If you are unlucky, you might end up facing criminal charges. Surprisingly, this is more common than you think. People might get hit with misdemeanor charges that are still considered criminal. If you are facing any sort of charge, you need to fight it in court or you might suffer the consequences.
Here are some of the ways a criminal charge can change your life:
The Financial Costs
The effects start immediately. Facing a criminal trial can be very expensive. Hiring a lawyer and posting bail can cost you quite a bit of money, depending on the crime that you have been accused of. Bail is set by the court and if you are a flight risk, then you might not even get it. As for lawyers, a good criminal defense attorney usually have flat rates for misdemeanors and minor charges.
For more serious accusations, they can charge an hourly rate. For people who don’t have money, they might qualify for public defenders but they might not be as good as actual criminal defense attorneys in Salt Lake City or other major locations.
Besides the lawyers, you will also face the burden of court fees and the effect on your employment. For one, court cases are not free. Court officials need payment and your jail stay is going to cost you. This can cost you several hundred dollars. Besides that, you might end up losing your job or business. Court cases can last a long time and it will affect how much you can earn.
If your lawyer is good, then you will be able to fight off the charges. But depending on how well the prosecution does, you might end up facing punishment. Your lawyer might be able to bargain lighter punishments but all of them can be pretty bad. Depending on how bad your crime was, there are several levels of punishment.
Many people think that imprisonment is the usual penalty but there are other options out there, especially if the crime was not bad. For example, probation is a popular punishment for those who face drug and alcohol charges.
Other popular choices include restitution, where you are forced to pay off property damage. This is mostly for those who are involved in accidents or caused damage to property. Community service is another choice, giving those charged with low-level crimes a chance to make up for their crimes.
Even after suffering through your punishment, you still face the consequences of criminal charges. This is mainly through your criminal record. The court records your criminal charges and anyone doing a background check will immediately see them. This can be a red flag for employers. This makes it difficult for people to get a good job. Besides that, banks and landlords often do background checks, too. So you might end up getting denied loans and lodging.
Considering how your life will be affected, you should do your best to fight any criminal charge. Thankfully, it is easy to find a good defense lawyer these days. Additionally, if you do end up with a criminal record, you should try to expunge your record as soon as possible, so you don’t suffer from the negative consequences of your criminal record.