At Marinaro Law, we understand that if your charges were reduced to a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, you may be feeling grateful. After all, a misdemeanor charge is not as big a deal as a felony charge, especially when there is no jail time involved.
Or, is it? TIME reports that over the past few years, studies have found that misdemeanor convictions often result in the same collateral consequences, or legal hindrances, that felons face after release from prison.
What does this mean, exactly? Simply put, that small misdemeanor charge could follow you for a lifetime, negatively affecting your standard of living. Here are just some of the many areas of your life on which it can have a negative impact:
- Job opportunities
- Access to loans
- Housing rights
- Custodial rights
- Ability to serve country
Though there are many organizations working hard to help offenders re-assimilate into society, most of the support systems in place are specifically for felons. While there may be understandable reasons for this, it does not negate the fact that Americans charged with misdemeanors need similar assistance, too.
What makes it even worse for those faced with misdemeanor convictions is that there are fewer opportunities available to have their records wiped clean. In many instances, the only available option is a Presidential pardon, which is unlikely to happen for a misdemeanor conviction.
As many Americans have discovered, even for drug possession and other misdemeanor charges, there is really no such thing as a minor offense. Visit our webpage for more information.