If you are arrested or questioned by the police, you should consult with the leading criminal defense attorneys at Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch immediately BEFORE you waive any of your rights and talk to the police or consent to a search of your belongings.
In addition, if you are accused of or charged with a crime, you should hire an attorney immediately to represent your best interests. A highly-skilled, experienced Michigan attorney may be able to successfully challenge any faulty searches or seizures in the case; file factual, legal or evidentiary challenges in the case to weaken the prosecution’s case and enhance your bargaining position; negotiate a favorable plea bargain; or, simply win the case at trial.
Before you hire an attorney, you should know that arrests/cases arising out of the music festival in Rothbury are handled differently than a typical criminal case, so make sure you hire a Michigan attorney with experience in successfully handling these type of cases, in particular.
Every year the Attorneys at Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch represents many clients accused of committing an array of crimes at or on the way to the Rothbury, Michigan. At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, we know how these cases are handled and work hard to get the best results possible for our clients. See our reviews on avvo.com , which include many reviews from satisfied clients who have faced criminal charges after attending the concert in Rothbury, Michigan. Also our West Michigan criminal defense attorneys have compiled a list of FAQ’s for concertgoers arrested or ticketed at the concert.
In addition to all the concertgoers, the concert in Rothbury draws considerable scrutiny from law enforcement and the courts here in Michigan. The Michigan State Police, Oceana County Sheriff’s Department, and one of the area’s drug enforcement task forces, SSCENT (The State, Sheriff’s, Chief’s Enforcement of Narcotics Team), seem to be the primary law enforcement authorities, based on our experience with the prosecutions following last year’s concert. In 2017, the law enforcement and prosecution seemed to be directed at those responsible for distributing or selling drugs at the festival, as opposed to going after mere “users.” That’s not to say that using or possessing drugs will be tolerated, but, with limited resources, law enforcement has to prioritize and their priority seems to be going after those selling controlled substances. In 2017, there seemed to be a concerted effort to interrupt the flow of drugs even before they reach Rothbury and Oceana County. We received more calls than ever from concertgoers who were stopped at various points throughout Michigan, e.g., particularly Berrien (St. Joseph), Allegan, and Muskegon counties, long before they ever arrived in Rothbury in Oceana County. Of course, once you arrive, you should also expect to be searched at the gates by festival security with law enforcement standing by in the event any drugs are found.
ARRESTS AND CHARGES
Very few people who arrested or charged with a crime at the concert are actually lodged at the Oceana County Jail. Instead, the police typically take the accused to their mobile command post, interrogated them, seek consent to search their belongings, seize any contraband (and sometimes their belongings), field test the drugs, and then issue a ticket directing the accused to appear in court on a certain date for an arraignment, which is the first official proceeding in a criminal case.
This is a different procedure than in most criminal cases, but helps prevent the concert from overwhelming the court system with a spate of cases all at the same time. It also allows the prosecution enough time to have the evidenced examined at a laboratory before charges are filed and to have the arraignments spaced out over the course of several weeks. It also reduces the likelihood that those who were arrested at the festival will have to deal with out of state arrest warrants when they return home and have to go through the interstate extradition process, so long as they voluntarily show up at the appointed time on the ticket. That means if you are arrested and accused of committing a crime, the police will probably issue you a ticket directing you to appear in the 78th District Court for your arraignment. In years past, both the prosecutor and court seemed to appreciate that many of our clients are from out of the area or out of state and were pretty flexible in terms of scheduling the arraignment and initial appearance.
The attorneys at Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch will be on-call throughout the concert 24/7 and be ready to answer your questions and help you with any problems you encounter. Call (231) 924-8700 or (616) 450-5500 for a free case evaluation and consultation.
COMMON CRIMINAL CHARGES
Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch handled a lot of cases from last year’s concert and most involved felony charges alleging possession with intent to distribute (PWID) a controlled substance or delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance. Many of these cases also included additional charges alleging misdemeanor or felony possession of a controlled substance. Whether the charges are misdemeanor or felony depend largely on what type of drug is possessed because, in Michigan, the possession of certain drugs are considered misdemeanors, i.e., marijuana, and others felonies, e.g., cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, or mushrooms. The distinction between being charged with simple possession of a drug and being accused of possessing those same drugs with the intention of selling them depends, in large part, on the quantity possessed. Is it more than a personal use amount? Are there any other indications that the drugs will be resold, e.g., type of packaging, possession of large amounts of cash, etc.
The Prosecutor takes these cases very seriously and typically charges serious felonies when he feels it is was warranted by the facts/evidence in the case. At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, we are very adept at analyzing whether a search and seizure passes constitutional muster, whether there is sufficient evidence to convict, and advising our clients whether negotiating a plea and invoking some of the “breaks” written into the laws or having a jury trial may be in your best interests.
If you are accused of or charged with a crime out arising in Rothbury, call the award-winning attorneys at Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch for a free consultation at (231) 924-8700 or (616) 458-5500. Our attorneys regularly handle criminal cases in Oceana County and we handle many cases arising out of the concert and work hard to get the best results possible for our clients. See our reviews on avvo.com , which include many reviews from satisfied clients who faced criminal charges.
THE PROSECUTORS & COURTS
Criminal charges arising out of the festival are typically brought in Oceana County, the county in which Rothbury, MI, the home of the festival, is located. Misdemeanor charges and the early stages of any felony charges are brought in 78th District Court before Judge H. Kevin Drake. Felony cases are handled by the 27th Circuit Court and assigned to either Judge Robert D. Springstead or Judge Bradley Lambrix. The Prosecutor is Mr. Joe Bizon. In 2017, in the cases we handled, the court seemed willing to consider a relatively low or no bond at the arraignment, allowing the accused to remain free on bond during the pendency of the case. Perhaps the court figured that if the accused appeared from out of state on their own accord and hired an attorney to defend against the charges, the person was unlikely to flee. We have had some issues in the past, however, where out of state arrest warrants prevented the court from releasing the accused on bond, so make sure there are no pending charges or warrants when you turn yourself in or, at least, make your attorney aware of that fact prior to your arraignment.
CONTACT SPRINGSTEAD BARTISH BORGULA & LYNCH IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED OR ARRESTED BY THE POLICE
If you or somebody you know has been charged with a crime, call Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch for a free consultation. Our firm is dedicated almost exclusively to criminal defense and to getting the best results possible in every case. Don’t just take our word for it, though; check out our credentials and client reviews on www.avvo.com and then give us a call. We will be on-call during the festival and ready to help.