All of us can make a poor decision or judgment error. Sometimes, a momentary lapse can lead to an arrest, criminal charge, and conviction. Other times, the justice system doesn’t function as it should, and the police make arrests and prosecutors charge people with crimes they did not commit. Either way, if you face criminal charges, the consequences of a guilty verdict or plea can haunt you for years, long after you’ve paid fines or completed a sentence.
At Kreis Enderle, we believe that there is no such thing as a “minor” criminal charge. Even if the charge you face is “just” a traffic ticket, your future is nothing to leave to chance. Hefty fines, loss of driving and other privileges, higher insurance premiums, and even jail time are all possibilities.
Kreis Enderle’s experienced and determined criminal defense attorneys understand what’s at stake and aggressively defend our clients against charges of all kinds. When strategically defending the rights of the accused, our goal is always an acquittal or dismissal of the charges. But when a negotiated resolution or plea offers a better alternative, we work with prosecutors to minimize the impact and consequences of a conviction so our clients can put their ordeals behind them and move forward with their lives.
Our criminal defense lawyers provide seasoned representation for individuals throughout Michigan facing a wide range of criminal charges, including:
- Traffic tickets
- Speeding Tickets
- Reckless Driving
- Minor in Possession (“MIP”)
- Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”)
- Operating While Intoxicated (“OWI”)
- Drug Possession
- Assault and Battery
- Domestic Violence
- Possession of drugs
When you meet with one of our criminal defense lawyers, we will listen to your story without judgment, answer your questions, address your concerns with honesty and clarity, vigilantly protect your rights, and fight to obtain the best outcome in your case.
Criminal Law FAQs:
What’s the difference between a Michigan misdemeanor and a Michigan felony?
Like most states, Michigan divides criminal offenses into two broad categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The most fundamental difference between the two is the potential length of incarceration and where you would serve time upon conviction. A Michigan misdemeanor conviction can result in a maximum of one year of imprisonment served in a county or local jail. Sentences for felony convictions, longer than one year, are usually served in a state prison.
What do I do if the police question me at a traffic stop or for suspicion of a crime?
You have the right to remain silent. You’ve probably heard that phrase hundreds of times in the movies or on TV crime dramas. It is the first part of the Miranda warnings police must read to criminal suspects upon their arrest and before a custodial interrogation.
As familiar as you may be with your right to remain silent, it’s easy to forget or be apprehensive about exercising that right when police question or detain you. Many people impulsively start talking to police after a traffic stop or during another interaction out of nervousness, fear, or a desire to explain “this is not what it looks like.” This can be a huge mistake that can come back to haunt you.
The more you talk, the more opportunities you have to weaken the defense of your case. Therefore, you should never speak to the police before consulting with an attorney. At most, you should provide police your name and personal information by handing the officer your driver’s license or identification card.
Why should I hire a defense lawyer when I could represent myself?
Attempting to represent yourself when facing experienced prosecutors determined to convict you is a decision you may regret. Criminal law, and the rules of evidence and procedure that will play a huge role in determining your fate, are complicated and nuanced. A judge will expect you to know the law and follow the rules, and you won’t receive any special treatment because you chose not to hire a lawyer. If you don’t know what you’re doing, prosecutors can quickly steamroll over you while you make critical mistakes or leave potential defenses on the table simply because you aren’t aware of them. When you consider the consequences that follow a criminal conviction, trying to save money by representing yourself can prove even more costly.
If a Breathalyzer showed that my BAC was over the legal limit, doesn’t that mean I will be found guilty of DUI?
Like all machines, breathalyzers can malfunction. And they often do, producing inaccurate results because they were not properly maintained or calibrated or because an officer administered the test incorrectly. Police may have also made other mistakes when pulling you over or arresting you. Any of these errors could be the basis of a successful DUI defense when they create doubt about the reliability or admissibility of breathalyzer evidence or if police violated your constitutional rights after pulling you over.
Can you refuse to submit to a roadside, preliminary breath test (PBT)?
If a police officer believes you have been driving erratically or pulls you over for another valid reason, and the offficer has reason to believe you are intoxicated, the law requires you to cooperate with the police officer to allow them the ability to determine if you are intoxicated. The officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests or submit to a roadside preliminary breath test. You are within your rights to refuse to do either, but you will likely be issued a civil infraction and fine for refusing to submit to the preliminary breath test.