Criminal Defense Lawyer For Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors in Michigan involve crimes that are less serious than felonies, yet more serious than civil infractions or “tickets.” Misdemeanors are also distinguished from felonies in that they rarely result in a prison sentence and are easier to remove from your criminal record.

Depending on the circumstance of your case, hiring an experienced misdemeanor attorney may help you with:

  • Staying out of jail
  • Expunging your criminal record
  • Dismissing charges against you
  • Challenging the validity of your arrest
  • Upholding your legal rights in court
  • Reducing criminal charges to a civil infraction
  • Minimizing penalties
  • Alternative sentencing options (i.e. probation, therapy, etc)

Michigan Laws On Misdemeanors

Top of a Michigan court form that's titled warrant misdemeanor and has two checkmark boxes for traffic and nontrafficMichigan has three categories of misdemeanors with varying penalties.

  1. Misdemeanors punishable by up to 93 days in jail
  1. Misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail
  1. Misdemeanors punishable by up to 2 years in prison (high court misdemeanors)

See Michigan Legislature Section 750.81 for more information on misdemeanor classification and penalties.

Examples Of Misdemeanors

There are many different criminal offenses that are classified as misdemeanors under Michigan law. These offenses are distinguished from felonies since they generally involve: less serious injuries, less value of property stolen, or possession of drugs of a lesser quantity.

Below are examples of misdemeanors that our criminal defense lawyers routinely handle.

Expunging a Misdemeanor Charge

Misdemeanors have a higher chance of expungement than felony offenses. In other words, these offenses can often be removed from your criminal record and not have significant impact on future employment opportunities.

Michigan has a specific process for clearing a criminal record. This process is known as “Setting Aside Convictions.” The process differs slightly for adults v.s juvenile offenders.

The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience in expunging criminal records for both adults and juvenile offenders. We believe that good people make mistakes and like to help clients get a fresh start, provided they’re willing to make a change.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

In Michigan, OWI offenses are a little strange in that they’re classified under the Motor Vehicle Code as a “traffic offense” in addition to a criminal offense.

With that said, first and second offense OWI arrests are classified as misdemeanors. On the other hand, third-offense OWI and subsequent OWI’s after a third offense are classified as felonies in Michigan.

Juvenile Misdemeanor Offenses

Juveniles and minors are treated differently in our criminal justice system as opposed to adult offenders. When someone under the age of 18 is convicted of a misdemeanor, this crime is punishable by up to one year in a juvenile detention facility.

Common examples of juvenile misdemeanor charges include:

Underage Drinking
Minor In Possession of Alcohol
Marijuana or Drug Possession
Shoplifting or Petty Theft
Possession of Tobacco (i.e. Vaping)
School Related Crimes
Probation Violations
Malicious Destruction of Property

It’s important to note, there are different alternative sentencing options available for juveniles such as juvenile diversion, youth offender programs, counseling, rehab, electronic monitoring (ankle bracelets), etc.

All in all, offenses involving juveniles and minors are very unique and have their own set of laws. It’s important to speak with an experienced juvenile defense attorney for guidance in this area.

Talk To A Misdemeanor Attorney

The law firm of Kelly & Kelly P.C. has decades of experience representing both adult and juvenile offenders charged with misdemeanors in Michigan’s criminal justice system. We understand that good people make mistakes and like to represent clients willing to make changes and need a fresh start.

Having an experienced misdemeanor attorney represent you in court makes a huge difference in your case. This difference can include staying out of jail and ensuring this charge does not follow you for future employment opportunities and other endeavors.

If you’re being charged with a misdemeanor, contact us and speak with one of our attorneys today.