This is the first post in a series we will be writing on why it is important to consult a private attorney after being charged with an Arkansas misdemeanor. We are touching on this topic because many people who are arrested on misdemeanor charges do not have experience with the criminal justice system. These people are scared and confused in regards to how they should proceed. We also commonly see individuals who are not financially destitute enough to qualify for a public defender but who do not believe they can afford to hire a private attorney. The truth is that hiring an attorney can sometimes save a person money in the long run once fines and lost wages due to jail time are taken into account.
Over our next several posts we will be covering a number of topics. These topics will include:
- What happens once a person is arrested for a misdemeanor offense
- Why Juvenile offenders must hire an attorney if they do not qualify for a Court appointed attorney
- How hiring a lawyer in misdemeanor drug cases can protect your record and future
- Why it is a mistake not to consult an attorney prior to accepting a plea in a misdemeanor domestic violence case
There are three types of misdemeanor classifications in Arkansas. A “Class A” misdemeanor is punishable with up to a year in jail while the maximum sentence for a “Class C” misdemeanor can receive a sentence of 30 days in jail. It is not uncommon for a person who is charged with a misdemeanor to not view the charge as seriously as they should. Even a Class C charge will continue to show up on one’s criminal record and will have lasting consequences throughout the life of the accused. A conviction may make it more difficult to be accepted into college, to obtain a loan, or result in disqualification from certain types of employment. In some cases a person might be tempted to plead guilty to a charge they do not think they can fight and will do so without consulting an attorney. This is typically done out of a wish to save money. In most cases a criminal defense lawyer can win you a better outcome than what one can obtain on their own – saving money and preserving future opportunities in the long run.
If you are a Little Rock resident and have been arrested for a misdemeanor charge then it is important to at least speak to an attorney prior to your first court appearance. Contact our Little Rock lawyers today for more information. We service all of Arkansas.