Our Firm’s Criminal Defense Practice Areas
Our Zeeland, Michigan criminal defense attorneys with over 30 years of combined experience in the criminal justice system are ready to defend you if you have been charged with any of these crimes and others:
Assault and Battery
“Battery” is a deliberately touching a person (or something closely attached to said person) that is offensive or harmful to that individual. “Simple assault” is an act which leads a person to reasonably assume that a battery will be imminent. An attempted battery is also considered an assault. Michigan law specifies several categories of assaults, based on the circumstances of the assault and the severity of the abuse suffered by the victim. A “simple” assault and battery is a misdemeanor, 93 days in jail and fines of up to $500 are the possible. Usage of a weapon during an assault or battery would raise the charges to the level of a felony.
Domestic Violence shares the identical elements of an Assault and Battery, but the prosecuting attorney must also establish that the parties were in a “domestic relationship.” The maximum penalty for Domestic Violence charges depends on whether or not the individual has priors, the alleged facts, and other key factors. The range of possible penalties for a domestic violence conviction begins at 93 days in jail, and felony charges are possible based on the alleged facts.
Restraining orders called personal protections orders (PPOs) in Michigan are issued by a judge to restrict the behavior of one person in order to protect an individual who was victimized by said person before. A restraining order not only restricts one's actions, but it might also impinge on their rights to their place of residence and their children. What's more, any violation of a restraining order may result in an arrest and incarceration.
If an individual is found guilty of a criminal drug charge, they might risk serious criminal sentences. Michigan courts consider drug crimes to be quite serious, and without the representation of a qualified attorney, you could be unjustly convicted and sentenced to uncompromising punishments. Drug crime sentences are dependent on the narcotic possessed, the amount in question, and other specific details of the case, and it is crucial to consult a defense lawyer that understands all the legal issues that might sway your results.
DUI Driving Under the Influence
A DWI is a charge that can have a life long impact, and the criminal justice system can be intimidating. Accepting your DUI charge will most likely result in steep fines, higher insurance rates, driving classes, and community service. Our highly rated DUI attorneys have handled hundreds of drunk driving cases and will fight your charges and quickly get your back life to normal. A person arrested for drunk driving in Michigan faces jail time, license suspension, vehicle immobilization, driver responsibility fines, and numerous points on their license. Any of these things could jeopardize your future and impact your career.
Taking the property of another without their approval, or without paying for merchandise (i.e., shoplifting). Theft crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors based on the stolen item's value. Common theft crimes involve shoplifting, burglary, robbery, identity theft, armed robbery, carjacking and auto theft.
Traffic infractions not only cause added points on your driving record, but they might cost you hundreds in fines, increased insurance policy premiums and they also take you one step closer to getting your driver's license suspended. Consulting an attorney from our law firm who can advise you of your possible courses of action might save you time and money in the future.
When a person is on probation, they will be required to adhere to certain rules and conditions. Conditions of their probation might entail meeting with his or her probation officer monthly, abstaining from using alcohol or drugs, informing the probation officer when they relocate, staying away from known criminals offenders or any known victims, and not committing any further crimes.
Burglary, also recognized as "breaking and entering," refers to illegally entering a home or other building with the intent to engage in theft or other crimes. Burglary could be charged in the first-degree or second-degree depending upon the circumstances of the case, both of which are felony offenses.
Fraud is using deception, trickery or misrepresentation to obtain something from someone else that they wouldn’t have given you otherwise. Michigan recognizes a broad range of variations on criminal fraud across numerous statutes. Some types of fraud include identity theft, uttering and publishing (commonly known as passing bad checks), credit card fraud and false pretenses with intent to defraud. The penalty for certain fraud offenses can be very severe, and if you are convicted, you will suffer a life-long stigma as someone that committed a crime of deception, which can have a negative influence on your career and your capacity to find a job.
Arson and Property Crimes
Michigan treats crimes associated with arson or the damage and destruction of property quite seriously — whether it’s someone’s land, home, place of business, vehicle, or personal property. Arson involves a person willfully and maliciously burning the personal property belonging to them or someone else. In Michigan vandalism is also known as malicious and willful destruction of property. When the cost of the damage or destruction exceeds $1,000, for either crime, it is a felony. Both of these types of property crimes mean you could face stiff penalties and consequences that will affect you for the rest of your life.
Minor in Possession (MIP)
Michigan Law declares that a minor shall not or shall not attempt to consume, purchase, or possess alcoholic beverages, or have any bodily alcohol content. The definition of bodily alcohol content is either (1) an alcohol content of .02 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, or (2) any presence of alcohol within a person’s body from the consumption of alcoholic liquor. The law forbids the attempt to possess or consume alcohol by an underage individual as well. If you receive a MIP ticket, our best advice is to plead NOT GUILTY at your first court date and the to retain an experienced MIP lawyer. This is a reasonable investment in the rest of your life. We can assess your case and provide you with sound advice. You might qualify for a Diversionary Program requiring you plead guilty but as a result, have no record after a successful probationary period. A MIP ticket is tricky because while it seems and feels like a speeding ticket, it's not! If you plead guilty and pay the $100 fine, you just admitted guilt to a criminal offense.
First-degree murder is a specific-intent offense and premeditated act. This means the defendant intended and carried out plans to kill another person and that is was premeditated. 1st-degree murder is a specific-intent crime. First-degree felony murder occurs when the murder took place during the commission or attempted commission of an underlying felony. Second-degree murder encompasses all other kinds of murder. Those individuals convicted of murder face life in prison without eligibility for parole. The sentences for such a conviction are severe and disastrous. We believe in the concept that every individual is innocent until proven guilty. If you are arrested or investigated for murder, it is beyond important to obtain highly skilled legal representation immediately.
Michigan Driver's License Restoration
The Michigan (SOS) Secretary of State will revoke your driver’s license if you have been convicted of two or more (DUI) drinking and driving offenses or specified substance abuse offenses within seven years. To get your driver license restored, you must ask for a Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) Hearing. Our Michigan driver's license reinstatement attorneys will assist you in gathering all the information essential for success at an administrative review or hearing, guarantee that the necessary paperwork is filled out correctly and completely and adequately prepare you for the hearing. It is important to have a qualified attorney in your corner because if your appeal gets denied, you will have to wait a minimum of one additional year before you can attempt to restore your driving privileges.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Child abuse is allegation which could dramatically affect the life of the accused and their family. In Michigan, child abuse is broken down into four separate degrees. First-degree child abuse is a felony charged when a parent has inflicted serious intentional mental or physical. Second-degree child abuse involves a reckless act or failure to act that causes serious physical or mental harm to a child. Third-degree child abuse is similar to first-degree in that the abuse is still intentional, but the severity does not fit the requirements for a first-degree charge. The first three classifications are all felony charges and carry maximum penalties that range from two years to life in prison. Fourth-degree child abuse is a misdemeanor charge that results when a person knowingly or intentionally acts in a manner which poses an unreasonable risk of harm to a child at even if no physical injury occurs. Many people arrested for child abuse or neglect make the drastic mistake of waiting to seek counsel. Police and CPS workers are masters at manipulating the accused into giving statements that later might appear as evidence of guilt. It is necessary to find a qualified attorney before you answer any questions.
Child pornography is a crime which involves the visual representation of children engaging in sexual acts. The Michigan Penal Code doesn’t explicitly use the term “child pornography,” but instead makes it a criminal offense to possess, distribute, produce, or finance “child sexually abusive material.” It is also a crime to entice, persuade, or coerce a child to engage in any conduct that when depicted in photos, videos, or other media would constitute child sexually abusive material. The after effects of a child pornography charge are immediate. These crimes tend to get interest from the news media and can quickly impinge on the work and home life of the suspect. Once filed, child pornography charges, a Michigan child pornography attorney can start collecting evidence to minimize sentence of the accused person or exonerate him or her before trial. Most of these cases do not settle, and legal representation is necessary to resolve the matter. Retaining a Michigan child pornography attorney helps when preparing the criminal defense.
Why hire our West Michigan Criminal Defense Firm?
We have the ability to confidently represent clients in any juvenile, misdemeanor or felony case. Our Zeeland, Michigan criminal defense attorneys are committed to helping you avoid fines, jail time and a criminal record. Based on over 30 years experience in Michigan's criminal justice system, we can explain the criminal court's procedures and give you our best estimate of the likely outcome of your case. When it comes to criminal cases, the importance of retaining a skilled and aggressive criminal defense law firm might be the difference between a conviction and a reduction or dismissal of charges. If you are in need of representation, contact us today.