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Misdemeanors

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Misdemeanors

Grand Rapids Misdemeanor Attorneys

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, the legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is ready 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. Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, but they can still have lasting consequences. It is important to retain an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to defend your charges and protect your record.

Fighting to Get Your Misdemeanor Charges Dropped or Reduced

While misdemeanors are lesser charges for mostly nonviolent crimes or unlawful behavior, these charges are still very serious. Misdemeanors are often juvenile crimes and they can negatively impact a teen’s record and affect opportunities for future employment. Examples of Michigan misdemeanors and the penalties for conviction are:

  • Aggravated assault. Without a weapon, if you assault an individual and inflict serious or aggravated injury upon that individual without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder, you are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.
  • DUI. It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 in Michigan and offenders could be sentenced to 93 days in jail, 6 months’ license suspension, 6 driver’s license points, fines of up to $500, and potential driver responsibility fees. Other possible punishments for such traffic offenses include community service, vehicle immobilization, and ignition interlock devices.
  • Vandalism. If the value of the property damage is less than $200, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 93 days in jail and fines of up to $500 or three times the amount of damage, whichever is greater.

Retail Fraud

What is retail fraud? Most often, this is a criminal offense that is charged for what we know more colloquially as “shoplifting.” There are retail establishments of many sizes in Grand Rapids, some locally owned and some national chains. Many of these stores take steps to reduce loss and to prevent theft, and they can have surveillance cameras in their shops in addition to training their employees in loss-prevention techniques. Even the most diligent retailers, however, experience losses as a result of theft and retail fraud, and as such Michigan courts are eager to penalize individuals who have been accused of these offenses.

If you were arrested for theft or a retail fraud offense in Michigan, you could be facing serious penalties, including a felony conviction and a term of imprisonment. It is extremely important to begin working with a Grand Rapids retail fraud attorney who can get started on your defense today.

Michigan Law and Theft Offenses

Depending upon the type of property stolen in a retail fraud or theft case, and the value of the property, the accused can face anywhere from a third-degree retail fraud misdemeanor conviction up to a first-degree retail fraud felony conviction. Under MCL 750.356, the following are possible charges and penalties for retail fraud or retail theft offenses:

  • First-degree retail fraud (felony offense): if the value of the property stolen is worth anywhere from $1,000 to $19,999, then the charge is a first-degree retail fraud felony that is punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater. Retail fraud can also be a felony offense if the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000 but the offender has certain prior convictions.
  • Second-degree retail fraud (misdemeanor offense): if the value of the property stolen is between $200 and $999, then the charge is a second -degree retail fraud misdemeanor that can result in a period of imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater.
  • Third-degree retail fraud (misdemeanor offense): if the value of the property stolen is less than $200, then the charge is a third-degree misdemeanor that can result in a period of imprisonment of up to 93 days and a fine of $500 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater.

Youth Offenders and Diversionary Programs

For college students and other young offenders, the court may determine that diversionary programs are appropriate. For instance, offenders under the age of 24 can be eligible to have their cases dismissed, depending upon specific circumstances of the case, once a probationary period has been completed. First-time offenders can also be eligible for certain diversionary programs, and an experienced Grand Rapids defense lawyer can work to keep a criminal charge off your record.

Expungement of Your Record

Having your record expunged is extremely beneficial because it allows you to legally tell employers, colleges, or others that you have never been convicted of a crime. The procedure for expunging a criminal conviction can be complicated and several requirements must be met for you to be eligible. Thus, it is essential that you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure that all paperwork is completed correctly and sent to the proper agencies. Having an attorney by your side during your expungement hearing can also make all the difference in the outcome.

Contact a Competent Criminal Defense Attorney to Schedule Your Consultation

At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we diligently work to have your misdemeanor charges reduced, eliminated, or expunged. Please call us at 616-698-0000 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you. 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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