Misdemeanor Lawyer Royal Oak MI
Hilf & Hilf, PLC attorney Daniel Hilf has a well regarded reputation for providing zealous legal representation in Royal Oak for persons charged with misdemeanor offenses by the city of Royal Oak, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, or the Michigan Attorney General's office. Criminal offenses have a huge personal toll, upon conviction, that in many instances costs individuals their freedom, educational opportunities, good employment, their good reputations, and the best possible future. When you become aware of a criminal charge that is pending against you, it becomes urgent to receive straight forward legal advice and aggressive legal representation from a leading criminal defense lawyer.Misdemeanor Legal Representation from an Expert Royal Oak Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer
Misdemeanors in Michigan are low severity criminal offenses for violations of local ordinance laws, state laws, and for some tickets which can carry big consequences. Typically charged misdemeanor offenses include (but are not limited to): retail fraud, domestic violence, open intoxicants, assault and battery, aggravated assault, driving while license suspended, revoked, or denied (DWLS), drunk driving (OWI, DWI), disorderly person, and reckless driving.
For misdemeanor offenses that are alleged to occur in the city of Royal Oak, Court proceedings are scheduled at the 44th District Court, which is located at 400 East 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak, Michigan 48068. For most misdemeanor charges in Royal Oak Michigan the maximum allowable penalty is anywhere from 90 days in jail to 1 year in the Oakland County Jail. The only exception to this potential penalty offenses that are classified under Michigan law as "high court misdemeanors", which carry up to 2 years in prison (however, the penalty can be higher if habitual offender sentencing provisions apply).
In addition to the potential for jail, a misdemeanor conviction also allows the sentencing Court to place you on a period of probation, which is a form of supervision that is ordered by the court to monitor individuals to make sure they precisely follow what the Judge ordered. Probation can include a barrage of conditions, decided by the Judge, that can make your life hard, including: reporting to a probation officer; alcohol testing; drug testing; not going to liquor stores or bars; payment of fines/costs/restitution/fees; professional counseling (mental health, substance abuse, anger management, etc.); take prescribed mental health medicines; prohibition on taking some legally prescribed medications (opiates, medical marijuana, some prescription medicines, 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 of the Judge's probationary conditions usually leads to violation of probation proceedings, which can lead to incarceration and/or harsher probationary conditions.
Some criminal convictions have there own separate penalties which are outside of the jurisdiction of your Judge, which include: loss and/or restrictions by the Secretary of State to your ability to drive a car (DWI, OWI, Driving While License Suspended, etc.); loss of hunting and fishing rights (certain DNR offenses); loss of ability to work in a hospital setting caring for patients (various assaultive, drug, and theft related crimes); ability to lawfully posses/purchase firearms (domestic violence, stalking), etc. A misdemeanor conviction can cause severe and tragic immigration problems for persons who are not United States citizens, which (depending upon the circumstances) may lead to deportation proceedings and 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 2 exceptions, all Michigan misdemeanor offenses mandate an appearance by the Defendant at the District Court with jurisdiction to address the charge or charges. One exception is for persons that are incarcerated in another State or county, who sometimes have the ability to resolve the case sending a "plea by mail" (the acceptance of which depends upon the local Court policies and the offense involved). The other exception are "payable misdemeanors" that are allowed for some offenses that can be resolved by the payment of money.
The first misdemeanor Court appearance is called an arraignment, which is a hearing before a magistrate or Judge where you are told of the charge(s) against you, the possible penalty the charge(s) carries, and a bond amount is set. The bond amount can range anywhere from a personal bond, where no money is required to be posted with the Court, to having to post a significant amount of money. Generally, the amount of the bond is determined by the Judge or magistrate after deciding whether or not you pose a risk of danger to the community and whether or not you will appear for all future court dates. The Judge can place burdensome, restrictive conditions on your bond that are similar to being on probation (drug testing, alcohol testing, tether, no contact, report to pretrial services, etc.), and place you in jail for a violation of the same. If facing Court in Royal Oak your best option is to immediately retain a misdemeanor defense lawyer as early as possible to defend you. Your attorney, in some instances, is even able to waive the arraignment and proceed directly to a pretrial (depending upon if a bench warrant was already ordered, the Judge, the accusation you are facing, your prior criminal history, etc.), and help you obtain from the Court a reasonable bond amount and reasonable bond conditions.
For all misdemeanors except "high court misdemeanors", the District Court hearing scheduled after the arraignment is a pretrial conference. "High court misdemeanors" have the same Court proceedings as felony, which determine whether or not the case will continue to the Circuit Court for a plea, trial, or other resolution there. At the pretrial, for regular misdemeanor charges, you and your lawyer will do one of the following: resolve the case by a plea and/or plea bargain; have the case set for a trial (bench or jury); obtain an adjournment of the pretrial to give your lawyer an additional period of time to prepare and to address any case related issues.
For all misdemeanor offenses you are advised by the Court of the following trial related rights:
- the right to have your own lawyer to defend you at all Court hearings, or to ask for court appointed legal representation;
- the right to be notified of each and every charge against you, and the maximum possible penalty for the same;
- the right to be Constitutionally protected by due process of law (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).
The value of your defense is contingent upon the ability of your lawyer, because your defense is only as strong as its weakest link. You can go with court appointed counsel if you are indigent and truly feel that a public defender is your only option.
Before you decide what route you go, there are several questions that are worth your consideration:
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense have many years courtroom experience and success defending misdemeanor cases?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense answer my questions and concerns in a well thought out manner?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense have a local office, where I can schedule an appointment with my lawyer to discuss my case in private?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense have a solid reputation in the legal community and solid reviews?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense have legal acumen, jury trial experience, and the ability to push for the best possible results?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense appear frequently at the Court and before my assigned Judge?;
- Does the lawyer entrusted with my best and strongest defense make payment arrangements to help me afford the lawyer's services, or accept credit card and debit card payments?.
When it comes to having Daniel Hilf as your legal advocate and defender, the answer to all of these questions is an enthusiastic "yes". You do not need to settle for anything short of a well thought out defense from a great lawyer. Trustworthiness, legal acumen, client loyalty, zealousness, being on top of his game, persuasive, and experienced are descriptive terms that apply to defense lawyer Daniel Hilf.
Lawyer Daniel Hilf diligently handles the following cases in Royal Oak and throughout Oakland County:
- Domestic Violence
- Probation Violation
- Drug Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Retail Fraud
- Other Criminal Offenses
If you have to go to the 44th District Court in Royal Oak or the Oakland Circuit Court in Pontiac for a criminal case or ticket, the time is now to contact us.