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Michigan teenager pleads guilty to misdemeanor vandalism charge

Although he could have faced felony charges, a Michigan teenager will face a misdemeanor charge in exchange for a guilty plea.

The teenager was arrested in April after he was found vandalizing playground equipment. He was initially charged with malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,000 but less than $20,000. He now faces a misdemeanor charge of malicious destruction of property worth more than $200 but less than $1,000.

The teenager entered his guilty plea at a preliminary examination. He will be required to pay $1,300 in restitution.

Police say the 18-year-old may be responsible for other vandalism. Additional charges could be filed against him.

Although a misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony charge, a person convicted of a misdemeanor could face harsh consequences including large fines, time in jail, community service and probation.

In addition, people convicted of a misdemeanor could find it difficult to find employment. They may also lose their driver's license for a period of time.

In certain cases, like this one, a defense attorney may find it beneficial to focus their efforts on mitigating any potential consequences rather than focusing their efforts on an individual's innocence.

It is likely that the teenager in this case was represented by a criminal defense attorney. Anyone in Michigan who is facing criminal charges would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney. It may be especially important for teenagers to have strong representation. Teenagers have their entire lives ahead of them. They do not want one mistake to haunt them for years to come.

Source: AnnArbor.com, "Ann Arbor teenager pleads guilty to misdemeanor vandalism for graffiti," Kyle Feldscher, June 13, 2012

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