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What Are Your Rights When You’re Accused of a Misdemeanor?

by John Hensley
What Are Your Rights When You’re Accused of a Misdemeanor


A misdemeanor is not a felony, but that doesn’t mean it is not something one should take seriously. Whether it is a misdemeanor like DUI or petty shoplifting, or you could be accused of something with malicious intent, or a simple case of mistaken identity, a record is bad.

It can affect your education and job opportunities in later years. So, try to be something that you are not. If you are arrested with the charge of a misdemeanor, it is imperative to seek justice.

Justice can only come your way when you know your rights. According to the DC Criminal Lawyer, understanding what you have to say and when can protect you in cases like this.

What Is A Misdeamneour

Misdemeanors do not fall under the jurisdiction of a serious crime like robbery, homicide, or sexual crimes. A person convicted of a misdemeanor is not a felon. Rather they are arrested for some wrongdoing that is against the law.

Some of the common misdemeanors are:

– Petty Theft.

– Vandalism.

– Minor drug crimes like possession of illegal drugs.

– Resisting an arrest even after a warrant has been presented.

– Minor crimes related to sex, like indecency in public places or prostitution.

Type C is the lowest type of misdemeanor, where you just have to go through a probation period and do some social work. However, even this much is not enough to go for a plea bargain if you are falsely accused.

What Are Your Rights In A Misdemeanor

Here are some of the common rights you have as someone accused of a misdemeanor. Therefore, keep them in mind when you sit for the interrogation after your arrest.

You Can Choose To Remain Silent

Yes, you have the right to remain silent according to the 5th Amendment of the US constitution. You can ‘plead the 5th’ because, according to law, an accused party cannot be forced or threatened to testify to any statement against themselves. 

You can do this during an interview or even when you are on trial. But, a misdemeanor hardly goes to a trial, generally a court hearing or a bail.

You Can Hire A Lawyer

The next thing you can do is hire a lawyer. You can even refuse to give an interview if your lawyer is not present at the scene. Finally, you can either call for your own criminal defense in DC

However, if you do not have one, it is the duty of the officials in law and order to arrange one for you. In fact, you shouldn’t even have to ask. First, you have to be Mirandized where they read you your rights.

If they haven’t, then you have a right to complain about the officer dealing with your arrest.

You Have A Right To Bail

Whether you are falsely accused or not, bail is a pretrial release given to the accused if the case is not too serious, where the accused can be a threat to themselves and others.

However, misdemeanors generally do not go to trial. So, the accused party should be able to get one on appeal.

You Have the Right The Pre-File Investigation

 The pre-file investigation is when you hire a lawyer and then proceed with your own investigation. For example, if there is evidence against you proving you guilty of the misdemeanor, a pre-file investigation will find evidence for you.

Some DC Criminal Lawyers can even go to the lengths to find evidence against the ones who accused you.

You Have Right To File For Your Own Case

Filing for your own case is when you charge the accused party because your accusation was for a malicious attempt. You can file a case against the accuser, or you can file a case against the officer in charge if there is any proof of mistreatment from their end.

If you feel that the arrest was made on the ground of discrimination, you can form a case for yourself with the help of a lawyer and take it up to court. Remember, you are not obligated to prove your innocence

Because according to the US constitution, you are innocent until proven guilty. It is the defense’s duty to form a case that proves you guilty with no question. Until then, your innocence is intact.

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