Criminal Sentencing Guidelines
If you’re facing criminal charges in Michigan, your first and most important step should be hiring a Michigan criminal attorney. The importance of securing representation for yourself cannot be understated; an attorney will ensure the court treats you fairly and will help you understand your rights and sentencing options. Once you have an attorney, however, your next step should be working to understand the criminal sentencing guidelines as established by Michigan legislature.
What are sentencing guidelines?
Put simply, sentencing guidelines are the standard to which the court adheres when assigning penalties to your offenses. Specific crimes have specific sentencing ranges and judges must stay within those ranges when assigning a sentence; the guidelines consider factors relevant to the particular offense in addition to your previous record. For example, a Class F felony is punishable by up to four years in prison, but the actual sentence will vary greatly depending on the conditions specific to your case.
Common felony charges in Michigan include Class G possession, Class D possession, Class E forgery, Class G larceny, and class C home invasion. Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of Michigan felony stats; you can take a look at the top 50 and their statutory penalties by reading this PDF from the State Bar of Michigan (https://www.michbar.org/journal/pdf/pdf4article1299.pdf).
Why does it matter?
Familiarizing yourself with sentencing guidelines is key if you want to have a firm grasp of the charges you’re facing. Your criminal attorney can help you to understand the sentencing guidelines specific to your case and will be your ally in the courtroom when your day in court arrives. Remember: Experienced criminal attorneys know how to argue the variable of a case and make it easier for you to face a more favorable sentence.