Misdemeanor offenses can carry up to a year in jail and ruin your job opportunities. We know how to keep charges off your record.
Misdemeanor offenses can seem minor but they carry hidden penalties. According to a recent study, 92% of employers perform background checks. In today’s tough job market can you afford to have something on your record putting you behind the pack? If you receive a misdemeanor charge, your options can be confusing. Should I fight it on my own? Is diversion an option? Can I get it expunged? Do I have to go to court? What if the officer was wrong? Contact our Lexington criminal defense attorneys at Clark Law PLLC to figure out what to do next. We can listen to the facts and help you decide what is best for you. Call us now at (859) 474-0001 or schedule a free phone appointment below.
Consequences of Misdemeanors in Kentucky
While misdemeanor offenses can carry up to twelve months in jail, many misdemeanor cases can be negotiated to receive an offer of probation. When most people hear this they accept the prosecutions offer and plead guilty without exploring other options. Just because most people do this does not mean that you should. Probation can be difficult and humiliating: imagine having to urinate in front of a stranger on command for two years. It can also be expensive. Don’t make the mistake. Hire a Lexington misdemeanor lawyer to fight your misdemeanor charge. An experienced misdemeanor attorney could have the charge dismissed, amended, or minimize the conditions of an expensive probation or diversion. Lead attorney Bradley Clark has handled thousands of cases in Fayette District Court and in surrounding counties. He has tried misdemeanor cases to juries in Lexington to multiple “not guilty” verdicts.
Potential penalties and collateral consequences for misdemeanor offenses in Kentucky include:
- Up to one year of jail time
- Fines and court costs in excess of $1000
- Loss of Drivers License
- Expensive Probation
- An entry on your criminal record for at least five years
- A criminal record that could affect employment options
- Loss of access to federal student loans
Lead Attorney Bradley Clark
Kentucky Misdemeanor Offenses
If you are ever questioned for a misdemeanor offense, you might feel scared or ashamed. However, the most important thing to remember is to remain under control and that the police are required to respect your rights.
Misdemeanor offenses that Clark Law frequently handles include, but are not limited to:
Get a Lexington Marijuana Lawyer.
Get a Lexington Assault and Self-Defense Lawyer.
Best Practices If Arrested For a Misdemeanor
If you are being questioned regarding a misdemeanor, you need to know your rights. You have a right to an attorney as well as the right to remain silent. You should invoke both. Politely tell the officer that you intend to cooperate with his requests, but until your attorney is present you have been advised to remain silent. Then contact a Kentucky criminal defense lawyer. It may be wise to speak to the officer about what happened. It may not. Only a qualified criminal defense lawyer should make that call.
Potential Sentences for Common Misdemeanors
In addition to all of the employment consequences for misdemeanor offenses, you face the following jail time:
- KRS 508.030 – Assault 4th Degree – up to twelve (12) months in county jail, if a domestic relationship existed you can permanently lose your rights to own a firearm. You could face extensive probation with domestic violence classes if you do not receive jail time.
- KRS 218A.1422 – Possession of Marijuana – up to forty-five (45) days in jail, can make you ineligible for student loans.
- KRS 189.990 – Leaving the Scene of an Accident – up to twelve (12) months in county jail, automatic six month license suspension upon conviction.
- KRS 514.030 – Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500 – up to twelve (12) months in jail.
- KRS 218A.1421 – Trafficking in Marijuana Less than Eight Ounces – up to twelve (12) months in jail. If you avoid jail time you could be looking at extensive probation with drug classes and testing.
Can I Get Diversion for My Charge?
In Lexington, the Fayette County Attorney’s Office operates a pretrial diversion program for first offenders with certain charges. Our firm has been successful at getting our clients placed in this program leading to their charges being dismissed and expunged (including some felony charges). You are generally only allowed to participate in diversion once. In order to be eligible, you cannot have participated in the past, your charge must meet certain requirements, you must pay a fee, and you must complete between twenty and forty hours of community service. Upon completion of the program, the case is dismissed and expunged from all court and police. Most participants only have to come to court once.
Common charges that are diverted include:
- Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500
- Possession of Marijuana
- Public Intoxication/Alcohol Intoxication
- Theft by Deception Under $500
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- KRS 244.085 – Use of Fraudulent Identification
Even if your charge is not on the list, or you do not think that you might otherwise qualify, our attorneys can work to see that the prosecutions sees you as a person, not just a charge. Ultimately acceptance into diversion is in the discretion of the prosecutor. Let us help you put your best foot forward.
Recent Misdemeanor Case Results
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- Client Facing Five Years For Felony Trafficking Receives Two Weekends - Our client was facing five years in prison for the felony of Trafficking Marijuana, as well as Fleeing and Evading ...
- Professional Avoids Jail/Hard License Suspension After DUI Amendment - Our client was facing a mandatory four days in jail for a first offense DUI with a tough judge. He ...
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