Last week, this Kalamazoo criminal defense legal blog discussed criminal sexual conduct and how certain sex crime charges may arise to the level of felonies, depending on the conduct the defendant is alleged to have committed. Many factors can influence whether a charge is elevated to the level of a felony, including, but not limited to, the age of the alleged victim, the alleged use of a weapon and if any other crimes were alleged to have been committed during the events giving rise to the criminal sexual conduct charge.
Under Michigan law, specific crimes, such as rape, sexual assault and sexual battery, are contained in the general category of criminal sexual conduct. There are different levels of criminal sexual conduct that the state recognizes, and some of those different levels rise to the level of felony charges.
In Michigan, there are several degrees of the crime of home invasion, and the punishments vary accordingly. A person commits first degree home invasion, when they enter a dwelling without the owner's permission and with the intent to commit a felony, either while the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon or someone was lawfully present in the dwelling. A person convicted of first degree home invasion can face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
A felony conviction in Michigan can not only lead to a long prison sentence, financially crippling fines, and damage to one's reputation, but it can affect an individual's ability to find and obtain housing, employment, and education.
Most Michigan residents have been pulled over by the police at one time or another. The experience can be stressful and intimidating, even when the stop is for something minor, like a nonfunctioning taillight. For this reason, some individuals may be wary of stopping when instructed to do so by a police officer. Although that feeling may have some justification, it is against the law to fail to stop when instructed to do so by an officer.
There are a number of types of felony charges in Michigan. Those who wind up facing any of these charges need to ensure that they adequately defend themselves, lest they be convicted and thereby forced to submit to strict penalties. In order to avoid what could be a long prison sentence, financially devastating fines and irreparable damage to one's reputation, accused individuals need to inform themselves of the law and how best to use it to their advantage.
Michigan residents who are arrested and charged with a crime often have a lot on their mind, and they may find themselves consumed by worry and fear. Although much of a person's concern is centered on the outcome of the case as a whole, there may be preliminary matters, the outcome of which could affect an accused individual's short-term day-to-day life.
Michiganders who have knowledge of the criminal justice system know that felony offenses are treated more seriously than misdemeanors. Yet, not all felonies are created equal. A murder charge, for example, can carry much more significant penalties, and a prosecutor may pursue a conviction more aggressively than a charge for felony assault. Though this may seem intuitive, there are some criminal offenses out there that are difficult to gauge. We hope this post will help clarify one particular offense: human trafficking.
In today's world, state and national security is a top priority. Surveillance efforts continue in post-9/11 America, and for good reason. Yet, government intrusion into our personal lives can lead to unwarranted criminal allegations. Sometimes those accusations involve terrorist, which could lead to serious charges. Failing to be aware of the laws surrounding these instances could be a costly mistake, and so, too, could failing to aggressively defend against prosecutors who may be out to set an example.