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Over 4 decades of legal excellence

Misdemeanor Representation

Protect Your Rights and Control What Appears on Your Record! The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony

Crimes are classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are resolved entirely in the district courts. Felonies are initiated in the district court where the offense occurred and moved to the circuit court following preliminary examination for further proceedings and trial.

The difference between a misdemeanor and felony is base upon the maximum jail sentence that can be imposed by statute.

  • Misdemeanors can be punishable by not more than 1 year or less in jail. Probation can be imposed for a maximum period of 2 years for a misdemeanor conviction.

  • Felonies can carry more than 1 year imprisonment, up to life in prison. Probation can be imposed for a maximum period of 5 years for a felony conviction.

  • High Court Misdemeanors can carry up to 2 years in imprisonment. High court misdemeanors are beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of the district or municipal courts and are handled in the circuit court in the county where the offense occurred. The problem with high court misdemeanors is that they retain the attributes of a felony on a Michigan criminal record and are considered felonies by the federal government even though they are not called felonies within the applicable statutes.

Contact ABDO LAW for a free confidential consultation if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony in any court in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne or St. Clair. Don’t be afraid to call. We understand your utmost concerns about getting a criminal record or going to jail. Let us explain how you can put these worries aside and look forward to the best possible results in the court system. Phone: 586-412-5555, Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo.

ALL Misdemeanors in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair

Are you charged with a misdemeanor? Certain serious traffic offenses are also labeled as misdemeanors, including the following: reckless driving, leaving scene of an accident or driving while suspended. Let us show you how we can rid of most misdemeanors to avoid a conviction on your record and get you out of the system. The following are links to our website and statutes where you can find more information about some of the most common misdemeanors that ABDO LAW can handle for you:

Legal Solutions in Defending Clients Charged with Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor can cause undue hardship and misunderstandings for good citizens that do not deserve to be labeled as “criminals”. Our proven criminal defense strategies can save eligible clients from the embarrassment and the stigma associated with a criminal public record. To begin with, discovery of the police report and evidence will be obtained and carefully reviewed to determine if the case has flaws and should be dismissed or go to trial.

The outcome of a criminal case can also depend upon a number of variables including the prosecutor’s policy, the victim’s position, available statutory provisions to have the matter dismissed and the prior criminal record of our client. However, it is our experience that there are always legal means to get a misdemeanor under control in the court system. The following are all possible solutions that can be utilized to get a misdemeanor dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense:

  • Domestic Violence dismissals under MCL 769.4a
  • Retail Fraud dismissals pursuant to MCL 771.1.
  • HYTA for offenders age 18 but before age 26.
  • Drug Crime dismissals pursuant to MCL 333.7411.
  • Reductions and no jail for DUI and Super DUI.
  • Deferred sentence with dismissal at the end of probation.
  • Negotiating amendment of a charge with lesser implications.
  • Reducing criminal traffic offenses to non-criminal infractions.
  • Motion for dismissal when the evidence is insufficient.
The District Court Misdemeanor Process

Misdemeanors can be charged under the laws of the State of Michigan or as city/township ordinance violations. In Michigan, misdemeanors are handled in the district courts. The most prominent misdemeanors in the Macomb County District Courts (Shelby Township, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, Warren, Romeo, New Baltimore) surrounding our business location are Drunk Driving, Retail Fraud, Domestic Violence and Driving While License Suspended.

The misdemeanor process from start to finish consists of the following steps in the district court system.

  • Step 1, Arrest or Charge: A person may be arrested for a misdemeanor or charged by getting a ticket or formal notification. The formal notification may direct the person to appear at court or a police agency for formal booking.

  • Step 2, Arraignment, Bond: Upon being arraigned for a criminal matter, the court will read the charges and set a bond. Bond conditions (no-contact order, alcohol/drug testing) can also be imposed at the arraignment or anytime during the pendency of a case. For many misdemeanors, an arrest will occur and the police will collect a bond when the party is released from jail. Formal arraignment at the assigned court may be scheduled at a later date.

  • Step 3, Discovery: Discovery refers to the process whereby both sides (defense attorney and prosecutor) are entitled to the evidence in a case. The law requires complete and full disclosure. Failure to disclose evidence can be grounds for a dismissal.

  • Step 4, Pretrial Conference: The vast majority of criminal cases are resolved at this level. A pretrial conference is scheduled after the arraignment; although sometimes an arraignment and pretrial conference are scheduled for the same date. At this stage, an attorney will promote the best possible outcome with the prosecutor. If the case is not resolved, the matter will be scheduled for motion hearings or trial. There can be more than one pretrial conference to facilitate discovery, further investigation or if the negotiations are ongoing.

  • Step 5, Motions, Hearings: A motion is a formal request used to raise certain issues before the court. A motion can be filed for many reasons such as: modification of bond conditions, limiting evidence at trial or to dismiss the case. Motions can be filed at any time during the life of a case. There may be grounds to file a motion after sentencing for a new trial, modification/termination of probation or reduction of jail sentence.

  • Step 6, Trial: A person charged with a criminal matter is entitled to a trial pursuant to the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Trials are conducted according to the rules of evidence. Throughout the proceedings of a criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent and the prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury is instructed to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY if the prosecutor fails to meet the burden of proof.

  • Step 7, Sentence: For each offense listed in the Michigan Penal Code, there is a corresponding term of punishment which includes fines, costs, probation and possible jail. At the sentence stage of a criminal case, the court is empowered to impose conditions to the extent that are permitted by an applicable statute. The maximum period of probation that can be imposed for a misdemeanor is 2 years. The offense of “stalking” is an exception which can carry up to 5 years of probation. A presentence report is optional for misdemeanors and the court may proceed to sentencing following a plea or finding of guilty. All offenses involving driving under the influence require a substance abuse assessment prior to sentencing.

Misdemeanor Convictions Appear on Public Criminal Record

A misdemeanor conviction can be detrimental to a person’s record and negatively impact cherished personal rights, freedoms and opportunities. Upon conviction for any criminal offense a permanent public record is created by the Michigan State Police within the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). An otherwise good citizen can be unfairly labeled as violent or dishonest upon being convicted of a misdemeanor. In addition, a conviction for a misdemeanor can result in the loss of concealed pistol license (CPL), deportation and the inability to travel to Canada for a period of up to 10 years.

EMAIL or CALL for a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments, jail visits and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

Client Reviews
The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
Matt and his staff...turned a terrible situation in my life into a positive life learning experience. Not many court cases end up being a positive in life, but Abdo Law delivered just that. Going with their firm was the best decision I could have made and I owe them everything for turning my bad decision into a extremely manageable situation. Thank you Abdo law!!!! Bill L., Satisfied Client
The Abdo Law Firm represented myself during one of my biggest times of need in my life. They handled my cases with ease and met my expectations far beyond what I anticipated. Not only did they got one, but two domestic violence charges completely dropped. I would have been lost without this five-star Law Firm. Satisfied Client, 2 Separate Assault Charges DISMISSED
Abdo law FOUGHT and got my DUI kicked out of court when my job was on line. Five Stars! Satisfied Client, OWI DISMISSED