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What things are against the law isn’t always obvious

There are all kinds of laws on the books here in Michigan. This includes a fair number of criminal laws. So, there are lots of things that are illegal here in Michigan. And the list of such things has gotten a fair amount of additions in recent years. According to reports, in recent years, Michigan has been adding dozens of new criminal offenses a year.

With so many criminal offenses specified in state law, it can be easy for a person to not have a solid understanding of what exactly is illegal in the state. This is among the things that has raised concerns that there might be an overcriminalization problem here in Michigan.

One of the concerns that can arise in connection to overcriminalization is the possibility of citizens facing charges for things they didn’t know were against the law. Michigan has taken some steps to address this issue, including passing a default criminal intent statute a couple years back. However, even with these efforts, there are still situations in which a person could end up facing charges for taking actions that they weren’t aware were against the law.

Do you think Michigan has an overcriminalization problem? If so, what further steps would you like to see the state take to try to correct this problem?

As state criminal law is quite complex, so too are criminal proceedings in the state. Such complexity could, under certain circumstances, open the door to a person could not being fully aware of their options during the course of facing accusations of criminal activity. This could put a person at a serious disadvantage and cause them to miss important opportunities to protect their interests when going through such proceedings.

This is among the reasons why having good legal guidance can be so critical when facing criminal charges, whatever the nature of the charges. Skilled defense attorneys can help individuals who are going through criminal proceedings stay properly informed of their options during the course of such proceedings.

Source: Mlive, “Michigan has so many crimes, you may not know you're committing one,” Emily Lawler, April 6, 2017

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Law Offices of Harris & Literski
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