Even though misdemeanors carry shorter jail times than felonies, they can still be as serious as felonies. In Michigan crimes that are defined as more serious are called felonies and those that are less serious are called misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are placed in three categories in the state of Michigan.
The first two classes of misdemeanors are called Ninety-three Day Misdemeanors. The first in this class are misdemeanor crimes that violate a local ordinance. Local ordinance violations are the least serious of all offenses and can only be punishable by no more than ninety-three days in a county jail and a maximum fine of five hundred dollars. This fine does not include court costs. A city attorney will prosecute in this kind of misdemeanor.
The second misdemeanor class that falls under Ninety-three Day Misdemeanors is that of state law violations. State law violations are punishable by no more than ninety-three days in a county jail and no more than a five hundred dollar fine. The fine does not include court costs. The difference between a state law misdemeanor and a local ordinance is that of the municipality of the law regarding the specific crime. The possession of drugs can fall under both misdemeanors, but the circumstances of the arrest can dictate whether or not the individual is charged with a state law misdemeanor or a local ordinance misdemeanor.
The third and final class of Michigan misdemeanors is called the One Year Misdemeanors. These misdemeanor offenses are state law cases. One Year Misdemeanors are punishable with no more than one year in a county jail facility and no more than one thousand dollars in fines. This fine does not include court costs. These misdemeanors are the most serious of misdemeanors but are not as serious as the lowest of felonies. All second offenses of driving without a license cases are under state law and automatically become One Year Misdemeanors. This is in contrast to first offenses of drunk driving where it falls under Ninety-three Day Misdemeanors.
Michigan Misdemeanor Expungement
Even if an individual was arrest for a crime twenty-five or forty-five years ago, the arrest record still remains with the police department. This means it is open to the public, which includes licensing boards, employers, and credit agencies. Because of this some people are able to expunge their records. This means that an arrest record can be erased and a person can legally state on paper that the arrest never happened. Sealing a record is also available in Michigan. This is where an arrest record can only be accessed by the proper officials and no longer by the public.
Expungements cannot be filed until a year from the time of the arrest was made. An expungement must be granted by a judge, which does not automatically happen if an application has been filed. The court has the right to deny an expungement if it is not in the favor of the court to do so. Even if an expungement has been granted, the charges can still be held against an individual in certain circumstances. This can increase the seriousness of a present crime. See also:
Michigan Felony External link (opens in new window)
Michigan Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Michigan Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)