In Michigan, felonies are serious crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. Michigan law categorizes felonies into eight classes: Class A felonies through Class H felonies. Class A felonies are the most serious felony crimes in Michigan. Michigan also has High Court misdemeanors, which are similar to felonies because they are punishable by more than one year.
For information on misdemeanors, see Michigan Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Possible Penalties for Felonies in Michigan
- Class A felonies are punishable by up to life in prison or any number of years in prison.
- Class B felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
- Class C felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- Class D felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- Class E felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Class F felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
- Class G felonies are punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
- Class H felonies are crimes for which the defendant can be sentenced to time in jail or to alternatives such as probation, treatment or electronic monitoring. Sentences for these crimes are variable and governed by the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines.
A Michigan court also can impose fines as part of the sentence for any felony. The amount of the fine depends on the specific crime for which the defendant is being sentenced.
Class A Felony
Class A felony crimes in Michigan include first and second degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to rob or steal, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
Class B Felony
Class B felonies include second degree arson, second degree child abuse (second or subsequent offense), and production of child sexually abusive material (child pornography).
Class C Felony
Class C felonies include manslaughter, human trafficking that results in injury to another person, and robbery.
Class D Felony
Class D felonies include larceny (property valued at $20,000 or more), embezzlement (property valued at $20,000 or more), and human trafficking.
Class E Felony
Class E felonies include carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, first degree retail fraud (shoplifting), and home invasion in the third degree.
Class F Felony
Class Felonies include manufacture, deliver or possession with intent to deliver less than 5 kilograms of marijuana and unauthorized loan and credit applications – preparation and submission.
Class G Felony
Class G felonies include drawing on insufficient funds in an amount greater than $500 (writing a bad check), lobbyists giving gifts, and domestic assault (second or subsequent conviction).
Class H Felony
Class H felonies include using a stolen state identification card to commit a felony and false representation to obtain or misuse personal information.
Criminal Statute of Limitations
Michigan law requires that a criminal prosecution begin within a certain amount of time after a crime is committed or believed to have been committed. The criminal statute of limitations limits the length of time the state can wait before filing charges against a person. The length of time varies for different crimes and some crimes, such as murder, have no time limit. For more information on the criminal statute of limitations, see Criminal Statutes of Limitations in Michigan.
The Value of Good Representation
A felony conviction becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another felony, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. Being a convicted felon can hurt you when you are looking for a job and applying to rent a house or apartment. Convicted felons lose the right to vote, to carry firearms, and to obtain certain professional licenses.
An experienced attorney can determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, explore plea options, or represent you at trial. Only someone familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.