a single lesser offense. There is even a chance that a lawyer could have the charges dropped outright if there is enough evidence present to convince the prosecutor that guilt will never be proven. Reduced charges could allow you to avoid serious penalties like jail time while also sparing you the stress of a long trial.
Defend Against Unfair Legal Action
An overzealous member of the NYC criminal justice system might attempt to take advantage of your lack of legal training by filing unfair or frivolous actions. Your charges could be compounded for no real reason. There might be requests for compensation from officers involved in the incident. The prosecutor might even attempt to intimidate you. A lawyer will defend you against unfair legal actions that might have otherwise harmed your life and defense.
Be Prepared To Go To Trial
There are times when going to trial is sometimes the best or only option you have in order to fight misdemeanors in New York. Going to trial is not simple or easy in NYC. If you have an attorney on your side from Joseph Potashnik and Associates, then you will be prepared to go to trial if necessary. You lawyer will gather evidence and build a case that can be presented before a judge and jury to argue against the misdemeanor charges. Hiring an attorney who is ready to litigate when things fall through will greatly improve your chances of escaping a conviction.
Bring In Experts and Other Resources
A lawyer has resources that you cannot normally access. If your misdemeanor charge is for something like driving under the influence, then there will be evidence that can be disputed. An attorney will be able to call in experts to show the glaring problems with the evidence or the processes used to collect and analyze the evidence. This could discredit the evidence being used to sustain the misdemeanor charge. An attorney has the resources to mount an effective defense no matter what the charges.
Minimize Your Sentence or Penalties
Hiring an attorney is important even if you believe a conviction is inevitable. This is because there is often flexibility when it comes to determining the penalties for misdemeanor offenses. A prosecutor who goes unchallenged might attempt to ask for maximum penalties. Your lawyer will try to negotiate to minimize your sentence or other penalties. This can include talking about mitigating factors. Your attorney could keep you out of jail, reduce fines significantly or substitute alternative treatments for standard sentences.
Protect Your Record
A final reason to contact a lawyer from Joseph Potashnik and Associates is to protect your record. A single misdemeanor conviction could stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. This can stop you from getting a job or professional license. An attorney will fight to prevent that from happening. This includes trying to prove your innocence or having the charges lowered until they are not a problem. Your lawyer might even be able to arrange a situation where the charges are removed if you stay out of trouble for a certain period of time. An attorney can make a real difference when it comes to your criminal record.