Law Information

How Bad is a Misdemeanor? The Consequences of a Misdemeanor Charge

By July 3, 2018 No Comments

how bad is a misdemeanorDid you know that misdemeanors make up over 80 percent of all criminal convictions in the United States? In fact, one million misdemeanor offenses are filed each year.

Many people falsely believe that misdemeanors are minor offenses with little consequence. However, there are thousands of state and federal consequences for a misdemeanor conviction.

How bad is a misdemeanor? The only way to clear a misdemeanor conviction is via pardon from the President of the United States. Read on to learn the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction.

How Bad Is a Misdemeanor? Here Are the Basics

It is true that misdemeanors are a lower crime offense than a felony. Some people who are convicted of a misdemeanor offense escape jail time.

In the state of Texas, there are different misdemeanor classifications. There are three misdemeanor types with the intention of classifying the severity of the crime.

Class A Misdemeanor

Class A misdemeanor offenses are the most severe crimes below a felony. Offenses such as a repeat DWI or unlawful weapons possession fall in this category. Those convicted of a Class A misdemeanor are looking at 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

Class B

Class B misdemeanors fall in the middle of the classification range. For example, crimes such as small value property theft and drug possession belong to this classification.

The maximum punishment for a Class B misdemeanor is reduced in half from Class A. This means the max jail time and fine are 180 days and $2,000 respectively.

Class C

This classification is the least severe of the 3 misdemeanor types. It includes low-level crimes such as attending a dog fight or property theft of less than $20. There is no jail time associated with a Class C misdemeanor and the maximum fine is $500.

Major Consequences of a Misdemeanor

The consequences identified above are merely what is on the books. There is a litany of consequences that have a major impact on your life.

These consequences occur outside the legal process. A misdemeanor offense may limit your access to car and home loans.

In addition, there are negative consequences associated with housing and family rights. This means you may have a difficult time qualifying for public housing. In divorce proceedings, a misdemeanor will factor into the judge’s decision over child custody.

Perhaps most important, having a misdemeanor on the books hinders your ability to secure a good-paying job. This is a consequence that has a life-altering impact.

There are also consequences related to student loans, food stamps, and accessing other government programs. Lastly, a misdemeanor may impact your ability to earn professional certifications and licenses.

Wrapping It Up

A misdemeanor offense on your record has long-lasting effects. It will hinder your ability to get a good job or buy a home.

Considering the impact that a misdemeanor has on your life, fighting is the only option. Are you still asking yourself the question, “How bad is a misdemeanor?” If so, please contact us to schedule an appointment.