Lansing Criminal Attorneys
Although Grabel & Associates is a Michigan-wide and nationally recognized criminal defense firm, Lansing is our backyard. It’s where our firm was started and where we have deep roots. In other words, we know the lay of the land. We know the charging practices of the prosecutors. We know the predilections of the judges. We know what wins cases. We know what loses cases. If you come to us after having been charged with or investigated for a crime, in most cases, our Lansing criminal attorneys will be able to tell you the likely outcomes. You want that kind of local knowledge if you’re facing the life-altering prospect of a criminal conviction.
It’s no secret that Lansing is a high-crime area. The prosecutor’s office accordingly takes a hard-nosed approach. Still, an adept and experienced criminal attorney can obtain favorable results even in this tough jurisdiction.
Let’s take a look at the different courts in the Lansing area. Which courtroom your case is in will often play a major role in the outcome of your case.
Michigan District Courts in Lansing
The Lansing area district courts handle traffic matters and misdemeanors. They also handle preliminary proceedings in felony cases.
If your case is in Lansing proper, you’ll be at the 54A District Court, located at Lansing City Hall, 124 W. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, 48933. The court is comprised of four judges: Judge Louise Alderson, Judge Stacia Buchanan, Judge Cynthia Ward, and Judge Kristen Simmons.
If your case is in East Lansing, you’ll be at the 54B District Court, located at 101 Linden Street, East Lansing, 48823. Two judges preside in this court—Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin and Judge Richard Ball.
If your case is anywhere else in Ingham County, you'll be at the 55th District Court, located at 700 Buhl Drive, Mason, 48854. This court has two judges: Judge Richard Hillman and Judge Donald Allen.
Our criminal defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates are frequent visitors to these Lansing courts and familiar faces to the judges. Our attorneys know the correct practices and procedures in these courtrooms; what to do and what not to do. This knowledge can often be the difference between a good and a bad result in your case.
Here are just some of the kinds of cases our lawyers handle in the Lansing area district courts:
- Operating while intoxicated (OWI) (aka drunk driving or DUI)
- Driving while license suspended
- Drug possession
- Domestic violence
- Sex charges
The 30th Circuit Court handles all felony cases arising out of Lansing, East Lansing, and elsewhere in Ingham County. The court is staffed by several judges, including Judge Wanda Stokes, Judge Richard J. Garcia, Judge Joyce Draganchuk, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, Judge Clinton Canady, Judge Shauna Dunnings, Judge James Jamo, and Judge Janelle Lawless.
Again, the attorneys at Grabel & Associates are often in this court, and we’re no strangers to these judges. We know what flies with them and what doesn’t. When you’re facing a felony case with the possibility of a lengthy term of incarceration, you want that kind of experience on your side.
Here are just some of the kinds of felony cases we handle in the Ingham Circuit Court:
- Criminal sexual conduct (CSC)
- Felony drunk driving
- White collar crime
- Delivery and manufacture of controlled substances
- Aggravated assault
- Armed and unarmed robbery
- Home invasion
- Identity theft
- Possession of a firearm
- Internet sex crimes
Should I hire a local attorney if I’m charged with a crime in Lansing?
Yes, you should retain an attorney based in Lansing if you’re charged with a crime there. It’s a good question, though. To be sure, there’s a perception that in-town attorneys are entrenched in the local criminal justice system, that we serve that system rather than our clients, that we care more about maintaining relationships with judges and prosecutors than winning cases. Will this attorney really fight for me, some clients think, even if it means upsetting the prosecutor or the judge?
In a word, yes. As attorneys, we have an ethical obligation to zealously represent our clients, to strive for the best result in every case. We take that obligation seriously. If you don’t believe us, take a look at our case results. So if we don’t think a plea offer is sweet enough, we’ll set the case for trial, even if the prosecutor gets irritated. Or if we think the judge ruled the wrong way on a motion, we’ll appeal the decision, even if it makes the judge look bad. Our priority is you, not them.
And rather than being a weakness, an attorney’s local knowledge is an enormous strength. Knowing what it takes to persuade a prosecutor to drop a case or to convince a judge not to impose jail time can make all the difference in achieving a great outcome. So if you’re charged with a crime in Lansing, hire an attorney from Lansing.
Do prosecutors in Lansing pursue criminal charges vigorously?
Prosecutors in Lansing pursue criminal charges vigorously but, in most cases, not unreasonably. The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office is generally middle-of-the-road compared with other offices throughout Michigan. For most routine criminal cases, prosecutors in Lansing will typically offer quotidian plea deals. For example, in a garden variety operating while intoxicated (commonly called “DUI”) case, prosecutors will usually agree to reduce the charge to operating while visibly impaired. As another example, for minor drug charges, prosecutors will commonly allow clients to plead under a deferral that leaves them without a criminal record.
The one trouble spot with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office has always been criminal sexual conduct (CSC) cases. Depending on which individual prosecutor is handling the case, they can be downright unreasonable. Even where an accuser is completely unbelievable, prosecutors will often obdurately insist on pursuing charges. Many of the prosecutors won’t care even if the client passes a polygraph examination demonstrating their innocence. So if you’re charged with a CSC in Lansing, you’re in treacherous waters. That said, we’ve successfully navigated many clients to dismissals, not-guilty verdicts, and favorable plea bargains in CSC cases in Lansing. Our knowledge and experience with the prosecutors have often been the key to obtaining such excellent results.
Criminal Defense Results in Lansing
We can tell you all day long how knowledgeable we are about the Lansing area, its prosecutors, and its judges. But how do you know we’re not just blowing smoke? Results, that’s how. Here are just some of the tremendous results we’ve recently been able to obtain for our clients in the Lansing area.
- Assault by strangulation charge tossed in the 55th District Court at the preliminary examination. The judge was not happy with the prosecutor.
- First-degree criminal sexual conduct—a capital offense—pleaded down in the 54B District Court to attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with no jail and a deferral under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). This means that if the client successfully completes probation, he will not have a conviction on his record and he will not have to register as a sex offender.
- Felony indecent exposure charge in the 54A District Court dismissed before the preliminary examination after the client successfully passed a polygraph examination and the prosecutor’s witnesses were exposed as liars.
- The prosecutor declined to charge one of our clients who had been accused of criminal sexual conduct in a case out of East Lansing. Our attorney located texts from the alleged victim where she said that nothing illegal had happened between the client and her.
- Possession of cocaine charge dismissed after our attorney got a witness to admit that the cocaine had belonged to them.
- Criminal sexual conduct charges dismissed in the 54B District Court after a preliminary examination.
- After a successful appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, our client’s second-degree criminal sexual conduct convictions were vacated by the Ingham Circuit Court, and the prosecutor declined to take the case back to trial.
- Home invasion charge dismissed after our attorney filed a successful motion.
Before you retain another attorney for your Lansing-area criminal case, ask them about their results. We’re guessing they won’t stack up against ours.
Contact us Today
If you’re facing a criminal case in the Lansing area, contact us online or call us at our 24/7 defense hotline at 1-800-342-7896 to discuss your case.