Criminal Defense Lawyer in Michigan
Stephanie Achenbach is a criminal trial and appellate attorney with extensive state and federal litigation experience. Practicing for nearly 20 years, Stephanie 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.
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 1996. As a political science major, she focused on world politics and studied abroad at the University of London in London, England. Stephanie earned her Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 2000. Admitted to practice by the State Bar of Michigan in 2000, she was 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.
Stephanie began her legal career at a large firm and then returned to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, where she clerked throughout law school. During her tenure as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan, Stephanie practiced in both the Criminal and Labor Bureaus as a trial litigator and appellate attorney.
- Michigan State University College of Law, Juris Doctor
- Michigan State University, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL) 11th Annual Defending Drug Cases Seminar, October 11–13, 2017, Las Vegas, NV
- Michigan State Appellate Defender Office, Marijuana Law Criminal Bootcamp, April 6, 2018, Ann Arbor, MI
- Michigan Operating While Impaired Trial Bootcamp, May 11–12, 2018, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
- State Bar of Michigan Criminal Law Bootcamp, June 2018, Frankenmuth, MI
- Michigan State Appellate Defender’s Office, Appellate Assigned Counsel Training, October 19, 2018 WMU Cooley, Auburn Hills, MI
- Michigan State Appellate Defender’s Office, Appellate Assigned Counsel Training, Appealing Plea Cases, February 7, 2019, Detroit, MI
- Michigan State Appellate Defender’s Office, Appellate Assigned Counsel Training, Intermediate Word Processing & Adobe Acrobat, March 15, 2019, Detroit, MI
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Criminal Defense Attorney of Michigan (CDAM)
- State Bar of Michigan
- DUI Defense Lawyers Association
What Area of Law Are You Skilled In and Why?
As an experienced criminal defense attorney with extensive research and writing experience, I am comfortable practicing in both state and federal courts. Although I enjoy defending all criminal matters, I especially enjoy practicing domestic violence cases.
That being said, domestic violence cases are complex, often involving people who are reluctant to report abuse for fear of further angering their abusers or losing financial support. As an Assistant Attorney General, I spent 8 years prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases and a large number of those cases involved domestic violence.
Why Are You Passionate About the Law? What Made You Practice Law?
When I was a child and heard Bob Dylan’s song “Hurricane”, about the imprisonment of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, I knew I would enter the field of law. Lawyers are in a unique position to help individuals and I find it rewarding to assist our clients navigate their way through the criminal justice system.
As a parent and as an attorney, I believe that children should always come first. Incidents of domestic violence between adults with children in the home usually leads to child protective services involvement and law enforcement involvement. A parent’s failure to prevent their child from witnessing domestic abuse is grounds to remove the child from the home. With my prior experience, I am in a unique position to assist clients in both the criminal courts and the family courts.
What Is Your Most Memorable Moment in Practicing?
I represented a client who was charged with domestic assault against his wife. At the time of the assault, my client was abusing alcohol and had stopped taking his psychotropic medication. Early intervention, which included substance abuse treatment, mental health support and other services, resulted in my client being able to stay in his home with his children. The criminal charges were also taken under advisement and ultimately dismissed.
What Are Some of Your Hobbies and Interests?
I am an avid reader and enjoy politics. However, my family is my greatest interest. Spending time with my children and attending their school and extracurricular activities are the highlights of my week.
What Is Your Favorite City/Township for a Case?
Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb County all have judges that I enjoy practicing in front of.