Misdemeanor Lawyer Southfield MI
Hilf & Hilf, PLC attorney Daniel Hilf has a well established reputation for providing diligent, aggressive legal representation in Southfield for persons charged with misdemeanor offenses by the city of Southfield, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, or the Michigan Attorney General's office. Criminal offenses have a huge personal cost, upon conviction, that in many instances takes away an individuals their freedom, educational opportunities, good employment, and the best possible future. When you become aware of a criminal charge, do not hesitate to receive straight forward legal advice and professional legal representation from a leading Oakland County criminal defense lawyer.Misdemeanor Legal Representation from a Top Tier Southfield Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer
Misdemeanors in Michigan are low severity criminal offenses for violations of State laws and local ordinances which often can carry big personal consequences. The most commonly charged misdemeanor offenses in Southfield include: retail fraud, domestic violence, open intoxicants, assault and battery, aggravated assault, driving while license suspended, revoked, or denied (DWLS), drunk driving (OWI/DWI, OWI/DWI 2nd Offense, super drunk), disorderly person, and reckless driving.
For misdemeanor offenses that are alleged to occur in the city of Southfield, Court proceedings are scheduled at the 46th District Court, which is located at 26000 Evergreen Road in the city of Southfield 48076. For most misdemeanor charges in Southfield Michigan the maximum allowable penalty from your Judge is anywhere from 90 days in jail to 1 year in the Oakland County Jail, and most offenses do not have minimum sentences, meaning that the Judge can choose not to send you to jail. The only exception to this maximum penalty range are "high court misdemeanors", which carry up to 2 years in prison (however, the penalty can be higher if habitual offender sentencing provisions apply to you).
In addition to potential incarceration at the Judges discretion, a misdemeanor conviction also allows your Judge to place you on a period of probation, which is a form of court ordered supervision to monitor individuals to make sure they precisely follow the Judge ordered sentence. Probation can include a barrage of unpleasant conditions, decided upon by your Judge, that can make your life unpleasant, 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, domestic violence, substance abuse, anger management, etc.); take prescribed mental health medicines; prohibition on taking some legally prescribed medications (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 strictly follow all of the Judge's conditions of probation usually leads to violation of probation proceedings, which can lead to being taken into custody and/or harsher probationary conditions.
Some criminal convictions have there own separate penalties that are dictated by Michigan and/or Federal law, which include: loss and/or restrictions by the Michigan Secretary of State to your ability to lawfully 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 and/or purchase firearms (domestic violence, stalking), etc. For persons who are not United States citizens, beware of potential US immigration law consequences, which (depending upon the circumstances) may lead to deportation proceedings and deportation, inadmissibility (inability to lawfully return to the United States if you ever leave), immigration detention, and the inability to seek certain forms of waivers and immigration relief.
With 2 exceptions, all Michigan misdemeanor offenses require the Defendant to make an appearance at the District Court to address the charges levied. One exception is a "plea by mail" (for persons that are incarcerated in another State or county in Michigan, who sometimes have the ability to resolve the case sending a completed plea form to the Court). The other exception are offenses termed "payable misdemeanors" (offenses that the Court decides can be completely resolved without having to appear by the payment of money).
The first misdemeanor Court appearance in Southfield and other Michigan District Courts, 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. Generally, the amount of the bond is determined by the Judge or magistrate after making a decision (after hearing from you and your attorney) as to whether or not you will pose any risk of danger to the community and whether or not you will likely appear for all future court dates. In addition to cash, the Judge can place restrictive, burdensome conditions on your bond that are similar to probation conditions (drug testing, alcohol testing, tether, no contact, report to pretrial services, etc.), and the Judge can place you in jail for a violation of the same. If facing Court in Southfield your best option is to immediately hire a trusted defense attorney as early as possible to advise and defend you. Your defense lawyer, in many instances, is even able to "waive the arraignment", which allows you to 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.).
For all misdemeanor charges in Michigan (except "high court misdemeanors") the District Court hearing scheduled directly after the arraignment is a pretrial conference. "High court misdemeanors" follow the same legal proceedings as felony charges (probable cause conference, and preliminary examination. If there is a finding of probable cause your case is sent to the Circuit Court). At the pretrial for regular misdemeanor charges, you and your legal counsel will make one of the following decisions: to resolve the case by a plea and/or plea bargain; to have the case set for a trial (jury or bench); to try to obtain an adjournment of the pretrial to give your lawyer an additional period of time to prepare the file and to address any case related issues.
For all misdemeanor offenses it is important to always keep in mind that you have the following rights:
- the right to have your own legal counsel in Court to represent you at all Court hearings (if you retain a lawyer), or to ask for court appointed legal representation;
- the right to be properly notified of the charge levied against you, and the maximum possible penalty if convicted of the same;
- all of the rights that are contained in the United States Constitution (presumed innocent, prosecution has burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, jury trial, right to cross examine all witnesses against you, right to subpoena witnesses to testify for you, right to remain silent, right to testify, appellate rights).
The value of your defense is really contingent upon the legal acumen and litigation ability of your lawyer, because your defense is only as strong as its weakest link. You can gamble with court appointed counsel (if you are indigent and truly feel that a public defender is your only option to offer a defense) or choose to hire a lawyer who is in your corner.
Before you decide what route you go, there are several questions that are worth your consideration:
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case have many years courtroom experience and success defending misdemeanor cases?;
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case answer my questions and concerns in a well thought out manner?;
- Does the Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case have a local office, where I can schedule an appointment with my lawyer to discuss my case in private?;
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case have a solid reputation in the legal community and solid reviews?;
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case have legal acumen, jury trial experience, and the ability to push for the best possible results?;
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense appear frequently at the Court and before my assigned Judge?;
- Does the lawyer who is in charge of the defense of my case 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 retained courtroom defender, the answer to all of these questions is an emphatic "yes". You do not need to settle on a lawyer that you do not have confidence in, because you have a choice in the matter. Trustworthiness, legal acumen, zealousness, being on top of his game, client loyalty, and experience are descriptive terms that apply to defense lawyer Daniel Hilf.
Southfield criminal defense specialist Daniel Hilf aggressively and relentlessly handles the following cases: