A misdemeanor might not seem as serious as other crimes, particularly felonies. However, you can get charged for one, and it goes onto your permanent record. Fortunately, there are misdemeanor lawyers in Greenville, SC who can help you fight any charges that you are facing.
When you get charged with any misdemeanor, you’re going to be given a citation that states what day and time you need to show up in court.
Do you need to consult an attorney? Not technically, but many people do it as quickly as they can anyway so that they have legal representation to guide them through the whole process. For that to happen for you, you need to hire a misdemeanor lawyer in Greenville, SC. If you’re not able to afford a lawyer of your own, you are likely to be granted a state-appointed lawyer to help you out, but just remember that they’re oftentimes not nearly as effective as private counsel due to their high caseloads.
In order to qualify for state-appointed counsel, you have to fill out a form. You might even be required to reimburse the government later for any public defender services that you are provided.
When you do get a lawyer, either way, be sure that you tell them what happened. It’s only then that they can start identifying a strategy which might help you out. For example, your lawyer might be able to make the argument that illegal items discovered under your assumed possession were planted there. If this is the case, then you can enter a not-guilty plea during your arraignment proceedings.
What’s the difference between please of guilty versus not guilty? If you go for a plea of guilty, then you are admitting to the crime and giving up your right to a trial. On the other hand, a plea of not guilty means you will stand trial before a jury of your peers. They are the ones that decide if you’re truly guilty of a crime or not.
In these circumstances, the prosecution is going to bring in evidence, police reports, and witnesses. Your lawyer gets the chance to dispute their findings, possibly achieving the level of reasonable doubt so that your odds of being found not guilty are higher.
The jury deliberates after closing arguments. If you are found not guilty, then you walk away free of any consequences. On the other hand, if you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, then you are going to get sentenced shortly thereafter, possibly facing a combination of jail time, paying a fine, probation, and doing community service. You can still potentially file an appeal in the event of a guilty verdict.
The whole objective of these proceedings is attaining a not-guilty verdict so you can avoid jail time. On the other hand, if you’re guilty and provided the option of making a deal, then maybe you should consider it.
There are some individuals who think that because misdemeanors aren’t as serious as felonies or other crimes, it’s okay to just represent themselves as a means of saving money. If you choose to do this, know that you’re doing so without the expertise, familiarity, and skill with both legal procedures and statutes that legal professionals do. It’s way too easy to make novice mistakes that prosecutors will capitalize on, as you won’t have anyone to provide you legal advice you can rely on.