Criminal Law in Allegan County

The most common criminal charges issued in Allegan, Michigan are domestic violence, retail fraud, driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, use of marijuana, assault and battery, Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and finally child abuse in the fourth degree.The first court appearance anyone has when they are facing a criminal charge is the arraignment process.
At the arraignment, the judge will explain to the defendant what they are being charged with. This explanation includes the maximum possible jail time the defendant may receive and how high the fines could be. Next, Judge Baillargeon will go over the advice of rights form. The advice of rights form explains the rights a defendant has regarding their criminal case. Finally, the defendant will enter a guilty or not guilty plea.If the defendant enters a guilty plea, Judge Baillargeon will likely sentence the person on the spot.

There are some exceptions. If the crime is domestic violence or drunk driving, the defendant will have a pre-sentence investigation report done and come back for sentencing on another date.If the defendant pleads not guilty, there will be two pre-trial conferences. This is a chance for the defendant's attorney and the prosecutor to discuss the charges and see if they can come up with a deal to settle the case short of trial. If no agreement is reached, the case will be set for trial. The vast majority of cases do not go to trial and settle before jury or bench trial.

The next step in the case will be jury trial or bench trial. A jury trial is where the prosecutor and the defense attorney present their evidence before chosen memebers of the community. These members of the community, called jurors, will come back with a guilty, not guilty, or a hung jury. A hung jury means the members of the jury could not reach a guilty or not guilty verdict. A Bench trial is where the judge plays the role of the jury and decides if the defendant is guilty of the charges. After trial, Judge Ballargeon will sentence the defendant if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict after. Judge Baillargeon will have the defendant go through the pre-sentence investigation and come back later for sentencing on drunk driving and domestic violence jury convictions.

Sentencing is where Judge Balliargeon decides if the defendant is going to get probation and fines or receive jail, probation and fines.Judge Ballargeon has a reputation for being a fair and balanced Judge. Most Allegan, Michigan criminal defense attorneys enjoy practicing law in his courtroom. He is laid back, but firm and runs a courtroom that has advanced technological features.

The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan is dedicated to getting you the best results possible if you are facing criminal charges. We make sure your rights will be vigorously defended at all times!

This article was published on 10 Jul 2014 and has been viewed 616 times
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