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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 115435
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I was already arraigned for utterring & publishing and ...

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I was already arraigned for utterring & publishing and my lawyer in the district court tried to get the two counts down to a misdemeanor. The complainant said no. Now my lawyer says it will go to the circuit court. In the circuit court does the complaintor have any say so in the sentence to which I will receive? I have already confessed to doing this. The amount was 1800 dollars and in the state of michigan. What possibly could be my sentence?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
750.249 Forgery of records and other instruments; uttering and publishing.

Uttering and publishing forged instruments—Any person who shall utter and publish as true, any false, forged, altered or counterfeit record, deed, instrument or other writing mentioned in the preceding section, knowing the same to be false, altered, forged or counterfeit, with intent to injure or defraud as aforesaid, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 14 years.

The person making the complaint does not get to decide your sentence, the judge decides the sentence. Sentencing depends on many factors, including the circumstances under which you committed the crime, the amount of money involved, whether or not restitution was made, your prior criminal record and other extenuating circumstances that may exist. Generally, before sentencing there is a pre-sentence report done by the probation department which examines whether or not justice will be served by sending you to prison or just putting you on probation and giving you a fine. Your attorney can also try to work out a plea arrangement where you plead guilty or no contest to the charges and get a sentence other than actual jail. Even if the DA refuses a plea deal, the sentencing is still up to the judge who can consider recommendations from the DA and the presentence investigation.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will appear again at the district level, can my lawyer ask the judge to rule on giving me a misdemeanor even if the complainant said no to the misdemeanor charges and if so and the judge refuses will it hurt me at the district level?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
The judge can reduce the charge only after it goes to trial and he hears the evidence. The DA can reduce the charge or make a plea deal on the charge without the judge. Additionally, if the case is being transferred to Circuit Court, it is unlikely the district judge will rule on anything and will leave it for the Circuit Court to handle.
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