Do I Really Need a Criminal Attorney

Do I Really Need a Criminal Attorney?

It’s always a good idea to seek representation from a criminal lawyer if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. Even if the crime appears to be a minor misdemeanor such petty theft, trespassing or disorderly conduct, there are penalties associated with conviction for those crimes that could have consequences far beyond what you may imagine. If you’re brought up on criminal charges in Virginia, a Fairfax criminal lawyer may be able to help you safeguard your rights.

What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do?

A good criminal attorney will work hard to help you achieve the best possible resolution given the circumstances of your case. In some instances, this may mean working to prove your innocence while in others, your lawyer’s efforts may result in a significant reduction of penalties. A criminal attorney understands the way the court operates, so he or she is in the best position to get your original charges changed to a lesser charge or to get you a shorter sentence if the penalty you’re facing includes jail time.

What Are the Various Types of Criminal Acts?

Criminal acts are classified under one of two categories. A misdemeanor is a minor wrongdoing for which the penalty may include one year or less of jail time. Examples of common misdemeanors include petty theft, vandalism and simple assault. A felony is a more serious crime that’s often punished with an imprisonment of one year or longer.

If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, however, it’s likely that you’re looking at consequences that involve more than direct penalties. Many misdemeanor convictions carry automatic suspension of licenses and permits such as driver’s licenses, hunting licenses and even some types of professional licenses. Your conviction will become part of a database that’s easily accessible online to any member of the public who decides to search it. That means this information will be readily available to any prospective employer. Working with a competent Fairfax criminal lawyer may be able to help you lessen the impact of these consequences considerably.