Misdemeanors in Michigan
Even though misdemeanors have shorter sentences than felonies, they can be just as serious. In Michigan, more serious crimes are referred to as felonies, while less serious crimes are referred to as misdemeanors. Misdemeanors in Michigan are classified into three types.
The first two classes of misdemeanors are known as “93-Day Misdemeanors”. The first category includes misdemeanor crimes that violate a local ordinance. Local ordinance violations are the least serious of all offenses, punishable by no more than ninety-three days in county jail and a maximum fine of $500. The court costs are not included in this fine. This type of misdemeanor will be prosecuted by the city attorney.
State law violations
State law violations are the second misdemeanor category under Ninety-three Day Misdemeanors. State law violations are punishable by up to ninety-three days in county jail and a $500 fine. Court costs are not included in the fine. The distinction between a misdemeanor under state law and a misdemeanor under local ordinance is the municipality of the law pertaining to the specific crime. Drug possession is a misdemeanor in both states, but the circumstances of the arrest can determine whether the individual is charged with a state law misdemeanor or a local ordinance misdemeanor.
One Year Misdemeanors
The One Year Misdemeanors are the third and final class of Michigan misdemeanors. These are misdemeanor offenses under state law. One-Year Misdemeanors are punishable by no more than one year in a county jail and no more than $1,000 in fines. The court costs are not included in this fine. These are the most serious misdemeanors, but they are not as serious as the lowest felonies. All second offenses of driving without a license are treated as one-year misdemeanors under state law. In contrast, first offenses of drunk driving are classified as Ninety-three Day Misdemeanors.
Misdemeanor Expungement in Michigan
Even if a person was arrested for a crime 25 or 45 years ago, the arrest record is still kept by the police department. This means that it is accessible to the general public, including licensing boards, employers, and credit agencies. As a result, some people are able to have their records expunged. This means that an arrest record can be expunged and a person can legally claim on paper that the arrest never occurred. In Michigan, you can also seal a record. This is the point at which an arrest record can only be accessed by authorized officials and not by the general public.
Expungements cannot be filed until a year has passed since the arrest. A judge must grant an expungement, which does not happen automatically if an application is filed. The court has the authority to refuse an expungement if doing so is not in its best interests. Even after an expungement, the charges can still be used against an individual in certain circumstances. This can make a current crime more serious.