Misdemeanor Lawyer Farmington MI
Hilf & Hilf, PLC attorney Daniel Hilf has a highly regarded reputation for providing aggressive, thorough legal representation in Farmington for persons charged with misdemeanor offenses by the city of Farmington, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, or the Michigan Attorney General's office. Misdemeanor criminal charges can have a lifetime impact, upon conviction, that can lead to the loss of freedom, educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and the best possible future. When you are arrested or otherwise notified by law enforcement or a Court of a criminal charge, it becomes extremely urgent to obtain sound legal advice and aggressive legal representation from a sought after criminal defense specialist, in order to put your legal troubles behind you.Farmington Michigan Misdemeanor Legal Representation from a Often Referred Criminal Defense Lawyer
Misdemeanors in Michigan are criminal offenses for alleged violations of local laws (ordinances), State laws, and Federal offenses which are considered lower in severity than felony charges. Commonly charged misdemeanor charges include (but are not limited to): driving while license suspended (DWLS), drunk driving (OUI, DUI), disorderly person, reckless driving, retail fraud, domestic violence, assault and battery, and aggravated assault.
For all misdemeanor State law and local charges that are alleged to occur in the city of Farmington, Court proceedings are eventually held at the 47th District Court, which is located at 31605 W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan 48336. This is really not a great place to face a criminal case if you are a Defendant, because the two Judges and magistrates have a reputation of being unpredictable when it comes to bond and sentencing conditions.
The maximum possible jail penalty for Michigan convictions is anywhere from 90 day to 365 days of jail incarceration. The only exception to this potential penalty are "high court misdemeanors", which carry up to 2 years in prison (however, the penalty can be higher if habitual offender sentencing provisions apply). Most misdemeanor offenses do not require a jail sentence upon conviction, however there are a few crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences (for example, the DNR offense of Unlawfully Taking a Deer [poaching] has a penalty in Michigan from 5 days in jail up to 90 days in jail for a first offense).
In addition to potential incarceration, a misdemeanor conviction also allows the sentencing Court to order probationary supervision with whatever conditions the Judge deems appropriate. Probationary conditions can include an assortment of mandatory requirements and obstacles that can make your life very difficult, including: reporting to a probation officer; alcohol testing (breath or urine testing); drug testing; no going to bars; payment of fines/costs/restitution/fees; professional counseling (mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, anger management, etc.); attend programs; take prescribed mental health medicines in their prescribed doses; 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 the Judge's imposed probationary conditions leads to a Court date called 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 (DWI, OWI, Super drunk driving, OUI 2nd offense, Driving While License Suspended, etc.); loss of hunting and fishing privileges (certain DNR offenses such as Unlawfully Taking a Deer); loss of ability to work in a hospital setting caring for patients (various assaultive, theft related, and drug crimes); the inability to lawfully posses/purchase firearms (domestic violence, stalking), etc. A misdemeanor conviction can cause an immigration nightmare for persons who are not United States citizens (foreign students, visa holders, green card holders, etc.), which (depending upon the circumstances) may lead to deportation, inadmissibility (inability to lawfully return to the United States if you ever leave the United States), immigration detention, and the inability to seek certain forms of waivers and immigration relief.
All Michigan misdemeanor charges mandate an appearance by the person charged at the District Court with jurisdiction over the alleged offense to address the charge or charges. There are only 2 possible exceptions: for persons that are incarcerated in another State or county, who sometimes have the ability to resolve the case by means of a "plea by mail" depending upon the local Court policies and the nature of the offense involved; some Courts have low level misdemeanors called "payable misdemeanors" that can be resolved by the payment of fines/costs that are determined by the Court according to a fee/cost schedule.
The first court appearance is known as an arraignment, which is a courtroom proceeding before a magistrate or Judge where you are advised of the charge against you, informed of the possible penalty the charge carries, and have a bond amount set by the Court. The bond amount is at the magistrate or Judge's discretion, and can range anywhere from not having to post any money with the Court (personal bond) to having to post a severely high amount of money. For bond, the Judge or magistrate considers whether or not you pose a risk of danger to the community and whether or not you are a flight risk. The Judge can place strict, Court monitored conditions on your bond that mimic being on probation (drug testing, alcohol testing, no contact, tether, etc.), and immediately place you in jail if you do not fully comply with all the bond conditions. It is essential to your liberty and future that you immediately retain a misdemeanor defense lawyer as early into a case as possible to properly defend you. The misdemeanor defense lawyer in some instances is given the opportunity to waive the arraignment and proceed directly to a pretrial (the ability to waive the arraignment depends upon the Judge, the accusation you are facing, your prior criminal history, and if a bench warrant was already entered into the LEIN system), and help you obtain a reasonable bond and bond conditions.
For all misdemeanors, except "high court misdemeanors", the District Court hearing following after the arraignment is a pretrial conference. "High court misdemeanors" are treated exactly like felony cases (for procedural purposes) and the District Court proceedings relevant to felonies (probable cause conference and preliminary exam) determine if the case is sent for final resolution to the Circuit Court with jurisdiction (if a probable cause determination is made at District Court). At the pretrial conference, you and your legal counsel will make one of the following determinations: to resolve the case by a plea and/or plea bargain; to set the case for a future trial date (bench or jury); to obtain a new pretrial date to give your lawyer more time to prepare and to address any evidentiary issues.
For all misdemeanor offenses you have essential trial rights that you are entitled to exercise to protect you, which includes:
- the right to retain your own counsel to defend you or to seek a court appointed representation;
- the right to be notified of the charge or charges and the maximum possible penalty;
- trial due process rights (presumed innocent, prosecution has burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, jury trial, right to cross examine all witnesses, right to subpoena witnesses, right to remain silent, right to testify; appellate rights).
Your defense is only as strong as its weakest link, and your rights only have real and proper value if you have zealous defense counsel to present a vigorous defense. You can go the risky public defender route if you do not have the financial ability to obtain your own lawyer, but it is often true in life that you get exactly what you pay for.
There are a few critical, relevant questions that you should ask before deciding upon the type of legal representation you have:
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court have many years courtroom experience and success defending misdemeanor cases?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court answer my questions and concerns in a well thought out manner?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court have a local office, where I can schedule an appointment with my lawyer to discuss my case in private?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court have a solid reputation in the legal community and solid reviews?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court have legal acumen, jury trial experience, and the ability to push for the best possible results?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court appear frequently at the Court and before my assigned Judge?;
- Does the attorney I want to represent me in Court make payment arrangements to help me afford the lawyer's services, or accept credit card and debit card payments?.
When it comes to attorney Daniel Hilf, the answer to all of these questions is an enthusiastic "yes", because he is in your corner. You do not need to settle for an unprepared lawyer with a half baked defense, or a lawyer who does not have your back, or anything short of a strong defense. Client loyalty, zealousness, well prepared, trustworthiness, being on top of his game, persuasive, sharp, and experienced are descriptive terms that apply to attorney Daniel Hilf's legal services. Although results can never be guaranteed, because everyone's case circumstances and individual backgrounds are different, attorney Daniel Hilf's commitment is to press for your every advantage and help you try to obtain the best possible result by taking everything into consideration.
Legal advocate Daniel Hilf is your lawyer for felony and misdemeanor charges in 47th District Court, Oakland county, and elsewhere, for all cases including:
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Offenses
- Probation Violation
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Retail Fraud
If you have to go to the 47th District Court in Farmington or the Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac for a criminal ticket or charge, the time is now to contact us.