Being charged with a misdemeanor crime in Colorado can be a frightening, stressful, and confusing experience, especially if it is your first offense. However, since felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, you may overlook hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer for your case.
But remember, a crime is a crime. The complexities of the criminal justice system can leave you vulnerable to legal pitfalls without having legal representation on your side.
The following are several reasons why it is worth the cost and time to hire an attorney for your misdemeanor case:
- You can still serve time behind bars – A conviction for a class 3 misdemeanor—which is the least serious misdemeanor in the state—carries a maximum jail sentence of six months—along with a fine of up to $750. A conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor—the most serious type of misdemeanor—is punishable by a jail term of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000. Without an attorney, you may be vulnerable to serving the maximum penalties if you are found guilty.
- You can obtain a criminal record – If you are convicted, you will have a permanent mark on your criminal record. If you attempt to get a job, apply for college, find housing, and take advantage of other opportunities, your criminal record may have a negative impact on your life. Your lawyer will attempt to prevent the crime from going on your record. If you happen to be convicted, an attorney can help you get your record expunged, so the crime won’t haunt you forever.
- You don’t understand the criminal justice system – To help you avoid the pitfalls and traps of the legal process, a lawyer can help you navigate the intricacies of the system and protect your rights from start to finish. He/she can assess your case, advise you on all of your legal options, and determine the best course of action.
- You don’t have to depend on a public defender – According to Colorado law, you have the right to court-appointed counsel to represent you if you can’t afford an attorney. Although this is a frugal way to obtain legal representation, public defenders have a massive caseload to deal with, which means they may not have the time nor resources to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. When you hire a private lawyer, he/she will dedicate an ample amount of time and effort to your case.
With more than 20 years of experience, our Denver criminal defense attorney at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C. has successfully represented countless clients and understands what it takes to get the best results possible. Do not risk facing your misdemeanor charge alone and get legal help that can make a positive impact in your case.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation for more information today.