Unless you have been arrested, you probably do not realize that being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony could carry severe penalties. Of course, a felony is much worse, but some misdemeanors can result in a lengthy jail sentence as well as fines.
What are the Differences?
Typically a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony. For example, traffic offenses, such as driving on a suspended license, are a misdemeanor. However, when you are charged with several misdemeanors, you could end up spending several years in jail. If you are found guilty and are sentenced to jail time for each charge, they can often run consecutively. This means as soon as one is served, the next one begins.
If you receive jail time for several charges, and they run concurrently, then you will serve both at the same time. For example, if you are sentenced to one year on two charges, after a year, you have served your time. The law can be confusing, and a good defense may be able to get you less time or even dropped charges. This is why firms such as Icard Law Firm offer a criminal defense attorney in Charlotte NC.
Arrests Can Result in Other Consequences
When you are arrested, it becomes a matter of public record. Therefore, if you apply for a job or want to rent an apartment or home, you may not get the position or the home. Many businesses use a variety of online sites for background checks. Your information will show what you were arrested for and when. Although an arrest does not mean you were guilty, it can have consequences. A few states do have restrictions on this information, particularly if the person was acquitted of the charges, not all do so.
An arrest can be a traumatic experience. Not only can it result in spending time in jail, but you may have to pay hefty fines and restitution, depending on the circumstances. It is imperative that you know what options are available to assist you if you are arrested.