Criminal Law


Grand Rapids Felony Attorney Delivers Aggressive Defense Representation

If you have been charged with a felony, the legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is fully prepared to assist you. Michigan’s criminal laws can be complicated and difficult to understand, but we explain the charges against you and guide you through each step of the process. We have years of experience and legal knowledge that we use to get positive results for you. When you retain us to defend your charges, you can proceed with confidence.

Shielding Your Business When a Key Employee is Charged with a Felony Drug or Sex Crime

If you are a business owner or a key employee in a company, you don’t want your felony charge to affect business. For example, if you are driving a company car and charged with a felony DUI, you need experienced criminal defense counsel. The same is true of a key employee being charged with drug possession or a sex crime. We have extensive experience in protecting both the individual and your business’s reputation in such matters. Let us provide the comprehensive services you want to safeguard your freedom and rights as well as the business’s reputation.

Informing You of Michigan’s Felony Classifications

Felonies in Michigan are classified by the seriousness of the offense according to the following crime class categories:

  • Class A Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years. Examples: second-degree murder, assault with intent to commit armed robbery, and assault with intent to murder.
  • Class B Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. Examples: arson of a dwelling house, first-degree child abuse, and embezzlement over $100,000.
  • Class C Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years. Examples: operating a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired causing death, and using the internet/computer to commit a crime.
  • Class D Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years. Examples: assault with intent to commit a felony, delivery/manufacture of counterfeit prescription, and possession of methamphetamine.
  • Class E Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years. Examples: carrying a concealed weapon, first-degree retail fraud, and operating while intoxicated 3rd offense.
  • Class F Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years. Examples: felonious assault, second-degree child abuse, and false report of a felony.
  • Class G Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 2 years. Examples: failure to register as a sex offender (first offense), larceny in a building, and larceny from a motor vehicle.
  • Class H Felonies: Punishable by jail or other intermediate sanctions. Examples: eavesdropping and financial transaction device – stealing.

Regardless of the class of felony, all felony charges are serious. A skilled criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between keeping your freedom and entering a prison cell.

Grand Theft Auto

Grand theft auto is the offense of stealing a motor vehicle. Like many other specific theft offenses, how an instance of alleged auto theft is charged depends on the circumstances of the case.

Automobile theft falls into many subcategories, each of which has a specific degree of charge and associated penalties. If you are facing a charge of automobile theft or any other theft charge, be proactive and start building your defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Facing a Grand Theft Auto Charge

Unlike other types of theft, which are charged according to the value of the property stolen, motor vehicle theft is always charged as a felony. It does not matter if the vehicle is worth $1,000 or $100,000 – theft of a car is grand theft auto, a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the vehicle, whichever is higher.

The right defense strategy could result in your charge being dropped or lowered to a less severe charge. For example, a grand theft auto charge could be reduced to a joyriding charge by demonstrating that the defendant had the intention of returning the vehicle to its owner.

Other Types of Auto Theft

There is an important difference to note between automobile theft and joyriding: although both involve the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, individuals who commit the offense of joyriding intend to return the vehicles when they are finished. In Michigan, joyriding can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the alleged offender took the vehicle without permission or if he or she initially had permission to use the car, but drove it beyond the scope of this permission. A felony joyriding charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a misdemeanor joyriding charge is punishable by up to two years in prison.

Another type of auto theft charge is carjacking. This is the stealing of a vehicle through force or threat of deadly force. A carjacking conviction can result in life imprisonment for the defendant.

Other auto theft charges include:

  • Receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle or vehicle parts;
  • Failing to return a rental car;
  • Altering or otherwise falsifying documents related to a motor vehicle, such as registration or a title;
  • Making a false statement in the application for a motor vehicle title;
  • Owning or operating a chop shop; and
  • Buying, selling, or obtaining with the intent to sell or dispose of a vehicle whose VIN has been altered.

Schedule Your Appointment with Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we are equipped to protect your freedom, rights, and reputation. Contact us at 616-698-0000 or via our online inquiry page. Our office is conveniently located in Grand Rapids, MI, near the M6. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

Contact a Knowledgeable Grand Rapids Attorney

For An Initial Consultation

To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

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