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How to Respond to a Misdemeanor Charge

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime, you will have to answer “yes” on applications that ask whether you have been convicted of a criminal offense. Do not plead guilty to a misdemeanor crime without consulting a Philadelphia misdemeanors attorney. Depending on the facts of your case, your charge may be reduced or dismissed. A careful analysis of the evidence in your case and your previous criminal history may be relevant when deciding whether to accept or contest the charges. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Attorney General offers a free downloadable Criminal History Record Information Act Handbook that provides information about dissemination of your criminal record. Whether you are obligated to disclose a prior criminal conviction depends on the laws of the state in which a job or apartment is located. Some employers and property owners may choose to overlook a misdemeanor conviction, but are under no obligation to do so. If you lie on your application, background checks will reveal whether you have been honest in your response and you could be fired or evicted. Misdemeanor crimes do not necessarily include routine traffic stops involving citations that do not carry the potential for incarceration. Misdemeanors can span a wide variety of offenses, ranging from shoplifting to vandalism, disorderly persons offenses to DUIs, and carry the potential of a prison term. If you are unsure if you have been charged with a misdemeanor, review the citation or call a misdemeanors attorney in Philadelphia to learn more about the crime as charged. For more information about misdemeanor crimes, contact the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman.