Can I be charged with a felony and misdemeanor for the same crime?

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Can I be charged with a felony and misdemeanor for the same crime?

Asked on January 16, 2011 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be, in two different ways:

1) First, prosecutors often charge several different "levels" of a crime. For example, in a murder case, they may charge both both murder and manslaughter (a "lesser" type of murder). It's also common in sexual assault cases, where several different types of sexual assault, often ranging from forceable rape to "mere" inappropriate touching, are charged. That is because they don't know what they'll be to prove to a jury, so they cover their bases. When this done, the accused can't be convicted of more than one "version" of a crime, so the conviction will be of the most serious version that the jury is convinced of (if any).

2) Also, some crimes have multiple different components. The act of robbing someone at gunpoint can give rise to robbery, to weapons possession, and to assault charges--all of which are distinct crimes arising from the same act. In this case, the accused could be convicted of any or all.

So it is entirely possible to be charged with a feony and a misdomeanor for the same act.


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