You may at this time have reason to consider retaining an attorney to represent you during a difficult time. If that is the case, then welcome to our site. One of the purposes of providing this information is to familiarize you with what will likely occur in the near future as to court appearances, what the law is in your situation, with the precise nature of what it is that you are charged with, what your Constitutional rights are, and to explain to you the nature of the attorney-client relationship.
What is this type of relationship?
An attorney-client relationship is simply a matter of you, the accused, hiring an agent, the attorney, to perform a specialized task on your behalf. This often includes court appearances, advice, negotiations, and taking care of required paperwork. I am not sheltering you as a family member might. I extend to you my “fiduciary duty.” There are four such duties. This means that I will be honest with you in all of our dealings. This guarantees trust. It also means that I will treat you fairly, that I will not compromise my attention when focusing on your case. Everything will be held in confidence to outsiders unless you wish me to include family members, etc. It also includes the duty to give you full disclosure of all material facts which come to my attention by way of phone calls to or from me to people involved in your case, letters, police reports, etc., and that I convey this information to you in a timely fashion. Lastly, I will always work in your best interests, and to our office this means three things. It includes your immediate best interests, such as “get me out of this situation as quickly, cheaply and as painlessly as you can.” It means also your long term best interests, such as the “what about my driver’s license coming back down the road.. will this remedial measure that you suggest help with that too” type of concern. Lastly, I will look out for and protect your financial best interests. We do this type of work every day. You don’t. There are pitfalls which one can easily fall into by over reacting and going into programs which are otherwise unnecessary, by going to overly qualified professionals for basic evaluations or assessments, and by our office keeping track of money that you have already spent and having credit given for them, as well as the bond application against fines and costs, these just to name a few.
A Word about Honesty
It is of paramount importance that you are open and honest in your disclosures to this office and to the court as your character is now in keen focus. A failure to disclose a past conviction of any type will be deemed not only as a deception but perhaps as your being in denial which is a factor of the difficulty that you are now in. Such failure to be honest may well result in harsher penalties being imposed, such as counseling, a longer than otherwise jail term, lengthily probation and other unpleasantness in lieu of the maximum term being imposed. Do not confuse the matter of a Secretary of State driving record going back only ten years with the sheriff’s lien or a compiled criminal history lien (CCH) as the latter two go back for an indefinite period of time. Please remember that we are in the age of computers. Computers don’t retire, they remember everything. Lastly, “Heidi’s Law,” passed in early 2007, which made third offense drinking and driving convictions a felony. Unlike all other traffic matters which no longer appear on the SOS abstract after ten years on the lien, it keeps keeps alcohol driving convictions on the lien forever. Also, out of state prior convictions, depending on the jurisdiction, are likewise frequently tractable. Be smart. Best be honest about ALL past matters. It will go so much better for you than being caught attempting to deceive the court. Judges seem to take this personally, and my advocacy on your behalf becomes compromised if you are caught in a lie or in a seemingly deliberate omission.
It is also extremely important that you not omit in telling me anything that may be relevant to the case. By failing to indicate that other charges might be or potentially could be pending.. such as marijuana being found in the car, so that we might possibly combine or outright dismiss those charges all together is counter productive. Just because you were not cited for the offense at the arrest does not mean that the officer has thrown it away. It may well have been sent out to the police lab for testing which often take some weeks or even longer to get the results to get to the prosecutor or for new charges to b filed ..and hence a new case against you. Tell us about this type of thing. It is much easier and efficient to deal with several charges simultaneously than with each one separately and sometimes surfacing after the original case is over. It will also save you money.
What Your Rights Are Will Be Explained To You
Both the Judge and I will advise you of your trial rights if it should eventually be your choice to take advantage of an offered plea arrangement. These rights include: That you may have a trial before a Judge or before a jury, that you are presumed to be innocent until otherwise found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, that you have the right to take the stand in your own defense or not to take the stand and be subject to cross examination, and this is only your choice to make, and if you choose not to take the stand the judge will instruct the jury that no inference of guilt can be drawn from this choice, that you may cross examine all of the prosecution’s witnesses that are called to testify against you, that you may call your own witnesses to testify in your defense and, if they are reluctant or refuse, the Judge would force them by subpoena to be there, that you don’t have to prove anything and that it is the job of the prosecutor to prove you guilty, and that if he or she fails to do this the case will be dismissed. Lastly, if at any time during the court proceedings you are not able to afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you at public expense. These rights are a matter of due process. They are your guaranteed Constitutional rights. If you wish to waive these to take advantage of a favorable plea arrangement, you must do so on the record.
Further, please know that The Michigan Constitution of 1963, Article 1 Section 20, provides you with what are referred to as your "trial rights" and it reads as follows:
"...In every criminal prosecution, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, which may consist of less than 12 jurors in prosecutions for misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year: to be informed of the nature of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; to have an appeal as matter of right; and as provided by law, when the trial Court so orders, to have such reasonable assistance as may be necessary to perfect and prosecute an appeal."
Advice Before All Essential Parts Of The Proceedings
Your plea being placed on the record before the Judge may well be the first time that you have ever been before the Court. We will instruct you about many things beforehand, such as how to dress, stand (no hands in your pockets), speaking loud enough, direct eye contact, etc. We will tell you too about what is about to go on and what you need to know about speaking, and that I will be standing right next to you in case that there is a problem.
At the time of the sentencing, your judge will ultimately, after input from me as to your qualities and remedial efforts performed, then will listen to what you have to say quite carefully and will thereafter decide on what the bottom line will be. He or she will gauge such decision upon how much you may have learned from this, on whether or not this has truly gotten your attention, on whether this is something that requires the impact of some loss of freedom, on whether the sending a message to the community is required, and lastly whether or not you might learn from some fashioned forms of remedial education. Each sentencing is based upon its own fact situation, and is tempered by what the Judge perceives to be your overall attitude.
From day one the Judge did not know anything about you except why the police thought it necessary for you come before the court. If you plead guilty to some charge, he or she expects that you to say that this will never happen again. He or she also expects you to say that you are sorry. During this process what is reviewed are primarily two things: Your capacity for telling the truth consistently and, again, your disposition by way of complacency, seriousness, sincere embarrassment, and such. What is in the past, you can not now change. This office will attempt to place you in the best possible light, but understand please that what happens to you will be affected by your sincerity.
Lastly, if it is your choice to select this office to help you, I will make every effort through the proceedings to insure that your rights as guaranteed in the Michigan and Federal Constitution are applied to your case, and I will give my very best special problem. My office will attempt to make you feel as comfortable and calm as we possibly can. My staff includes Smiljana Lazic who is here to provide you with all necessary assistance and to remove any confusion which may arise. If you cannot reach me, as I am quite often in court, leave your message with Smiljana. She will make sure that I get it as soon as possible. The fact that you may not hear from me for a period of time does not mean that we are not working on your behalf. Please keep in contact with our office with regard to any changes to your address and/or telephone number, or any missed remedial efforts or appointments immediately.
Please make note of any questions that you may need answered so that we may discuss them at our next meeting or telephone conversation. You have retained me to give your cause my best efforts and professional attention and this will be done. Lastly, please inform me of any change of circumstance which may affect your case when and if such may occur.
If you have come to our site because of a criminal matter, please go from here to "The Criminal Process" section of this site. Thereafter choose whatever crime title that applies and go to it. This site is not just for information. It is also built to provide a potential client with a precatory information so that a better understanding might be achieved when we first meet.
A Reputation For Results
The Williams Law Firm works closely with outstanding forensic experts and private investigators, many of whom have a federal and state law enforcement background. These resources and the skills of our experienced lawyers have resulted in many not guilty jury verdicts. Our cases come from other attorneys who recommend or refer us to their clients as well as through word-of-mouth from past clients, yellow pages or the web. A number of our cases have attracted the attention of the local and national media. If you have been charged with any criminal offense, our office to learn how we can defend you effectively.
Let Us Help You Today
The Williams Law Firm has the experience and expertise to deliver case altering results on behalf of our clients. Our office has represented thousands of individuals singled out during criminal investigations and charged with all levels of crimes. We have successfully tried dozens of cases to verdicts on all kinds of criminal charges, from complicated violent offenses and sex crimes to criminal domestic disputes, OWI and traffic crimes, weapons charges, theft, and drug cases. We are now into our fourth decade of in-court legal representation. We have handled nearly every type of criminal case. The Firm has prepared thousands of witnesses for testimony and interviews with prosecutors, police and investigative agencies. We are dedicated to providing our clients with unfailing service from the moment an incident arises through the conclusion of the case, no matter how long it takes.
Comprehensive criminal defense practice
Our criminal defense practice includes:
White collar crimes
Gun related charges
Alcohol related charges
Motor vehicle crimes
Under 21 crimes
Professional misconduct charges
Corporate compliance violations
Motivated by the highest standards of professionalism, a passion for justice and a drive to succeed, we work to deliver results for our clients in these and in all areas. We are available to respond to emergencies and staff can accommodate clients speaking Russian, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, and other Eastern European languages.
Call The Williams Law Firm Today 517-337-8100
Our results speak for themselves. With a record of success and a practice philosophy that puts respect and compassion at the core of our personalized defense strategies, The Williams Law Firm has been a choice for effective, professional criminal defense for 33 years.
We believe that everyone deserves access to aggressive and affordable criminal defense. If we may be of help to you, call us today to schedule a free of charge consultation.