Misdemeanor Lawyers in Utica, NY Representing Clients Charged With Lower-Level Criminal Offenses
Mistakenly, many individuals do not consider a misdemeanor to be a serious crime. Even though the penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can be less severe than those of a felony conviction, a misdemeanor charge should not be taken lightly by any means.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor crime, it is imperative that you speak with a criminal lawyer in Utica as soon as possible. It is important to remember that a misdemeanor charge and subsequent conviction have the potential to carry possible jail time and/or a steep fine.
The lawyers of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC have vast experience and are very well qualified to represent you. A misdemeanor conviction can stay on your record permanently and, depending on the type of charge associated with it, can have a negative impact on employment, obtaining a professional license, and a variety of other aspects of life.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor crime, time is of the essence. As you face these charges, you will need an attorney on your side who can review the facts of your case and help determine a game plan in order to build a strong defense for you. Call our law offices at (315) 500-6425 and schedule a free strategy session with a member of our legal team.
Can I Go to Jail if Convicted of a Misdemeanor Offense in New York?
If convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you could face a jail sentence of less than one year and/or a steep fine. Misdemeanors are classified into three different groups.
Sentencing guidelines for misdemeanor crimes are as follows:
Class A: A maximum of one year in jail or three years’ probation. In addition, a fine of up to $1,000 may be imposed.
Class B: A maximum of up to three months in jail or one year of probation. A $500 fine may also be imposed.
Unclassified: This is any offense that is not defined in the penal law. Penalties associated with an unclassified misdemeanor include a jail sentence of more than 15 days but not more than a year.
What Type of Crimes Are Classified as Misdemeanors in New York?
The following are examples of misdemeanor crimes categorized by their classification. It is important to keep in mind that being charged enough times with a misdemeanor crime can actually bump it up to a felony charge.
Class A misdemeanors:
- Writing graffiti without permission on another person’s property
- Accessing a computer network or computer without proper authorization
- Theft of no more than $1,000
- Petit larceny-which often includes shoplifting offenses
- Assault in the Third Degree
- Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon
Class B misdemeanors:
- Public lewdness
- Setting off fireworks with a proper permit
- First-degree loitering for the purpose of using illegal drugs
- Marijuana possession in the Fifth Degree
- Prostitution in the First Degree
- Driving with a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated-this charge can be upgraded depending on the number of times a defendant has previously been charged.
Can a Misdemeanor Conviction be Sealed or Expunged in New York?
Unfortunately, New York State does not make provisions that allow you to expunge your criminal record, which means your record cannot be completely destroyed. However, it does make allowances for you to be able to have certain convictions sealed.
In order for a conviction to be sealed, certain conditions must be met. Basically, only two criminal convictions may be sealed, and only one of them is permitted to be a felony. However, not all criminal convictions are eligible to be sealed.
Certain conditions must also be met before a judge will consider sealing a criminal record. These conditions include the following:
- You have no current or pending charges
- You have no recent criminal convictions
- You have not previously obtained the maximum number of convictions allowed by law
- You have two convictions or fewer on your criminal record. In other words, no more than a maximum of two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction
- At least 10 years have passed between the time of your sentencing or, if applicable, release from prison, whichever is later, and your appeal to the court to have the charges sealed.
The laws that surround having a criminal conviction sealed are extremely complex and often difficult to understand on your own. If you would like more information on the possibility of having your misdemeanor conviction sealed, you can contact our law offices at (315) 500-6425 and ask to schedule a free strategy session with a knowledgeable attorney who can explain your legal options as well as answer any questions that you may have.
Should I Hire a Misdemeanor Lawyer if I Have Been Charged With a Crime?
Being charged with any type of criminal offense in the city of Utica and surrounding areas is very serious. Criminal charges can stay with you for your entire life. Even though a misdemeanor conviction is less severe than a felony conviction, it still could mean the possibility of you being sentenced to up to a year in jail.
At the law firm of Passalacqua& Associates, LLC, we understand that good people can make poor choices and end up being charged with a crime. Our goal is to help you through this time and resume your life. We are very skilled in negotiating with prosecutors and will make every effort to possibly have your charges reduced or even thrown out.
Contact our law offices today by calling (315) 500-6425 and ask to schedule a free strategy session with one of our highly skilled misdemeanor offense lawyers. We can review your case and devise a game plan as to how to proceed.