Here are some general tips for Court that I give to clients.
Be On Time
It can only help you to be punctual and make it to a court appearance early. The judge may note that you early, and that will be a mark in your favor. On the other hand, a judge may not be happy with a client who shows up a half hour late.
Being punctual is always a trait that is valued. It can help you to be on time even if the judge takes his or her time getting out of chambers and getting to the bench.
The earlier you are, the more likely it will be that your case will be called early in the day. Judge typically have busy courtrooms, with dozens and dozens of people to see. Do you think the judge will be in a better mood when you’re the 30th person he sees or the 2nd? Catch the judge early, before all the people who will argue with the judge and make the judge’s day longer.
Do What the Judge Says
In many cases, a judge may tell a person to do certain things while the case is pending. Do what the judge tells you to do. For example, in many felony cases, the judge will tell the person to get fingerprinted. Just go get the fingerprints as soon as possible.
A judge may also impose bond conditions, and it is very important to follow those conditions. For example, in operating while intoxicated drunk driving cases the judge will order a person to not drink alcohol or take any drugs. In many courts it is common for people to take alcohol or drug tests while the court case is pending (even though we don’t know the outcome of the case). The Michigan Court Rules allow judges to impose these requirements.
Do absolutely everything in your power to comply with these bond conditions. Nothing can derail a case faster than a bond violation hearing.
For example, let’s say we’re planning on filing a motion to attack evidence and then holding a jury trial in a drunk driving case. Our focus must be on preparation of the case for trial.
Now let’s say there’s a bond violation for drinking alcohol. All of a sudden, we’re not preparing for trial but trying to keep you out of jail for the bond violation. This type of distraction can hurt the case. We lose momentum and you may lose your nerve for trial after being thrown in jail.
What if you can’t stop drinking? Talk to me about it. We will get you resources to help with the issue. It’s much better to deal with any issues proactively and ahead of time than to be dealing with them for the first time in front of the a judge who is threatening jail time for a bond violation.
Do What Your Lawyer Says
You’ve hired a criminal defense lawyer to defend you against criminal charges. Presumably, you did this because the lawyer will have more experience handling these types of cases and can act as an advocate and counselor for you. Throughout the case your lawyer may ask you to do things, such as provide information or take some action. Your lawyer will not ask you to do things that will prejudice your case.
Listen to the lawyer. You didn’t pay a large retainer for a lawyer to simply disregard the lawyer’s advice. The lawyer is trying to help and taking care of the lawyer’s request will probably make your life easier.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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We are a Washtenaw County Law Firm specializing in criminal defense. Criminal defense is not one of many areas of law we practice, it’s all we do. We are here to help, whether you’ve been charged with a theft crimes such as embezzlement or possession of a controlled substance.
We will proactively represent you. This means we will create a plan of action for dealing with your case from the first time we meet. We do not wait until the first court date to read the police report and then tell you what to do on the spot.
At ArborYpsi Law, you have our promise to always stay in touch. Clients can call, text, and e-mail whenever. We will always pick up the phone when we see your call. If we miss your call, we will always get back to you no later than 24 hours. Often I see a person calling while I’m in court and I immediately text back to let them know when I’ll be available for a phone conversation.
You will never go to Court without us speaking in advance of each court date. I make sure the client knows what will happen in advance of court.
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Operating While Intoxicated Charges in Michigan
One of the most common charges seen in the district courts of Michigan is the drunk driving charge of operating while intoxicated. Police officers are vigilant for drunk drivers. Many police officers now receive special training to detect impaired driving.
We are prepared to represent you on Michigan drunk driving charges. We regularly fight these cases through motion hearings and jury trials. In addition, we help people resolve these casesso they can limit the damage to their driver’s licenses and move on with their lives. We regularly represent clients on drunk driving charges in the 15th District Court, the 14A-2 District Court, and the 14A-3 District Court, among others.
We don’t simply hold our clients hands while they plead guilty to OWI. We will be very proactive in trying to determine potential challenges to the case against you. If you tell us your main goal is to fight the case, then we will look at everything five different ways until we find a suitable challenge.
Call 734-883-9584 to Speak with an Ann Arbor OWI Attorney