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Criminal law in Michigan is a specialized area of law with lengthy, detailed statutes that undergo frequent changes in response to public opinion and political demand.
Anyone charged with a crime needs to understand the laws involved, the elements of different criminal violations, the defenses that can be raised, and the proper course of action to take to work toward the best possible outcome.
That’s where an experienced Northville criminal lawyer can help. Your defense attorney will be able to analyze the facts of your case and how they fit into the legal situation so that together you can move toward a satisfactory resolution.Two Basic Categories of Crimes
Crimes are generally classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are considered less severe crimes under the law and have shorter jail terms and lower fines than felonies. Within each of these basic categories, criminal violations are further divided into different classes with different penalty levels.
Often, the amount of money or physical harm involved in a case is the determining factor as to whether a crime is treated more or less severely. That means it’s important to ensure that the facts of the case are investigated and presented correctly.Misdemeanors Under Michigan Law
While the term “misdemeanor” is defined in dictionaries as a “minor wrongdoing,” the law can provide major consequences. In Michigan, misdemeanors are divided into three classes.
The lowest level crimes are those classified as “93-day” violations because they are punishable by up to 93 days in prison and fines of up to $500.
More serious misdemeanors are in a separate class punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1000.
Finally, those classified as High Court misdemeanors can be punished by fine of up to $2000 and a prison sentence of up to two years.
Some examples of misdemeanors under Michigan law are:
- Indecent exposure
- Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated
- Negligent homicide by vehicle
- Disturbing the peace
- Embezzlement of property worth less than $1000
- Petty larceny
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of marijuana
Michigan law divides felony offenses into eight different classes, labeled A through H. Class A felonies are the most serious while Class H are generally the least serious. Some examples include:
- Class A — murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct
- Class B — production of pornography, second-degree arson
- Class C — robbery, manslaughter
- Class D — human trafficking (not resulting in injury), larceny of property worth $20,000
- Class E — home invasion, carrying a deadly weapon with illegal intent
- Class F — possession with intent to deliver marijuana, filing an unauthorized credit application
- Class G — domestic assault, knowingly passing a bad check worth $500
- Class H — use of stolen ID, false representation to obtain personal information
The penalties range from potential life prison sentences for Class A felonies to a short jail term or alternate such as probation in for a Class H felony.Contact a Northville Criminal Attorney
A knowledgeable criminal lawyer will know how the circumstances of your case fit in with the various Michigan criminal laws, as well as any applicable federal or local laws.
Your attorney will serve as a personal advocate, working to raise the best possible defenses and provide advice on the appropriate course of action to take to toward the best resolution. If you’re facing criminal charges, contact a Northville defense attorney today.