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Even misdemeanors can have a profound impact on your life

When you are facing a misdemeanor charge, you might think that the result of the case won't affect your life once the fines and other sentencing points are completed. That isn't the case. While it is true that a misdemeanor won't have as big of an effect on your life as a felony, there can still be lasting effects that you will have to deal with.

The truth is that there are some collateral consequences that are shared by misdemeanor convictions and felonies. Working in certain industries or holding certain jobs might not be possible if you have a misdemeanor on your record. This is the case for jobs that require a criminal background check or clearance, especially if the conviction might impact the job you are trying to get.

According to Time, there are 45,000 consequences on state and federal levels that occur when you are convicted of a crime. You might not be able to get certain loans or live in certain housing establishments if you have a misdemeanor on your criminal record.

The need to reform all of the criminal justice system, including many of the collateral consequences, is something that has been acknowledged. That reform is slow and isn't doing much to help people who have been convicted and need to live their lives now. Limiting a person just because of a misdemeanor conviction isn't something that should occur, but it does.

If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, make sure that you understand all of the collateral consequences that you might face. This might help you decide if a plea deal is a good option. It can also help you to decide on your defense.

Source: Time Magazine, "A Misdemeanor Conviction Is Not a Big Deal, Right? Think Again," Maya Rhodan, accessed Aug. 30, 2016

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