Michigan Felony Defense Attorneys
Felonies in Michigan are classified as crimes resulting in incarceration longer than one year. Compared to misdemeanors which have a maximum sentence of one year, felony convictions have a much more significant long term impact on an individual’s life. Even after a sentence has been served and the individual is released from the criminal justice system, being labeled a felon will dramatically impact their life in terms of the jobs they can hold and their ability to exercise their rights, in addition to the social stigma it will carry.
The stigma surrounding felons is sometimes unfairly placed on these individuals, as not all felonies are violent crimes people often think of such as murder, robbery, theft, etc. Sometimes a felony can result from an otherwise good person who simply made a bad choice or had a moment of poor judgement that resulted in unintended consequences. Some of these felonies are considered victimless crimes, as no particular individual was directly harmed. In fact, there are so many possible felonies on the books currently that some are simply committed by mistake without the offender being aware of it.
Because of the severity of the consequences of a felony conviction, it is absolutely vital that anyone facing these charges contact a criminal defense attorney specializing in felony offenses. While felony charges may be overwhelming, they are not insurmountable with the right legal team on your side. If you are facing felony charges in Michigan, please contact our office today to find out how we can help.
Common Felonies in Michigan
There are a wide range of felonies in Michigan, ranging from traffic violations to assault, murder and drug offenses. Michigan courts however handle several common types of felonies on a regular basis, which are listed below.
This occurs when an individual in a position of authority or trust uses their position to gain financial benefits without the approval, authorization or knowledge of their employer or the principal who owned the funds. Sometimes this occurs by mistake, such as an accounting error. Unfortunately however, misunderstandings still can result in substantial legal problems so it is vital that individuals facing felony embezzlement charges seek legal counsel immediately.
This is by far the most serious form of assault on the books, with the heaviest criminal penalties for those convicted. Generally speaking this involves some sort of weapon or an object used as a weapon. The harshest penalties are reserved for felonious assaults involving the use of a firearm, when they occur on school grounds or if there was intent to cause serious harm, per Michigan Penal Code Section 750.82, as outlined below:
“… (1) a person who assaults another person with a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapon without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) in a weapon free school zone is guilty of a felony punishable by 1 or more of the following: (a) Imprisonment for not more than 4 years. (b) Community service for not more than 150 hours. (c) A fine of not more than $6,000.00.”
In Michigan, felony theft is broken down into two different classifications. The first classification is applicable to offenses involving property valued over $1000 but under $20,000. The more serious classification of felony theft is the second level which involves the theft of property valued over $20,000. There are a number of different punishments for felony theft, which depends on not only the value of property stolen, but also whether the offender has prior convictions for theft.
Generally speaking, individuals charged with the first classification of felony theft will face fines of up to $10,000 or three times the value of property stolen and up to five years in prison. For second classification charges, defendants will face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000 or three times the value of property stolen. With prior offenses, both jail time and fines increase for each classification.
Felony Drug Charges
Like any other state, Michigan has heavy restrictions on illegal substances such as drugs. The state follows federal guidelines under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which creates five different categories called “schedules”. Controlled substances are organized into these different schedules based on their potential for abuse, as well as whether they have an accepted medical use.
When felony drug charges are being levied against an offender, the schedule of the drug will have an impact on severity of the charge. When this goes beyond a simple possession charge and involves the selling or distribution of drugs, the level of punishment goes up significantly. In this situation, an individual convicted of dealing drugs in Michigan can face prison sentences of up to four to seven years, as well as a maximum fine ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.
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