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Misdemeanor Lawyer Ferndale MI

Leading Misdemeanor Lawyer in Ferndale

Criminal Defense AttorneyMisdemeanor attorney Daniel Hilf has a stellar reputation for providing solid and zealous legal representation in Ferndale for persons charged with misdemeanor offenses by the city of Ferndale, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, or the Michigan Attorney General's office. Misdemeanor convictions have serious repercussions which can cause the loss of freedom, loss of educational opportunities, loss of employment opportunities, and damage to your future prospects.  With a pending misdemeanor you should urgently obtain sound legal advice and aggressive legal representation from a sought after criminal defense specialist, in order to put your misdemeanor troubles behind you.

Ferndale Misdemeanor Legal Representation from a Client Referred Criminal Defense Lawyer

Misdemeanors in Michigan are criminal offenses the are brought to Court based upon allegations of  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): DWLS (Driving While License Suspend), drunk driving, disorderly person, assault and battery, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and retail fraud.

For all misdemeanor State law and local charges that are alleged to occur in the city of Ferndale, Court proceedings are eventually held at the 43rd District Court, which is located at 305 E. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale, Michigan 48220.   The maximum possible jail penalty for Ferndale misdemeanor convictions is anywhere from 90 day to 365 days in the Oakland County Jail.  The only exception to this maximum potential penalty are offenses known as "high court misdemeanors", which carry a maximum of 2 years in prison (however, the penalty can be higher if habitual offender sentencing provisions apply).  It is important to know that most misdemeanor offenses do not require any jail sentence upon conviction.  There are only a hand full of misdemeanor crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences upon conviction (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 the potential for incarceration at the Court's discretion, a misdemeanor conviction also allows the sentencing Court to order a term of probationary supervision with whatever conditions the Judge deems appropriate.  Probationary conditions can include an array of obstacles at the Judge's discretion that can make your life very difficult and stressful, including: reporting to a probation officer; alcohol testing (breath or urine testing); drug testing; no going to bars or liquor stores; 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 your probationary conditions can 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 which are outside of the Judge's control, 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 catastrophe for persons who are not United States citizens (visa holders, green card holders, foreign exchange students, etc.), which (depending upon the circumstances) may cause 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.

With 2 possible exceptions in Michigan, all 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.  The 2 possible exceptions are: the use of a "plea by mail" by someone incarcerated in another jurisdiction; plea to a "payable misdemeanor" (only available to specified minor offenses, depending upon the Court's policies and procedures).  

An "arraignment" is the first Court appearance for most Defendants, which is a courtroom proceeding before a Judge or magistrate where you are advised of the specific charge against you, informed of the possible penalty the specific charge carries, and have a bond amount set by the Court.  The bond amount is at the Judge's or magistrate's whim, and can range anywhere from not having to post any money to remain free (personal bond) to having to post a exorbitantly high amount of money.   In deciding upon your bond amount, the Judge or magistrate considers whether or not you pose any risk of danger to the community and whether or not you are a flight risk (will return for all court proceedings).  The Judge can place burdensome conditions on your bond that make you feel like you are already on probation (drug testing, alcohol testing, no contact, tether, etc.), and immediately place you in jail custody  if you do not fully comply with all the bond conditions.  It is essential to your liberty and future well being that you immediately hire an experienced and aggressive misdemeanor defense lawyer as early into a case as possible to provide proper legal representation.  The misdemeanor defense lawyer in many instances is even given the opportunity on your behalf 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 remain free on a reasonable bond and with reasonable bond conditions.

Except for "high court misdemeanors", the misdemeanor Court hearing following after the arraignment is a pretrial conference.  "High court misdemeanors" are processed by the Court in the same manner as felony cases, and the District Court proceedings applicable to felonies (probable cause conference and preliminary exam) determine if the case is sent for final determination to the Circuit Court with jurisdiction (if a probable cause determination is made at District Court).  At your pretrial conference, you will make a decision with the assistance of your lawyer: 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 relevant evidentiary issues.

For all misdemeanor offenses your important Constitutional rights include the following:

  • the right to your own choice counsel to defend you (if you have the money to hire your own lawyer) or to seek a court appointed representation if without funds to hire a lawyer;
  • the right to be fully and fairly notified of the specific charge that brought you to Court and the maximum possible penalty which the Judge can impose;
  • critical due process of law rights (presumed innocent, prosecution has sole burden of proving case beyond a reasonable doubt, jury trial, right to cross examine all witnesses against you, right to subpoena witnesses, right to remain silent, right to testify; appellate rights).
If a conviction occurs, it is up to the Court to decide on the terms and conditions of sentence within the limitations provided by law.  You and your lawyer have the right and the opportunity to speak on your behalf prior to the Court imposing sentence to try and persuade the Judge's sentencing decision.

Misdemeanor Defense from a Respected Lawyer with Extensive Courtroom Experience at the 43rd District Court in Ferndale 

Your defense is only as strong as its weakest link, and your rights only mean something if you have a lawyer who is fully and passionately invested in your defense.  You can choose a blind path and go the public defender route and hope your lawyer is of decent quality, or choose to invest in legal resources to help you try and secure a better future result. 

There are a few key questions that you should contemplate before settling upon your misdemeanor legal counsel:

  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to have many years courtroom experience and success defending misdemeanor cases?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to answer my questions and concerns in a well thought out manner?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to have a local office, where I can schedule an appointment with my lawyer to discuss my case in private?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to have a solid reputation in the legal community and solid reviews?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to have legal acumen, jury trial experience, and the ability to push for the best possible results?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to appear frequently at the Court and before my assigned Judge?;
  • Does the lawyer who I am committing myself to make payment arrangements to help me afford the lawyer's services, or accept credit card and debit card payments?.

When it comes to having attorney Daniel Hilf represent you, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding "yes", because he is loyal to his clients and always gives his best effort.  You do not need to settle for a half baked defense, or a lawyer who just goes through the motions to provide the bare minimum service.  Being on top of his game, loyalty to clients, zealous defenses, well prepared, trustworthiness, persuasive, sharp, and experienced are descriptive terms that apply to lawyer Daniel Hilf and his legal services.  Although results can never be guaranteed, because everyone's personal case circumstances are different, attorney Daniel Hilf's commitment to you is to press for your every possible advantage and defense to help you try to obtain the best possible result.

Experienced and zealous lawyer, Daniel Hilf, is the person you can count on for for felony and misdemeanor defense in the Ferndale District Court, Oakland county, and elsewhere, for all charges including:

If you have to go to the 43rd District Court in Ferndale due to a misdemeanor, the time is now to contact us.