Criminal Defense Help Southfield MI

What Will Happen To Me if I’m Convicted

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One of the most frequently asked questions by those charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses is, “what will happen to me if I’m convicted?”  This question is surprisingly more complicated than you may think.  As it relates to a conviction, there are direct and indirect (commonly referred to as collateral) consequences.  Direct consequences are those potential penalties provided for by law in the criminal statute.  Jail, prison, probation and fines are examples of direct consequences. Generally, direct consequences are imposed by the judge at the time of sentencing.  Indirect or collateral consequences are often far worse than the potential direct consequences and include those things that generally make a person’s future more difficult and success in life more challenging.  Indirect consequences are sometimes ordered by a judge and sometimes simply unavoidable.

What will happen to me if I’m convicted

An understanding of collateral consequences

The reason it is important to have an understanding of collateral consequences is that recent cases have held that it is proper for judges to consider these indirect consequences when fashioning a fair sentence.  A highly experienced and effective criminal defense lawyer can use his or her knowledge and understanding of collateral consequences to persuade a prosecutor to offer a better plea bargain or a judge to impose a less harsh sentence.

Some collateral consequences are more obvious than others.  For example, difficulty in obtaining employment or obtain promotions are well-known and often discussed indirect or collateral consequence of having a criminal conviction. Years ago, a conviction was difficult to discover by a potential or current employer but this is no longer the case.  Many websites now offer a complete record of a person’s felony and misdemeanor convictions for only $10.00 and some website keep track of mug shots and other public information and publish it on the internet for free.  This can present an impossible burden for many job applicants or those trying to work up the ladder in their career.  For professionals, a criminal conviction can make securing desirable employment virtually impossible.

Other collateral consequences

Other collateral consequences are not self-evident, or are at least, less likely to be considered.  Unfortunately for many defendants, lawyers infrequently discuss collateral consequences or even think about them when advising a client to accept a plea bargain or take a case to trial.  This is a colossal failure in legal representation because, as stated earlier, the indirect or collateral consequences are often far worse than the direct consequences (potential jail, probation or fines).

Collateral consequences are sometimes offense specific and sometimes universal.  This means that some of them can impact a defendant convicted of only one particular type of crime and other collateral consequences are potentially experienced with any crime.  For example, a person convicted of domestic violence may not be able thereafter to possess a firearm. This would not be the case with many other offenses.   Another example would be criminal sexual conduct.  A person convicted of a CSC offense may not be able to live near a school or park.  This would not be the case with most other types of felony offenses.  An example of a collateral consequence that follows from any felony conviction is the prohibition against possessing firearms.

Examples of collateral consequences include (again, some of these may be applicable to certain offenses and others are not):

  • Loss of employment
  • Damage to reputation
  • Inability to be promoted
  • Inability to get hired for a job
  • Inability to get or keep a professional license
  • Loss of the right to be in a shopping mail or retail establishment
  • Loss of the right to possess firearms
  • Loss of ability to vote
  • Loss of ability to sit on a jury
  • Deportation
  • Inability to re-enter the United States
  • Inability to achieve US citizenship
  • Inability to get admitted to a university or college
  • Removal from a university or college
  • Inability to qualify for a student loan
  • Inability to obtain public housing
  • Decreased credit score
  • Sex offender registration
  • Loss of a driver’s license
  • Restricted driver’s license
  • Driver’s responsibility fees
  • Removal from or inability to volunteer for certain charitable organizations
  • Loss of custody or reduction in child visitation
  • Legal prohibition against working in certain fields
  • Inability to attend school functions or be on school property
  • Inability to live near a school or other place where children frequently congregate
  • Loss of the right to be in a bar or other place where alcohol is served
  • Inability to leave the state and travel freely
  • Entry on the child abuse registry

According to Frederick Block, senior United States District Judge, because the effects of collateral consequences of a conviction can be “devastating,” judges should consider them when imposing a sentence.  Professor Michelle Alexander has explained, “a myriad of laws, rules and regulations operate to discriminate against ex-offenders and effectively prevent their reintegration in the mainstream society and economy.  These restrictions amount to a form of ‘civil death’ “.

Top Rated Michigan Criminal Defense

Avoid Needless Consequences of Criminal Convictions

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is widely respected for being abreast of the latest and most persuasive arguments that can be made to mitigate, reduce or get charges dismissed by prosecutors and also influence judges to order reduced sentences.  If there is no way to avoid a conviction and the client needs to get the best deal possible, our lawyers are in the best position possible to help.  Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a Free Consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer will promptly contact you.


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Since its inception, the United States of America has been unique in its concern for fairness and justice in the legal process. Every single citizen and legal resident of the U.S. is guaranteed certain rights under the Constitution. Even those accused, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense still retain legal rights. In the event that these rights are violated at any point in the proceedings, from the arrest to the trial, the outcome of a criminal case can, and usually will, change often in favor of the defendant. The media and the public has become consumed with ‘victim’s rights.’ We focus on your rights!
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or is being investigated for a criminal allegation, it is vital to consult with a trusted criminal attorney who has extensive experience protecting defendants rights. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation to ensure your legal rights are protected.


Individuals who have been accused or charged with a crime have various legal rights, five of which are extremely important and should always be invoked. They include:

  • Defendants Right to an Attorney – Every defendant has the right to obtain legal counsel. If an individual cannot afford an attorney, the court must appoint one at no cost. A person being investigator for a criminal offense should always invoke their right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions. A defendant can also choose to represent him/herself in court, which is NOT recommended.
  • Defendants Right to a Jury Trial – All individuals charged with crimes have the right to a fair, public, and speedy trial. Furthermore, they are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by 12 impartial jurors (felony) or 6 impartial jurors (misdemeanor).
  • Defendants Right Against Self-Incrimination – A defendant has the legal right to remain silent to prevent self-incrimination. Defendants are also legally eligible to testify on their own behalf. During the investigative stage in a case, a client should always exercise their right to remain silent until they have employed and consulted with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
  • Defendants Right to Confront Witnesses – An individual has the right to question and cross-examine every witness that testifies against him/her in trial.
  • Defendants Right to Produce Evidence – A defendant may present his/her evidence and witnesses to the court.

How We Help You

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Experienced and effective criminal defense attorneys can mean the difference between a prison sentence and reduced or dismissed charges.

When it comes to criminal law cases, an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between a prison sentence and reduced or dismissed charges. Even in less serious cases and misdemeanor cases, a good criminal defense attorney can make a serious impact on the outcome of the case by ensuring that the rights of the accused are protected throughout the legal process. For these and other reasons, it is vital that those accused of a crime select the most competent, experienced and effective attorney available.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime, you need a skilled and proven criminal defense attorney on your side. Please contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience defending people being accused of or charged with crimes. We may be able to intervene before charges are even filed. However, if the charges have already been filed, we can employ our vast resources to potentially minimize or eliminate the penalties you face.
For years, we have been effectively representing adults and juveniles in federal, state, and juvenile courts. We routinely handle the cases of those who have been charged with OWI, murder, drug offenses, fraud, rape, molestation, sex crimes, embezzlement, weapons charges, theft, vehicular manslaughter, white collar crime, drug crimes, driving under the influence, domestic violence, and allother criminal charges.
Our lawyers are intimately familiar with all facets of criminal defense and can help you in many ways. If you’ve been charged with a crime or you are being investigated for a cirme, we can:
  • Work to get the charges against you potentially dropped or lowered
  • Interview police, involved parties, and any possible witnesses to expose any lies or exaggerations
  • Move to suppress any evidence against you that was obtained illegally
  • Conduct a thorough pre-trial investigation
  • Employ, when appropriate, a private investigator, ballistics expert, polygraphist, or any other experts that may be able to help strengthen your defense
  • Obtain expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
  • Negotiate with prosecutors and judges to make sure you face the minimum possible penalties
  • Fight for an acquittal at trial


We also are experienced in representing clients in other criminal matters including parole violation hearings, criminal allegations or investigations, criminal appeals, bail reduction motions, post-conviction motions, and expungements.
If you have been accused of a crime, please contact us today for a free consultation with a resourceful criminal defense attorney. We will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Helpful Links

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Because of our local and national reputation for successfully handling cases, we often receive referrals from other attorneys throughout Michigan and across the United States who are familiar with our work. In all cases we maintain the utmost in confidentiality, and all referral fees are protected.
The majority of our clients come to us as referrals from other lawyers. Our criminal practice is dedicated to the passionate, effective criminal defense of adults and juveniles in state and federal court.  We understand that your recommendation to a client will reflect not only on us, but on you as well. We will honor the trust you show in us by your referral though providing service your client at the same high level you would expect and demand.

Attorney – Client Relationship:

If you have a potential client with a criminal defense related issue we can take the case on a referral basis, partner with other attorneys and firms as co-counsel, or just act as a consultant on the matters at hand. During’this time, we will zealously protect and support your attorney-client relationship with the referred client and honor referral fees on all fees paid by the client.