What Is a Misdemeanor?
In the U.S., misdemeanors are the second most severe crimes. Felonies are the most severe, and infractions are small crimes. However, don’t let the idea of a misdemeanor being in the “middle” fool you. It is a serious offense. It comes with jail time and heavy fines. No, you won’t go to prison for smaller crimes, but that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer. In fact, in Michigan, some serious misdemeanor crimes can result in prison.
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Misdemeanors in Michigan
Some states have anywhere from five to eight different classes of misdemeanor. Michigan has three. This is all the more reason to secure a good lawyer if you’ve been accused of a crime. Penalties take bigger leaps when you’re dealing with fewer classes.
In Michigan, the first class of misdemeanor is punishable by 93 days in jail and fines of up to $500. These penalties may not sound like much, but imagine losing up to three months of your life for a “small” crime. You need a lawyer to defend your freedom.
93-Day misdemeanors include:
- Assault and battery
- Driving with a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Theft of property valued under $200
- Aiming a gun at someone
- Disturbing the peace
After that, the penalties jump considerably. For the next class of misdemeanor, you could be looking at up to a year in jail and fines as high as $1,000. A proper defense could keep you from celebrating your next birthday in a jail cell.
One-year misdemeanors include:
- Domestic violence
- Marijuana possession
- Shoplifting items valued at $200 or more
- DUI with a high blood alcohol level
The final level of misdemeanor in Michigan is right on the border of being a felony. While technically still a misdemeanor, Michigan treats these crimes as “two-year felonies.” People charged with these misdemeanors can face up to two years in prison, not jail.
High court misdemeanor include:
- Drug possession
- Resisting arrest
- Breaking and entering
How Misdemeanors Affect Your Life
Misdemeanors come up on background checks. This can impact your ability to get a good job, depending on the kind of work you’re seeking.
In our culture, a criminal record follows someone around like a curse. It’s not enough for someone to just serve their debt to society and move forward. No, they have to bear the burden of their past mistakes following them around. People may see your record as a representation of your character or your decision making.
We believe in a person’s right to be defended in court. Our position is that small mistakes shouldn’t haunt you for the rest of your life. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, set up a free consultation with us. Our number is (517) 316-1195, and you can contact us online.
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