Top 10 Types of Criminal Charges Defendants Face in Michigan

By May 29, 2014 June 23rd, 2020 blog post

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is Michigan’s premier criminal defense law firm. Top 10 State and Federal Criminal Charges Defendants Face in Michigan

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At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys are frequently asked to consult with potential clients on felony and misdemeanor charges throughout Michigan and in both federal and state cases. The most frequent calls are from individuals charged or being accused of offenses in Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, Livingston County, and Washtenaw County.

We are often retained on cases in the investigation stage, when a warrant is issued, at the time of arraignment, and on many occasions, after a case is scheduled for trial or appeal. Because of our reputation as top criminal lawyers in Michigan, we are often retained to assist other criminal attorneys, take over a client’s representation from another lawyer, or to consult on complex criminal defense-related issues in criminal and civil cases.

Most Frequent Charges

The most frequent offenses individuals face in the state of Michigan are the following:

1. Operating While Intoxicated

This offense is frequently called DUI, OWI, DWI, drunk driving, impaired driving, or driving under the influence. There is a new push for the prosecution of those driving under the influence of prescription medication and other controlled substances (OWPD). The introduction of Michigan’s new Super Drunk Driving law (.17 as opposed to .08 blood/breath alcohol level) is making the defense of these cases far more complicated.

2. Domestic Violence

Also called spousal abuse, domestic abuse, and DV. These charges can be felonies or misdemeanors depending on whether there was an injury, what type of injury, whether there was a weapon, and if the accused has any prior convictions. Those seeking to gain an advantage in a divorce or custody dispute often report false allegations of domestic abuse. The best defense in these cases is generally a strong, aggressive offense.

3. Retail Fraud

Similar to domestic violence, these cases can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the value of the retail goods in question and based upon whether the suspect has any prior record. These offenses are severe even if charged as a misdemeanor because a crime involving dishonesty will often result in loss of employment opportunities, damaged reputation, inability to hold positions of trust, and immigration problems.

4. Marijuana and Drug Possession, Manufacture and/or Delivery

First offense possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor.  Delivery of marijuana, Possession of Marijuana – Second Offense and possession of most other controlled substances, are felony offenses (including cocaine, prescription medication, heroin, etc…). There are many defenses to these charges, including constitutional challenges (can be pursued with a Motion to Suppress) and various factual and legal defenses. There are also rehabilitative statutes that are designed to prevent a conviction for certain drug charges.

5. Child Abuse

Being accused of abusing or molesting a child will change your life forever. The only thing you can do to offer yourself the best chance of avoiding the many harsh and permanent consequences of a child abuse conviction (including the possibility of termination of parental rights) is to work with a defense lawyer who can aggressively assert your rights in court.

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6. Probation Violation – Violation of Probation

Many people facing parole or probation violation charges aren’t even aware of what they did wrong. A probation officer or parole officer has complete authority over the defendant’s life, and it doesn’t take much to get charged with a probation violation. Whether for a felony or misdemeanor, a defendant facing a violation of probation faces a sentence of jail or prison up to the maximum that was possible for the original offense.

7. Expungement Motions

Motion to Set Aside Conviction. Someone may have had a lapse in judgment many years ago, and it is also possible that a person may have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. If a person is eligible, he or she may be able to clear his or her criminal history and get a fresh, conviction-free start. Setting aside a felony or misdemeanor conviction can result in better employment, housing, and financial opportunities. There are certain requirements and limitations to a Motion to Set Aside a Conviction (Expungement Motion), and only an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to maximize your chance of expunging a prior misdemeanor or felony conviction.

8.Criminal Sexual Conduct – Sex Crimes

Without question, criminal sexual conduct, otherwise known as CSC, charges are so serious that the mere allegation can change lives. Unfortunately, false criminal sexual conduct charges are prevalent because there is rarely physical evidence and because the allegations are so damaging. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we have successfully defended criminal sexual conduct cases throughout Michigan through tenacious representation, sophisticated investigation, and extraordinary trial work. Prosecutors that handle criminal sexual conduct cases are typically “Special Prosecutors.”

Special Prosecutor means that the criminal sexual conduct prosecutor is specifically assigned to the Special Victim’s Unit because they are highly experienced, extremely proficient, and very well trained. Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorneys know that the best way to defend these cases is through tenacious, tireless representation. A common misconception is that criminal sexual conduct charges are indefensible. The Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have successfully defended hundreds of these cases. Many of the criminal sexual conduct cases handled by LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. resulted in NOT GUILTY verdicts despite many defense attorneys, judges, and prosecutors believing that the cases were unwinnable.

9. Assault Crimes

Assault crimes are varied and can be both felony and misdemeanor offenses. Misdemeanor assault or assault and battery is an offense carrying a maximum of 93 days in jail. If there is an alleged injury or weapon, the maximum possible sentence can increase to 4 years, 10 years, or even up to life for the most serious cases. Judges and prosecutors tend to be the most aggressive in these cases. Only the most experienced criminal defense lawyers should be trusted with the defense of those accused of assault charges.

10. Federal Crimes

Obviously, there are literally hundreds of different types of federal offenses. I list this entry as “Federal Crimes” because we were flooded with calls for consultations on federal offenses in 2011. Frequent calls this year included a multitude of drug crimes, Medicare fraud, public corruption, child pornography, conspiracy, trafficking, and more.

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“We Can Help You”

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is Michigan’s Premier Criminal Defense Law Firm. We are familiar with all aspects of criminal law, and even if you don’t see the charges you are facing, contact us or give us a call for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation and learn how we can help you. Our attorneys are always happy to help anyone in any criminal matter, and the respect and consideration you’ll be shown will convince you that you’ve got the best possible, hardest fighting defense law firm available in Michigan today.  

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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