Misdemeanors aren't always a big deal in your daily life, and you could even get one for petty offenses like trespassing or loitering. While they're not particularly serious crimes, there is a risk that you could be found guilty and face penalties that affect you now and in the future.
With around 10 million misdemeanors filed each year, there is no surprise that people struggle with these on their records. These are small offenses, yet they impact millions each year.
What happens when a person faces a misdemeanor?
Some people don't obtain counsel, so they end up pleading guilty to take a plea or avoid jail time despite not having committed a crime. Others are guilty and plead guilty to avoid harsher penalties, but they don't really understand the implications of doing so. This is why it's best to work with a professional even if you're only facing a misdemeanor charge.
Misdemeanors have a negative impact on a person's life. Convictions can result in a loss of eligibility for student loans, food stamps, health care and other benefits. Misdemeanors can even make it so that you're ineligible to obtain public housing.
Socially, a misdemeanor is awkward as well. Employers and coworkers may not view you in the same positive light as in the past, and you may struggle to obtain housing if you live in an area where landlords don't take in those with criminal histories. It's wise to do all you can to avoid a conviction, because once it's there, it's extremely difficult to eliminate it from your record.