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Why You Must Hire a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor in IL

There are two main types of criminal charges in Illinois: misdemeanors and felonies. The main difference between the two is that a felony conviction results in harsher penalties. 

However, many people use this fact to justify not hiring a criminal defense lawyer to defend them, or simply leave their fate up to the criminal justice system. But the truth it is may be worth the cost of obtaining professional legal help when facing misdemeanor charges. 

Here are a few reasons why you must hire a lawyer for a misdemeanor in Illinois: 

  • You could serve jail time – There are three types of misdemeanors in IL: Class A misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and Class C misdemeanors. A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 30 days. Getting convicted of a Class B misdemeanor carries a maximum jail term of six months. Lastly, a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term of up to one year. 

  • You could end up with a criminal record – An arrest will automatically result in a criminal record. However, if you do not get convicted, the arrest could get expunged or erased. By contrast, a conviction can result in a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can make finding working, applying for college/university, getting housing, or living a normal life extremely difficult. 

  • You have no idea how the legal process works – An experienced lawyer understands the laws, procedures, and perhaps how judges and prosecutors treat each type of criminal case. Your attorney can guide you through the intricacies of the criminal justice process, while protecting your rights and freedom from start to finish. While you may qualify for a public defender, these individuals work with a heavy caseload without the proper resources to help their clients get the best possible outcome in their cases. A private attorney will figure out all available legal options to either help you avoid conviction or serving jail time. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor in Chicago, let the Law Office of Steven Fine defend you inside and outside the courtroom. Attorney Steven Fine has more than two decades of experience helping clients throughout Illinois get the most favorable results. 

Contact us today at (312) 436-0638 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.