People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that a misdemeanor conviction won't impact them down the line. They're just happy when they don't get time behind bars.
The reality, though, is that misdemeanor charges are no joke. They can still follow you around for a long time and have a lasting impact on your life.
One man was able to plead his felony charges down to a misdemeanor, for example, but he said he's never really been able to shake having that on his record. He considers it a black mark and says his life has been at a standstill. Even though he's worked hard to get multiple degrees, he's still working as a dog walker at 40 years old.
Even without jail time, there are many collateral consequences to consider. These are things that can drastically change your life. They include things like:
-- Trouble finding work.-- Issues with housing rights.-- Issues with family rights.-- Trouble getting access to loans, such as those needed to start a new business or buy a home.
Experts call this the "silent punishment" or the "secret sentence." You may not end up in jail, but you could find it harder to see your kids if you're divorced, harder to get a loan if you want to be a business owner, and harder to find a place to live. It can still derail all of the plans you had.
It's crucial to keep consequences like this in mind when considering your legal options. If you have questions about those options, our informative website can offer a lot of important information.