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Difference Between Felony vs Misdemeanor under Michigan Laws
In the United States, a set of federal criminal laws exists that cover federal crimes and misdemeanors. Similarly, all fifty states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own criminal laws as part of their codification of statutes applicable to criminal activities that occur within their state.
These state laws outline misdemeanor vs felony offenses. This article provides the reader with a misdemeanor definition legal history overview. As you will learn, serious traffic violations (like OWI-DUI convictions, hit and run and reckless driving) are common misdemeanors that normal, working-class citizens encounter.In Michigan, What is a Felony?
All states also have various "gradations" and types of misdemeanors and types of felonies. So, you must think in terms of fifty-one non-federal criminal justice systems for the states and DC, passing their own sets of laws pertaining to crimes committed within their respective borders.
Misdemeanor meaning. When asked to define "misdemeanor," Merriam-Webster succinctly explains the definition of a misdemeanor this way:
In American law, a misdemeanor is "a crime less serious than a felony."
This dictionary passage does clear up one other common misconception, and that is that only criminal misdemeanor offenses exist. Anything non-criminal is called an infraction.
Many states do not have traffic infractions, and only have misdemeanor or felony driving crimes. In the Great Lakes State, the answer to clients asking, "In Michigan, is a misdemeanor a criminal offense? is "YES."
Often, the 2nd most common inquiry will be, "Is a DUI a misdemeanor?" Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor in all states unless it is a repeat drunk driving offense and has reached the felony prosecution level.
Then comes their next, related inquiry, "Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?" If convicted, yes, and for any DUI offense you will suffer an immediate license suspension in every OWI-DUI case.
Consistently, a misdemeanor definition will be much less severe, when compared to that same state's felony version of the crime (e.g., misdemeanor DUI vs felony DUI). The same rule applies to "battery" offenses, where a first offense with minor bruising or contact is a misdemeanor, and 2nd offenses can be a felony.
Although primarily derived from English Common Law principles, some American legal concepts and principles were adopted from the French legal system and the Spanish legal system. On the west coast, more Spanish influence exists for certain civil laws, like in divorce cases.In Michigan, What Is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses?
How Felony Crimes are determined. Each governing entity (state or commonwealth in the USA) criminalizes certain activities, and the punishment schemes can vary widely. The legislative branch of government handles these tasks.
What constitutes criminal felony class or felony level offenses is a legislative function. What is considered a misdemeanor offense is also left to the discretion of the state governing legislators, much like Congress enacts federal criminal laws.
What constitutes a felony? A good example of this is the current national struggle to undo President Richard Nixon's 1971 insistence (over objections from federal scientists) on the United States categorizing marijuana as a dangerous drug, creating a federal felony. Most states then followed that model.
Nixon pushed Congress to make marijuana possession a felony, thereby making any drug possession of weed a mandatory jail offense, on the same level as possessing opioids and other highly deadly substances. This flawed federal government leadership has led to many needless criminal records of felonies for marijuana users.
The Difference between Misdemeanor crimes and Infractions. Many states (including Michigan) have "infractions," pertaining to minor traffic violations like speeding. Other states, like Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina do not use infractions, and make all crimes either misdemeanors or felonies.
Also, the legislative branch of government in most states have classes or levels of criminal acts, such as "first degree" and "second degree," or they may use "classes" of crimes, such as Class A, Class B, etc. Michigan has a version of such laws for several crimes of degree.Call Today! FREE Consultation Lawyer for Your Criminal Case: Felony and Misdemeanor Charges
The Michigan criminal defense attorneys near me at Barone Defense Firm (BLF) travel the entire Great Lakes State, to help citizens in legal trouble in Michigan for alleged criminal law violations. This includes all federal and state misdemeanor or felony accusations.
Contact us 24 hours a day at our law firm's easy to remember toll-free number, 1-877-ALL-MICH or 877-255-6424, for a free criminal case review. If you need a misdemeanor DUI attorney or a federal criminal defense lawyer for a serious felony relating to financial crimes, BLF have all of those legal professionals on staff.
For your FREE lawyer consultation, call today to learn how to protect yourself from a possible unwarranted felony or misdemeanor DUI conviction. What do you have to lose, when the free legal advice with our award-winning litigation team's criminal lawyers near me can answer many tough questions?