I often speak with Chicago defendants who do not realize the effects which a misdemeanor conviction can have on their life. Misdemeanors carry less time in custody and smaller fines but still have far-reaching consequences you may not have considered. There are several common charges I would like to address:
All of these crimes may not cost you much by way of jail time, but could potentially cost you a great deal in other troubles. Driving crimes can cost you your license and therefore your ability to get around, to go to work, school, church, and to attend to your children’s needs. Driving while you do not have the privilege to do so due to a crime is an additional crime and the consequences can escalate and cost you enormous fines and significant time in jail.
Domestic battery crimes frequently involve protective orders and always will preclude you from owning, carrying, or having access to any firearm for a minimum of ten years. Violating such an order is another crime with another fine and an additional possible jail sentence. Additionally, employers may look unfavorably on even simple crimes of violence, and the accompanying order of protection. You may also face the loss of your professional license for crimes involving your partner or children. It is important to consult an attorney if you have been arrested for any of these crimes so that they can explain to you all the parts of your life that may be affected by the arrest, charge and conviction.
Theft related cases can make it very difficult for you to gain employment in the future. Even small thefts can cause employers to set your application aside in favor of others. Additionally, it may impact your license, for example, if you are a nurse, a social worker, a pharmacist or other licensed professional. In order to protect your livelihood, seek counsel as soon as possible if you have been arrested, even for a misdemeanor charge. Many times people will appear in court on what they believe are “tickets” and will enter a guilty plea for a fine or other nominal punishment, without realizing the long-term consequences of the misdemeanor conviction. These charges stay on your permanent record, and can cause the punishment for future offenses to increase, such as in domestic battery, theft and driving related offenses.
If you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor contact my Orland Park office today for a consultation with a Chicago criminal defense attorney. I also handle matters in areas of Cook County including Glenview, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, Oak forest, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Alsip, Bridgeview, Lemont, Orland Hills, Country Club Hills, Hickory Hills, and Tinley Park, in DuPage County areas including Downers Grove, Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien, in Kane County areas including Aurora, Elgin and Geneva, and the Will County cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Manhattan.