Areas of Specialization
Lievens Law PLLC in Lambertville, Michigan offers trusted legal representation in many practice areas.
Assault and battery charges are brought against someone when he or she has attempted to cause physical injury (assault) resulting in actual contact such as hitting someone (battery). These charges are typically categorized as a misdemeanor except in certain circumstances where the accused could be charged with a felony.
In addition, you may face aggravated assault charges in Michigan if serious injury is inflicted as a result of the contact. If the person must seek medical treatment, has impaired health or is disfigured afterward, aggravated assault felony or misdemeanor charges will be filed.
FELONY VS MISDEMEANOR CHARGES
A typical assault and battery charge will result in a misdemeanor charge. In most cases, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if you were unsuccessful in harming the person or if you only intended to cause fear in the person versus real physical harm.
However, under certain circumstances felony charges will be filed instead of a misdemeanor. While all charges are life-changing, if convicted of a felony you lose the right to work in your chosen profession, the ability to own firearms and the right to vote.
Felony charges may be brought if the person being attacked is a law enforcement official, medical personnel, public employee, or someone who you were involved with through a dating relationship. Felony charges in dating relationships are typically brought as the result of a second offense.
Our experienced criminal attorneys can assist you with felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic offenses. We work with both juveniles and adults. This can include anything from an assault and battery to a DUI or drug-related crime, and everything in between.
A new state law allows certain people to expunge crimes from their records, affording them a chance at a brighter future. A criminal history can cost people job opportunities and damage their standing in child custody disputes. Our staff of skilled and experienced lawyers will help you get a fresh start and avoid discrimination because of your criminal history.
Our family law attorneys provide legal services in all areas of family law, including divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and spousal support.
We will protect your rights as a spouse, whether it’s through mediation or litigation, and help you gain the most equitable results, including a fair distribution of your assets and debt, child support, and child custody.
Child Custody and Support
Our attorneys will focus on the best interest of your children in custody matters. We are sensitive to the vulnerability of children during a divorce or separation. We will offer amicable resolutions to child support, child custody, and parenting time issues. Since child support needs and finances can change at any time, please contact us so we can assist you in ensuring that you receive or pay an equitable amount of the financial support necessary to raise your child in a happy, healthy environment.
We will work with you to create a parenting time schedule that accommodates you and maximizes your time with your children.
Our attorneys will assist you in establishing an equitable amount of spousal support.
Being charged with domestic violence and spousal abuse related charges can be life changing. Compared to regular assault and battery charges, in Michigan the punishments, if convicted, are harsher under state law.
PUNISHMENT FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & SPOUSAL ABUSE CHARGES
If you are charged with domestic assault, the punishment you face will vary depending on if this is your first conviction.
Punishment for a first conviction will be charged as a misdemeanor and includes:
- Up to 93 days in jail;
- A fine of up to $500.00, or both.
Punishment for a second conviction will also be charged as a misdemeanor and includes:
- Up to 1 year in jail;
- A fine of up to $1,000.00, or both.
Finally, punishment for a third conviction will be charged as a felony and includes:
- Up to two years in jail;
- A fine of up to $2,500.00, or both.
In contrast, domestic aggravated assault charges in Michigan will occur if serious injury is inflicted as a result of the contact. Serious injury is where the person must seek medical treatment, has impaired health or is disfigured afterwards. In these circumstances, aggravated domestic assault felony or misdemeanor charges will be filed.
Punishment for a first conviction is charged as a misdemeanor and includes:
- Up to 1 year in jail;
- A fine of up to $1,000.00, or both.
Finally, punishment for a second conviction will be charged as a felony and includes:
- Up to two years in jail;
- A fine of up to $2,500.00, or both.
If you have lost your privilege to drive, we can assist you in your petition to request that your driving privileges either be partially or totally restored. Our office works with closely with clients through the Secretary of State process of restoring their Michigan Driver's License privileges. We help the client prepare for their hearing through obtaining all necessary treatments and documentation, a close working relationship with reputable substance abuse evaluators, and preparation of the paperwork required to achieve a successful outcome.
PENALTIES FOR A FIRST DUI OFFENSE
If you are convicted of a first-offense drunk driving charge, and your BAC was below 0.17%, you may face the following penalties:
- Up to $500 in fines
- Up to 93 days in jail
- Driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days
- 6 traffic points on your driver’s license
- Up to 360 hours of mandatory community service
If you are arrested for driving drunk and your BAC was above 0.17%, you will face operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges. The penalties for a first-offense OWI include:
- Up to $700 in fines
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year
- 6 points on your driver’s license
- Up to 360 hours of mandatory community service
- Required completion of an alcohol treatment program
- Mandatory ignition interlock installation on your vehicle
As you can see, the penalties for even a first-time offense are very serious. If you are convicted of a second- or third-time DUI offense, you will face even harsher penalties. The same is true if you are arrested for DUI and there is a minor in your vehicle at the time of the arrest or if you are also convicted of causing an accident that results in injury or death while driving drunk.
PENALTIES FOR UNDERAGE DRUNK DRIVING & COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
Michigan has what is known as a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Anyone under the age of 21 who is found to have a BAC of 0.02% or higher will be charged with DUI and may face serious penalties.
The penalties for underage DUI or OWI in Michigan include:
- Up to $250 in fines for a first offense or up to $500 in fines for a second offense
- Up to 93 days in jail for a second offense
- 30-day (first offense) or 90-day (second offense) license restriction
- 45 days of mandatory community service for a first offense or 60 days for a second offense
- 4 points on your driver’s license
For those holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a drunk driving conviction not only threatens your freedom, but it also threatens your livelihood. CDL holders convicted of a first-time DUI or OWI face a one-year suspension of their CDL. This increases to three years if you are transporting hazardous materials. If you are convicted of a second or third offense, your CDL will be revoked for at least 10 years.
MICHIGAN SOBRIETY COURTS
One of the consequences of a DUI conviction is the revocation or restriction of your driver’s license. However, certain individuals (typically repeat offenders) may be able to enter the Sobriety Court program, which allows you to retain a restricted license only if you participate in treatment programs. Members of the program are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. They must also remain in the program for two years, attend Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), submit to drug and alcohol testing, and carry out community service.
DRIVER’S LICENSE RESTORATION
Typically, the process of restoring your driver’s license in Michigan is as follows:
- First, you will need to request an administrative hearing through the Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. This is known as a DAAD hearing (formerly known as a DLAD hearing).
- As part of the application, you will need to include a substance abuse evaluation. This evaluation must be completed by a qualified substance abuse counselor and be no more than three months old.
- You will also need to submit documentation with your application that outlines your past/current substance use, as stated by people who know you personally. This is typically included in the form of a letter along with your substance abuse evaluation.
- If you have been previously ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, you will also need to include a copy of the final report from the device.
- After submitting all required documents and paperwork, you will await a decision on your request. If the request is accepted, you be notified of a hearing date. You will be required to attend the hearing in person.
- At the conclusion of your hearing, during which our attorneys will represent you and show completion of the necessary steps for your driver’s license restoration, you may receive a decision right away, or you may need to wait for a decision by mail.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges should always be taken seriously and it is important to always have an experienced attorney representing your case. However, having good representation is especially important if you are facing a felony DUI charge.
There are different circumstances that lead to a felony charge in a drunk driving case, so we will help you understand the charge you are facing and the steps you will need to follow as your case proceeds.
PUNISHMENTS FOR FELONY CHARGES
The penalties for this crime are up to five years in prison.
Additional restrictions may include not being able to operate a vehicle with anyone under the age of 16 years old.
In addition to OUIL charges, you can also face a felony charge if you are charged with an Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) after two prior drunk driving convictions.
The OWPD penalties are severe and may include the following:
- Jail time between 1 and 5 years. Other options include from 30 days to 1 year of jail time combined with probation and community service from 60 up to 180 days.
- Fines from $500 to $5,000.
- License revocation for at least 5 years. You will also be required to have a Driver’s License Appeal Hearing before being given your license back.
- Potential installation of a breathalyzer device on your vehicle and up to 6 points on your driver’s license.
Finally, the most serious punishment is given for a drunk driving conviction that results in the serious impairment or death of another person.
Penalties include the following:
- Fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
- Serving up to 15 years in jail.
If you have a high BAC, then the punishment will increase for the felony conviction. Anyone convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charges for the death of another person could receive up to 20 years in prison.
Anyone who is pulled over under suspicion for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or other offenses is required under state law to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol he or she consumed. A bodily alcohol content (BAC) test may be administered at the scene by a police officer or at the station or hospital after your arrest.
Michigan’s Implied Consent Law requires all drivers to submit to a test or they could face points on their license or have their license suspended.
CONSEQUENCES FOR TEST REFUSAL
Anyone who refuses to take a BAC test will receive punishment. The penalties imposed including the following:
- Six points on your license
- Suspension of your license for one year
You only have a short period of time to challenge your license suspension, so you need an attorney handling your case immediately.
Besides the penalties above, a second refusal for a test within a seven-year time period results in increased penalties. These are as follows:
- An additional six points on your license
- License suspension for two years
A BAC is not to be confused with a breath test when you are first pulled over by law enforcement. The penalties for refusing this type of test are typically a small fine and a civil infraction.
REPRESENTING YOU AT LICENSE SUSPENSION HEARINGS
Even though a suspension is automatically issued, there are ways to appeal the decision. Because the license suspension is separate from any criminal charges you are facing you will also need your legal counsel to appear at an administrative hearing. Michigan’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division will handle the all license suspension hearings related to drunk driving charges.
Our knowledgeable attorneys assist individuals and businesses with all types of general civil litigation, including but not limited to business disputes, breach of contract, collections, fraud/misrepresentation, property damage, real estate disputes, personal injury claims, and consumer disputes.
Our office represents both landlords and tenants, involving evictions and collections for both residential and commercial leases. We draft leases, pursue legal evictions, defend against illegal evictions, and offer the best and most complete legal services for our clients from beginning to end.
In Michigan, a person convicted of a felony is subject to a firearm ban for 3 years after completing the terms of their sentence. If a person is convicted of a “specified felony” (such as those involving the use of force, an explosive or firearm, controlled substances, or burglary), then the person is subject to the ban until 5 years after completing the terms of their sentence. A person who has lost his or her firearm privileges due to a conviction may regain them by applying to the “concealed weapons licensing board” for the county of his or her residence. The administrative procedure to restore firearm rights includes petitioning the circuit court in the county in which the applicant resides. If the board refuses to restore firearm privileges, then person may petition to the circuit court.
A person who has lost their firearm rights due to a conviction may also have their conviction Set Aside in order to restore those rights. The circuit court will restore these rights if, by clear and convincing evidence, the following circumstances are true:
- The individual properly submitted a petition for restoration of firearm rights,
- five years have passed since the individual has paid all fines imposed, all terms of imprisonment have been served, and all terms of probation or parole have been completed, and
- the record and reputation of the applicant are such that they are not likely to act in a manner dangerous to the safety of others.
Our office is dedicated to assisting those who have been injured as a result of an accident, including automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall, dog bite, premises liability, or wrongful death cases.
If you have had a PPO issued against you and need help in having the order lifted, we can help you. Our legal team is ready to assist you. We understand the circumstances surrounding these cases are very personal and we will take the time to hear your story.
TYPES OF PERSONAL PROTECTION ORDERS
The three types of orders issued are domestic relationship, non-domestic (stalking) and non-domestic (sexual assault) PPOs.
- Domestic Relationship PPO – these are issued to protect someone who is connected to a person in the following ways:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Individual with whom you have or had a dating relationship with
- A person who shares a child with you
- Someone who lived or currently lives in your home
- Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO
- Designed to protect people from an abuser who is not connected to them through a domestic relationship outlined above.
- At least two incidents of stalking must be documented before an order will be issued. Stalking includes but is not limited to harassment through text messaging or phone calls or repeatedly showing up where you live or work.
- Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO
- Issued against a person who has been convicted of sexually assaulting someone.
- These PPOs are also issued if a threat of sexual assault has been made and the person is not in a domestic relationship with the individual he or she is threatening.
Probate and Trust Administration
Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the complex process of probating a will or administering a trust according to the decedent’s wishes and assist the personal representative in every step of the estate process as we know how sensitive these cases can be following the death of a relative or loved one.
We will create an estate plan that specifically works for you, whether that be through a Last Will And Testament or a Trust. If you have children, you may need to better protect your assets upon your death, including establishing a guardianship for your children. Whether your estate plan will consist of a will, trust, or living wills and powers of attorney, we will assess your situation and create a plan that works for you. We will assess the benefit of Ladybird deeds to allow your home to pass directly to your designated beneficiaries upon your death.
Guardianships and Conservatorships
A guardian or conservator has the legal authority and duty to care for another’s person or property because of the other’s infancy, incapacity, or disability. Allow our extensive knowledge to help you through every step of this process.
Our office can assist you in a variety of real estate matters, including boundary disputes, drafting of residential or commercial leases, drafting of quitclaim and warranty deeds, matters involving quiet title, and most other real property matters and controversies.