Looking for a Roseville, Fraser, and Macomb County Defense Attorney?

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.

Facing a Criminal Charge in Sterling Heights?

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.

Facing a Charge in the 37th District Court in Warren or Center Line? Barnwell Law Can Help

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

If I’m Arrested, Will I Be Out on Bail or Stay In Jail?

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.

Charged With a Crime or DUI in Macomb County? Now What?

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.