The 43rd District Court, Madison Heights, Ferndale, and Hazel Park — All Misdemeanors and Felonies

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense in the 43rd District Court, your case will be heard in one of the three branches of the 43rd District Court that exist in Ferndale, Madison Heights, or Hazel Park. Depending on where the offense was alleged to have occurred will determine which branch of the 43rd District Court will hear your case.

The 43rd District Court of Ferndale, Madison Heights, and Hazel Park is located in Oakland County. Oakland County is considered to be one of the “toughest” Counties in the state for criminal defendants. The presiding Judge in Ferndale is Judge Joseph Longo. The presiding Judge in Madison Heights is Judge Keith Hunt, and the presiding Judge in Hazel Park is Judge Charles Goedert. Many attorneys and defendants consider these “tough” Judges, and some attorneys will not practice in certain wings of the 43rd District Court. However, attorney William (Bill) Barnwell of Barnwell Law, PLLC has represented numerous clients in Ferndale, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights and is not afraid of these Courts and is happy to take your case and provide you with a top-notch defense.

Barnwell Law has represented individuals accused of various misdemeanors and felonies in these courts including DUI, OWI, other alcohol-related offenses, Indecent Exposure, Disorderly Conduct, drug crimes, Home Invasion, Breaking and Entering, Resisting Arrest (alleged offenses against the police), Driving While License Suspended, traffic matters, Assault, Battery, Domestic Violence, and a host of other offenses that range from serious felonies, to lower level misdemeanors. This list is not exhaustive, but our attorney has successfully represented numerous individuals before all three Judges and Courts of various misdemeanor and felony allegations.

If you are facing a misdemeanor, such as Retail Fraud in the 3rd or 2nd Degree, your case will stay in the 43rd District Court in Ferndale, Madison Heights, or Hazel Park (depending on where the crime was alleged to have occurred). If you are being charged with any felony, whether it is drug or alcohol related (substances such as heroin, cocaine, meth, mushrooms, marijuana, a 3rd Drunk Driving/DUI/OWI offense, etc), a property offense such as felony larceny or embezzlement, home invasion, breaking and entering, a homicide or murder related allegation, etc, then your case will begin in Ferndale, Madison Heights, or Hazel Park, and if not dismissed at your Probable Cause Hearing, traditionally known as a Preliminary Exam, the case will proceed to the Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac.

It can not be emphasized enough how “tough” the Courts can be in the 43rd District and Oakland County overall. This is why you need an attorney experienced not only with Criminal Law, but each branch of the 43rd District, as well as the 6th Circuit Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac if you are facing a felony. Our attorney is not afraid to take your case to trial in any of these Courts. He has a winning trial record across Michigan and Metro-Detroit for various misdemeanor and felony trials, as well as a well-documented record of success for clients who do not want to take their cases to trial, but instead desire to work out some other favorable form of resolution.

If you have been charged with an offense anywhere in Oakland County, such as with the 43rd District Court’s jurisdiction of Ferndale, Hazel Park, or Madison Heights, or a felony case that will ultimately be heard in the Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac, it is essential that you call Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law today.

Our attorney is on call 24/7 and will take your call in your time of need, or respond to your message as soon as possible. Our attorney is also an exclusive criminal defense attorney who has been highly ranked by his peers, the overall legal community, and countless previous clients.

Call Bill of Barnwell Law, PLLC today at (810) 394-2952 to schedule your consultation.

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Aggravated Indecent Exposure/Indecent Exposure

In my practice, I have defended a number of cases involving Indecent Exposure or Aggravated Indecent Exposure. Recently I had positive resolutions in the felony cases of Aggravated Indecent Exposure case in St. Clair County, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County. These cases originated out of Port Huron, Warren, Ferndale, and Detroit. I have handled these types of cases in multiple counties and other cities as well. The difference between the two cases are significant. An “Aggravated” offense carries a two-year maximum penalty and is treated in a procedural fashion as a felony. A regular Indecent Exposure is a serious misdemeanor that carries up to one-year in the county jail.

Depending upon certain prior offenses, a conviction for Indecent Exposure or Aggravated Indecent exposure could land a client on the SORA Registry (Sex Offender Registry Act).
Most Courts and Probation offices look at any offense involving sexuality with a particular ire. Sometimes these types of cases can be wrongly charged. Other times, client’s might be dealing with tough issues that bring them to a point where they act out in ways where they otherwise wouldn’t have acted out.

With years of experience as a counselor and non-profit leader, I’ve learned never to judge people who have made mistakes, who are contrite, and are willing to take responsibility.

The bottom line is many Indecent cases can be beat if the Prosecution cannot meet their burden of proof.

But many other times, the Prosecution has a strong case. And I, as the defense attorney, have to assist the client in getting the help they need to avoid a jail term.

Also, for many offenders, sometimes the case can be wiped off a client’s public record after a successful term of probation.

Many possibilities exist depending upon the facts and circumstances. The “Barnwell Defense” will be able to judge what is the best approach. Call an attorney who not only has experience with these cases, but will look at you as a human being, and not condemn you. An attorney who will help paint a broader picture to the Court that the police report and Probation Department often don’t see.

If you are facing a charge of Indecent or Aggravated Indecent Exposure, contact Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952 for your free consultation and to begin formulating an effective defense.

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Charged with a DUI or OWI in Warren or Macomb County?

Being charged with drunk driving, DUI, OWI, OUIL, or whatever other term one wants to call it, is a very scary situation for anyone involved. It’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney that will take your case very seriously from start to finish. This is true whether your case is originating out of Warren, MI, Macomb County, or anywhere else in Michigan.  There are several different types of Drunk Driving cases:

  1. DUI or OWI first offense– This carries with it a maximum possible penalty of 93 days in jail, fines, costs, and driver’s license sanctions.
  2. DUI or OWI second offense — This can get confusing. If you have been charged with a second DUI or OWI offense in a 7 year time-frame you will face a 2nd offense. This carries a possibility of up to one year in the county jail, with a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail, fines, costs, and a mandatory license revocation for one-year. However, if you pick up a second DUI or OWI charge in Warren or Macomb County (or anywhere else in Michigan) outside of the seven year window it will be charged as a first offense, but the court will view it for all practical purposes as a second offense. Meaning they might not be able to impose as much jail time or as stringent license sanctions, but they can and will make your life very difficult if you don’t handle the case correctly.
  3. DUI or OWI third offense — This is where matters can get very serious. A third offense at any point in a person’s lifetime is a mandatory felony. Even if the offenses are spaced apart by 10 or 20 years each. For a felony drunk driving or OWI and DUI offense, there is a mandatory minimum of 30 days in the county jail and up to 5 years in the state prison, along with fines, costs, license sanctions, etc.
  4. There’s also what is known as a “High BAC” drunk driving and DUI/OWI charge. In Michigan, the legal limit for intoxication is .08. A level of .17 is considered a “High BAC” offense or what is commonly known as “super-drunk.” The higher the BAC, the more concerned the court is going to be. A High BAC or superdrunk charge carries a maximum of 180 days in the county jail (even for a first offense), fines, costs, license sanctions, etc.
  5. Here’s another secret many people don’t realize: You don’t have to be at a .08 to be arrested for drunk driving. If you have any amount of alcohol in your system, and an officer subjectively determines you are impaired by the alcohol, you can be charged with something called Operating While Visibly Impaired. Our firm has seen individuals with BAC counts as low as .03 charged with OWVI. An OWVI charge carries with it a maximum of 93 days in jail, fines, costs, and license sanctions.
  6. A person can also be charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs. For instance, if a person has any amount of marijuana or other drug in their system, even a mere 2 nanograms, and an officer finds this through a blood draw, a person can be charged with drunk driving — even if they were not even objectively impaired! These types of cases often times require the assistance of expert witnesses, but they can be beat.

All of the above doesn’t even begin to get into the collateral consequences of license restrictions for these various offenses, and possible vehicle immobilization, interlock devices, driver responsibility fees, and other consequences which we will cover in future posts.

The point is this: Drunk driving charges are taken very seriously. If are being charged in Warren, Macomb County, or any city or county in Michigan, you need an attorney who is familiar with that court system and handling DUI cases. Even a first offense can result in jail in certain jurisdictions in Michigan. In Macomb County, jail is possible, but unlikely with a strong defense (Note: Certain district courts in Oakland County and other areas are willing to impose jail on a first offense). Jail can even be avoided on a “Super-drunk” or High BAC case with an effective defense. On a second offense, many courts will impose the statutory minimum of 5 days in jail. Certain courts in Macomb County will waive the five days in lieu of community service. On a third offense, 30 days of county jail is a guarantee unless in very rare cases where it can be pled down to a 2nd offense. But there is a big difference between 30 days and five years, which is why a strong defense is so critically important.

DUI and drunk driving defense is a category all unto itself in criminal law. An effective criminal defense attorney does not automatically assume their client is guilty. They can and should get all relevant discovery. This includes police dash cam videos, records of the DataMaster calibration logs used to determine a person’s BAC, understand the science behind blood and breath testing, investigate whether police were justified in the stop, have expert witnesses available to challenge the blood and breath evidence, etc.

Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law takes all of those measures, including looking at any other applicable defenses (i.e. whether the defendant was actually operating the vehicle under the law). If your case can be beat through a challenge of the evidence, or through a jury trial, our firm will go the extra mile and fight for an acquittal.

However, the vast majority of DUI cases result in a plea. This isn’t because a good defense attorney is lazy. It’s because they have gone through all the possible evidentiary challenges and have determined that your DUI or OWI case is best handled as a “damage control” case. This still requires much hard work to secure a favorable outcome. Many attorneys will just advise their clients to go to AA while their case is pending. Our Attorney has years of experience in the field of counseling and mental health, including helping those with addictions. By employing the Barnwell Defense, your case will have a far better chance at securing a favorable outcome than by employing a standard “Meet em’ and plead em” defense.

If you are going to pay your hard earned money to hopefully maintain your freedom and driving privileges, spend your money on an attorney who knows how to both handle a successful jury trial and do proper damage control if your case is best suited for a plea.

Each Judge in Warren  in the 37th District Court, and every other District Court and Circuit Court in Macomb County has their own style of handling cases. Our Attorney has appeared in front of every single one of them. Call Bill Barnwell of Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952 to discuss your drunk driving, DUI, OWI, or any other criminal law or criminal defense matter.

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Top Flint and Genesee County Felony and Misdemeanor Attorney

As a criminal defense attorney whose practice focuses solely on criminal law and criminal defense, Barnwell Law, PLLC is well-known in many counties throughout Michigan, including Genesee County.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Genesee County such as DUI, OWI, or drunk driving, or a felony, you are likely very concerned and want excellent defense representation. Genesee County, Flint, and many cities inside Genesee County see a lot of drug and alcohol related cases. Other common misdemeanors in Genesee County and most other courts are drug crimes, including misdemeanor offenses such as possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended, retail fraud, assault, assault and battery, and various other misdemeanor offenses.

Far more serious is felony offenses such as possession of drugs, including heroincocaine, and other recreational drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, and prescription drugs that are unlawfully obtained. These can be prescription drugs like Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycontin, and various opioid drugs including painkillers.  Possessing these prescription drugs can result in charges such as Possession of Analogues. Other offenses can include Maintaining a Drug House, and various other drug crimes.

Far more serious than drug possession cases, are Distributing and Manufacturing cases. These can carry prison sentences of 7 years, 20 years, or more depending on the substance and the offense. These are much more serious charges than possession charges, but even possession charges are very serious. For instance, possessing any amount of methamphetamine or meth is a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison.

There are a host of other commonly charged offenses that range from retail fraud, larceny, embezzlement, home invasion, breaking and entering, criminal sexual conduct, sex crimes, homicide, murder, and many other misdemeanors and felonies.  It is important to note that even in major allegations of murder and homicide, defenses exist and a skilled defense attorney is needed for these offenses that can result in life in prison. Sex Crimes, such as allegations of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct can be beat. People can be falsely accused. Despite popular perception, there are instances of people wrongfully accused of rape, criminal sexual conduct, and other forms of alleged sex crimes.

The city of Flint has one of the highest homicide rates per percentage of population in the United States. Those accused of violent crimes are sometimes wrongfully accused. But every single accused individual, regardless of how severe the charges or allegations, deserves a dedicated defense and criminal justice attorney. Genesee County has a high rate of alleged felony crimes, and Barnwell Law defends any and all kind of felony cases, as well as misdemeanors.

Our attorney is also a top-rated attorney who has received the highest marks from various attorney review sites. So don’t just take our word for it. Read what actual clients have had to say and the various awards our attorney has received. According to AVVO, a reputable attorney-rating and review site, Bill Barnwell is a 10 rated attorney — the highest rating an attorney can receive. 

Our attorney has handled high-profile cases in Flint and Genesee County. Cities inside Genesee County include: Flint, Grand Blanc, Burton, Clio, Davison, Flushing, Swartz Creek, Mount Morris, Linden, Grand Blanc Township, Genesee, Goodrich, Flint Township, Montrose, Otisville, Fenton Township, Mount Morris Township, Atlas Township, Davison Township, Mundy Township, Gaines, Argentine Township, Vienna Township, Thetford Township, Flushing Township, Clayton Township, Gaines Township, Montrose Township, and Forest Township.

Felony cases in Genesee Township are heard at the 7th Circuit Court in downtown Flint. All felony cases begin in District Court and most are eventually “bound over” to Circuit Court. Misdemeanor cases remain in District Court. The District Courts inside of Genesee County are heard within the 67th District Court. The 67th District Court has branches in Flint, Fenton, Flushing, Grand Blanc, Burton, Mt. Morris, and Davison.

While Flint and Genesee County are considered to have high crime rates, many defendants are unable to afford a lawyer of their choosing. But with skilled and experience defense counsel, you will have a dedicated advocate and defense attorney at your side whether you are facing any kind of misdemeanor or felony. It is worth the money, and you get what you pay for.

It is important to note that Barnwell Law has a state-wide presence and has practiced all throughout Michigan and delivered solid results for clients state-wide.  Genesee County is just one of the many counties that our attorney Bill (William) Barnwell has regular experience fighting for clients. But our attorney has actually lived in Genesee County and has strong roots as a non-profit community leader and now as a top defense attorney and criminal defense attorney for the people of Flint and all throughout Genesee County. And he gets results.

If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge in Flint or Genesee County or anywhere else in Michigan, be sure to contact Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952. Our attorney is on call 24 hours a day and for emergencies. Retain a respected attorney with results who enjoys advocating for his clients. A private and secure office space is located in Flint to consult with you regarding your case.

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Top Oakland County Felony and Misdemeanor Attorney

As a criminal defense attorney whose practice focuses solely on criminal law and criminal defense, Barnwell Law, PLLC is well-known in many counties throughout Michigan, including Oakland County.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Oakland County such as DUI, OWI, or drunk driving, Oakland County is one of the toughest counties in the state as it relates to alcohol charges, and criminal charges in general. In fact, in certain District Courts, jail is a very real possibility, even for first-time offenders. This is why it is extremely important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows how each District Court operates. This includes offenses such as Disorderly Conduct, Drunken Disorderly Conduct, Jostling, Public Urination, and other offenses that are often connected with alcohol or substance abuse.

Other common misdemeanors in Oakland County and most other courts are drug crimes, including misdemeanor offenses such as possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended, retail fraud, assault, assault and battery, and various other misdemeanor offenses.

Far more serious is felony offenses such as possession of drugs, including heroincocaine, and other recreational drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, and prescription drugs that are unlawfully obtained. These can be prescription drugs like Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycontin, and various opioid drugs including painkillers.  Possessing these prescription drugs can result in charges such as Possession of Analogues. Other offenses can include Maintaining a Drug House, and various other drug crimes.

Far more serious than drug possession cases, are Distributing and Manufacturing cases. These can carry prison sentences of 7 years, 20 years, or more depending on the substance and the offense. These are much more serious charges than possession charges, but even possession charges are very serious. For instance, possessing any amount of methamphetamine or meth is a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison.

There are a host of other commonly charged offenses that range from retail fraud, larceny, embezzlement, home invasion, breaking and entering, criminal sexual conduct, sex crimes, homicide, murder, and many other misdemeanors and felonies.  It is important to note that even in major allegations of murder and homicide, defenses exist and a skilled defense attorney is needed for these offenses that can result in life in prison. Sex Crimes, such as allegations of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct can be beat. People can be falsely accused. In fact, our attorney has successfully defended people in Oakland County wrongly accused of sex crimes.

The good new is Barnwell Law has a record of winning jury trials in Oakland County, and countless other favorable outcomes for clients who resolved there cases short of a trial. Our attorney has handled routine cases and many high profile cases and you can learn more about the “Barnwell Defense” here. 

Our attorney is also a top-rated attorney who has received the highest marks from various attorney review sites. So don’t just take our word for it. Read what actual clients have had to say and the various awards our attorney has received. According to AVVO, a reputable attorney-rating and review site, Bill Barnwell is a 10 rated attorney — the highest rating an attorney can receive. 

Our attorney has practiced in every District Court in Oakland County, including Oakland County Circuit Court. This includes District Courts in Royal Oak, Troy, Novi, Rochester Hills, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Ferndale, Oak Park, Southfield, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Berkley, Waterford, and Farmington Hills. In fact, if you visit our webpage, you can see a breakdown of each District Court in Oakland County. Here is an example of our Oakland County Circuit Court page. 

The important point is this: Oakland County is tough. But with skilled and experience defense counsel, you will have a dedicated advocate and defense attorney at your side whether you are facing any kind of misdemeanor or felony.

It is important to note that Barnwell Law has a state-wide presence and has practiced all throughout Michigan and delivered solid results for clients state-wide. Oakland is just one of the many counties that our attorney Bill (William) Barnwell has regular experience fighting for clients. But our attorney knows Oakland County and the ins and outs of the system.

If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge in Oakland County or anywhere else in Michigan, be sure to contact Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952. Our attorney is on call 24 hours a day and for emergencies. Retain a respected attorney with results who enjoys advocating for his clients.

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Roseville Felony and Misdemeanor Attorney 39th District Court

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

Port Huron and St. Clair County Criminal Defense Misdemeanor and Felony Attorney

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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.

Being Charged with any Misdemeanor or Felony or an OWI or DUI in Ann Arbor in the 15th District Court?

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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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Facing a Charge in Port Huron or Marine City in the 72nd District Court?

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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Royal Oak, Berkley and the 44th District Court

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.