Our attorneys offer aggressive criminal defense to individuals charged with crimes in Wyoming, and all of West Michigan. Our defense attorneys and lawyers work diligently to protect your rights and to ensure that the best results are achieved in every case.
The most common criminal charges issued in Wyoming, Michigan are domestic violence, retail fraud, driving on a suspended license, delivery and manufacture of marijuana, use of cocaine, assault and battery, Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), drunk driving second offense and finally child abuse in the fourth degree.
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 and how high the fines could be. Next, the Judge will go over the advice of rights form. The advice of rights form explains the rights a defendant has regarding their criminal case. Finally, the defendant will enter a guilty or not guilty plea.
If the defendant enters a guilty plea, the judge 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.
If the defendant pleads not guilty, there will be two pre-trial conferences. 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. Our Wyoming Defense Attorneys and Lawyers are not afraid to take your case to trial. The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan will work hard to get you a not guilty verdict if your case goes to trial.
After trial, the judge will sentence the defendant if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict after. The judge 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 the judge decides if the defendant is going to get probation and fines or receive jail, probation and fines.
Wyoming, Michigan district court Judge Pablo Cortes was the judge my client and I were in front of for sentencing.
The case involved an alleged assault that took place at a local bar. My client was insistent that he did nothing wrong. He always maintained that he was attacked first by three other men. Sadly for my client, the Wyoming, Michigan police department was not able to get video evidence at the scene of the crime that would have proved my client was innocent.
Judge Cortes is a friendly, no-nonsense type of judge. He is fair, but he does not like retail fraud crimes. These crimes are a pet peeve of his. He has a history of throwing people in jail on regular basis for retail fraud crimes. He is a very intelligent, as he graduated from the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree. He went to law school at Wayne State University. Judge Cortes has set up a delayed sentence program that applies only to those who commit misdemeanor crimes in Wyoming, Michigan. The main reason he did this was because he wants people who make first time mistakes and poor choices to have a chance to get their criminal record clean a lot faster than waiting five years for an expungement. Why should people who commit drug offenses and domestic violence be the only people who get diversion programs?
Many people in our criminal justice system plea guilty to lesser charges out of fear of being convicted of a more serious charges. This is what happened in this case. I explained to my client the pros and cons of going to trial. In the end, he decided to take a plea deal to a lesser charge.
After entering his plea, my client came in for sentencing at the Wyoming, Michigan district court about a week later. Judge Cortes gave my client a deferred sentence and non-reporting probation. This means that my client only has to keep from getting a criminal conviction on his record of the next year and his guilty plea would be wiped off the record. My client could truthfully say that he wasn’t convicted for assault and battery after he completes his probation. My client was thrilled and so was I! We are both pleased with Judge Cortes for keeping an open mind and heart on this case and giving out a just sentence to my client.
In another case I had at the Wyoming district court, I was in front of Judge Steven Timmers. In this case, I represented a professional woman who was charged with domestic violence. They could not afford to be separated by a no contact order. In domestic violence cases, judges almost always hand out a no contact order with the victim as part of the defendant’s bond conditions. Other conditions include do not use drugs, drink alcohol and pick up additional charges. When one married spouse has a no contact order with their significant other, it can become a very detrimental factor. One spouse has to find another place to stay. The spouse that is a victim has to handle all the bills suddenly and take care of their children without the help of the significant other!
Thankfully, I was able to get the no-contact order lifted right out the gate! I also got an amazing result for them! My client has a clean criminal record and was not given reporting probation! She was thrilled with my work!
Judge Timmers was originally elected as a district court judge at the Wyoming, Michigan district court in November 2001. His current term ends in 2024. He went to Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Judge Timmers is the more laid back of the two judges at this courthouse. He always has a fair and open mind when it comes to sentencing those in front of him after being convicted for a misdemeanor crime.
You can find more information about the judges at the bio page here:
Wyoming, Michigan police officers probably lied to our client. We had a client who was charged with possession of marijuana. He had one joint, in a prescription bottle, in the back seat of his car. Our client was pulled over for having a tail light out. When our client was getting his information out of his glove compartment, the police officer claimed he could smell marijuana coming from the glove compartment and that he had probable cause to search the car. The officer told our client that he should just tell him where the marijuana was and he would just write him up a ticket.
If he searched the car and found marijuana he would take him to jail if our client made the officer search the car. In another case, we witnessed an officer lying about the ground he had to pull over someone for a drunk driving arrest! Needless to say, the officer didn’t like getting caught lying!
These are the types of bullying tactics we see all the time from police officers. Don’t fall for these dirty tricks! Stand firm and refuse to consent to have your vehicle searched! Tell the officer you are going to call The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan immediately while he searches the car.
If you’re facing misdemeanor criminal charges, here are a few suggestions:
Why would you risk your freedom, your job, your respect in the community with a court appointed attorney who is handling ten other cases at the same time? Call Shawn now at 616-438-6719 for a free case strategy session! Shawn will go over the facts of your case with you. He will go over possible outcomes in your case and tell you what the best possible outcome of your case now! Shawn and his defense attorneys can keep you out of jail and get your charges reduced our dropped without getting ripped off by a bad criminal defense lawyer! Our defense attorneys are available 24 hours a day seven days a week!
Attorney Shawn Haff
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