A person facing a misdemeanor will need the kind of help that a misdemeanor lawyer Grand Rapids, MI can provide.
Under the Michigan Penal Code, crimes fall into one of two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors and felonies are distinguishable by the severity of the punishment. Felonies can be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. Only crimes that are punishable by more than one year are eligible for imprisonment in state prison.
Misdemeanors are not punishable by imprisonment in state prison and include all crimes that do not amount to felonies. In terms of punishment, misdemeanors are less severe. Like felonies, there are misdemeanors of varying severity. Misdemeanors commonly include crimes that are punishable by 90 days, 93 days, or 1 year in jail. Some common misdemeanor crimes include—Domestic Violence, Operating While Intoxicated, Retail Fraud, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, and Use or Possession of Marijuana.
Misdemeanor cases are handled in district court. Unlike felonies, which start out in district court but end up in circuit court, misdemeanors stay under the jurisdiction of the district court judges. In and around Grand Rapids, MI there are a few district courts where you may find a misdemeanor lawyer. There is the 61st District Court, which handles misdemeanors that occur in the Grand Rapids city limits, there are also district courts that handle misdemeanors outside city limits but within Kent County, such as the 63rd District Court, the 59th District Courts in Walker and Grandville, and the 62-A and 62-B District Courts in Wyoming and Kentwood, respectively.
In a misdemeanor case, there are several hearings and court appearances an individual facing a misdemeanor must attend. There is at least one pre-trial, where the attorney will meet with the prosecuting attorney and discuss possible resolutions to the case. A person facing a misdemeanor has a right to a trial by jury. Like in a felony case, the jury decides whether guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in a felony case 12 juror decide the fate of a case. In a misdemeanor, there are only 6 jurors making the decisions. Should a person be convicted, either by a jury or with a plea, that individual will have a sentencing where a judge will decide the punishment.
Just because a misdemeanor is less severely punished than a felony does not mean that a person accused of a misdemeanor shouldn’t get a lawyer. A misdemeanor is still a crime. It’s still punishable by jail, in some cases one could be facing a year of incarceration. There are still many other potential consequences, including fines, court costs, and probation. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, it will appear on your record and could impact future jobs or opportunities. An attorney can help minimize those consequences, or even avoid them all together.
The attorneys at Blanchard Law have experience representing clients in all types of misdemeanor cases. No matter what type of misdemeanor you’re facing, contact the misdemeanor lawyer Grand Rapids, MI trusts and respects. Call Blanchard Law at 616-773-2945 to speak with an attorney about your case.