What is a serious misdemeanor offense, as opposed to an ordinary misdemeanor?

Michigan law defines certain misdemeanors as serious. The phraseology is a bit of a misnomer because a person can serve jail time, lose their job, endure years of probation, and lose their civil rights if convicted of any misdemeanor.

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Domestic Violence, OWI, and Indecent Exposure are a few examples of Serious Misdemeanors.

There are just under 2,000 state-law misdemeanors on the books in Michigan. Misdemeanors carry potential jail time of up to one year and up to two years of probation. Incarceration for a misdemeanor must be served in county jail, as opposed to state prison. But people convicted of a misdemeanor can also be sentenced to therapy, drug and alcohol treatment, community service, probation, and much more.

Serious misdemeanor, as defined in section 61 of the William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim’s Rights Act. The Act includes a wide range of misdemeanor offenses, such as domestic violence and assault, breaking and entering, child abuse in the fourth degree, certain firearm violations, injuring a worker in a work zone, and specific drunk and drugged driving offenses, among other crimes.

The following are examples of serious misdemeanors under Michigan law:

  1. assault and battery
  2. domestic violence
  3. assault; infliction of serious injury
  4. aggravated domestic violence
  5. breaking and entering or illegal entry
  6. child abuse in the fourth degree
  7. contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor
  8. using the internet or a computer to make a prohibited communication
  9. intentionally aiming a firearm without malice
  10. discharge of a firearm intentionally aimed at a person.
  11. discharge of an intentionally aimed firearm resulting in injury
  12. indecent exposure
  13. stalking
  14. injuring a worker in a work zone
  15. leaving the scene of a personal injury accident
  16. operating a vehicle while under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual’s property or physical injury or death to another individual
  17. selling or furnishing alcoholic liquor to an individual less than 21 years of age in violation of if the violation results in physical injury or death to any individual
  18. operating a vessel while under the influence of or impaired if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual’s property or physical injury or death to any individual.
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Expungement of Serious Misdemeanor Convictions

Most serious misdemeanors are eligible for expungement. However, under current law, a misdemeanor conviction for an offense under the Motor Vehicle Code, such as Operating While Intoxicated, cannot be set aside with an expungement motion.  Judges in district court are sometimes reluctant to set aside a conviction for a serious misdemeanor. They are most concerned about convictions involving any type of assault or stalking. If someone files an expungement motion on their own, or with an attorney who is not proficient with criminal defense, the risk is significant. If an expungement is denied, you cannot seek relief again for a minimum of three years. Additionally, once a judge declines a request, it can be like moving a mountain to get him or her to change their mind, even after a prolonged period of time. If you are going to seek an expungement, it is best to work with the best lawyer possible so that your odds of success are maximized.

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Lawyers With Decades of Experience Defending Clients Charged with Serious Misdemeanors

If you are charged with violating any of the above serious misdemeanor offense in Oakland County, Wayne County, Washtenaw County, or anywhere in Southeastern Michigan, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, answer all of your questions, and address each of your concerns. We will find a way to help you.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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