Being accused of criminal charges is a difficult process for anyone to go through, possibly resulting in life-changing legal and personal consequences–not only is jail time a possibility, but being convicted of a crime can instantly ruin a person’s reputation. Although each example is unique, any Michigan criminal defense lawyer can attest that perhaps among the most difficult cases are those involving high-profile defendants, particularly powerful city or state officials. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is a perfect example of this. After a string of convictions, a judge sentenced the shamed politician to serve five years behind bars for violating probation, as well as pay a large restitution sum.
Kilpatrick pled no contest to Michigan assault charges
In late 2008, then-Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick pled guilty with obstruction of justice after illegally trying and failing to cover-up an extramarital affair. Court documents state that he attempted to block an investigation from proceededing in his office, and fired a police deputy to hide his indiscretions. Additionally, CNN reports that Kilpatrick also pled no contest to Michigan assault charges after striking a law enforcement official who was trying to serve a subpoena to a friend of the former mayor. For these charges, Kilpatrick already served three months in jail before being released on parole in February 2009. As a part of his plea bargain, he is to be on probation for five years and pay $1 million in restitution.
Unfortunately, Kilpatrick’s legal troubles had only just begun. In late April 2010, the former mayor was accused of Michigan probation violation charges, after he failed to turn over his tax returns and reporting false information about his income as an excuse for not paying his agreed restitution. Wayne County Judge David Groner ruled in favor of the prosecution and on May 25th, sentenced Kwame to serve between 1.5 to five years in jail, minus the 120 days already served.
However, it was mentioned that Kilpatrick began to cough up restitution payments, particularly once the trial got closer–just before sentencing, Kwame paid $3,000 on his bill with only $860,000 left to go. Judge Groner remained confident in his ability to pay from here out, particularly after his latest conviction. “That’s $3,000 more for the city of Detroit, and I bet he makes another $3,000 next month,” Groner commented. However, at the same time, the judge reminded Wayne County residents that they must wait to be repaid from Kilpatrick, particularly if he is locked up. “Let’s get the money if we can. If I put him in jail, it’s your tax dollars, Wayne County, and if he’s in jail, the county doesn’t get that money.”
As seen by the example of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, being suspected of criminal charges including assault and obstruction of justice can bring harsh enough consequences, let alone those brought on by violating one’s probation. Conviction of any crime, particularly for a public official will be very difficult–not only will harsh public opinion tarnish one’s reputation, but the accused may be subject to massive fines and significant jail time. Therefore, in such a situation it is essential to be proactive in securing the best defense for your case. By contacting aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorneys, not only will you receive the highest quality legal advice and legal representation, but also superior protection of your personal freedoms, liberties, and reputation.