Why risk getting a court-appointed lawyer in Ottawa County who may not give you the customer service you deserve from your criminal defense lawyer? The Ottawa County court-appointed lawyer system was singled out as one of the worst in the state of Michigan!
You can see the article here: McJustice.
Misdemeanor criminal matters having the potential for a jail term of less than one year are handled by various district courts located throughout Ottawa County. High court misdemeanors and felony cases in Ottawa County are actually handled by the 20th Circuit Court.
Additionally, the Circuit Court hears criminal appeals, including District Court appeals and administrative driver’s license appeals. The Ottawa County Courthouse is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at:
In Ottawa County, both misdemeanor and felony cases begin in the District Court. After arraignment and preliminary examination, felony cases are transferred to the Circuit Court — Michigan’s trial court. However, the preliminary examination (hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a felony indictment) can be waived, resulting in an immediate transfer of the case to the Circuit Court. All traffic offenses that are classified as a misdemeanor or civil infraction are handled by the District Court.
The 58th District Court in Ottawa County consists of three courthouse locations, in Grand Haven, Holland and Hudsonville:
58th District Court
85 West 8th Street Holland, MI 49423
58th District Court
3100 Port Sheldon Road Hudsonville, MI 49426
You will find Judge Knoll and Judge Jonas at the Holland, District Court. Judge Bunce is going to be found at the Grand Haven District Court. Judge Mulder can be found at the Hudsonville, District Court. Once in a while, a district court judge might be found at a courthouse you would normally not expect to see them at. Judge Bunce was once at Hudsonville, District Court because Judge Mulder could not handle some cases on her docket because she had a potential conflict of interest.
In Ottawa County, all serious misdemeanor cases as well as capital felony and non-capital felony crimes are handled by the 20th Circuit Court – Trial Division, in Grand Haven, Michigan:
Judges Hulsing and Miedema handle most of the criminal cases in Ottawa County. Judge Hulsing is a fair Judge and treats everyone in his courtroom with respect. Judge Miedema was recently elected as Judge, replacing Judge Post who retired. Judge Miedema used to be a member of the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s office. She has been reasonable and respectable to those in front of her courtroom.
Ottawa County has an Adult Drug Treatment Court. The Judge who is in charge of this Court is Mark Feyan. The court is a voluntary one. It has an intensive program of probation that takes in defendants who are residents of Ottawa County. People who are taken into this intensive probation are those who are convicted of non-violence drug/alcohol felonies in the 20th Circuit Court of Ottawa County.
The ADTC has been open since 2005. The Adult Drug Treatment court has accepted over 250 people. It proudly states that it has a 70 percent graduation rate. The ADTC is able to have 35 participants at one time and takes at least 18 months to complete. This court is funded through grants from the Michigan State Court Administrative Office, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
March 2nd, 2016
My client was facing a misdemeanor charge in Hudsonville’s 58th district court. I vigorously defended him at the first pretrial conference. The prosecutor was not willing to make an offer. The prosecutor insisted my client plead guilty as charged.
When I go into the 58th district courthouse, I know I am going to have to fight if I am going to achieve victory in Hudsonville for my client. Since the prosecutor refused to make an offer, we set the case up for another pretrial conference.
At the second pretrial conference, I again fought hard for my client. After making my case to the prosecutor, she agreed to let me client admit responsibility to a civil infraction! My client was thrilled that he walked out of court a free man without a criminal record. I left feeling great knowing that I had gained victory in Hudsonville —- something that is not easy to do!
May 27th, 2015
My client was facing prison time after being arrested on drug charges. My client had numerous prior felony and misdemeanor convictions. It is hard to get when your client has that kind of criminal background.
My client has a mom who cares deeply about him. She was willing to work with me every step of the way to get results for her son in circuit court. I spent a lot of time e-mailing my client’s mom, working with probation officers and social workers throughout this case.
The case was in front of Judge Jon H. Hulsing in the Ottawa County Circuit court. Judge Hulsing was fair and impressed with all the work his mother and I had done to make sure my client wouldn’t get into trouble anymore. Judge Hulsing only fined my client! My client didn’t do any jail time and was not put on probation! My client and his mom were thrilled!
Defense attorneys are constantly running into issues with Ottawa County policy cases. Their Prosecutors refuse to make offers on certain criminal charges. These Ottawa County policy cases cause a lot of harm to good people who make a mistake and should get a break.
I recently had a OWI case at Holland district court. My client is a good man who has never been in trouble before in his life. He has an outstanding job making 70k a year. His job requires him to be able to drive around for work. He travels out of state to fix machinery. If he has an OWI conviction on his record, he will no longer have this job.
I pointed these facts out to the Ottawa County prosecutor and they refused to offer my client an impaired driving. I appealed this up to the head of the office and he politely informed me that this was one of those policy cases and they would not make an impaired driving offer.
This same office allowed someone who killed a minority in an automobile accident to plea her charges down to a 93 day misdemeanor. I encourage the Ottawa County Prosecutors office to reconsider their policy cases and be more realistic when it comes to certain cases. It’s the right thing to do!
Here are a list and description of the most common criminal charges we see in Ottawa County:
“Battery” is a deliberately touching a person (or something closely attached to said person) that is offensive or harmful to that individual. Assault is when a person performs an act that leads someone to conclude a battery will be imminent. There are several categories of assaults under Michigan law. The lowest form of assault is simply assault and battery which is a 93 day misdemeanor. If a weapon is used, a person could be charged with a felony crime which could lead to prison time.
Domestic Violence is very similar to an assault and battery charge. A difference between the two charges is that the prosecutor must prove there is a domestic relationship between the person charged and the victim of the crime. but the prosecuting attorney must also establish that the parties were in a “domestic relationship.” The maximum punishment for this crime is 93 days in jail. If you get charged with a second offense domestic violence you will face up to one year in jail and if you get charged with a third offense you are facing a felony charge which carries with it possible prison time. This charge also has a specific diversion program that a skilled attorney can get for you under certain circumstances.
If you are facing drug charges in Ottawa County, you are facing potential jail or prison time and the loss of your driving license. Michigan courts consider drug crimes to be serious crimes and love hammering people with jail and prison sentences. You need an outstanding attorney on your side to avoid these kind of negative consequences to your life. Drug crime sentences are dependent on the narcotic possessed and how much of the specific narcotic possessed. I have even seen a judge give a kid 4 months in jail for simple possession of marijuana.
0WI is a charge that can have a life long impact. These charges stay on a person’s record for life. You are not allowed to expunge these charges for as long as you live under current Michigan law. If you are convicted of an OWI you will most likely be hit with steep fines, higher insurance rates, driving classes, and community service. You are also at risk for jail. A person arrested for drunk driving in Michigan face a license suspension, vehicle immobilization, and numerous points on their license. Any of these things will have a major negative impact on your future.
Common theft crimes involve burglary, robbery, shoplifting, identity theft, armed robbery, carjacking and auto theft. This crime is where one person takes another person’s property without their permission and with the intent keep the property.
Burglary is also known as “breaking and entering.” Burglary refers to illegally entering a home or other building with the intent to engage in theft or other crimes. Burglary could be charged in the first-degree or second-degree depending upon the circumstances of the case. A first degree and second degree burglary charge are both felonies.
Some types of fraud include identity theft, uttering and publishing (commonly known as passing bad checks), credit card fraud and false pretenses with intent to defraud. We have seen people get hammered time after time for committing this crime. Do not face these charges alone.
Child abuse is allegation which could dramatically affect the life of the accused and their family. In Michigan, child abuse is broken down into four separate degrees. First degree child abuse is a felony. Second degree child abuse is a felony. Third degree child abuse is also a felony. Local prosecutors take these offenses very seriously. Do not face these charges alone or you could be facing a long prison sentence!
Child pornography is a crime which involves children engaging in sexual acts. The Michigan Penal Code doesn’t makes it a criminal offense to possess, distribute, produce, or finance “child sexually abusive material.” A conviction of being in possession of child pornography almost always results in a prison sentence. The length of the prison sentence is determined by a person’s prior record, how many images were possessed and if a person was producing material or simply just in possession.
Attorney Shawn Haff
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