If you have been accused of a crime, the decisions that you make about your case can literally change your life. Whether it is a trial or a plea bargain, it is your life and liberty that is at stake. The importance of competent legal representation is so great that the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to an attorney. A criminal attorney is your best asset after being charged with a crime. This expert knows the laws and court's customs relevant to your case, and can apply this knowledge to protect and maximize your legal interests.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Most crimes are divided into two categories, based on the severity of the crime: misdemeanor and felony. State law governs which crimes are considered more serious than others. Generally speaking, in Michigan, a misdemeanor crime is one where the maximum penalty is 93 days in County Jail. High misdemeanors carry up to one year in County Jail.

A felony crime is a more serious crime that can result in jail or prison time for more than one year. Felony charges also bring a number of other legal repercussions if the defendant is convicted. A qualified attorney can maximize your chance that your crime is charged as a lesser offense.

When a fine is the punishment for a legal violation, the action is considered a Civil Infraction rather than a criminal offense. For example, a parking ticket is an infraction rather than a criminal charge. In some cases, however, a crime may only receive a fine and it will still be counted as a misdemeanor. For example, in Michigan, driving without a license on person is a misdemeanor crime, but the usual conviction only carries a fine, not probation.

What should I do if I have been accused of a crime?

Many times people have been found guilty of a crime because of incriminating statements they made to law enforcement or other people. If you are contacted by law enforcement in relation to a crime for which you may be charged, such as a drug charges, it is important to protect your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. If you have been arrested in Michigan, answer all questions about your identification – such as name, address, and birth date – truthfully. While you have the right to refrain from answering self-incriminating questions, lying is never a good idea. Giving officers a hard time during the arrest process is also not very beneficial. It usually just makes things tougher on you. If you have been convicted of a crime, please call our office to schedule a FREE Initial Consultation.

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