Some people may believe that getting a misdemeanor is no big deal, and the only type of crime that can affect your life is a felony. This is far from the truth, because a misdemeanor can have a multitude of negative effects on your life. Here are a handful of issues that you could experience if you charged or convicted of a misdemeanor in North Dakota.
Jail time and fines
Depending on the severity of the crime and your past criminal record, you could end up spending time in jail. The time in jail can range from one year to two and a half years depending on your jurisdiction. You may also have to pay a fine that could be anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over $2,000, but a good criminal defense lawyer could potentially help you lower these fines and reduce your jail time.
Getting a job
If you are looking for a job and the employer performs a background check, the misdemeanors on your criminal record may keep you from being hired. Even if you weren’t convicted of the crime, just having a charge on your record may sway them away from employing you.
If you are in a legal battle for the custody of your children, having misdemeanors on your criminal record may cause the judge to reduce your custody rights. A judge may even rule to strip you of all custody rights and give complete custody to the child’s other parent. If the misdemeanor was a crime involving a family, you may get prohibited from adopting children as well.
If you are an immigrant who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense, it could potentially revoke your residence status, and you could get deported out of the country. It could also stop someone from qualifying for a green card.
Misdemeanors may be less serious than felonies, but they can still have a major effect on your life. Even petty crimes have consequences, so staying out of trouble is always the safest route.