Mesa, AZ criminal law attorney Keith R. Nelson talks about the types of misdemeanor cases he usually sees.
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Arizona is one of the few states in the nation that doesn’t have something called expungement. That’s a fancy word for calling erasing your record. If you get a conviction in Arizona it’s on your record from now until for forever. It does not go away. So even being convicted of a misdemeanor offense results in you having a criminal record for the rest of your life. There are many misdemeanors that if you get more than one or two of them, they can be charged as felonies. There are misdemeanors that can result in mandatory jail time and mandatory probation and mandatory counseling. There are misdemeanors in Arizona that if you’re convicted you lose your right to own a gun.
So Arizona has very strict laws on criminal cases and misdemeanors are criminal cases. So having someone who understands criminal misdemeanor cases is important so that you understand what it is you’re going into. Even if you decide to plead guilty or not fight the issue it’s important to talk to someone to fully understand what your options are. There’s many misdemeanors here in Arizona that are eligible for a diversion, which is just a fancy word of saying keeping it fully off your record by doing either community service or counseling, basically giving you a second chance to keep it off of your record. So it’s important to always speak with an attorney even if it’s only a misdemeanor.