When someone is charged with a crime, it can become a very frustrating and heartbreaking situation. To be charged, this means that a police report was presented to the prosecutor, the prosecutor submitted a warrant request to the judge, and the judge authorized the warrant. Once this happens, it is not the job of the investigating officer to pick up the defendant, read them their rights, fingerprint them and schedule an arraignment. In this process, a lot of things can become compromised. Some attorneys feel that if a defendant does not know about a warrant, they should try to avoid the situation. Others in the legal profession feel that self-surrender is the most beneficial way to approach this subject. Today, the issue of self-surrender in Washtenaw County is going to be addressed.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates which is known as the top criminal defense firm in the state of Michigan and has a dominant presence in Washtenaw County. When asked about self-surrender, Grabel provided commentary when he said, “Washtenaw County is a court system that truly appreciates the self-surrender situation. While I’m always a proponent of the self-surrender, Washtenaw County is more appreciative than many other courts in our state. There is no upside to having a defendant avoid the process; instead, the attorney should coordinate on the surrender and then advocate for their client.”
Joe Brugnoli is one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the Grand Rapids area and has practiced in Washtenaw County on capital cases. When asked about the topic of self-surrender, Brugnoli stated, “When I’ve been brought in on Washtenaw cases they have been for the most serious of crimes. Whenever a defense lawyer is faced with this challenge, the first step is to walk in with your client and set the tone for the next phase. There is a solid group of Judges and Magistrates in Washtenaw County that will appreciate your efforts. If the case is triable, it will help you navigate the system, if the case is one that ends in a plea, the cooperation will be one step closer to obtaining the best possible outcome for the defendant.”
William Amadeo is a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates and is in charge of the firms Washtenaw County contingent and a partner at Ann Arbor Legal PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Amadeo had developed a reputation as the top criminal defense attorney in the Ann Arbor area and provided commentary when he stated, “Self-Surrender is always the way that the criminal defense attorney should approach this aspect of the criminal litigation process. If you have the client retained from this early stage and you are aware that a warrant may be issued, the proper move is to contact the prosecutor and the police and tell them that you are the council and want to cooperate. The concept of self-surrender saves time and frustration for all involved. In Washtenaw County, it is really a mandate to cooperate at this stage, and I always explain to prosecutors to give me a head up on their warrants, and I’ll get the client in. This is done for two reasons: respect for our court and the protection of our client.”
Washtenaw County is a very diverse area. The reality is that the needs of the defendant in Ann Arbor is vastly different than those living in Ypsilanti or Dexter. The goal of the criminal attorney is to not only advocate for their client but also to educate the defendant on the aspects of different courts. The combination of education and advocacy will lead to the best possible outcome.