Should I Hire an Attorney for a Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor charges need to be taken seriously. Even though this criminal classification is less than a felony, that doesn’t mean defendants should underestimate the potential consequences. You may face expensive fines and even time in jail if you don’t adequately prepare for the process ahead. Don’t go in alone: hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is key to protecting your future. Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock offers the guidance you need. We explore reasons for hiring an attorney to fight your misdemeanor charges. Visit our team at a consultation for advice regarding your case. 

Understanding Your Right to Self-Representation

The Sixth Amendment grants defendants the right to legal representation. The same clause says that defendants also have the right to self-representation, which must be approved by the judge. You will be read the rights that you are waiving by representing yourself. Failing to demonstrate your ability to self-represent means the court will ask you to seek the assistance of an attorney or public defender. 

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’re unable to prove that you can adequately self-represent and you are appointed a public defender, you won’t have a voice in this decision. Protect your best interests by hiring a criminal defense lawyer once you are charged with a misdemeanor. Hiring a lawyer lets you focus on building your defense rather than stressing over the processes involved in self-representation. 

It’s true a misdemeanor isn’t as severe as a felony, but that doesn’t mean its potential impacts are insignificant or easy to handle. In Indiana, misdemeanor charges are classified differently depending on the severity of the alleged crime. Each classification results in varying fines, prison time and probationary periods:  

  • Class C Misdemeanor. Charges that fall in this classification are punishable by up to 60 days in prison and a fine of up to $500. 
  • Class B Misdemeanor. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can lead to up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 
  • Class A Misdemeanor. As the most severe misdemeanor charge, a conviction could result in a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. 

Not only does a misdemeanor lead to expensive fees and jail time, but they leave a lasting impact on the defendant’s life. Having a criminal record can make it difficult to access employment or education, among many other long-term punishments. Hiring an attorney can mean all the difference in safeguarding your future. 

When you choose an experienced attorney to represent you in your criminal case, you are investing in a legal advocate who can ensure you fully understand the situation you’re facing. We help you learn about the criminal justice process and what to expect as we defend your rights. You will feel confident knowing we have the experience needed to build a solid defense in your favor. 

Contact Our Firm Today

Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock is prepared to handle your misdemeanor case. Don’t try to handle your criminal case alone: work alongside our legal team today.