Category

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Are Court Appointed Attorneys Good?

By | blog post, Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

If you have been charged with a crime in the state of Michigan, it may be tempting to opt for a court appointed attorney, also known as a public defender, to represent you. For individuals who are concerned about significant legal fees, enlisting the help of a court-appointed lawyer may seem like a practical, economically responsible decision initially. For many, a court appointed lawyer is the only option they have. While accepting a court-appointed lawyer is certainly better than attempting to handle your own case, you may receive a defense that is lacking in quality and a resolution that is not desirable, if not disastrous. The bottom line is that with a public defender, the court will select your lawyer from a list of attorneys who work for discount fees, are frequently overburdened with cases, and you will not have an opportunity to pick your own attorney.

Representation by a Court-Appointed Attorney

What are the disadvantages to being assigned a court appointed attorney?

One of the biggest disadvantages of accepting a public defender to represent you is that you have no say in who is assigned to you. Court appointed attorneys are assigned randomly and your fate will be up to the luck of the draw. Because an appointed lawyer is paid only a small fraction of an average private retainer fee, he or she must be internally motivated to provide the best representation to their clients. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many appointed lawyers. Clients who dropped their court-appointed lawyer frequently say it was due to the fact that they didn’t feel like they had their best interests at heart, didn’t take time to communicate and return calls, or seemed to not care about their case’s ultimate outcome. In fact, some court appointed lawyers will try to persuade their client to plead guilty and accept a plea to avoid the preparation and work associated with going to trial. This is because the fees paid by the court to court appointed attorneys are very small in comparison to the amount of preparation the attorney must do. Underpaid and overwhelmed with workload, many good, ethical lawyers simply do not have the time or energy to invest in fighting for your best interest. Therefore, many court appointed attorneys would rather settle and plead a case out rather than fight. In other words, they are putting their own best interests ahead of the client’s. No client should ever accept that circumstance.

It’s not uncommon to hear from clients who previously used public defenders that their lawyer failed to return their calls and emails and who showed a lack of interested in fighting on their behalf. This is due to the fact that many of the ordinary tasks a lawyer must do on a case are simply not paid for by the court appointed system. Court appointed attorneys are not paid for tasks such as returning phone calls, doing legal research, making copies of documents, communicating with a client’s family members, and interviewing witnesses, just to name a few. Unfortunately, in the legal system, as with most circumstances in life, you get what you pay for.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

You cannot have a court appointed lawyer at the arraignment on a felony or misdemeanor charge. The first court date is called an arraignment and that is when a judge tells you the charges and sets a bond. This is a critical stage in the proceedings and can set the tone for the balance of the case. A prepared attorney gives you the best chance of getting out on bond and not getting stuck in jail while the case goes through the court system. With a retained attorney, he or she will be able to get case records, police reports and other evidence in advance of the pretrial or preliminary hearing. Obtaining records early and taking time to get prepared is a huge advantage before court.

What options do I have if I want to hire a private lawyer?

When your livelihood, reputation, and freedom are on the line, doesn’t it make sense to invest in the very best legal representation? You cannot go back in time if you have a bargain-priced lawyer and things do not work out in your best interest. Many clients have learned the painful lesson that the cost of using a court appointed lawyer (damage to reputation, employability, jail, family problems, etc.) is much greater than hiring a reputable, experienced privately retained attorney.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Successfully represented thousands of clients in the state of Michigan

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients in the state of Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing high quality and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. We will not let you down!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Reputable Attorney for Criminal Defense in Michigan

By | blog post, Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

The only thing that precedes a lawyer into the courtroom is his or her reputation. Judges and prosecutors exercise a considerable amount of discretion and a lawyer’s ability to be persuasive is critical. A reputation for being a strong and ethical advocate is often the single thing that leads to an extraordinary outcome.

A Great Lawyer Has Renowned Integrity and Character

Judges look to lawyers for guidance, the law, and an understanding of the facts. A lawyer known for his or her character and integrity will rule the day.”— Loren Dickstein

 

Judges have difficult jobs and in criminal cases, their rulings and orders deeply impact the lives of defendants, victims and each of their families. While there are bad and careless judges, most are thoughtful and at least attempt to make rulings that are consistent with the law and based on the facts of a case. How does a judge decide if he believes the defense lawyer or the prosecutor regarding the law or the facts of the case? This question is important because the resolution of these disputes frequently hinges on a judge’s understanding of the facts and legal issues. The lawyer with the most credibility and who can most persuasively argue a case has the best chance of winning.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

How Criminal Charges Get Dismissed

Few lawyers routinely achieve outright dismissals for clients in felony and misdemeanor cases.

Why do some lawyers consistently achieve extraordinary results? The answer is reputation. Prosecutors and defense lawyers spend great time and energy in bargaining and negotiating potential resolutions to cases. The vast majority of criminal charges resolve with plea bargains or dismissals, as opposed to jury trials. In any negotiation, an advocate’s persuasiveness depends on his or her credibility. For example, lawyers who routinely manipulate clients into entering pleas or who are notorious for making exaggerated or false statements, have low credibility. On the other hand, attorneys who are known for fighting cases and truthfully representing the strength of defense evidence, make powerful and effective advocates. The best hope of getting charges dismissed is when a prosecutor believes he or she cannot win a case or learns of a defendant’s likely innocence.

Top Rated Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Why is having a reputable attorney for criminal defense best for the client?

In addition to being the most likely to achieve a favorable outcome, the client is best served by an attorney who is honorable and fair. Let’s face it, when someone is charged with a crime, he or she is vulnerable and in need of help. This is a prime opportunity for a disreputable lawyer to take advantage. The conduct of lawyers in Michigan are governed by a set of ethical rules called the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules prohibit certain improper conduct including charging exorbitant legal fees or making promises and guarantees. If a lawyer makes a promise or guarantee regarding getting charges dismissed or avoiding jail time, these assertions are strictly unethical and, in fact, fraudulent. The truth is that no lawyer can truthfully guarantee any particular outcome. While lawyers may be confident in their abilities, they should be truthful and realistic with a potential client regarding their case and the possible outcomes.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Lawyers with a Reputation for being Reputable and Effective

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has spent decades cultivating highly respected standing throughout the State of Michigan with prosecutors, judges, and fellow criminal defense lawyers. We believe our reputation as fearless, tireless and zealous advocates has been integral to our unparalleled success. Please call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

By | Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

Michigan Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you are currently facing a criminal charge, now is not the time to be careless about your legal representation. There are no second chances when you are talking about defending a criminal charge. Trust the experience and knowledge of the most successful Michigan criminal defense attorney teams in the state. Whether you are facing a felony charge or misdemeanor, the legal team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will sit down with you to listen to your case and develop a plan to successfully move forward. While we cannot promise a “not guilty” verdict or a dismissal, our strong, successful track record with past clients speaks for itself.

 

We have decades of experience defending clients facing the following charges; domestic violence, retail fraud, OWI, DUI, assault and battery, homicide, possession of marijuana, embezzlement, larceny, violation of probation, armed robbery, refusal to pay child support, possession of child pornography, traffic charges, and other misdemeanors and felony cases. When you face a felony or misdemeanor charge, both your freedom and reputation are at stake. Too many individuals try to represent themselves or have general practice or inferior criminal defense lawyers in an effort to save money. With a situation with such high stakes, leave it to an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney team with a proven track record – one like Lewis and Dickstein.

 

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. carries a 10 AVVO Rating (the highest rating) and the SupreLawyer Designation, consistently, year after year. Read through our client reviews and you will understand and appreciate the competence and success of Lewis and Dickstein, P.L.L.C. While other attorney teams in Michigan may promise favorable outcomes, the legal team and LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. takes the time with each client to make sure they feel heard, supported, and are accurately and fearlessly represented in a court of law.

 

The Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Firm

 

Whether you are being charged with a alcohol or drug crime, violent crime or white-collar crime, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has the experience and effectiveness to handle your situation in the best way possible. No other Michigan criminal defense attorney can represent you better. While we can’t promise a “not guilty” verdict, we can promise that we will fight mercilessly for the outcome you desire.

 

Contact the Experienced Michigan Attorneys Now

Michigan Criminal Procedure and Double Jeopardy

By | Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Michigan criminal defense attorney with expertise in double jeopardy matters

The case of Michigan v Evans is one of the few recent United States Supreme Court cases favorable toward the person charged with a crime. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important you have expert legal representation that is aware on the continuing changes in the criminal law. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are diligent with keeping up with changes in the law so that the people they represent have cutting edge legal assistance. If you have any questions, please contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.
Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Against Resentencing for Juvenile Life Sentences

By | Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

Two years ago in Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles without parole were unconstitutional, but the Michigan Supreme Court has decided that the Supreme Court mandate will not be applied retroactively in the State of Michigan.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Why no retroactive application?

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling did not make all juvenile life sentences unconstitutional, but only made automatic life sentencing without a certain set of procedures unconstitutional in juvenile cases, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that the change was only procedural in nature, and since it does not alter the range of possible sentences it should not be applied retroactively.

This decision affects more than 300 Michigan inmates who were sentenced prior to the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and therefore will not be eligible receive new sentencing hearings.

A controversial decision

This decision by the Michigan Supreme Court is very controversial and many groups are advocating against it, arguing that juveniles sentenced to a life term before the Miller decision should have the opportunity of a parole hearing at some point in their sentence. The criminal defense team with Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. is well known as an advocate for juveniles and we are ready to fight for anyone charged with a felony or misdemeanor and facing the potential of a conviction or incarceration.

In fact, many states such as Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Iowa have already begun ordering new hearings for juveniles serving life terms in their prisons. Though the U.S. Supreme Court refused to a hear a case similar to the Michigan decision, Cunningham v. Pennsylvania, many believe that it is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually mandate the retroactive application of its ruling, nullifying this most recent Michigan decision.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Michigan juvenile criminal defense attorneys

If you, or someone you know, is facing criminal charges and a possible loss of freedom, it is essential that you have expert legal counsel by your side. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience in juvenile criminal defense and they are prepared to work within updated legislation in order to zealously represent their clients. If you need help, please contact us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

“We Are Not Afraid To Win”
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Washtenaw County defense attorney

Probable Cause is Required for a Search Warrant (Get Charges Dismissed!)

By | Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

Probable Cause, Search Warrants, and Confidential Informants

Search Warrant and Informants use in CA – In the 2013 case of United States v Buffer the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Michigan) released an opinion relative to probable cause, search warrants and confidential informants. Memphis police received an anonymous call about suspected drug dealing from a particular home. An officer observed several visits to the home that lasted one to two minutes. He stopped a vehicle leaving the home and found a small amount of marijuana. Based on that, he sought and was given a search warrant for the house.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney - Ratings & Awards

Search warrant invalid without corroboration

The search warrant was declared invalid because there was no information relative to the reliability of the informant and the police officer needed to have corroborated the information. A few visits to a home and a small amount of marijuana without information that the marijuana came from that particular house was not enough to corroborate.

Evidence suppressed – good faith exception invalid

The court admonished that a reasonably well-trained officer would know the information was insufficient to provide probable cause so it was not savable by arguing the mistake was made in good faith.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Michigan criminal defense attorney with expertise in search and seizure matters.

It is important that you have expert legal representation when your freedom is at stake. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are experts in the field of criminal defense. Criminal defense is all we do. We have decades of experience representing people in both state and federal courts. If you, or someone you know, needs help, please contact us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Information Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Should I hire a Criminal Defense Attorney or Get a Court Appointed Lawyer

By | Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney | No Comments

Retained criminal defense attorney vs.court appointed attorney. How is a court appointed attorney provided in criminal cases, and will there be any cost?

A court appointed lawyer is provided by the court only for those who are financially unable to retain private counsel. This means that if you own a home, have a decent full-time job or other assets, the court will tell you to retain your own private criminal attorney. To apply for an appointed attorney, you will have to disclose your financial information (income, debt and assets) under penalty of perjury. Additionally, even if the court finds you initially financially eligible for an appointed lawyer, you will still be ordered to repay the court for the cost of the appointed attorney.

Representation by a Court-Appointed Attorney

Will a public defender be as good as privately retained defense counsel?

According to the State of Michigan’s State Appellate Defender Office in April 2018:

“Our criminal justice system relies on zealous defenders and independent pretrial investigations to ensure just results. Yet the reality is that public-defense delivery systems — nationally and in Michigan — are inadequate and underfunded. Court appointed trial attorneys carry excessive caseloads and lack the time and funding to investigate cases. One result from this breakdown in the adversarial system is the wrongful conviction of innocent people.”

There are some excellent appointed lawyers, but you will not have the ability to choose which lawyer is best for you. If you have an appointed attorney, you will not be able to fire the attorney even if you are not happy. You may ask the court to give you a new attorney but the court may not grant the request. Regrettably, many court appointed must deal with staggeringly high, difficult caseloads. By contrast, even a busy private criminal lawyer has only a fraction of the cases that each public defender must unfortunately shoulder. Both paid lawyers and court appointed lawyers each have only 24 hours in a day. Even the most conscientious, skilled appointed attorney has a hard time finding the time and resources to adequately defend a client.

Should I go to the trouble and expense of hiring a retained lawyer if I may be eligible for the services of a court appointed attorney?

The bottom line is that if you can afford to hire a private, retained lawyer who is not overwhelmed by a huge caseload, it is clearly in your best interest. If you can find a lawyer who is a partner in a criminal defense law firm, you will have not only a lawyer who has the time to dedicate to your case but also the resources to provide an even higher level of service. Many appointed lawyers have the highest level of dedication and ability. This being said, a privately retained, experienced defense attorney will likely have more time and more resources to spend on your case.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

A great criminal defense attorney

You can check the qualifications of most criminal defense attorneys, assuming they have any level of recognition in the community, by visiting www.avvo.com. Simply type in an attorney’s name and see how he or she is ranked compared to other Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.