Michigan law does not hold parents criminally liable for their child’s illegal actions unless the parents were also involved in some way. Parents may, however, be liable for damages caused by the child. If, for example, a child is convicted of vandalism, their parents might have to pay to clean up the damage.
A criminal conviction can affect a family court case, depending on the type of offense involved. One factor that Michigan courts consider when making decisions about child custody is “the moral fitness of the parties involved.” A conviction for a nonviolent offense probably will not affect a custody case, but a violent offense probably will.
A juvenile record could impact your child’s life while they are still a child. College admissions offices, for example, often ask about juvenile conviction history. For most purposes, however, Michigan juvenile records are sealed once a child turns 18.
Having a felony criminal record can affect your ability to find a job or lease an apartment. A new Michigan law allows many felony convictions to be expunged, meaning they can be removed from your record. The best approach is still to do everything you can to avoid a felony conviction in the first place.
A good criminal defense attorney knows Michigan’s criminal laws. They can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and build strategies for your defense. They can find evidence and arguments that could reduce the severity of the charges against you or even lead to their dismissal. Defense lawyers have experience negotiating with prosecutors and arguing cases to judges and juries.