Each college town is different, and each type of charge brings different consequences. I caution any parent on taking advice from an attorney who practices outside of Ann Arbor, or from a parent with a child who was in trouble in another college town.
It's always wise to contact a local Ann Arbor attorney who practices at the 15th District Court on a regular basis. There are other attorneys who work in this court of course, but I literally wrote the book on Ann Arbor Criminal Defense, and would be happy to send a copy to any parent who wishes to read it. That means something.
Once the parent contacts me, we discuss what happened, and I ask for some background on their son or daughter. I'm not surprised when I hear how impressive their children are, because they frankly had the character, tools and achievements to be admitted to the University of Michigan. I tell these parents that this case is an opportunity rather than a negative event in the student's life. It's a time to grow, and learn and appreciate the risks of being a college student and mixing each access alcohol into their life.
I've worked with too many unfortunate University of Michigan clients who were taken to the hospital because of alcohol poisoning, fallen off a roof because of alcohol, been in a serious fight with injuries because they were intoxicated, or got behind the wheel of a vehicle and were charged with a DUI. An MIP charge alone, or a fake ID charge is manageable if handled proactively and correctly on day one. To learn more about that process - click here to read more.
Many parents contact me after researching the University of Michigan Student Legal Services as an option. They ask me what's the difference between hiring myself and working with them. I tell them that it's not really a competitor or the same services as I offer. I have nothing negative to say about that organization - I know those lawyers personally, and they do a good job representing their clients.
I've been told personally by parents of current and former clients that I do a completely different and more comprehensive job, not only in court, but more importantly outside of court, before, during and after the case. If you're looking to really help your son or daughter, and take a full 360 approach to the issue, now, 2 weeks from now, a year from now, I'm here for your family. This is from feedback of past clients, not just my own opinion.
Most parents reach out to me on the weekend or evening about the case, I respond quickly and we're discussing the case right away. I provide a copy of my book, various videos, past client reviews, and answer every question. Student legal services is a good fit for some. Most people who send their children to the best university in the world are looking for something different, more tailored to their own needs.
During the case, my clients go on a proactive program to streamline the case, and get in and out of the 15th district court as soon as possible - we've already accomplished everything we need to do prior to going into court. We've turned a negative experience into a learning experience before we resolve the case. There's going to be questions and concerns along the way, these don't pop up between 9 and 5 - they pop up on the weekend or at 10 pm at night - myself and my staff respond to these questions quickly and get things done. We help our clients submit paperwork, get permission to travel, get excused from court if necessary; it's a full-service approach to representing our clients. We've fixed so many problems created by our own clients, and still make them look good at the end of the day.
Once a case is over there is plenty of follow up - either a week, month or years later. College kids forget to pay fines, forget their community service sheets, lose paperwork, forget when they need to go to court, they aren't sure if they need to appear for reviews or hearings - my amazing staff helps students years later figure stuff out. The court isn't always perfect in how the case is handled and there's errors. We have had clients get their case dismissed who then find out a year later, the court put the wrong result in and they have a background check coming up for a job, and there's a public conviction in error- our team a year later goes into action and fixes it.
We work with the 15th district court judges, clerks, prosecutors and staff on a daily basis year round My staff is on a first name basis with all of the clerks, prosecutors and judicial staffs, because they are playing phone tag all fall with all of our new cases and clients. We get stuff done for our clients and work closely with each and every family who comes to us for help. I am happy to answer any questions about how I can help you or someone you care about with a case at the 15th District Court.