Unlike some areas of law, criminal law encompasses both state and federal statutes and includes many structures and definitions. It can be complex. That is why the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney is critical when dealing with criminal charges.
Even seemingly minor misdemeanor charges can have serious consequences. However, a knowledgeable Bloomfield Hills criminal lawyer will understand the procedures involved as well as the possible ramifications in different situations and can provide advice on the best way to proceed based on your circumstances.
A crime is generally defined as an illegal act which is punished by the state, as opposed to a tort which is an illegal act for which a person may file a civil lawsuit for damages. Some actions can be considered both, so an individual might face a criminal lawsuit and then a civil lawsuit based on the same action.
While conduct that is considered “criminal” is similar in different locations, the exact definitions and legal consequences vary by jurisdiction. Crimes are defined by statutes and are classified according to their severity. Minor crimes are classified as misdemeanors while those treated more severely under the law are considered felonies.
Often, what sets felonies apart from misdemeanors is the amount of harm caused, such as the extent of injuries caused to an individual, the value of property stolen or damaged, or the quantity of drugs involved in a case. Within the misdemeanor classification, there are three different categories with different levels of penalties.
Examples of crimes treated as misdemeanors in Michigan that may warrant attention from a criminal lawyer in Bloomfield Hills include:
The least serious category of misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 93 days. For crimes treated a little more severely, the potential penalty increases to a maximum fine of $1000 and a prison term of up to one year.
And those classified as “high court” misdemeanors follow the same procedures as felony cases and may be penalized by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2000.
The Michigan criminal code divides various forms of felony criminal behavior into eight different classes. Within these different classes, the penalties vary from tremendously.
Those convicted of a Class A felony may face life in prison, while those found guilty of a Class H felony may serve no jail time at all and be sentenced instead to an alternative such as probation, treatment or electronic monitoring.
Crimes classified as felonies in Michigan include:
It is worth noting that some crimes, such as larceny, appear on both lists because the value of the property involved determines the classification of the crime. Should you face one of these types of charges an attorney in Bloomfield Hills can help you build a strong defense and hopefully reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor, or even have the case dismissed.
As mentioned above, even the most minor level of misdemeanor crimes can be punished with a substantial fine and up to three months of imprisonment. However, there are a number of defenses that can be raised and an experienced criminal attorney will know how to proceed to produce the best possible defense depending on the circumstances.
Contact a Bloomfield Hills criminal lawyer today to get started working toward the best resolution.