We offer a variety of services. For more information, click the plus and minus signs below to open and close each section.
As a Former Prosecuting Attorney for two large municipalities, and having handled numerous Bench and Jury Trial cases, it is crucial for someone charged with a crime to have an experienced attorney representing them from the very beginning of the case. Therefore, it is highly recommended that if you are charged with a crime, you immediately consult with an experienced criminal attorney. I have over 20 years of successfully representing Defendants in criminal cases since being in private practice.
- Arraignment – The District Court Judge or Magistrate will advise you of your Constitutional Rights and will do a Formal reading of the charge(s) against you and the possible maximum fine and jail time. Always plead “Not Guilty” at this stage, especially if you do not have an Attorney representing you. Conditions and posting of Bond will also be addressed. The court will then schedule a Pre-Trial.
- Pre-Trial – A conference is held with the Prosecutor to see if a settlement agreement to resolve the case can be achieved. There may be several Pre-Trials involved. During this time there may be Special hearings, such as motions, evidentiary hearings, and/or other matters which require briefs and rulings from the Judge. Discovery or a Court Order requiring the Prosecutor to provide all of their investigation and evidence of the charges can be obtained. If warranted, a Motion to Dismiss the charge can be filed challenging the Prosecutor’s charges based on the facts of the case and the applicable law. Usually the parties will either resolve the case with a Plea Agreement or schedule the case for Trial. After a Plea Agreement, there will be a Sentencing hearing.
- Sentencing – If the case is resolved with a Plea Agreement, the Judge will outline the length, terms and conditions of probation. The Judge can impose fines and costs, classes, community service, court work programs, etc.
- Arraignment – The District Court Judge will advise you of your Constitutional Rights and will do a Formal reading of the charge(s) against you and the possible maximum fine and jail/prison time. Conditions and posting of Bond will also be addressed. The court will then schedule a Probable Cause Conference within 7 to 14 days.
- Probable Cause Conference – A probable cause or pre-exam conference is like a pretrial conference. This is where the parties will decide if they are going to hold a Preliminary Exam (the case will automatically proceed to the County Circuit Court if the Preliminary Exam is waived.) Often times the parties can agree to settle the case at the District Court with a misdemeanor plea and keep the Sentencing there.
- Preliminary Exam – This is a hearing held at the District Court where the Prosecutor must establish by witnesses and evidence that there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and probable cause exists to show Defendant committed a crime. Whether to hold the exam is a crucial tactical decision. If it is waived, the case will proceed to the County Circuit Court for further proceedings. If it is held, the Prosecutor must produce the following witnesses that must testify at the Exam in person:
• Complaining witness
• Alleged eye witness
• Law enforcement officer to whom the defendant made an incriminating statement.
Several types of medical and police reports can be admitted at the Exam without requiring the author of the report to testify in person of such documents are as follows:
• Results of a drug field test
• Certified copy of judgment, register of actions, governmental agency record
• Reports (other than law enforcement) kept in the ordinary course of business
• Forensic science reports
• Lab reports
• Medical reports
• Arson reports
• Autopsy reports
Thus, the Exam is not conducted like a trial and the Prosecutor has a low threshold to establish the case should be bound over to the Circuit Court for further proceedings. The next proceeding is an Arraignment on the Information (AOI) which is held in Circuit Court 14 days after the Exam.
4.Arraignment on the Information – This is a hearing held at the Circuit Court where the case will remain until concluded. The AOI Judge will see if the parties can resolve the case or if a Trial Judge must be obtained. If the case is resolved the AOI Judge will also be the Sentencing Judge. It is common for there to be an adjournment and to return to the AOI Judge for a Docket Conference in order to allow the parties to complete their settlement discussions. Most cases are resolved with the AOI Judge as it will be known in advance what Sentence will be imposed. If the case cannot be resolved, the AOI Judge will randomly select or “blind draw” a Trial Judge. The balance of the case will stay with the selected Trial Judge.
5.Trial Judge – Before an actual trial is held, the Trial Judge will schedule several Docket Conferences, Settlement or Final Pre-Trial Conferences, possible Evidentiary Hearings or Motions regarding different issues in the case. Cases can still be resolved prior to a trial. If the case cannot be resolved, the Judge will assign a date for a Jury Trial. Depending on the number of witnesses, expert testimony, amount of evidence involved, the complexity of the case and issues, a trial may take several days or several weeks. Even after a trial or ruling on a Motion, it is possible there may be appeals filed by either side regarding a ruling of the Trial Court. Findings of “Not Guilty” jury verdicts cannot be appealed by the Prosecutor.
The following is just some of the types of criminal matters we can provide legal counsel and representation:
• Larceny from a Motor Vehicle
• Larceny from a Building
• Retail Fraud (Shoplifting)
• Armed Robbery
• Unarmed Robbery
• Unlawful Driving Away of an Automobile
• Fraudulent Use of a Financial Transaction Device (Credit Card Fraud)
• Non-Sufficient Funds (Bad Checks)
Violent Crimes/ Assault Crimes:
• Assault & Battery
• Felonious Assault (Assault with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon)
• Assault with Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm (Assault GBH)
• Domestic Violence
• Home Invasion
• Resisting & Obstructing Police
• Intimidating a Witness
• Aggravated Stalking
• Marijuana Possession or Marijuana Use
• Possession of Controlled Substance (Cocaine, Heroin)
• Possession of Analogues
• Possession with Intent to Deliver
• Maintaining a Drug House or Drug Car
• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
• Medical Marijuana Act
Drunk Driving and Alcohol Related Offenses:
• OWI 2nd Offense
• OWI Causing Death or Serious Injury
• High BAC or Super Drunk Driving
• Felony OWI
• Child Endangerment OWI
• Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)
• Driver’s License Restoration and Appeals
• Implied Consent Hearings (Breath Test Refusal)
• Ignition Interlock Violations
• Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW)
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm
• Felony Firearm
• Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC)
• Sex Offender Registry (SORA)
• Sex Offender Registry Removal
• Indecent Exposure
• Malicious Destruction of Property
• Unlawful Driving Away of an Automobile
• Entry Without Owner’s Permission / Trespassing
• Breaking and Entering
• Driving While License Suspended (DWLS)
• Reckless Driving
• Fleeing and Eluding
• Driving Without Insurance
• No Operator’s License (No Ops)
• Moving Violation Causing Serious Injury or Death
• Identity Theft
• Probation Violations
• Juvenile Crimes