CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Misdemeanor or Felony? What to know in Michigan.

Representing Clients In Wayne County, Oakland County, And All Over The State Of Michigan.

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In the state of Michigan, a misdemeanor can be categorized in three ways. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. A felony is a more severe crime that can be categorized into eight different levels (Class A through Class H).
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If you or a loved one have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Michigan; understanding the basic categorizations of each type of crime is pivotal for the future of your case.

In the state of Michigan, a misdemeanor can be categorized in three ways. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. A felony is a more severe crime that can be categorized into eight different levels (Class A through Class H).

What is a Misdemeanor in Michigan?

Michigan follows suit with a large number of states that categorize crimes, misdemeanors or felonies, by level or class. In Michigan’s case, it is by class. There are three basic levels to misdemeanors in Michigan. 

  • Misdemeanors punishable by 93 days in jail and or a fine of up to $500
    • For example, assault and battery, disturbing the peace, and embezzlement worth less than $200, are crimes that fall under this category
  • Larceny (property valued at $200 but less than $1000), shoplifting, and shooting a gun (without intent to harm) are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail. These misdemeanors can carry a fine of up to $1000 however they can also carry jail time.
  • High court misdemeanors are punishable by up to two years in prison. These types of misdemeanors are similar to felonies. 
    • Up to $2000 in fines.

What is a felony?

Felonies in Michigan are distributed between eight classes. Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors thus they can carry heavier penalties and consequences. Class A (most severe) to Class H (least severe). 

  • Class A: First and second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to rob or steal, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Class A felonies carry the maximum sentence, life in prison. The state of Michigan does not have the death penalty.
  • Class B: Includes Arson and Child Abuse. 20 years in prison.
  • Class C: Manslaughter, robbery, and harming a person while human trafficking. This Class of Felonies can carry 15 years in prison.
  • Class D: Embezzlement or theft ($20,000 or more in worth) and human trafficking, these crimes can carry 10 years in prison. 
  • Class E: Punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Class E felonies can include, amongst other crimes, having a firearm with the intent to harm or intimidate. 
  • Class F: Punishable by up to 4 years in prison. Includes amongst other crimes the manufacture or trafficking of fewer than 5 kilos of marijuana.
  • Class G: Up to 2 years in prison because of check fraud or domestic violence, amongst other crimes.
  • Class H: The least severe of the felony classes, convicted persons can be either sentenced to jail or an alternative program. 

Statutes of Limitations

  • Some crimes have a set limit of time during which they need to be or can be prosecuted. Normally the time varies between 6, 10, 15, and 25 years
  • Certain crimes depending on their severity do not have statutes of limitations, this is reserved for the most severe crimes, like murder.
  • If a crime does not have a specific statute of limitation then it automatically has a limitation of 6 years.

Consequences

  • Both misdemeanors and felonies can be on your permanent criminal record. Court considerations of prior convictions can seriously affect the outcome of trials because of this harsher sentencing can happen. Outside of court, the consequences of criminal records can lead to serious problems when finding jobs, houses, or gaining professional certifications. For instance, students with a criminal record can be affected heavily in terms of school and financial aid.

Contact Us

If you need information or consultation regarding a possible misdemeanor or felony charge contact us today. Ashlee Duplessis of Duplessis Law will defend her clients fairly and safeguard their rights to the fullest extent of the law.