Being arrested for a first-time misdemeanor can be an extremely scary experience. If you are arrested for and charged with a first-time misdemeanor in Calgary, you will not likely have to serve jail time.

However, this depends upon a variety of factors, including the nature of your underlying criminal charge and any extenuating circumstances. The skilled Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can review your criminal charge with you and determine the likely penalties that you may be subject to if you are found guilty or convicted. One of our experienced lawyers can represent you at all criminal hearings and trials and can advocate on your behalf for a light penalty.

Common First-Time Misdemeanor Charges in Calgary

For the authorities to subject you to criminal penalties in your case, the Crown must first find you guilty or convict you of the underlying criminal offence. If this is a first-time misdemeanor charge for you, that alone can form a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing in your case. Common first-time misdemeanor charges in Calgary include the following:

  • Shoplifting or “petty theft” offences
  • Careless driving
  • Drunk driving or DUI
  • Public intoxication
  • Serious traffic violations
  • Some degrees of assault

What Determines the Penalties for a First-Offence Misdemeanor Conviction?

In Calgary, the seriousness and extent of the underlying criminal charge play a factor in determining what the penalty imposed upon conviction will be. For instance, if you are charged with and convicted of causing a public disturbance versus a minor assault, the latter is more likely to incur a harsh penalty—even for a first-time conviction. Judges will also weigh your potential danger to the community, including your danger to others, when imposing a penalty in your first-time misdemeanor case.

Types of Penalties Imposed

While jail time is less likely in cases involving Calgary first-offence misdemeanor convictions, there are other possible penalties that a sentencing judge may impose, depending upon the circumstances. Those more likely penalties include fines, community service, court costs, and probation. Probation is unique in that it offers offenders an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves, rather than serve jail time and incur other more serious penalties. When a judge orders an offender to complete probation, the probation order will state the terms of the probation, including possible anger management classes, drug and alcohol treatment, community service, and regular meetings or phone calls with a probation officer. The probation may be supervised or unsupervised, depending upon the seriousness of the underlying charge. So long as you successfully complete your probation, you will not likely have to serve jail time or suffer a conviction on your record.

Talk to a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Calgary Today

The skilled criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can represent you at a Calgary sentencing hearing and work to minimize the consequences of a first-time misdemeanor conviction. You can talk to a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation.