Felony charges in Michigan are very serious and can result in incarceration. While the prosecutor bears the burden of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, most prosecutors only bring criminal charges against a suspect if they believe that they have sufficient evidence. Jonathan Jones is a Detroit felony defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience. He knows how stressful it is for his clients to face the uncertainty of criminal charges, and he understands the turmoil that these charges can create in connection with a client’s job, family, finances, and reputation. He provides aggressive representation throughout the process. Client communications such as calls and texts go directly to him.Felony Charges
Michigan crimes are usually either felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are more severe and result in harsher penalties if a conviction is obtained. In order to convict you, a prosecutor needs to establish that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. A reasonable doubt is an honest, fair doubt that arises out of common sense because of the proof that a factfinder has or has not seen presented at trial. This is a heavy burden, and it is critical for a criminal defense attorney to hold the prosecution to it.
If you are convicted of a felony, it will be incorporated as part of your permanent criminal record. A felony conviction can affect your job, your educational opportunities, and your future career prospects. For example, a felony conviction can stop you from getting certain professional licenses. You will not be able to vote or carry a firearm. Due to these potential consequences, you should consult a felony defense attorney in Detroit as soon as you suspect that you may be under investigation.Classes of Felonies
There are eight classes of felonies. The most serious class of felony in Michigan is a Class A felony. These include certain violent crimes, such as first- and second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon while intending to steal, rob, or kidnap. A first-degree murder involves a premeditated or pre-planned killing, killing a public official or police officer, or hiring someone to kill another person for you. It can also be charged if you killed someone while committing another crime, such as robbery or arson. Another example of a Class A felony is criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. You can face up to life in prison for a Class A felony conviction.
Class B felony charges are also brought for very serious crimes. These include production of child pornography, second-degree child abuse, and second-degree arson. You can face up to 20 years in prison for a Class B felony conviction.
Class C felony charges are very serious as well and also demand vigorous representation by a Detroit felony defense attorney. They include manslaughter, robbery, and human trafficking that causes injuries. You can face a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment for a Class C felony conviction.
Class D felonies include human trafficking that does not cause injury, as well as certain property crimes like embezzlement and larceny when the property is worth a maximum of $20,000. You can face a maximum of 10 years in prison for a Class D felony conviction.
Class E, F, G, and H felonies involve shorter maximum prison terms but still should be taken seriously. Class E felonies include first-degree retail fraud, home invasion, and carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent. For a Class E felony conviction, you can face a maximum of five years in prison. Class F felonies include making, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver under five kilograms of marijuana or making an unauthorized credit application. You could face a maximum of four years’ imprisonment for a Class F felony conviction. Class G felonies include domestic assault, giving gifts as a lobbyist, or writing a bad check worth more than $500. You can face a maximum of two years in prison for a Class G felony conviction. A Class H felony can involve a false representation to get or misuse personal information, or the use of a stolen state identification card. Class H crimes can result in consequences such as jail time, probation, treatment, and electronic monitoring.Misdemeanors
Generally, misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies. By definition, a misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by no more than a year in jail, and someone cannot be sent to prison for a misdemeanor. Some common examples of misdemeanors include indecent exposure, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, shoplifting, prostitution, disturbing the peace, petty larceny, and embezzlement of something worth under $1,000.Consult an Experienced Felony Defense Lawyer in the Detroit Area
Felony charges should be taken seriously and handled aggressively. Jonathan Jones represents people in Wayne, Oakland, Monroe, and Macomb Counties who are facing these challenging situations. Call us at (248) 301-9584 or complete our online form to find out more about what we can do for you.