The county of Allegan hammers those who are arrested for breaking the law. Our firm has seen a client get his with five different charges out of one arrest! We have seen people get jail on a regular basis for felony convictions. We had one client who almost got jail for a first offense two-year felony charge. This wouldn’t happen in just about any other county in West Michigan. When our clients are charged with a felony, we have noticed that it takes a long time for a case to finish. The previously mentioned cases are ones that end with a plea. If the case goes to trial or there is a threat of trial, the case will take even longer to finish.
The city of Allegan is a beautiful one. It has a river going through it and we have seen Bald Eagles on our way down there twice! The county gets hit hard during the winter time with more snow and ice than Kent or Barry County. So if you are having to go to court during the winter in Allegan, be prepared for your drive to take longer than you would expect.
Typical charges we see in this county are possession of meth, OWI/DUI/DWI, domestic violence, retail fraud and welfare fraud. This county takes meth charges very seriously! The main reason for this is the belief that this county has quite a people few making this dangerous drug. People that make meth also tend to engage trafficking the drug.
The Circuit Court – Family Division are those cases where the Prosecuting Attorney is charged with the responsibility of bringing cases of child neglect or abuse to the court. In, addition, the Prosecuting Attorney handles cases of juvenile delinquency and involuntary mental admissions (in Probate Court). Juvenile delinquency petitions filed in 2003 increased 70 from 1993. These numbers are disturbing, but understandable, given the growth of Allegan County, the breakdown of American family values, and the high incidence of educating the community and reporting. Allegan County has and will continue to take an aggressive approach to the protection of our children. Allegan County has one Family Court/Probate Judge, and two Hearing Referees.
Felony cases in Allegan are crimes in which the punishment can be incarceration of more than one year in prison. These cases require more time than misdemeanor cases. Felony cases have strict time limits which require preliminary exams and trials to be held within a certain amount of time. Of course, these time limits can be waived usually for good cause and many times these time limits do get waived for good cause. Allegan County has two Circuit Court Judges who handle all adult felony cases. Felony caseloads in Allegan County have increased over the past three years. The main reason for this has been methamphetamine abuse. This abuse is an epidemic and is prevalent in around 35 of all felony cases in Allegan County. Judge Bakker and Judge Kengis are former prosecutors in Allegan County. They are fair and reasonable circuit court judges. In the district court, there are also two judges. Judge William A Bailargeon is the Chief district court judge. Judge Joseph S. Skocelas is the other district court judge. The head prosecutor in Allegan County is Myrene K. Koch.
2019: Our client was facing four very serious felony charges. We got the top three serious charges dropped and she only had to plea guilty to one felony!
2019: A client was facing life in prison for a torture charge and several other felonies. We got numerous felonies dropped and our client got a small prison sentence!
2018: DUI was reduced to a impaired driving.
2017: OWI dropped down to impaired driving.
2017: Disorderly conduct charge ends with a not guilty verdict!
If you are contacted by a law enforcement agent because you are being investigated for committing a crime, and a lot of the time these investigations are the result of false allegations being made against you, it is absolutely in your best interest to take the following actions:
Do not fall for this! Stand your ground and tell them you will not speak to them without an attorney present. You should always do this! It does not matter if you are guilty or innocent. A lot of people tell Attorney Shawn Haff that they are innocent and why would I talk to the police officer. Do not do it! The police officer is there to gather information to prove that you committed the crime as alleged. Your words will be twisted to make you look guilty, even when you are innocent.
Still not sure who to hire to represent you on your criminal charge? Consider the following tips to keep in mind when you hire an attorney.
If you are facing criminal charges, hiring a lawyer is the smart thing to do.
These are steps you should take before you hire Shawn to represent you in your criminal case. Here are four steps you can take to know you have hired a great attorney to represent you in court.
If you still have questions, please call Attorney Shawn Haff at 616-438-6719. Let him ease your concerns and guide you through the tough legal maze that is criminal law!
Attorney Shawn Haff
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