The penalty for misdemeanors can include up to one year in county jail in addition to legal fees, fines, and court costs.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you have been given a citation from a police officer that includes a summary of your alleged offense. The citation will have a time and date for an initial appearance at the county courthouse.
1. Remain calm
Do not resist arrest or attempt to argue with police. Resisting will make you appear guilty and could result in additional charges against you.
2. Exercise your right to remain silent
The Fifth Amendment gives us the right to refuse to incriminate yourself in a criminal case. The easiest way to avoid incriminating yourself is to remain silent. If you are in custody, refuse to answer any questions until a lawyer is present.
3. Request your Attorney
It is extremely important for you to hire a criminal defense attorney the moment you are accused of a crime. Your attorney will help you understand and exercise your rights to protect your freedom.
4. Know your charges
A felony carries severe penalties, including a prison or county sentence. It is vital that you understand the nature and accuracy of your charges.
5. Review of bail
Your attorney will review the facts of the case in preparation for a bond hearing or review in bond court.
6. Be honest with your Attorney
Your Attorney will need to know the most accurate information about your case in order to provide adequate defense.
7. Write down the details of your case
Prepare the most accurate information possible to support your case, this may include witness statements and contact information.
8. Attend court proceedings
Defendants must be present and are held responsible for all court hearing dates and times. Dress properly, make eye contact with the Judge, and be mannerable when addressed by the court. Failure to appear may result in a warrant for your arrest.