Southfield Violent Crimes Lawyer
Violent crimes in Southfield, Michigan and throughout the state are offenses that involve the accused using force or the threat of force against a victim. Major violent crimes that fall under this category of offenses include – but are not limited to – assault and battery, domestic violence, gang violence, and more. If you are facing one or more of these charges, then you are well advised to obtain a Southfield violent crimes lawyer to stand up for your rights and put together a cohesive defense in your case.
Due to the nature of these offenses, these crimes are prosecuted and punished severely in Michigan. The sentences range far and wide, depending on various factors such as the type of offense, the victim’s vulnerability, and your criminal history. As a defendant convicted of a violent crime you may also face lengthy probation periods, fines, supervised release conditions, and other consequences.
Southfield criminal defense attorney Maurice Davis has years of experience which he is ready to put to work for you. If you are facing a dire violent crimes charge, you need a professional legal advocate who knows how the prosecution works. As a former prosecutor, attorney Davis can use his experience to negotiate effectively for reduced charges or provide you with aggressive representation in court.
Violent Crimes in Michigan
Murder & Manslaughter
Often used interchangeably, it’s important to note that murder and manslaughter are two different offenses under Michigan law.
Per Michigan Penal Code Section 750.316, you can be found guilty of first-degree murder if:
- You intentionally killed someone else by poisoning them; lying in wait; or through any other willful, deliberate, or pre-meditated means
- You committed the killing while you were committing arson, sexual misconduct, abuse of a child, major drug offenses, robbery and/or burglary, carjacking, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, or aggravated stalking
- The victim was a member of law enforcement who was on-the-job at the time of the killing
A conviction for this offense is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Under Michigan Penal Code Section 750.317, all other instances of intentional killings are considered second-degree murder. A conviction for this offense brings with it a prison sentence of any length.
To be convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Southfield, MI, a prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you:
- Killed another individual in the heat of passion
- This passion was provoked by the victim
- There was not an adequate amount of time between the incitement and killing to get a hold of your emotions
For a prosecutor to find you guilty of involuntary manslaughter, they must prove:
- You killed someone else
- That death was caused by your recklessness or actions that would likely result in injury or death
- You knew, or reasonably should have known, that your actions could harm others
If you’re found guilty of either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, you face up to 15 years in prison, and a fine reaching $7,500.
Under Michigan law, stalking is willful conduct involving continuous unwanted contact that causes a victim to feel terrorized or otherwise harassed. Examples of this offense include repeatedly following someone on their commute to work, appearing in their sight to cause them fear, and more.
Depending on the age of your alleged victim, a stalking conviction could mean up to one year in jail and fines reaching $1,000 (for a misdemeanor), or incarceration for up to five years and $10,000 in fines (for a felony).
If you knowingly restrain another person while doing any of the following, you can be charged with kidnapping under Michigan Penal Code Section 750.349:
- Holding them for a reward
- Using them as a shield or a hostage
- Forcing them into non-consensual sexual acts
- Taking them across state lines
- Holding them for involuntary servitude
- Engaging in sexual abuse of a child
If the prosecution finds you guilty of this offense, they can punish you with up to life in prison, and fines reaching $50,000.
Michigan law defines a gang as any group with five or more people that is identifiable by the following:
- A sign or symbol that expresses membership
- Criteria for membership
- A command structure
If you commit a felony on behalf of a gang, recruit new members, or retain membership through threats, you can face felony charges that bring with them five to 20 years in prison, and up to $20,000 in fines.
There are varying levels of child abuse crimes in Michigan, including:
Child Abuse in the First-Degree
Under Michigan law, if you cause a child (any person under the age of 18) the following, you will face a felony:
- Serious physical harm – Any injury that impairs a child’s physical well-being, including broken bones, fractures, and more
- Serious mental harm – Any injury to a child’s mental health that causes a condition that significantly impacts their life
If you are found guilty of first-degree child abuse, you can be sentenced to any number of years to life in prison.
Child Abuse in the Second-Degree
Per Michigan Penal Code Section http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(wz3dv42arnxuq0olxxzw0pi3))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-316b” target=”_blank”>750.136b(3), you can be found guilty of second-degree child abuse if you:
- Cause serious harm to a child through acts of omission
- Cause serious harm to a child through reckless acts
- Knowingly or intentionally do something that would likely hurt a child
- Knowingly or intentionally act cruelly towards a child
If found guilty of this offense, you face up to 10 or 20 years in prison, depending on if you’ve committed the crime before.
Child Abuse in the Third-Degree
If you knowingly or intentionally cause physical harm to a child, or if you knowingly or intentionally do something that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to a child (and the child gets injured), you can be charged with a felony and sentenced to up to two years in prison.
Child Abuse in the Fourth-Degree
Causing physical harm to a child through omission or recklessness, or knowingly/intentionally doing something that causes a potential of harm to a child (regardless of whether they are injured), you will face misdemeanor charges. As such, you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail.
Assault and Battery
There is a difference between assault and battery under Michigan law. Assault occurs when you say or do something that makes another person fear that they will be injured. This includes verbal threats. For example, if you tell someone you are going to hit them, and come close to doing so, you can be charged with assault.
Battery involves actually following through with your intimidations and making physical contact with the person you threatened. You can be charged with this offense when you kick, slap, pinch, and otherwise touch someone when the actions are unwanted.
Under Michigan law, simple assault and battery is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, and $500 in fines.
Aggravated assault and/or battery occurs when an assault or battery results in a serious injury. Such an offense is considered aggravated and serious if:
- Immediate medical attention is required
- Disfigurement occurs
- It causes medical impairment
- It results in impaired bodily function
This offense is punishable by one year in county jail, and fines reaching $1,000.
Other assault and battery crimes include:
- Assault with a weapon, or with the intent to cause great bodily harm or death
- Torture with the intent to maim
- Assault and battery while committing a felony offense
- Assault on a family or social services worker
- Assault on an individual engages in their official duties
- Assaulting a utilities employee
These offenses range in how they’re classified, but if you’re found guilty of any of the above offenses, you can be sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. As such, you should reach out to a Southfield violent crimes lawyer for help if you’re facing allegations of assault and battery in Michigan.
Free Consultation with a Southfield Violent Crimes Attorney
With decades of legal experience, and as a former prosecutor, Southfield violent crimes lawyer Maurice Davis understands the high stakes you are facing with your violent crimes charge. He can help you with by delivering intelligent and tireless representation on your behalf to seek the best possible conclusion to your matter.