Misdemeanor Lawyer Clinton Township MI
Hilf & Hilf, PLC attorney Daniel Hilf has a well known reputation in Macomb County for providing zealous legal representation in Clinton Township for persons charged with misdemeanor offenses by the Clinton Township attorney, Macomb County Prosecutor's Office, or the Michigan Attorney General's office. Criminal offenses have a huge personal toll, upon conviction, that costs individuals freedom, educational opportunities, employment; their reputations, and the brightest possible future. When you are arrested or otherwise notified of a pending criminal charge, it becomes urgent to receive straight forward legal advice and aggressive legal representation, in order to put your legal troubles behind you, from an effective criminal defense lawyer.Zealous Clinton Township Misdemeanor Legal Representation from a Preferred Criminal Defense Lawyer
Misdemeanors in Michigan are criminal offenses for violations of local ordinance laws, some State of Michigan laws, and some Federal laws which are considered lower in severity than felony offenses. Typically charged misdemeanor offenses include (but are not limited to): retail fraud, domestic violence, DNR violations, assault and battery, aggravated assault, driving while license suspended (DWLS), drunk driving (OUI, DUI), disorderly person, hindering police, and reckless driving.
For Clinton Township misdemeanor offenses, Court proceedings are scheduled at the 41B District Court. This is really not a great place to face a criminal case, because this Court has a reputation of being unpredictable when it comes to bond conditions and sentencing terms.
For most misdemeanor offenses in the State of Michigan the maximum allowable penalty from a Judge is anywhere from 90 days in jail to 365 days in jail. The only exception to this punishment range are "high court misdemeanors", which carry up to 2 years in prison (however, the penalty can even be higher if habitual offender sentencing provisions apply).
In addition to potentially being locked up, a misdemeanor conviction also gives the sentencing Court the discretion to order probation, which is a form of supervision that is ordered by the court to monitor individuals to make sure they comply with what the Judge ordered. Probation can include a plethora of mandatory tedious conditions that can make your life very difficult, including: reporting to a probation officer; alcohol testing; drug testing; no going to bars; payment of fines/costs/restitution/fees; professional counseling (mental health, substance abuse, anger management, etc.); attend programs; take prescribed mental health medicines; prohibition on taking some legally prescribed medications (opiates, medical marijuana, etc.); perform many hours of community service; no contact with victims, co-Defendants, or other individuals; inability of returning to certain locations (including your home if the victim lives there); tether, etc. Failure to follow all probationary conditions likely will lead to a probation violation hearing, which can lead to incarceration.
There are charge specific consequences for misdemeanor convictions that can result in personal hardships, including: loss and/or restrictions to your ability to drive a car (all drinking and driving convictions, Driving While License Suspended, etc.); loss of hunting and fishing privileges (certain DNR violations); loss of ability to work in a hospital setting to care for patients (various assaultive, drug, and theft related crimes); ability to lawfully posses and/or purchase firearms (domestic violence, stalking), etc. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to immigration problems for foreign students, visa holders, green card holders, and other persons who are not United States citizens, which (depending upon the circumstances) may lead to deportation, inadmissibility (inability to lawfully return to the United States), immigration detention, and the inability to seek certain forms of waivers and immigration relief.
With a few exceptions in Michigan, misdemeanor criminal charges mandate an appearance by the person charged at the District Court to address the charge or charges. One possible exception is for persons that are incarcerated in another State or county, who sometimes have the ability to resolve the case by means of sending the Court a "plea by mail" depending upon the local Court policies and the offense involved. For some (not all) Courts there are certain low level misdemeanors called "payable misdemeanors" that can be resolved by the full payment of fines/costs.
The first Court appearance for many Defendants is called an arraignment, which is a proceeding before a magistrate or Judge where you are informed of the charge against you, the maximum possible penalty the charge carries, and a bond amount is set. The bond amount can range anywhere from not having to post any bond money with the Court (personal bond) to having to post a significant amount of money to secure your release from custody. The bond is determined by the Judge or magistrate after considering whether or not you pose a risk of danger to others and whether or not you will appear for future court dates. The Judge can place strictly monitored conditions on your bond that are quite similar to being on probation with the Court (tether, drug testing, alcohol testing, no contact, etc.), and place you in jail if you do not fully abide with the bond conditions. It is highly recommended that you immediately retain a misdemeanor defense lawyer as early as possible to defend you. The criminal defense attorney in some instances is able to waive (skip) the arraignment and proceed directly to a pretrial (depending upon the Judge, the accusation you are facing, your prior criminal history, and if a bench warrant was ordered), and help you obtain from the Court a reasonable bond amount and reasonable bond conditions.
For most misdemeanors (not including "high court misdemeanors") a pretrial conference is scheduled after the arraignment (or scheduled if the arraignment is waived. "High court misdemeanors" are treated, procedurally, exactly like felony cases and the District Court proceedings (probable cause conference and preliminary exam) determine if the case is sent ("bound over") for final resolution to the Circuit Court (if a probable cause determination is made at District Court). At the pretrial conference, one of three different things usually occur: the case gets resolved by a plea and/or plea bargain; the case gets set for a trial (bench or jury); the attorney obtains an adjournment of the pretrial to have more time to prepare and to address any evidentiary issues.
For misdemeanor offenses you have the following essential trial rights:
- the right to obtain your own lawyer to defend you or to seek a public defender;
- the right to be notified of the charge or charges verbally and in writing and advised of the maximum possible penalty;
- trial due process rights (presumption of innocence, prosecution has burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, jury trial (or a bench trial if the Judge, prosecution, and the Defendant agree), right to cross examine all witnesses, right to subpoena witnesses, right to remain silent, right to testify); appellate rights.
Your defense only has proper value and true meaning if you have aggressive and experienced defense counsel to help you exercise your rights, because your defense is only as strong as its weakest link. You can choose go the public defender route if you claim you are poor and the Court believes you, but it is often true in life that you get exactly what you pay for. There are a few key questions that you should ask yourself when considering your legal options:
- Does the legal option that I am choosing have many years courtroom experience and success defending misdemeanor cases?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing answer my questions and concerns in a well thought out manner?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing have a local office, where I can schedule an appointment with my lawyer to discuss my case in private?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing have a solid reputation in the legal community and solid reviews?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing have legal acumen, jury trial experience, and the ability to push for the best possible results?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing appear frequently at the Court and before my assigned Judge?;
- Does the legal option that I am choosing make payment arrangements to help me afford the lawyer's services, or accept credit card and debit card payments?.
When it comes to considering Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC as your legal option, the answer these questions is an enthusiastic "yes". You do not need to settle for a make up as you go, unprepared lawyer, or a lawyer who does not have the time to properly defend you, or anything short of an awesome defense. Well prepared, being on top of his game, trustworthiness, client loyalty, zealousness, sharp witted, persuasive, intelligent, and experienced are descriptive terms that apply to lawyer Daniel Hilf. Although results are never guaranteed, because everyone's circumstances and background are different and unique, lawyer Daniel Hilf's promise is to help you obtain the best possible outcome taking everything into consideration.
Lawyer Daniel Hilf zealously defends:
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Offenses
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Retail Fraud
- Probation Violation
If you have to go to the 41B District Court in Clinton Township or the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mt. Clemens for a criminal case or ticket, the time is now to contact us.