Even though misdemeanors are not as serious as felony charges, they can still result in jail time and significant fines. A first offense DUI (Driving Under the Influence)/OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) is often a misdemeanor, as is simple assault, some forms of drug use or possession, and what many people would consider "small time" crimes. Despite the way in which some people do not take these kinds of crimes seriously, being charged with one can still be stressful and cause many problems in your life. Depending on the particular crime and the type of job you have, you may find yourself facing unemployment if you are convicted, which is another important reason to seek out legal help right away.
For example, a commercial driver who receives a DUI or OWI may no longer be eligible for that type of employment because of risks to the employer and rising insurance rates or because the person's driving privileges have been suspended. So having the charges dropped or reduced could save that person's job. Additionally, anyone convicted of theft may not be able to get a job working with funds or cash in any way, and people who have been convicted of assault or drug crimes (including marijuana) may not be able to work in some stricter fields, such as certain types of teaching. There are long term consequences, even for misdemeanor crimes.