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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 12:22 pm
So you got convicted of a misdemeanor. That sucks. We all make mistakes sometimes. But now you’re probably wondering – what happens next? What are the typical consequences I’ll be facing?
Getting convicted of a misdemeanor can lead to a bunch of different penalties, depending on the exact crime, your state’s laws, and other factors. There’s usually fines you gotta pay, probation terms you gotta follow, and other stuff that varies case by case.
But there’s 5 main consequences that are pretty common across most misdemeanor convictions. I’ll break ’em down for you here so you know what to expect. This ain’t legal advice though – definitely talk to a lawyer about your specific situation.
Fines are probably the most common penalty for misdemeanors. These are monetary amounts you’ll have to pay as punishment. Fees refer to the court costs and other expenses that get tacked on top.
How much are we talking? Fines can range anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars depending on the crime. Fees add a few hundred more. For example, a first-time DUI often carries around $300 to $1000 in fines plus fees.
The judge decides the fine amount based on factors like:
If you can’t pay right away, the court may let you set up a payment plan to pay over time. But if you just ignore the fines, that failure to pay can cause additional penalties like probation violations, license suspension, wage garnishment, or even jail time in some cases.
Many misdemeanor convictions result in probation. This means you’re released but have to follow certain rules and check in with a probation officer periodically. How long it lasts varies but 6-12 months is common for misdemeanors.
Standard probation terms include:
If you violate any terms, that’s bad news – it could extend your probation or even result in jail time. So tread carefully here.
Don’t be surprised if the judge orders you to complete some amount of community service as part of your sentence. This means volunteering your time unpaid at certain non-profit or public organizations.
Typical community service assignments include:
The number of hours ordered can range from 10 up to 100+ depending on the offense. You’ll get info on where/when you need to complete them. It’s usually spread out over weeks or months so you aren’t doing it all at once.
If you don’t finish your hours, that could mean more community service, fines, or even jail time for contempt of court. So be sure to stay on top of it.
For some types of misdemeanors like drug possession, DUI, domestic violence, etc. the judge may order you to complete counseling or take certain classes as part of your sentence.
These programs aim to change any problematic behaviors and prevent you from reoffending. The duration can be anywhere from a few weeks to over a year depending on what the court orders.
You’ll have to cover the costs yourself in most cases. Prices vary but expect to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars altogether.
While less common for misdemeanors, jail time is still a possibility depending on the crime. The maximum jail sentence is usually no more than 1 year.
In practice, misdemeanor jail terms are often much shorter – more like 1-90 days. Exceptions are certain more serious misdemeanors like DUI which can result in months of jail.
Instead of straight jail time, the judge may order you to serve your sentence on weekends or during nights so you can still work. This is sometimes called a “split sentence.”
The prosecution typically requests jail if there are aggravating factors like:
Jail time depends on the judge’s discretion though. Your lawyer may argue against it and propose alternatives like probation, counseling, or community service instead.
With the right legal help and smart decisions going forward, you can get through this rough patch and move on from your misdemeanor. It’ll take some time and effort, but you got this!
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