I handle a lot of these types of cases during football season due to the high volume of drinking before, during or after Michigan Football games. Out of towners are typically the targets of the police department, and are totally unaware that drinking on the sidewalk could lead to a misdemeanor crime.
I receive calls all day and night from people who need my help to avoid a criminal record, and I will discuss this criminal offense in greater detail later in this book, but for now, let’s discuss how we handle this case at the 15th District Court.
Once the client hires me, I file my paperwork with the court, prosecutor and the police department. Typically the only paperwork on this case is the ticket from the police department, which the client already has in their possession, but sometimes, the officer generates a police report, and their may be video and audio of the incident.
This type of case is set for a court date within 10-14 days of when it happened, but many of my clients are not from the area, and worry about taking a day off from work to attend court with no idea what to do about their criminal case. Fortunately for my clients, my paperwork will cancel this need to appear within that period of time, and our case is assigned to a judge, which is typically Judge Hines or Valvo. The prosecutor in this case will be the City of Ann Arbor.
If the client is from out of town or cannot take off from work or delegate their responsibilities to somebody else for the day, I can typically gain permission to have my client excused from attending court, and can resolve the case in a favorable manner.
To recap, each case at the 15th District Court begins with a police agency, which then submits the case to the prosecutor, which then brings the case to the courthouse to begin with either the magistrate of one of the three judges. Each judge handles a certain type of case, and the prosecutor is determined by a number of factors. No matter the judge, charge or prosecutor, it’s important to hire an attorney from day one who can help you navigate the process, put you on a proactive plan from day one, and create options for resolving your case.
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