Stephanie Achenbach received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University is 1996. As a political science major, she focused on world politics and studied abroad at the University of London, London, England. Ms. Achenbach her Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University – Detroit College of Law in 2000. Admitted to practice by the State Bar of Michigan in 2000, she is also admitted to the Federal District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Ms. Achenbach began her legal career at a large firm and then returned to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, where she had clerked throughout law school. During her 10-year tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, she practiced in both the Criminal and Labor Bureaus as a trial litigator and appellate attorney. Ms. Achenbach has successfully tried hundreds of cases and drafted over 50 appellate briefs. Her appellate achievements also include an appeal from 2010 that resulted in a published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion. Today, Ms. Achenbach is a member of the Law Offices of Barton Morris, a criminal boutique law firm. As a Senior Associate, Ms. Achenbach handles state and federal criminal cases, including appeals. She also handles alcohol related driving offenses and license restitution matters.
- University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, 1996, Political Science
- Michigan Stage University – Detroit College of Law, 2000, JD
- Litigation and Appellate Attorney; Trial Consultant – Yellow Door Law, PLLC
- Assistant Attorney General – State of Michigan
- Associate Attorney – Cardelli Lanfear P.C
What area of law you an expert and why?
Constitutional Criminal Issues, particularly Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure issues. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects personal privacy, and every citizen’s right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion into their persons, homes, businesses, and property – whether through police stops of individuals on the street, in their vehicles, during an arrest, or searches of their homes or businesses. The Fourth Amendment provides safeguards to individuals during searches and detentions; and prevents unlawfully seized items from being used as evidence in a criminal case. I have worked on numerous state and federal felony cases wherein I have successfully written motions and supporting briefs for the suppression of evidence that was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
United States v Arreola-Alvarado, United states District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division, Case No. 16-20748 – Motion Granted, “Neither the evidence seized from the Melrose Street residence, nor the statements made to the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) agents, can be used at trial against Mario Arreola-Alvarado.” Case involved the suppression of 7 kilograms of heroin and 1 kilogram of cocaine.
State of Michigan v Jason Baker, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 18-002123-01 FH, Judge Catherine Heise. Case involved our client’s right against self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution) and a Miranda warning violation, which includes the right to legal counsel. .
State of Michigan v Daniel Marks, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 2017-010691-01, Judge Timothy Kenny. This case involved the exclusion of all evidence after officers and agents searched our client’s home, who was on felony probation, without reasonable cause. Items illegally seized included, 4 pounds of marijuana, and $14,000 in US currency.
People of State of Michigan v Aaron Haywood, 76th District Court for the County of Isabella, Case No. 17-251SD, Judge Eric Janes – This case involved an unlawful stop of a vehicle and subsequent illegal search of the vehicle, unlawful arrest, and unlawful blood draw.
I also specialize in criminal defenses under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, including immunity under Section 4 of MMMA and asserting an affirmative defense under Section 8 of the MMMA. Successful cases include the Baker case mentioned above, and People of the State of Michigan v Clyde Richard Lawrence, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 18-001559-01-FH, Judge Qiana Lillard.
Why are you passionate about the law or what made you pursue the law?
This is easy, Bob Dylan’s song, “Hurricane”, which is based on actual events.
What is your most memorable moment in practicing?
During my time as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General, I prepared an appellate brief which resulted in a published opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals (In re Ellis, 294 Mich App 30 (2011)). In its published opinion in Ellis the Michigan Court of Appeals referenced a prior case that I had also briefed and argued, In re Edwards. See In re Edwards, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Februrary 21, 2006 (Docket No. 264477), WL 400998.
I enjoy spending time with children and family, reading, and exercising.
What is your favorite township or city for a case?
I enjoy practicing in the Royal Oak District Court, the Wayne County Circuit Court and all of the Federal Courts.