Misdemeanors are charges that are not or cannot be filed as felonies. If you hire counsel you do not have to take the time to appear in court. The maximum penalty is county jail time and in many cases you will be allowed to serve jail time in a work project program or community service. These are matters that can affect your employment or result in probation. There can also be an effect on your privilege to drive. Even misdemeanors should be taken seriously and you should always hire counsel or request a public defender to represent you in the process.