Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney In Michigan

Statuette of lady justice on the table close-up against the background of the handshake of a woman and a man

Facing Michigan criminal charges can be scary. It can be difficult to know where to turn for advice. Depending on the nature and severity of the charges, you could face jail time, substantial fines, loss of your driver’s license, and more. In addition, you could suffer collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, including missing out on job opportunities or having certain career paths closed off to you.

Unfortunately, many people are afraid to hire a criminal defense lawyer. They are worried that a lawyer will be too expensive, that the lawyer is friendly with the prosecutor and won’t look out for their best interests, or that they can handle their case on their own.

In reality, deciding not to hire a lawyer can cost you more in the long run. Representing yourself is rarely a good idea. Criminal law is incredibly complicated. If you are not a lawyer, you should not represent yourself in court. In fact, when lawyers are charged with a crime or need legal help, most turn to another lawyer to represent them.

If you need criminal defense in Michigan, give yourself the best chance of beating the charge by hiring Elmen Legal.

1. A Lawyer Offers Unbiased Advice

During our first meeting, I will learn about the circumstances that led to your arrest and begin to develop a legal strategy to defend you against the criminal charges. I will investigate your case, learn about the state’s evidence, and try to negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a fair plea bargain or have the case dismissed.

During plea negotiations, I will provide unbiased advice about your options to help you make the best decision for your situation. As lawyers, we are trained to provide a dispassionate and emotionally detached evaluation of our client’s situation to help them make sound decisions about their future.

2. A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Protect You from the Most Severe Penalties

As you have probably already learned, police officers and prosecutors treat criminal defendants harshly. Many act as if you have already been convicted, despite the presumption of innocence.

As your criminal defense attorney, I will act as a buffer between you and law enforcement officers and prosecutors. I will investigate your case, gather evidence to show that you are not guilty or that the charges are too severe, and fight for a fair plea bargain or a Not Guilty verdict.

Even if a conviction is inevitable, I will present evidence to lessen the severity of your punishment.

3. A Lawyer Knows the Law

Criminal law and the rules of evidence are complicated. Lawyers spend years studying to learn the law, and we are in and out of court every day. It’s our job to know the law and understand how different judges apply it. We know the nuances of appearing before a particular judge in a particular court. We work to identify instances where the prosecution cannot prove their case and inconsistencies in the evidence to argue for a Not Guilty verdict or to have the charges against you reduced.

4. Lawyers Understand Local Courts

As a lawyer who has dedicated my career to defending people accused of crimes, I am in court every day. And when I’m not in court, I’m working with other lawyers. There’s a good chance I’ll have appeared before the judge in your case. And if I haven’t, one of my colleagues probably has. I will use this knowledge and information to help you understand the judge’s expectations in your case and to build a stronger defense.

I also know the applicable filing deadlines, court procedures, where to file court documents, and other local information. There are so many little things about the practice of law that a non-lawyer does not know that it’s difficult to even understand everything you don’t know. In fact, even lawyers who don’t regularly practice criminal law or who don’t practice in a particular court may not know the preferences of a particular judge.

5. Lawyers Provide Protection from Law Enforcement

Once you hire Elmen Legal, anyone who wants to discuss your case must go through me. You don’t have to talk to the judge, the prosecutor, the police, or the local media without your lawyer being present. In many cases, I can and will make statements on your behalf.

I will minimize the chance that you’ll be intimidated and will protect you from making hasty, poorly thought-out statements that could be used against you in court or could lead to additional criminal charges being filed.

6. A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Save You Time and Money

It may seem counter-intuitive, but working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer will actually save you time and money. I understand the criminal process and what to expect in your case. There’s a good chance that I’ve addressed the same or a similar issue in a prior case and know the applicable law. I’ll also be able to help you move through the court process as quickly as possible.

While there is an up-front cost to hiring a lawyer, there is a good chance that you’ll make up that money by paying less in fines and court costs, bail, and other fees. I’ll also be able to minimize the time you need to miss from work, which could prevent lost income or even the loss of your job.

7. A Lawyer Will Investigate the Case and Analyze the Evidence

During your initial consultation, I’ll ask questions to learn about you, your case, your background, and people who can testify on your behalf. I’ll use this information to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case and develop a legal strategy to combat the criminal charges.

I will conduct an independent investigation into your case to identify information that could be used to convince the prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain or lead to the dismissal of the case.

I’ll also analyze the state’s evidence to develop legal defenses, such as errors in the way evidence was collected, problems with the way you were placed under arrest, or facts that will make it difficult for the prosecution to meet its burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

8. Your Lawyer Helps You Make Good Decisions

Being charged with a crime is scary. You’re stressed and worried, and you're not in the best frame of mind to make significant decisions. I’ll work with you to better understand the potential consequences of a conviction and help you make decisions about how to move forward and whether to take the case to trial or negotiate a plea bargain.

9. Your Lawyer Will Advocate for You in Court

I will be on your side, no matter what. Lawyers are deeply committed to due process and ensuring that anyone charged with a crime receives sound legal advice. As your lawyer, I have a legal and ethical duty to provide you with a vigorous defense, even if I think you’re guilty.

I’ll challenge the evidence against you by filing a Motion to Suppress. If you decide to take your case to trial, I’ll be your advocate and work to convince the jury that you’re Not Guilty.

10. Help at Sentencing

If you are found guilty or agree to a plea bargain, I’ll argue for a lighter sentence, such as lower fines, less jail time, or alternatives to incarceration. I’ll explain the possible consequences and help you and your family prepare for the next steps.

Charged with a Crime in Michigan? Elmen Legal Should Be Your First Call.

If you’re facing Michigan criminal charges, you should contact Elmen Legal as soon as possible. I’ll review your case, provide legal advice, and fight to have the charges reduced or the case dismissed.

I will work hard to care for you as an individual and will do my best to shoulder some of the emotional burden of being charged with a crime. Call (734) 707-8915 to find out how I can help.

Elmen Legal proudly represents people in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, or Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.