If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Roseville or Fraser in Macomb County, contact top-rated attorney Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law, PLLC today directly at (810) 394-2952. Our attorney is on call 24/7 for criminal law related emergencies and case evaluations.

Cases originating out of both the cities of Roseville and Fraser are heard in the 39th District Court located at 29733 Gratiot Ave, Roseville, MI 48066. If your case is being charged by either the City of Roseville or the City of Fraser, it will be prosecuted by a local City Attorney. If your case is a felony case, or certain misdemeanors, it will be prosecuted by the State of Michigan through either the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office or the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

As explained elsewhere on this page, all cases begin with an arraignment. You can learn more about an arraignment and why it is important to retain an attorney before your arraignment, if possible. If you’ve already been arraigned, you can still retain your own attorney, even if the court has already appointed you an attorney. The general process of a criminal case in Roseville or Fraser is also explained here. 

Common charges in Roseville, Fraser and the 39th District Court are cases such as OWI, DUI, drunk driving, retail fraud, driving while license suspended, petty larceny or embezzlement charges, and a host of other misdemeanors that can be charged under local or state law. As of this writing, marijuana is still illegal to possess in Michigan. Many individuals are still charged with Possession of Marijuana, which under state law is a one-year misdemeanor. Even if somebody has a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card, they can still face misdemeanor charges of Illegal Transport, if they don’t allegedly properly comply with the law (MMMA). Still worse, many card-holders can find themselves charged with felony Distributing and Manufacturing if they allegedly distribute their product unlawfully.

Drug cases account for many misdemeanor and felony cases in Roseville and Fraser and throughout the Metro-Detroit area and the entire state. It is illegal to possess drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine (meth), crack, heroin, “magic mushrooms,” and other popular recreational drugs. The same is true for illegally possessing prescription drugs such as Xanax, Vicodin, and other common controlled substances that are illegal to possess without a valid prescription.

Even worse than a possession charge is a charge of Distributing and Manufacturing. In fact, a person doesn’t even have to sell a drug to be charged with this offense. If an individual gives a “sample” of cocaine, for instance, to an undercover officer, they are now facing a 20-year distributing charge rather than a 4-year possession charge. Currently, Roseville, Fraser, and surrounding areas have a heroin epidemic. Many individuals are being charged with possession of heroin or distributing heroin. Any drug related charge of any nature must be taken extremely seriously.

Under state law, there are any number of felonies a person can be charged with. These felonies can include larceny of a motor vehicle, criminal sexual conduct, CSC, sex crimes, internet crimes, and a host of other felonies. If you’ve been contacted by law enforcement do not speak without an attorney present. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony or any kind, it is essential that you retain and hire a top-rated criminal defense attorney immediately.

Barnwell Law has extensive experience in the 39th District Court in Roseville. This includes both misdemeanor case dismissals and dismissals of felonies at the preliminary examination stage. Every single misdemeanor or felony case is unique and complex based on it’s own set of facts. So whether you’ve been charged with retail fraud, a DUI, OWI, drunk driving, a criminal sexual conduct sex crime charge, or any other offense, contact our attorney today.

Even if you have committed an offense, it may still be possible to keep the charge off your public record. And if your case cannot be proven or you have been wrongfully charged, our attorney has a winning record of Not Guilty verdicts before various juries.

Call anytime at (810) 394-2952. Your future and even freedom hangs in the balance. Hire an attorney that sees you not just as business, but who will care for you as a person and fight for you. image1

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As a successful criminal defense attorney, Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law, PLLC has defended hundreds of clients throughout the State of Michigan. One county that our attorney devotes a good amount of time is St. Clair County. The biggest cities in St. Clair County are Port Huron, Marysville, and Fort Gratiot, but the county contains many other cities and townships listed below.

Cases in St. Clair County are heard in the 72nd District Court if they are misdemeanors. If they are felonies, they begin in the 72nd District Court and eventually are heard in the St. Clair County Circuit Court. The basic criminal procedure of St. Clair County, and the 72nd District and 31st Circuit Court, is briefly outlined here.

Attorney Bill Barnwell not only lived and has family in Port Huron, but spent several years on staff at a major non-profit institution in the area. As such, Bill is a respected community leader in the greater-Port Huron area even apart from his criminal law practice.

However, these two backgrounds are extremely useful for clients of Barnwell Law in St. Clair County. Our attorney has established credibility in the area. He also has defended numerous felony and misdemeanor cases out of Port Huron and St. Clair County.

When your freedom is on the line, you ideally want an attorney whose sole focus is criminal defense, but also is respected in the area. This is not to say that there are not many fine attorneys who practice both criminal defense and other areas of law. But would you rather have an attorney whose sole focus is criminal defense, or one might be preparing for your criminal trial one day and working on an unrelated land contract the next day? Barnwell Law purposely only focuses on criminal defense work for felonies and misdemeanors for clients inside of Port Huron, St. Clair County, and state-wide.

If you are facing a criminal charge inside of St. Clair County, Port Huron, or any other city inside of the county, it may be charged by the City Attorney’s Office or the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office. Barnwell Law has worked cases across from both the City Attorney’s office and the County Prosecutor’s office and has appeared before every Judge in the 72nd District Court and the 31st Circuit Court.

If you have been wrongfully accused, our firm has the skill set to successfully argue your case before a judge or jury. This includes felonies of all natures including homicide, criminal sexual conduct, sex crimes, embezzlement, felony drunk driving, drug crimes (cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, heroin, meth, and all other controlled substances), home invasion, breaking and entering, and all other felonies. It also includes misdemeanors such as DUI, OWI, drunk driving, retail fraud, possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended, misdemeanor larceny, misdemeanor embezzlement, hit and run charges, and all other misdemeanors.

Barnwell Law also defends against traffic cases in the 72nd District Court located in Port Huron and Marine City. If you have received a civil infraction that is a moving violation with “points”, it could dramatically affect your car insurance rates. Before paying your ticket, contact Barnwell Law, and it’s very likely your ticket could be dismissed, or negotiated to having no points and less or no impact on your car insurance rates.

Whatever the matter is, whether it is a “minor” traffic concern, or a serious misdemeanor or felony case, contact Barnwell Law to begin the Barnwell Defense. Our attorney knows your stress, your anxiety, and the hard-earned money you are putting towards hiring an attorney. He is respected in the Port Huron and St. Clair County areas and throughout the state.

St. Clair County is composed of the following cities: Port Huron, St. Clair, Marysville, Marine City, Algonac, Fort Gratiot Township, East China Township, Yale, Capac, Kimball Township, Casco Township, Clay Township, China Township, Port Huron Township, St. Clair Township, Ira Township, Emmett, Columbus Township, Kenockee Township, Cottrellville Township, Clyde Township, Burthchville Township, Brockway Township, Wales Township, Riley Township, Mussey Township, Berlin Township, Grant Township, Emmett Township, Greenwood Township, and Lynn Township.

If you have been charged with a crime in Port Huron or any of the above cities in St. Clair County, contact Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952 to schedule a consultation.

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Click here to view Barnwell Law’s home page and receive critical contact information.  Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law can be reached directly at all hours at (810) 394-2952.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony case in the city of Ann Arbor, your case could begin in one of several locations. One of those locations is the 15th District Court, which is located in Downtown Ann Arbor. The court is located at 301 E. Huron St. P.O. Box 8650, Ann Arbor, MI 480107. While Ann Arbor and Wasthenaw County are considered to be one of the more “liberal” areas of the state, this does not mean that allegations of criminal activity are taken likely. In fact, they are taken very seriously. But the good news is with skilled and experienced defense counsel, your case can possibly be won, dismissed, or at the very least, a favorable plea resolution that will put you or your loved one in a much, much better position than they were when previously charged.

Since Ann Arbor is one of the biggest cities in Michigan, and is a well-known “college town”, as well as tourist destination, the 15th District Court is a busy court. Many drug and alcohol-related charges originate in Ann Arbor. These include DUI’s, OWI’s, OUIL’s, drunk-driving cases, operating while visibly impaired, and other common legal and popular descriptions for alcohol-related offenses. If you are a first-time alcohol offender, avoiding jail is very possible. However, how smart of a defense is employed can play a large part in how severe of a probation is issued. Clients who follow the “Barnwell Defense” will approach their case in one of two ways: Look for holes and weaknesses in the case and seek a dismissal via a motion or a jury trial, or engage in very proactive measures that will greatly help at sentencing and during probation.

If you are facing a probation violation for an alcohol-related offense, it is imperative that you contact a skilled defense attorney right away.

A first offense for an OWI is a maximum possible penalty of 93 days in jail and/or a jail term followed by probation, fines and costs, license sanctions, and fees collected by the Michigan Secretary of State (unless one’s blood alcohol content is .17 or higher, considered a “Super Drunk” charge which elevates the offense to a 180 day maximum jail penalty with enhanced fines and costs).

A second offense within a seven year time period is even more severe: It results in up to a one-year in the Washtenaw County Jail, a mandatory one-year driver’s license revocation, fines and costs, and fees to the Michigan Secretary of State. If the offense happens outside of the seven year window, it will technically be charged as a “first offense” but will be treated in many ways like a second offense for all practical purposes.  A second offense carries a minimum of 5 days in jail up to one year in the county jail. Obviously, there is a big difference between 5 days (which can even sometimes be waived) and 365 days. Judges have broad discretion of how they sentence in District Court, which is why it is all the more important to hire a skilled defense attorney for any second-offense DUI or OWI drunk driving case.

Worse, if a person is charged with a third offense at ANY point in their lifetimes, even if the three offenses are 40 years apart, this results in an automatic felony charge with a minimum of 30 days in the Wasthenaw County Jail and up to 5 years in the state prison. Again, there is a big difference between a month and 5 years.

While misdemeanor cases stay in District Court, a felony DUI or drunk driving 3rd offense will eventually begin the District Court for a Probable Cause Conference and a Preliminary Examination. Unless dismissed the case will eventually be heard in the Washtenaw County Trial Court. If you don’t know what these legal terms mean, don’t worry, that’s what you hire an attorney for: To guide you through the confusing process and carry the load for you.

A felony charge is inherently more complicated than a misdemeanor charge of a first or second offense, but even for a first offense, these cases can be expensive, time-consuming, scary, and exhausting. This is why you want to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the courts in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. But with skilled, dedicated, and experienced defense counsel, you can have confidence that your Ann Arbor or Wasthenaw County case is being given the attention it deserves.

The purpose here is to educate you, not to scare you. Do not hire an attorney whose motivation is to scare you. It’s one thing to know what you’re up against, it’s another to live in fear. Having a defense attorney standing by your side ensures you don’t have to live in constant fear.

Other common cases heard in the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor are drug cases, including marijuana-related offenses, domestic violence, retail fraud, driving while license suspended, assault and battery, larceny, embezzlement, and various other misdemeanor charges that we will discuss more in the future. Note that Barnwell Law is an exclusive criminal defense firm and handles ALL misdemeanors in felonies in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County and has a record of success.

The takeaway is whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony case in Ann Arbor or Washtenaw County, contact a highly-rated criminal defense attorney who will stand by your side. Call Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952.

 

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If you being charged with a misdemeanor offense in St. Clair County, including charges such as possession of marijuana, DUI, OWI, drinking and driving, assault, battery, domestic assault, domestic violence, retail fraud, or any other misdemeanor, your case will be heard in the 72nd District Court in Port Huron or Marine City.

If you are being charged with a felony, such as a felony drug crime, an alleged sex crime (CSC), homicide, felonious assault, felony embezzlement, felony drunk driving (a third DUI or OWI offense), or any other felony, your case will begin in the 72nd District Court and then proceed to the 31st Circuit Court in downtown Port Huron. The 31st Circuit Court is right above the 72nd District Court in downtown Port Huron in the same building.

If your case originates in the southern end of St. Clair County, your misdemeanor or felony case will begin in the 72nd District Court in Marine City. If it is a felony case, it will then proceed from Marine City to the 31st Circuit Court in Port Huron.

Most cases, including all felony cases, begin with an arraignment. Arraignments in Port Huron are typically done by a magistrate in a small room by a magistrate. Often times, the person being arraigned will be at the county jail on a video screen with the attorney present in the room with the magistrate. Having an attorney present at arraignment is extremely important. Currently in Michigan, defendants are not entitled to have an attorney present at arraignment, but it greatly helps to have a defense attorney retained before arraignment.

If your case is a misdemeanor, it will then be set for a pre-trial conference in either Port Huron or Marine City. There may be one or more pre-trials depending on the defense strategy. The case will either then be settled with a favorable plea or it will be set for a jury trial. Certain offenses can be kept off a person’s public record completely such as first-time drug offenses under “7411,” first-time domestic violence or domestic assault charges under “769.4a” or various other charges through a delayed sentence through “771.1.” An experienced defense attorney such as Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law can help explain what those numbers mean and how they may or may not apply to your case.

If the case is not resolved through a pre-trial it will then be set for a trial. In a misdemeanor trial, typically 7 jurors are seated. Only six jurors will ultimately decide the case while another juror serves as an alternate.

Should you be charged with a felony, unless a case is dismissed at the District Court level after a preliminary examination or Probable Cause Hearing, the cause will be “bound over” to Circuit Court. One up in Circuit Court, a defendant is again arraigned and there is a pre-trial process. Felony cases are more complex than misdemeanor cases and there can be one or more pre-trials.

If a favorable resolution is not reached, or a client is being wrongfully accused, the matter will be set for a felony jury trial. In Circuit Court, typically 14 jurors are selected. Twelve who will actually decide the case, and two jurors who will serve as alternates.

To get a verdict of not guilty or guilty, the verdict must be unanimous, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor trial or a felony trial. If the jurors are deadlocked, a mistrial will be declared and the prosecution has the option of retrying the case, or dismissing the case.

When hiring an attorney for a charge in Port Huron, Fort Gratiot, Marysville, or any city St. Clair County, it is important to hire an retain an attorney who is experienced in the 72nd District Court and the 31st Circuit Court. Barnwell Law has successfully defended many clients in Port Huron and other cities in St. Clair County.  Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law has practiced in front of each of the Circuit Court Judges and each of the District Court Judges in the 72nd District and 31st Circuit Courts. He has dealt with both City Attorney prosecutors, various County Prosecutors, and prosecutors in the Attorney General’s office.

He is also skilled at trial litigation with multiple trial victories and has had success helping resolve cases favorably for clients who admit guilt and are trying to move their lives forward in a positive direction. Whatever the case may be, Barnwell Law has a proven record of successfully representing clients in Port Huron, St. Clair County, various cities inside of the county, and many other counties throughout Michigan.

Call Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952 to retain and hire a criminal defense attorney who will go to bat for you.

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If you have been charged with a crime in Royal Oak or Berkley your case will be heard at the 44th District Court located at 400 E. 11 Mile Rd. Royal Oak, MI 48067

Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law is very well known in Royal Oak. He is actually a pastor of a church right across the street from this court and practices extensively in Royal for both misdemeanor and felony cases. He is the only 100% criminal defense attorney anywhere in Michigan who is also a leader in the faith community. However, Bill represents clients of all diverse backgrounds and has secured very positive results regardless of a client’s race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, etc. He is very well acquainted with the Judges, the court staff, the probation office, and how to navigate a court many consider “tough”.

There are two Judges who preside in Royal Oak: Judge Derek Meinecke and Judge James Wittenberg. Attorney Bill Barnwell has appeared in front of each of these judges in both felony and misdemeanor cases and has secured favorable results for clients, including outright case dismissals and jury trial victories in Royal Oak. . If you are being arraigned on a charge, you may first appear before a magistrate, or one of the two Judges, who will inform you of the charge you are facing and set bond. If your case is a misdemeanor, it will be set for pretrial. If you are facing a felony charge, it will be set for Probable Cause Conference.

If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, your case will be heard in its entirety at the 44th District Court from one of the two Royal Oak and Berkley District Court Judges. A misdemeanor charge has a maximum possible jail penalty of up to one year in the county jail. Common misdemeanor charges are DUI, OWI, OUIL, disorderly conduct, reckless driving, retail fraud, assault and battery, indecent exposure, domestic violence, minor larceny, and embezzlement cases. This is not an exhaustive list, but an example of the types of cases heard in District Court.

If you are facing a felony case, such as felony drug possession, felony home invasion, homicide, delivery and manufacturing of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, felony assault,  or any other type of felony, your case will be arraigned in the 44th District Court. This will be followed by a Probable Cause Conference within 14 days of your arraignment, followed by a Preliminary Exam (also known as Probable Cause Hearing) within 21 days of your arraignment. If a client “waives” their Preliminary Exam, the matter then proceeds to the 16th Circuit Court, otherwise known as the Oakland County Circuit Court. If the Preliminary Exam is held, the case may be dismissed or it will be “bound over” to the 6th Circuit in Oakland County Circuit Court for further proceedings. 44th

Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law has conducted preliminary exams for felony cases in the 44th District Court and has successfully fought cases all the way through Oakland County Circuit Court. Oakland County is seen as one of the “toughest” counties in the state. Barnwell Law has even had excellent results such as serious sex crime allegations never being charged in Oakland County for proactive clients who have reached out to Barnwell Law prior to being charged where Attorney Bill Barnwell has convinced law enforcement and prosecutors that insufficient evidence existed even to bring the case forward.

It is important when hiring an attorney to choose legal council who has a track record of solid results in a given court room. Barnwell Law is well known and respected in Royal Oak and Berkley.

If you have been sentenced already in Royal Oak in the 44th District Court and have been put on probation and have been told that you are in violation of your probation, it is highly advised that you hire an attorney for your Probation Violation proceeding as well. Royal Oak, like all courts in Oakland County, take probation violation accusations very seriously. Jail can be very possible on first probation violation accusations in Royal Oak and Oakland County, but Barnwell Law has successfully helped numerous clients avoid this fate and get much more positive results.

Whatever the situation may be, contact Bill anytime at (810) 394-2952 if you are facing a misdemeanor, felony, or probation violation allegation arising out of Royal Oak, Berkley, or anywhere in Oakland County. Your freedom is too important.

Call an attorney who handles ONLY criminal law on a daily basis throughout Metro-Detroit and the state of Michigan.

If you have been charged with a crime in Roseville or Fraser, your case will be heard at the 39th District Court located at  29733 Gratiot Ave, Roseville, MI 48066

There are three Judges who preside in Roseville and Fraser: Judge Marco Santia, Judge Catherine Steenland, and Judge Joseph Boedeker. Attorney Bill Barnwell has appeared in front of each of these judges in both felony and misdemeanor cases and has secured favorable results for clients, including outright case dismissals. If you are being arraigned on a charge, you may first appear before a magistrate, or one of the three Judges, who will inform you of the charge you are facing and set bond. If your case is a misdemeanor, it will be set for pretrial. If you are facing a felony charge, it will be set for Probable Cause Conference.

If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, your case will be heard in its entirety at the 39th District Court from one of the three Roseville and Fraser District Court Judges. A misdemeanor charge has a maximum possible jail penalty of up to one year in the county jail. Common misdemeanor charges are DUI, OWI, OUIL, drunk driving, retail fraud, assault and battery, indecent exposure, domestic violence, minor larceny, and embezzlement cases. This is not an exhaustive list, but an example of the types of cases heard in District Court.

Note that the 39th District Court is one of the “busiest” courts in Macomb County. Many cases originate and are heard in the 39th District Court of Roseville and Fraser. 39th

If you are facing a felony case, such as felony drug possession, felony home invasion, or any other type of felony, your case will be arraigned in the 39th District Court. This will be followed by a Probable Cause Conference within 14 days of your arraignment, followed by a Preliminary Exam (also known as Probable Cause Hearing) within 21 days of your arraignment. If a client “waives” their Preliminary Exam, the matter then proceeds to the 16th Circuit Court, otherwise known as the Macomb County Circuit Court. If the Preliminary Exam is held, the case may be dismissed or it will be “bound over” to the Macomb County Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law has conducted preliminary exams for felony cases in the 39th District Court that ultimately led to dismissals in the Macomb County Circuit Court, and also has had felony cases outright dismissed following Preliminary Exams in Roseville and Fraser.

It is important when hiring an attorney to choose legal council who has a track record of solid results in a given court room. Barnwell Law has not only appeared regularly in the 41-A District Court, but courts all around the state of Michigan. As with all Judges, each of the three Judges in this particular court have their own distinctive styles. Also, Bill has conducted jury trials in various parts of the state and is highly qualified to take your case all the way to trial.

If you have been sentenced already in Roseville or Fraser and have been put on probation and have been told that you are in violation of your probation, it is highly advised that you hire an attorney for your Probation Violation proceeding as well. Bill has successfully represented numerous clients facing allegations of probation violations in Roseville or Fraser in the 39th District Court.

Whatever the situation may be, contact Bill anytime at (810) 394-2952 if you are facing a misdemeanor, felony, or probation violation allegation arising out of Roseville or Fraser Your freedom is too important. Call an attorney who handles ONLY criminal law on a daily basis throughout Metro-Detroit and the state of Michigan.

41aIf you have been charged with a crime in Sterling Heights, your case will be heard at the 41-A District Court located at 40111 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313.

There are three Judges who preside in Sterling Heights: Judge Michael Maceroni, Judge Stephen Sierawski, and Judge Kimberly Wiegand. Attorney Bill Barnwell has appeared in front of each of these judges in both felony and misdemeanor cases and has secured favorable results for clients, including outright case dismissals. If you are being arraigned on a charge, you may first appear before a magistrate, who will inform you of the charge you are facing and set bond. If your case is a misdemeanor, it will be set for pretrial. If you are facing a felony charge, it will be set for Probable Cause Conference.

If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, your case will be heard in its entirety at the 41-A District Court from one of the three Sterling Heights District Court Judges. A misdemeanor charge has a maximum possible jail penalty of up to one year in the county jail. Common misdemeanor charges are DUI, OWI, OUIL, disorderly conduct, reckless driving, retail fraud, assault and battery, indecent exposure, domestic violence, minor larceny, and embezzlement cases. This is not an exhaustive list, but an example of the types of cases heard in District Court.

If you are facing a felony case, such as felony drug possession, felony home invasion, or any other type of felony, your case will be arraigned in the 41-A District Court. This will be followed by a Probable Cause Conference within 14 days of your arraignment, followed by a Preliminary Exam (also known as Probable Cause Hearing) within 21 days of your arraignment. If a client “waives” their Preliminary Exam, the matter then proceeds to the 16th Circuit Court, otherwise known as the Macomb County Circuit Court. If the Preliminary Exam is held, the case may be dismissed or it will be “bound over” to the Macomb County Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law has conducted preliminary exams for felony cases in the 41-A District Court that ultimately led to dismissals in the Macomb County Circuit Court, and also has had felony cases outright dismissed following Preliminary Exams in Sterling Heights.

It is important when hiring an attorney to choose legal council who has a track record of solid results in a given court room. Barnwell Law has not only appeared regularly in the 41-A District Court, but courts all around the state of Michigan. As with all Judges, each of the three Judges in this particular court have their own distinctive styles. Also, Bill has conducted jury trials in various parts of the state and is highly qualified to take your case all the way to trial.

If you have been sentenced already in Sterling Heights and have been put on probation and have been told that you are in violation of your probation, it is highly advised that you hire an attorney for your Probation Violation proceeding as well. Bill has successfully represented numerous clients facing allegations of probation violations in Sterling Heights in the 41-A District Court.

Whatever the situation may be, contact Bill anytime at (810) 394-2952 if you are facing a misdemeanor, felony, or probation violation allegation arising out of Sterling Heights. Your freedom is too important. Call an attorney who handles ONLY criminal law on a daily basis throughout Metro-Detroit and the state of Michigan.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in the 37th District Court, you could be facing a misdemeanor or a felony. The 37th District Court has a court in Warren and a court in Center Line. There are four Judges in the 37th District Court: The Hon. John Chmura, the Hon. Suzanne Faunce, the Hon. Michael Chupa, and the Hon. Matthew Sabaugh.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense such as retail fraud, larceny, domestic violence, assault and battery, DUI or OWI, or any other charge that carries a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail your case will stay and ultimately be decided in the 37th District Court.

After you are arraigned, your case will be a set for a “Pretrial Conference.” At this later court date your defense attorney will meet with either an Assistant Prosecutor from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office of an Assistant City Attorney depending on whether the county or the city is charging the case. Occasionally a case can be prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

There may be one or more pretrials. During the pretrials, your attorney will help you determine whether your case is best suited for a trial or for a favorable plea. Barnwell Law begins each case as the law requires: That accused individuals are presumed innocent. However, if a case results in a favorable plea it may be sentenced on the day of your plea or it may be sentenced at a later date.

Bill Barnwell has won jury trials in the 37th District Court, has had cases dismissed, and reached various favorable plea agreements. Certain plea agreements even can keep a criminal charge off your public record. Each case is fact specific and requires its own analysis and attention.

Each Judge in the 37th District Court has their own style in terms of setting bails, bond conditions, and sentencing. Bill has practiced extensively in front of each of the four judges in this Court, and also is very acquainted with the prosecutors for both Macomb County and Warren and Center-Line, as well as the probation department in the court.

If you have been charged with a felony of possession or dealing of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines (meth), LSD, and other illegal substances your case will begin in the 37th District Court and unless dismissed eventually be heard in the 16th Circuit Court in Macomb County. The same is true if you’ve been charged with any other felony such as embezzlement, felonious assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, home invasion, murder, homicide, criminal sexual conduct, sex crimes cases, or any other felony charge by the State of Michigan. We will talk more about the “bindover” process that takes a felony case from District Court to Circuit Court in a future post.

Bill has practiced before every single Judge in Macomb County Circuit Court and helped many clients produce solid outcomes and even dismissals and acquittals for felony cases.

The entire criminal process can be confusing for clients and overwhelming. This is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-known throughout Michigan including Warren, Center Line, and Macomb County.

If you are looking for help, don’t wait, call Bill today at (810) 394-2952. 37th

A frequent concern of people facing arrest or awaiting an arraignment is whether or not they will be able to stay out of jail while their case is pending. In a previous post we discussed when a bond is set: At an arraignment, and what an arraignment is.

Today let’s talk about whether you or your loved one can stay out on bail. “Bail” and “Bond” are terms that are sometimes used synonymous in popular culture. At an arraignment there will be a “bond hearing.” At this time the Judge will set an amount of money that is needed to keep a person out of jail. There’s several different kinds of bond:

  1. A Personal Bond. This means no money is required up-front to stay out of jail. Sometimes clients get nervous when they hear a Judge say, “Bond is set at 5 thousand personal” or even “25 thousand personal.” But there’s no reason to be concerned unless the client plans on skipping a future court appearance (Which clients of Barnwell Law do not). Essentially a personal bond with an amount attached is a promise for a client to return to court. If they do not appear, the personal bond is cancelled and a bench warrant will be issued. Now the client is on the hook for the amount attached to the personal bond. But this only happens when somebody skips court or violates a bond order (such as a “no-contact” provision of bond with a complaining witness or “dropping dirty” during a court-ordered drug or alcohol test.
  2.  A Cash/Surety 10% Bond. This is the next best option. Oftentimes a personal bond just isn’t going to be offered by the court. But instead of setting a straight 10 thousand or 100,000 dollar cash bond, they will apply a 10% provision, which for all practical purposes means a person can stay free for 1 thousand dollars instead of 10 thousand, or 10 thousand instead of $100,000. But again, that can be revoked if a person misses a court appearance or violates some term of their bond conditions.
  3.  A Cash/Surety Bond. This is exactly what it means. A straight cash bond with no 10% provision. In this case, the ten thousand dollar bond is just that: $10,000. Nothing less will get a person out. This is often times when people will turn to a bail bonds company. It’s always wise to have a bail bondsman on hand, especially for serious felonies, when there is the likelihood of a high cash bond. In this case, instead of paying the Court 10%, the client or their family can negotiate a deal with a bail bonds company where the company will post a portion of the bond with a guarantee that the client will return to court. Barnwell Law will help clients have a bail bonds company on hand when appropriate.

The difference between paying a bond directly to the court vs. paying a bail bonds company is whatever you pay the bail bond company you will not get back, whereas if a client has a bond posted in their own name, that money will be returned (minus a small fee) at the end of the case if they are acquitted, or if they have their case resolved via a favorable plea, the bond money can be applied to court fines and costs.

The amount the bond is set at is determined by the Judge, who has broad discretion. They will look at a number of factors laid out in state law and the Michigan Court Rules to help determine your bond. Clients with no representation at their arraignment have no idea what these bond factors are are frequently are hit with high cash bonds.

But a lawyer present can make all the difference in the world. A skilled criminal defense attorney knows all of the relevant bond factors the court will look at, as well as a particular Court or Judge’s style of setting bonds.

In sum, a person has a much better chance of securing a personal bond or a lower cash bond with a retained attorney than they do standing alone by themselves without the assistance of a lawyer. For instance, Oakland County has a reputation for being tougher than Macomb or Wayne County, but even in Oakland County, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help secure a fair and reasonable bond.

Barnwell Law has handled arraignments and bond hearings in many counties all throughout the state of Michigan for all kinds of charges including homicide related charges, drug charges such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, meth, etc, assault charges, larceny charges, embezzlement charges, sexual assault charges, criminal sexual conduct charges,Bail DUI and OWI charges, and many other types of alleged crimes.

If you suspect you or someone you love are under investigation, or you know there is an active warrant for your arrest, reach out to Barnwell Law immediately at (810) 394-2952. It could help make the difference whether you or a loved one sit in jail while the case proceeds or whether you will maintain your freedom while your case proceeds.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or any type of crime anywhere in Macomb County or any other county, the first step in the criminal process is something called an “Arraignment.” An arraignment serves only two purposes:

  1. To inform the person charged exactly what they are being charged with and the maximum possibility penalty associated with the alleged offense and,
  2. To have a bond hearing and to see what bail money, if any, the Judge imposes while the case is pending.

We will go into the factors of a bond hearing in a future post, and why you might get a personal bond or why there might be a cash bond. But one thing is certain: Having an attorney significantly helps secure a fair and reasonable bond, which all defendants are entitled to.

In cases like a DUI, a person is arrested on the spot and transported to the local police station. At that time there is usually a “provisional bond” to get out of jail, usually the next day if a person can afford it. But that bond amount is not set in stone until the first court appearance before a Judge, which is the arraignment. If you’re charged with a DUI and somebody bails you out, you will eventually have to return to court to face a judge. In nearly all District Courts around the state, there must an arraignment on a DUI and OWI and drinking and driving charge.

For other misdemeanor offenses, if a client is wise enough to retain an attorney before the arraignment, the attorney can sometimes “waive” the arraignment and save the client an extra court date, and just set the mater for a pre-trial.

However, if you’ve been charged with a felony of any kind, (including any kind of drug offense, felonious assault, felony embezzlement, federal crimes, murder or homicide, etc) there also must be an arraignment.

In Michigan, defendants are currently not entitled to have an attorney present at arraignment. In fact, most don’t. At Barnwell Law, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to have a retained and hired attorney before an arraignment if possible. With a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side, it frequently means a far lower bond than you’d normally have to post. It also means you won’t get stuck with a court-appointed lawyer who you did not choose, but the Court chose for you. There are no downsides to hiring an attorney before your arraignment. There are only positives.

If a person has already had their arraignment and has a court-appointed attorney, you can still hire an attorney of your choice, and the Courts will almost always allow the substitution. However, the sooner you hire somebody the better.

During an arraignment, a person may be arraigned at the jail via a video screen while the attorney is in the courtroom, or occasionally at the jail. If the judge grants a personal bond, you can be released without paying any money.

If the matter is a felony, all arraignments begin in the District Court that has jurisdiction of where the offense was alleged to have occurred. For instance, if the offense is alleged to have occurred in Warren, MI, the arraignment will be held at the 37th District Court in Warren or Center-Line Michigan. Unless the case is dismissed in District Court at a later hearing, the case will eventually work its way up to Macomb County Circuit Court, which is the 16th Circuit Court in Mount Clemens. Or, to use another example, if you have been charged for a felony offense in Port Huron, the case will be arraigned in the 72nd District Court before eventually making it up to the 31st Circuit Court of St. Clair County, also located in Port Huron.

So, in sum:

  1. Every case begins with an arraignment.
  2. You are not entitled to have an attorney with you at your arraignment. If you don’t hire somebody first, you will be alone, and if you can’t afford an attorney the Court will appoint somebody for you whom you probably don’t know.
  3. In felony cases in Macomb County and all other counties, the arraignment will happen at the District Court and eventually will work its way up to Macomb County Circuit Court, Oakland County Circuit Court,  Wayne County Circuit Court, or whichever Circuit Court has jurisdiction depending on where the alleged offense took place.
  4. Having an attorney at your arraignment helps a case from the outset dramatically, including helping secure a personal bond or lower cash bond than a defendant would likely otherwise have.
  5. By all means, if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or you suspect will be charged with a crime, don’t wait, hire an attorney NOW, not later.

Attorney William (Bill) Barnwell of Barnwell Law PLLC can be reached anytime directly at (810) 394-2952. It’s not uncommon for Bill to get a call in the middle of the night and get hired on a case to appear for an arraignment the next morning or afternoon. Whether it’s day or night, and in Warren, Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County, St. Clair County, or any other county in the state of Michigan, Bill is here to help.

Barnwell Law has been able to help secure individuals personal bonds (which means you need no money up front to stay out of jail)Cuffs for even serious felonies. When a personal bond is not possible, Barnwell Law can still help heavily reduce the bond and bail amount needed as opposed the person who has nobody at their side at their arraignment. This is why hiring an attorney earlier rather than later is so important.

Don’t go it alone. Barnwell Law is here to help.