Lansing Criminal Defense Attorneys

How does the Michigan Criminal Justice System work?

In Michigan, there are two types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies.

Misdemeanor crimes are those crimes for which the maximum penalty is less than one year in jail.

Felonies are those crimes for which the maximum penalty is more than one year in prison.

MISDEMEANORS

In general, there are two kinds of misdemeanors:

  • Misdemeanors that carry up to 93 days in jail
  • Misdemeanors that carry up to one year in jail

In addition to time in jail, misdemeanors can carry other penalties, including:

  • Fines;
  • Probation;
  • Required participation in substance abuse prevention services;
  • Substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment programs; and
  • Community service.

*It should be noted that the following examples include maximum penalties for a first offense only. Penalties may be more severe for subsequent offenses. BLF’s experienced lawyers specialize in criminal defense and can provide the quality legal assistance you need. Please call and schedule a consultation today.

What are common Misdemeanors carrying up to 93-day jail sentence?

What are common Misdemeanors carrying up to a one-year jail sentence?

  • Domestic Violence/Assault – 2nd Offense;
  • Larceny (property valued at $200 or more, but less than $1,000)
  • Operating While Intoxicated – 2nd Offense;
  • Possession of Marihuana
  • Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm

What are High Court Misdemeanors?

It is a common misconception that High Court Misdemeanors are a lesser version of a felony offense–this is not true. High Court Misdemeanors carry a lesser maximum sentence than most felonies; however they are still classified as a felony for the purposes of a person’s criminal record. If you are charged with a High Court Misdemeanor, it is important to meet with a BLF lawyer to discuss the potential consequences a conviction could have on your life and your criminal record.

What are the most common High Court Misdemeanors?

  • Negligent Homicide by Vehicle
  • Resisting and Obstructing Arrest (R&O)
  • Possession of Analogues (“Designer Drugs”)

What is a probation violation?

Probation is a privilege, not a right.  A probation violation is a separate offense from the underlying original crime. A violation occurs when you fail to meet one or more of the required terms of your probation.  When you are charged with a probation violation, you are arraigned by a judge.

You have the right to request a hearing where the probation officer must show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that you violated at least one of the conditions of your probation.  A “preponderance of evidence” is a lower threshold of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt” and requires the prosecutor to show that it is “more likely than not” that you are guilty of the probation violation.

In addition to the probation violation, the judge may charge you with the original crime that you received probation for.  In other words, you could face serious consequences such as jail time, termination of your probation, or a more enhanced sentence.

If you have violated the terms of your probation, you need to speak with a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer at BLF who can talk with the prosecutor, or if necessary represent you at a probation violation hearing.  BLF lawyers are successful in handling probation violation hearings on a regular basis.

Michigan Criminal Process Flowcharts