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GRAND RAPIDS CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

Put a Team with a Proven Track Record on Your Side

Being arrested or accused of committing a criminal offense can be a frightening, stressful, and confusing experience. A conviction can result in severe penalties, including jail or prison time, costly fines, and a criminal record that can negatively impact your personal life and professional reputation.

When facing a criminal charge, you need a strong advocate who knows the territory. James Scozzari combines his winning record as a defense attorney with a team-based approach to every case. When you retain us to defend you, you have the combined experience and expertise of all our attorneys at your disposal. Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony, whether in State court or Federal court, our law firm can fight for you.

Call (616) 229-3002 or contact Scozzari Graham, PLLC online to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your defense strategy.

Michigan Criminal Laws

If a person commits a crime in Michigan, most offenses are charged and prosecuted at the state level, rather than the federal court. There are two main types of state crimes: misdemeanors and felonies.

In general, a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony. However, getting convicted of a misdemeanor can still lead to harsh criminal penalties, such as a jail sentence and fines.

There are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum jail term of 93 days and/or a fine of up to $500, misdemeanors punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000, and high court misdemeanors, which carry a maximum jail sentence of two years and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

On the other hand, felonies are punishable by a prison sentence, instead of jail time. Additionally, being a convicted felon is associated with the loss of certain rights, such as the right to possess a firearm, the right to serve on a jury, the right to join the military, or the right to own a Michigan liquor license.

Here is a breakdown of the felony classes in Michigan:

  • Class A felonies – Punishable by life imprisonment or any number of years in prison

  • Class B felonies – Punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 20 years

  • Class C felonies – Punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years

  • Class D felonies – Punishable by a maximum prison term of 10 years

  • Class E felonies – Punishable by imprisonment for up to five years

  • Class F felonies – Punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years

  • Class G felonies – Punishable by imprisonment for up to two years

  • Class H felonies – A conviction can result in either jail time or other alternatives, such probation, electronic monitoring, or treatment

The fines the courts can impose can be in an amount, depending on the specific offense.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Our legal team at Scozzari Graham, PLLC can thoroughly assess your case, figure out all your available legal options, and help you obtain the most favorable outcome in your case. Whether it is in your best interests to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial, we will explore every possibility before you make such crucial- life-altering decisions.

Contact us today at (616) 229-3002 to speak with our Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can help you!

Unique Expertise 

We are tenacious attorneys working for the best result possible. We bring an amazing track record, experience and knowledge to every case.

What Happens After You ARe ARrested in MI

Arraignment

One of the first steps of the criminal process is the arraignment, which is the first court hearing following arrest and booking. Furthermore, it is often combined with a bail hearing.

At an arraignment, a judge will formally state the charges you are facing. The judge will also read your rights, ask you to enter your plea, and set a bail amount or release you. When it comes to entering your plea, there are three options: guilty, not guilty, and no contest (e.g., not agree to committing the crime, but accept a conviction).

Keep in mind, if you plead guilty or no contest, the criminal trial process will end. Therefore, a “not guilty” plea gives you the opportunity to hire a lawyer (if you haven’t already done so), who can investigate your arrest, gather evidence, and help you either get your entire case dismissed or your charges/penalties reduced.

Investigation

After you (the defendant) are formally charged, the prosecution and the defense will each investigate the incident and prepare their case. The defense can examine all the prosecutor’s evidence and interview all witnesses prior to trial.

By law, the prosecution must disclose any information that may demonstrate that the defendant is not guilty. In turn, the defense must disclose all evidence and witnesses that will be presented at trial. Therefore, both sides must show what they have against one another.

Remember, to obtain a guilty verdict, the jury must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If a reasonable person has any doubt as to whether you are guilty after reviewing the evidence and witness testimony, then the jury must find you not guilty.

Plea Offer

The truth is that more than 90 percent of all criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains – and never go to trial. Also known as a plea agreement or plea deal, a plea bargain is an agreement between the defense and prosecution, in which the defendant pleads guilty or not contested in exchange for either reduced charges or reduced penalties.

If the evidence against you has some weaknesses and there is a risk of an acquittal or hung jury at trial, the prosecution may settle for a plea deal to offer lesser charges (i.e., from a felony to a misdemeanor) and/or a lighter sentence (i.e., serving probation in lieu of jail or prison time). However, if prosecutors believe they have one or two strong charges against you, they may bring other charges to increase their bargaining power in plea negotiations.

Your lawyer can help you determine if the prosecution can prove that you committed any crime beyond a reasonable doubt and see if it is beneficial to accept the plea bargain or take your case to trial.

Trial

At trial, the defense and prosecution present their cases by introducing physical evidence and having witnesses testify. As we mentioned before, the jury is instructed to review all the evidence presented at trial and determine whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The jury must unanimously find a defendant either guilty or not guilty. If you are convicted at trial, the prosecution can recommend the highest sentence possible.

Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at Scozzari Graham, PLLC online or by phone at (616) 229-3002.

WHY CHOOSE OUR FIRM?

Aggressive. Caring. Committed.
  • Transparent Communication
  • Tenacious Attorneys Working Collectively for Best Possible Result
  • Knowledgeable & Experienced Attorneys Ready to Handle Your Case
  • Proven Track Record of Success for Our Clients
  • Your Initial Consultation Is Free
  • We Zealously Advocate for Our Clients

cLIENT REVIEWS

We Always Pursue the Best Result
    I Recommend Him to Everyone I Know

    “I got a great deal THANKS to James! Felony number 20 something and James got me probation.”

    - Mike
    Excellent Service

    “I hired James to represent a friend of mine on a probation violation charge. James was very professional and provided excellent service.”

    - Catrina
    A Stellar Attorney

    “After being charged with an OWI, James went to work to get me the best possible outcome he could. Always polite, always prompt, and always professional.”

    - Eric
    Amazing Lawyer

    “I was a minor charged with an OWI, and with Scozzari's help, he got me the best sentencing possible.”

    - Anonymous
    Worth Every Penny

    “I couldn't have asked for a better attorney. James is always on time and friendly. James did not nickel and dime me. Very honest.”

    - Jon

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