A Misdemeanor is a crime punishable by at least two (2) days to a maximum of six (6) months in jail. Common examples of Misdemeanors are: First and Second Offense DUI, First and Second Offense Battery Domestic Violence, Petit Larceny and Possession of Less than One Ounce of Marijuana. Gross Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by at least two (2) days to no more than one (1) year in jail. Examples of such crimes are: Malicious Destruction of Property, Discharging a Firearm under certain proscribed circumstances, and Indecent Exposure.
Procedurally, Misdemeanor cases work their way through the criminal justice system in the following manner: First there will be an Arraignment were a Not Guilty Plea is entered followed by a bench trial where a judge, without a jury, determines both issues of fact and law. Additionally, in all local municipal courts a pretrial conference will be held prior to trial. Generally, if you are represented by counsel, the only hearing you are required to attend is your trial. On the other hand, Gross Misdemeanors proceed in the same way felony offenses do.
Substantively, your case starts when this office receives discovery from the Prosecutor or City Attorney. Discovery consists of the arresting officer's written report which includes his probable cause determination, including any statements made by the complaining witness and any other witnesses and whatever physical evidence the police recovered as part of their investigation.
If there is a substantial problem with the Police Officer's investigation such that it is apparent there was no probable cause to arrest, then that problem will become the basis of our defense and a trial will likely be held.
However, if a trial would likely result in a conviction and a harsher sentence, then we will negotiate the case on your behalf and ensure that, at worst, you are sentenced to the minimum on whatever misdemeanor offense you are charged with.
If you are arrested for a misdemeanor offense, our goal is to ensure that every action the State and its agents have and will take with regard to your case, and every allegation, every piece of evidence and every witness the State brings to bear against you is thoroughly questioned and analyzed. Should you be convicted of this crime, it will not be because your attorney neglected his duty to you.