Montcalm County Criminal Defense Attorney

Montcalm County Criminal Defense Lawyers - Columns

 

We have tried more criminal cases in Montcalm County than in any other county. Our Montcalm County Criminal Defense Attorneys have successfully defended cases including drug possession, drunk driving, domestic assault, negligent homicide, and murder. Montcalm County is situated northeast of Kent County, Michigan. Montcalm County is home to the 8th Judicial Circuit Court as well as the 64B District Court. Both courts sit in the county seat, Stanton, Michigan.

 

64B District Court

The 64B District Court is located at:

617 N. State St

Stanton, MI 48888

 

Hon. Donald R. Hemingsen

 

The Hon. Donald R. Hemingsen is the only district judge for Montcalm County. He has been on the bench since his election in 1996. Judge Hemingsen presides over all criminal cases punishable by one year or less in the county jail. He also presides over preliminary examinations in all criminal cases. Occasionally, Probate Judge, Hon. Charles W. Simon, III, will preside over criminal cases in Judge Hemingsen’s absence or when the volume of criminal cases is high.

 

Trials in Montcalm County

 

In trial, Judge Hemingsen expects the attorneys to be prepared and to move the case along. He is known for quickly ruling on objections and not wasting time in trial. Misdemeanors are usually disposed of within 90 days of arraignment. If you set your case for trial, the 64B District Court will schedule a jury selection on the first Wednesday morning of the next month. Jury selection occurs on this day and you will be ordered to return at a later date to conduct the jury trial.

 

Sentencing at The 64th District Court

 

In this court, most people convicted of misdemeanor offenses are placed on probation. For most misdemeanors, fines and costs are in the neighborhood of $1,000. For a first-offense drunk driving conviction, if there was no accident and you have no criminal history, jail is uncommon. Second-time drunk drivers usually face jail sentences ranging from 20-60 days, depending on the facts of their case.

If you are convicted of Retail Fraud – 3rd Degree and have no criminal history, you should expect fines, costs, and probation. If your child was with you during the Retail Fraud, a short jail sentence is not unusual.

Judge Hemingsen takes the directive of MCR 1.110, which requires fines and costs to be paid at the time of sentencing, very seriously. If you appear for sentencing without any money to apply towards your fines and you had the ability to earn money in the time between your plea and sentencing, you can expect that your sentence will include additional jail time. To avoid being penalized for failure to pay your fines, you must show good cause why you’re unable to pay the fines. Generally speaking, having other bills that you deem more important will not suffice as “good cause”. It is uncommon for this court to grant payment plans to people convicted of criminal offenses.

 

8th Circuit Court

 

The 8th Circuit Court is located at:

631 N. State St

Stanton, MI 48888

 

Hon. Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger

 

Judge Kreeger is the Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit. In addition to presiding over felony criminal matters, she is responsible for overseeing the administrative functions of the court. Judge Kreeger was elected in 2008 to fill the seat vacated by the Hon. Charles H. Miel. Prior to her election, Judge Kreeger was the Friend of the Court for Ionia County.

 

Trials at The 8th Circuit Court

 

During trial, Judge Kreeger does not generally allow attorneys to conduct their own voir dire. Generally speaking, the court conducts all of the voir dire, but she allows the attorneys to submit written voir dire questions in advance. After a criminal matter is bound over to her court, your attorney will receive a scheduling order indicating the possible trial dates. Normally a case will be set for trial on three to five separate dates. On each trial date, the oldest case will be tried. However, as many cases resolve without trial, it is not uncommon for a case to be tried on the first or second jury trial date.

 

Sentencing at The 8th Circuit Court

 

All circuit court judges are bound by the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines when imposing sentences in felony matters. Except in circumstances where there are substantial and compelling reasons to depart from the guidelines, you can expect that Judge Kreeger will impose a sentence within guidelines. Fines and costs are generally in the neighborhood of $1,000-1,500. Especially where incarceration is imposed, payment plans can be arranged.

 

Hon. Ronald Schafer

 

Judge Schafer was recently appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the David Hoort. Prior to being appointed to the 8th Circuit Court, Judge Schafer was the Ionia County prosecutor.

 

Trials at The 8th Circuit Court

 

During trial, most judges allow attorneys to conduct their own voir dire. After a criminal matter is bound over to his court, your attorney will receive a scheduling order indicating the possible trial dates. Normally a case will be set for trial on three to five separate dates. On each trial date, the oldest case will be tried. However, as many cases resolve without trial, it is not uncommon for a case to be tried on the first or second jury trial date.

Are You Facing Criminal Charges in Montcalm County?

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in Montcalm County and would like to schedule a consultation, call the criminal defense lawyers at Miel & Carr at 616-773-2945 .