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Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?

| Feb 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

In the state of New Jersey, a misdemeanor is typically a minor criminal charge. The state might charge you with a misdemeanor if you’re caught speeding, driving while intoxicated, hunting without a game license, parking in an illegal spot or committing another minor crime. A judge won’t send you to state prison for a misdemeanor, but you’ll still have to deal with the consequences.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?

First-time offenses usually don’t come with harsh penalties. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, the judge might rule that you have to pay a fine or put you on probation for a certain length of time. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically skip jail time. According to New Jersey law, a judge could sentence you to up to a year in jail.

If you’re sent to jail over a misdemeanor, you’ll still lose up to a year of your life and have a criminal conviction on your record. You might also lose your job, family and housing and have to start over when you get out of prison. For this reason, it’s important to hire a criminal law attorney.

Is it possible to avoid incarceration?

If you’re a first-time offender, your attorney might argue in favor of fines and probation instead of jail time. You might be able to move on with your life as long as you don’t commit any other crimes. Your attorney might even be able to get your charges dropped based on a technicality. An attorney could assist you with a wide range of misdemeanors, including traffic violations, parking tickets, illegal hunting and much more. Judges typically offer lighter penalties for first offenses, but you might get away with probation for a second or third offense.

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