Clients often ask whether their charges fall under the designation of a felony or a misdemeanor. While identifying the type of offense a client faces is important, the real question underlying his or her concern is what type of consequences can he or she expect to face if convicted.
Understanding Michigan Felony And Misdemeanor Charges
Having helped countless people accused of and charged with criminal offenses, we understand the myriad of concerns and resulting stress and anxiety after an arrest. At Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law, we believe that an important aspect of our role is to not only provide an aggressive defense, but the education and insight our clients need to make intelligent decisions as we move through the legal process.
The most pressing difference between a felony and misdemeanor is the potential punishment that results from a conviction. Generally, sentences of more than one year in prison are reserved for felony charges and jail time of one year or less represent the possible jail sentence for a misdemeanor. The circumstances of the offense as well as any prior criminal history will have a significant effect on the prosecution's decision to pursue felony or misdemeanor charges.
Working with an experienced lawyer is the most effective method for understanding the criminal charges you face. Furthermore, by securing counsel, you can begin building a strategy for defending yourself against the charges. A few crimes that may be considered felonies include:
- Sex crimes
- Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter
- Weapons charges
- Drug trafficking
- Child pornography
- Armed robbery
- Repeat DUI/DWI
- Embezzlement of more than $1,000
As mentioned, the circumstances surrounding an offense often dictate whether felony or misdemeanor charges will be sought. Some common misdemeanor offenses include:
- Simple assault and battery
- Domestic violence
- Petty theft or shoplifting
- Drug use; marijuana possession
- Disorderly conduct
- First-time DUI/OWI offense, reckless driving or driving while license suspended
- Disorderly conduct
No matter the charges you face, there are other collateral consequences to an arrest or even an accusation that can resound throughout your personal and professional life. Contact our Okemos/East Lansing-area law office to discuss your case and the next steps moving forward. Call toll free by dialing 800-385-0092 or complete our online contact form.