Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

  • Wyoming, MI 49519
  • attorneyshawnhaff@gmail.com
  • 616-438-6719
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Kentwood Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorneys
Kentwood, Michigan

The criminal defense attorneys at The Criminal Defense Law Center are here to aggressively defend your rights in the Kentwood district court.

We understand that good people make mistakes! We also understand that good people sometimes get falsely accused of a crime they didn’t commit.

Just know this, we will not judge you! Our attorneys will fight hard to get you the best results possible!

From our experience, we’ve found the most common criminal charges issued in Kentwood are domestic violence, retail fraud, driving on a suspended license.

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What Happens In A Criminal Case?

The first court appearance anyone has when they are facing a criminal charge is the arraignment process.

At the arraignment, the judge will explain to the defendant what they are being charged with.

This explanation includes the maximum possible jail time the defendant may receive, how high the fines could be and the amount of community service a person can expect to see if they are convicted of the charge. The judge will also inform the defendant about possible sanctions to their driving privileges if they are convicted of the charge. Finally, Judge Kelly will explain the possible consequences a criminal conviction will have on the defendant if they are an immigrant. A person who is an immigrant here legally or a person who is not in the United States legally can be deported if they are convicted for crimes of moral turpitude.  

William G. Kelly is the chief judge of the 62B District Court Of Michigan in Kentwood.

During the arraignment, Judge Kelly will go over the advice of rights form. The advice of rights form explains the rights a defendant has regarding their criminal case. These rights include the right to have an attorney. If the defendant is not able to afford an attorney, they will be appointed one if they are facing possible jail time. Judge Kelly will not appoint you a court appointed attorney if you are facing a charge for driving while license suspended and it is your first or second offense. You still should hire an attorney if you are facing a charge for driving while license suspended, but you will not be given jail time or a court appointed attorney. 

Finally, the defendant will enter a guilty, no contest or not guilty plea. A defendant also has the right to stand mute. When a person stands mute, the judge will treat it as the defendant entering a plea of not guilty.  A no contest plea is reserved for special circumstances. An example of a special circumstance is a defendant being drunk and not remembering the details of his actions at the time of their criminal activity. Another example would be the defendant wanting to plea no contest to protect their rights in a civil suit. 

If the defendant enters a guilty plea, Judge Kelly will likely sentence the person on the spot.  

There are some exceptions.

If the crime is domestic violence or drunk driving, the defendant will have a pre-sentence investigation report done and come back for sentencing on another date. When the conviction is for driving under the influence and driving under the influence of drugs, the defendant will also be required by law to get an assessment done to see if they have a drinking problem or are addicted to drugs. 

If the defendant pleads not guilty, there will be two pre-trial conferences. If your case being brought by the state of Michigan, you will deal with a county prosecutor. You will know this by the fact that the “People of the State of Michigan” are the party opposing you. If the case against you is a city case, the party opposing you will be the “City of Kentwood.” 

The City attorney is tough but fair attorney.  The attorneys at The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan have a great relationship with the city prosecutor. 

This is a chance for the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor to discuss the charges and see if they can come up with a deal to settle the case short of trial. If no agreement is reached, the case will be set for trial.

In Kentwood, jury pick and trial can be held on the same day. If more than one trial is set to go on the same date, the oldest case will go first and the newest case will have trial another day.

After trial, Judge Kelly will sentence the defendant if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict. Judge Kelly will have the defendant go through the pre-sentence investigation and come back later for sentencing on drunk driving and domestic violence jury convictions.

Sentencing is where Judge Kelly decides if the defendant is going to get probation and fines or receive jail, probation, and fine

What You Should Know About Judge Kelly

Judge Kelly has a reputation for being a fair and balanced Judge. Most criminal defense attorneys in Kentwood enjoy practicing law in his courtroom. He is laid back, but firm and runs a courtroom that has advanced technological features. 

Our Defense Attorneys have vast experience practicing law in front of Judge Kelly.

In 1978, Judge Kelly was elected as Kentwood’s District Court Judge. Since Kentwood only has one District Court Judge, he has served the community as the only District Court Judge since 1978. 

He took over the District Court Judge position from his father, who was the only District Court Judge from 1970 till 1978.

Judge Kelly has a great interest in technology and he looks for ways that technology can better serve the justice system and the community of Kentwood.

He has an impressive educational resume having graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary in 1966, earning a BA from the University of Detroit in 1970, and a JD from the University of Detroit School of law in 1975.

Judge Kelly also has an impressive work history. He has worked for the peace corps as a math teacher, as a prosecutor in Kalamazoo from 1975 till 1978. He then tried his hand at the public defender’s office of Kent County from 1977 till 1978.

Kentwood District Court

If you are facing criminal charges in Kentwood, Michigan you are in luck.  Well, sort of!  Judge Kelley is not known for being a tough judge on criminal sentences. I have heard prosecutor’s complain about how “soft” Kelley is on crime out there.  I have also dealt with Judge Kelley on numerous occasions and have found him to be fair.  The district court in Kentwood does have a high caseload. In other words, be ready to be there for several hours. I’ve been there all afternoon working on misdemeanor cases. The district court in Kentwood also handles probable cause conferences and prelim exams for felony cases. The district court there also handles arraignments on felony cases.

Case Results In Kentwood

January 8th, 2015

In Kentwood’s district court, I got a not guilty verdict for my client.  My client was being charged with a second offense domestic violence charge.  Even though this was a misdemeanor charge, my client was facing prison time because he was on parole if he didn’t get a not guilty verdict from the jury.  Their pressure was on but I wouldn’t let the prosecutor get away with his dirty tricks and my client was found not guilty at trial.

July 2018

We were able to get a charge of retail fraud dismissed! Our client could not afford to have a charge of retail fraud on his criminal record and still expect to keep his job. I worked hard for client and fought for him every step of the way! The fruits of my labor resulted in my client getting the charges dropped after he did 20 hours of community service. 

September 2019

My client was false charged with disorderly conduct. All he did was keep his friend from getting beat up! The city attorney wanted him to plea to trespass, but I was having none of it! After continued negotiation with the city attorney, she agreed to drop the charge! Needless to say, my client was thrilled. 

These results are just a fraction of the great results I have gotten at the Kentwood district court. If you are in need of having a top-notch five-star rated attorney on your side, call Shawn now at 616-438-6719. The call is free! Will you be? Shawn can take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

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  • 2675 44th Street SW
    Suite 208
    Wyoming, MI 49519
  • 616-438-6719
  • attorneyshawnhaff@gmail.com
Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan

Attorney Shawn Haff
We are available by phone 24/7