Felony prosecutions are life changing events. At the ABDO LAW we are experienced criminal defense lawyers in all Macomb County Courts and have obtained outstanding results for every type of felony. Our firm offers free consultations and can provide you with information regarding attorney fees and answers all of your most urgent questions concerning any criminal case or felony.
Criminal offenses in Michigan are classified as felonies, high court misdemeanors or misdemeanors:
- Misdemeanor: punishable by not more than 1 year in jail.
- High Court Misdemeanor: punishable by not more than 2 years in prison. All high court misdemeanors are afforded the same criminal procedure as offenses classified as felonies.
- Felony: punishable by more than 1 year, up to life in prison.
Felonies and high court misdemeanors are categorized as belonging to one of six particular crime groups. Although there are numerous Michigan crimes within each crime category, only a sample of common crimes are listed below:
- Crimes against a person (assault, sex crimes, home invasion)
- Crimes against property (uttering & publishing, retail fraud, embezzlement)
- Crimes involving a controlled substance (possession, delivery, manufacturing)
- Crimes against public order (gross indecency, false report of a felony)
- Crimes against public safety (drunk driving 3rd)
- Crimes against public trust (perjury)
Pursuant to the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines, felonies are further broken down into categories for determination of the appropriate sentence range. The maximum punishment for each class is listed below:
- Class A – Life imprisonment
- Class B – Up to 20 years in prison
- Class C – Up to 15 years in prison
- Class D – Up to 10 years in prison
- Class E – Up to 5 years in prison
- Class F – Up to 4 years in prison
- Class G – Up to 2 years in prison
- Class H – Jail or other intermediate sanctions, such as fines
All criminal cases, including felonies, begin with a criminal investigation. After the police have conducted an investigation, the suspect may be arrested or interrogated by the police. The police have proven interrogation skills and have the upper hand after an investigation. They will utilize any opportunity to obtain statements or a confession from the accused party. In drug related cases, police may offer the accused party leniency if he or she engages in controlled undercover drug deal or cooperation with the police. Even when the accused party denies the allegations, the police will use the interview to get other pertinent facts, place the accused at a crime scene, establish motive or schedule a polygraph. Although inadmissible in Michigan Courts, the police will often use a polygraph to pin down details from a suspect. The accused party should not talk to the police without consulting with a criminal defense lawyer.Felony Case Procedure
The following is a guide to the crucial steps of a felony case.
- Criminal Investigation
- Complaint and Warrant
- Obtaining Discovery (police reports, witness statements, test results)
- Pre-Exam Conference (negotiations and plea bargaining)
- Preliminary Examination
- Circuit Court Arraignment on the Information
- Circuit Court Pretrial Conference
- Circuit Court Motions (illegal search, involuntary confessions, illegal traffic stop)
- Circuit Court Trial
- Post Trial Motions and Filing Sentence Memorandum
- Pre-Sentence Investigation
- Sentencing Phase
Just because a person is charged with a felony does not mean that he or she will wind up with a felony record or that jail will be imposed. Also, don’t expect that the case to play out like a crime show on prime-time television. In fact, statistically, more than 90% of all criminal cases in the United States are resolved by way of a plea bargain without trial. Getting an attorney early for sound legal advice to avoid making irreversible mistakes should be your first priority.ABDO LAW has a proven track record of obtaining favorable resolution of felony cases. We employ several legal strategies to avoid a felony conviction including:
- Seeking alternative sentencing dispositions which can result in a sealed record and dismissal of criminal charges pursuant to HYTA for youthful offenders (age 17 but under age 24)
- Negotiating disposition pursuant to MCL 333.7411 which can result in a sealed record and dismissal of drug crimes for first time offenders charged with possession of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine, analogues).
- Negotiating reduction of the underlying felony charge(s) to a misdemeanor or high court misdemeanor.
- Requesting a delayed sentence pursuant to MCL 771.1 which empowers the court to grant leniency or a reduction of the charges upon agreement by the prosecutor.
- Seeking a result which will allow expungement according to statute.
- Filing a deviation request with the prosecutor’s office to request any extraordinary plea bargain that would otherwise be prohibited or against policy.
- Advancing innocent theories or explanations.
- Using the preliminary examination to expose a weak case or one that is not legally supported by the evidence.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you are made aware of a criminal investigation or arrest warrant can prove to be the best decision that you have ever made. ABDO LAW has the experience and ability to provide you or your loved ones with quality legal representation for any criminal matter.
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