If you are being accused of a felony or misdemeanor, you may be wondering, “How much time will I get” in jail? The most important thing to know is that you may not have to do any time in jail or prison. The most time a judge can give for a misdemeanor is up to one year in jail. A felony is punishable by a sentence in prison of more than one year.
Jail Time for Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses
Convictions for felony and misdemeanor offenses can result in jail or prison time; however, many defendants do not actually have to serve any time at all. Judges have broad discretion and will consider a sentencing without incarceration in response to a persuasive argument by an experienced defense attorney. In the most serious offenses, where a defendant is looking at many years in prison, a great lawyer can often get the judge to reduce the sentence by several years with a convincing, credible, and thorough argument at sentencing.
Possible Sentences on Common Offenses
Offenses Carrying a Possible 90 or 93 Days in Jail and Up to 2 Years of Probation
- Domestic Violence
- Assault and Battery
- Retail Fraud 3rd Degree
- Operating While Intoxicated
- Operating While Impaired
- Operating With the Presence of Drugs
- Driving While License Suspended
- Reckless Driving
- Malicious Destruction of Property under $200
Offenses Carrying a Possible One Year in Jail and Up to 2 Years of Probation
- OWI 2nd (minimum 5 days jail)Aggravated Domestic Violence
- Retail Fraud 2nd Degree
- Possession of Marijuana
- DWLS 2nd
- Malicious Destruction of Property under $1,000
Offenses Carry Possible Prison Time and Up to 5 years of Probation
- OWI 3rd
- Felonious Assault
- Felony Firearm
- Delivery of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (other than marijuana)
- Home Invasion
- Larceny from a Person
- Embezzlement Over $1,000
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Internet and Computer Crimes
- Conspiracy or RICO
- Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.00
- Child Pornography
What does a judge consider when deciding a sentence?
The first rule of thumb is that every judge is different. Some judges focus more on punishment and others consider rehabilitation. An experienced and successful lawyer knows the judge and will be able to customize any allocation on behalf of a client to suit the particular judge deciding the sentence. In other words, the answer to “How much time will I get?” is complicated.
A judge in Michigan is supposed to consider the following:
- Need for punishment
- Deterrence of the defendant from committing similar offenses in the future
- Deterrence of people in the community who may commit a similar offense
- Likelihood of to commit another crime
- Various other mitigating factors
- The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines
How to convince a judge not to give jail time?
There is no magic answer for how to convince a judge not to order jail or prison time. Most criminal defense lawyers spend their entire careers trying to figure out how to make the most persuasive argument at sentencing. Various factors influence the judge’s decision at sentencing, including the prosecutor position, any recommendation by the detective in charge of a case, the opinion of victim or complainant, the facts of the case, the history and circumstances of the defendant, and the persuasiveness of the defense lawyer. In order to achieve the lowest possible sentence, a skilled and formidable attorney will spend considerable time, energy and thought into careful and thorough preparation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys that are Experts at Sentencing
If you are wondering, “How much time will I get at sentencing?”, you are properly concerned about the potential sentence you may receive. A great lawyer makes all the difference when a judge is trying to decide how much time, if any, he or she should order at sentencing. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience handling sentencings and helping clients achieve the lowest possible amount of jail or prison time. In most cases, we can help a client avoid serving any time in custody. If you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense, please call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.