Michigan's Top Criminal Defense Attorneys

Effective and aggressive litigators and negotiators in Michigan. With over 50 years of experience, Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP criminal defense and domestic violence attorneys in Michigan are prepared to take on any criminal matter and provide you with the defense you deserve.

The partners, Mitchell Ribitwer and Jerome Sabbota, are both former Assistant Oakland County Prosecutors. This experience allows them to build stronger cases because they know the procedures and strategies of how the authorities will prosecute your case. They are aggressive litigators and negotiators, equally as comfortable in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP holds itself to the highest standards -- providing individualized care in a cost-effective manner. Providing tough and smart criminal defense in Michigan. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, you deserve a criminal law attorney in Michigan who can stand up to the prosecution. To arrange a consultation, contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP today.

Attorneys

  • Mitchell Ribitwer

  • Attorney

Admitted to practice

Michigan, 1976
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1976

Awards

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan 2009 Right to Counsel Award Winner

Education

Wayne State University, B.A., 1971
Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1976

Professional memberships

State Bar of Michigan
Section of Criminal Law
Oakland County Bar Association
Criminal Defense Lawyers of Michigan
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National District Attorneys Association
Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan
Faculty Member for the Cooley Criminal Defense Trial College
Oakland County Bar Association
Frequent Lecturer and Facilitator for the Criminal Defense Lawyers of Michigan

Biography

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Oakland County, 1976-1981

  • Jerome Sabbota

  • Attorney

Admitted to practice

Michigan, 1976
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1976
United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, 2012

Awards

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan 2009 Right to Counsel Award Winner

Education

Wayne State University, B.A., 1973
Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1976
The National Criminal Defense College, Macon, Georgia, 1991

Professional memberships

State Bar of Michigan
Section of Criminal Law
Oakland County Bar Association
Criminal Defense Lawyers of Michigan
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National District Attorneys Association
Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan
Faculty Member for the Cooley Criminal Defense Trial College
Oakland County Bar Association
Media Analyst for National Television, Local Television and Radio
Expert Witness
Frequent Lecturer and Facilitator for the Oakland County Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and Other Local Bar Associations

Biography

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Oakland County, Major Crimes Division and Special Prosecutor, 1976-1981


Practice Areas

Violent Crimes

Michigan Homicide, Murder & Violent Crime Attorneys

Aggressive defense for those accused of violent crimes or homicide in Michigan

A homicide or murder is the intentional or negligent killing of another human being. This is a capital offense and penalties can include up to life in prison. Bail is usually denied in capital offense cases. For anyone accused of Michigan murder, the stakes are high.

The Michigan criminal law attorneys at Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP have a proven track record of defending individuals accused of murder and violent crimes. Our two Michigan criminal defense attorneys are both former Assistant Oakland County Prosecutors. With our experience, we build the most compelling case on your behalf. From the moment an investigation begins against you, we work to collect evidence against the case of the prosecution. This includes:

  • Contacting witnesses
  • Interviewing experts
  • Excluding evidence presented by the prosecution

A complete criminal defense investigation proves to be one of the most effective ways to negotiate with a prosecutor when dealing with a Michigan homicide or murder.

White Collar Crimes

Knowledgeable Michigan White Collar Crime Lawyers

Michigan white collar criminal defense lawyers advocate for your rights

White collar crimes are non-violent in nature, but typically involve some degree of theft, fraud, deception, or conspiracy. If you face white collar crime allegations, in addition to criminal punishment, you face damage to your professional and personal reputation. Due to the complex nature of white collar criminal cases and Michigan white collar crime laws, it is in your best interests to contact us immediately if you face criminal prosecution.

In today's troubled economic climate, complaints of white collar crimes are on the rise. We provide aggressive defense whether you are accused of breaking a state or federal law. You need our experienced legal counsel because if convicted, the results can mean:

  • Prison time
  • Large fines
  • Restitution to victims to recover monies lost
  • Inability to obtain employment in the future

We are ready to come to your defense when you have been arrested for Michigan white collar crimes including:

  • Accounting fraud
  • Bribery, extortion, racketeering, and RICO crimes
  • Computer hacking, cyberspace and Internet crimes
  • Conspiracy
  • Counterfeiting and forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Health care and insurance fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Medicare fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Securities and tax fraud
  • Terrorist threats and hoaxes
  • Wire fraud
Sex Crimes

Michigan Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse & Rape Law Firm

Knowledgeable and aggressive defense against sex crime, assault, abuse & rape charges in Michigan

A sex crime conviction can follow you for the rest of your life.  If you have been accused of a sex crime, the sooner you contact an attorney the better.  Accusations of a Michigan sex crime have devastating effects on your reputation, career, and personal relationships. 

At Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP in Michigan, we know that if convicted, you may face a lifetime registration as a sex offender and other severe criminal penalties.  This is why we build an effective and aggressive defense for your case.

Michigan penalties for a criminal sexual conduct conviction

When someone is arrested for a crime such as rape, statutory rape, or child molestation, the actual charge will be criminal sexual conduct and there are four degrees.  Criminal sexual conduct covers a range of sexual contact, levels of force, and intimidation.  Survivor resistance is not a factor in assessing criminal sexual conduct and the law is gender neutral.  Marital rape has also been illegal in Michigan since 1988.  The penalties for criminal sexual conduct:

  • 1st degree - Involves sexual penetration with aggravating circumstances in crimes such as rape, sexual, assault, or child molestation
    • Aggravating circumstances include the use of a weapon, two or more people committing the act, the act resulting in injury, or the victim being younger than 13
    • Assigns a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration
  • 2nd degree -  Does not involve penetration, but rather sexual contact in crimes involving the touching of genitals, buttocks, breats, and other body parts plus aggravating circumstances (see 1st degree)
    • Assigns up to 15 years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration
  • 3rd degree - Involves sexual penetration, but without aggravating circumstances (see 1st degree). Can involve statutory rape, force, or coercion without injury, sex between a teacher and student between the ages of 16 and 18, and other crimes
    • Assigns a 15+ year prison sentence and mandatory sex offender registration
  • 4th degree -  Involevs sexual contact without penetration, without aggravated circumstances (see 1st degree)
    • Assigns up to 24 months in prison and mandatory sex offender registration

We provide aggressive defense against serious charges involving criminal sexual conduct involving—

  • Criminal sexual conduct - Including 1st through 4th degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involvting contact, and accosting a minor for immoral purposes
  • Rape / statutory rape - Including 1st degree (life in prison) and 3rd degree (15+ year mandatory prison sentence) sexual criminal conduct; rape is using force or coercion to have sexual intercourse with an individual against his or her will; statutory rape is any type of sexual penetration by one individual age 16 years or older to another between the ages of 13 and 16 years, who are legally unable to give consent for sex. Sexual contact involving a child under the age of 13 is considered criminal sexual conduct in the first degree - child molestation.
  • Child Molestation - Sexual contact with a minor; when the victim is under 13, the penalty is a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison and registration as a sex offender. This crime is considered criminal sexual conduct. If the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and a member of the same household, charges are also classified as 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, because the accused is in a position of authority.
  • Child pornography - And other Internet sex crimes;  the goverment heavily prosecustes anyone facing these charges as they're taken very seriously; targets include the person who createschild pornography, the person who markets child pornography, and the person who views child pornography.
  • Other sex crimes - Aggravated sexual assault, child enticement, indecent exposure, lewd or lascivious conduct, pimping and prostitution, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and domestic abuse

Having an experienced Michigan sexual assault lawyer makes a big difference in how your case can go.  If you are facing any criminal sexual conduct charge for rape, solicitation, or crimes against children, contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP of Michigan immediately. It is important not to make any statements without a sexual abuse attorney present.

Drugs and Narcotics

Michigan Drugs Crime & Criminal Law Attorneys

Vigorous Michigan criminal defense for your drug crime or narcotics charges

Possession and distribution of drugs and narcotics carry tough penalties even if this is your first offense. At Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP, we represent clients charged with felony and misdemeanor drug crimes in state and federal courts. No matter how small your offense is, we understand that it can have a big impact on your life.

Michigan has a reputation for being one of strictest states when it comes to dealing with drug crimes. In addition to facing costly fines and possibly jail time, you may have a hard time finding future employment. Family and friends may be disappointed in you. But our highly qualified Michigan criminal defense attorneys can help you move on with your life.

Our experience as former prosecutors enables us to build strong cases, and we work to craft the best defense on your behalf. We represent clients on many drug charges in Michigan related to:

  • Club drugs, including MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, and GHB (date rape drug)
  • Cocaine and crack cocaine
  • Cultivation and manufacturing
  • Marijuana / pot possession and sales
  • Methamphetamine (meth) manufacturing and sales
  • Possession of chemicals for drug manufacturing
  • Possession with intent to deliver and drug sales
  • Prescription drugs and steroids

If you have been arrested or charged with any of the above crimes, contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP to arrange for a free consultation. It is important not to make any statements without a Michigan criminal defense attorney present.

Vehicular Crimes

Vehicular Crime & Criminal Law Defense in Michigan

Michigan criminal defense lawyers take your vehicular crime seriously

Vehicular crimes often occur due to a lapse in judgment, rather than the result of someone who has committed many other crimes.  It is common for a person with a vehicular crime to have more than one charge. This is why you need the Michigan criminal defense lawyers at Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP to defend you. We defend clients charged with state and/or local traffic offenses in Michigan, includign traffic violations, citations, and legal issues related to the following:

  • Conditional licensing
  • Drunk driving - OUI, DUI and DWI
  • License suspensions and revocations
  • Repeat and habitual traffic offenders
  • Vehicular assault
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding

The particular circumstances surrounding the incident in Michigan determine whether vehicular manslaughter is charged as a misdemeanor or felony crime.  If the death occurs as a consequence of drunk driving, it is considered a felony crime.  Cases involving speeding may only be charged as a misdemeanor. 

Depending on the degree of the charges, a person accused of vehicular manslaughter may face a wide range of penalties:

  • Prison
  • Rehabilitation
  • Probation
  • Restitution to the Victim's Family
  • Loss of Driving Privileges
  • A Permanent Criminal Record
  • Parole
  • Fines

Our Michigan criminal defense lawyers will counsel you on your options and navigate you through the legal process.

If you are accused of vehicular manslaughter, contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP immediately. It is important not to make any statements without an attorney present.

Juvenile Crimes

Michigan Juvenile Crimes & Criminal Law Attorneys

Michigan criminal defense attorneys fighting to give children a second chance

Young people make mistakes and it is extremely important to make sure that these mistakes do not ruin their futures regarding college and employment.  A juvenile offender is anyone under 17 years old.  Most juvenile crimes are similar to adult offenses and the penalties and laws associated with juvenile crimesin Michigan are similar.

At Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP, we help your family understand juvenile laws, counsel you on your legal options, and build and prepare a defense in Michigan. We will always fight to dismiss or reduce charges and for child rehabilitation instead of placement in a state facility.

We represent juveniles and their families in the Michigan juvenile justice system on the following charges:

  • Violent crimes and Homicide
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Assault and Battery
  • Theft, vandalism, and property crimes

If someone in your family has been convicted of a juvenile crime, contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP for help. It is important not to make any statements with a Michigan criminal defense attorney present.

Domestic Violence

Skilled Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

Domestic violence in Michigan

Being married, divorced, in a relationship, or in a family does not entitle anyone to hit, threaten, or abuse another or force another to be a victim of this behavior. Domestic violence crimes are most often against women but can also involve child abuse and neglect, spousal abuse, domestic-partner abuse, and elder abuse.

According to the Michigan State Police, there are more than 50,000 reported domestic violence cases a year. As a result, the courts are imposing harsh penalties on those convicted of domestic abuse or violence, even when the there is little evidence.

Michigan treats domestic abuse as a serious crime. According to Michigan domestic violence law, domestic abuse may occur between spouses, family members, or housemates. A first domestic abuse offense may be punishable by a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

A domestic abuse charge can affect your employment, your family, and the rest of your life. Domestic violence defense attorneys in Michigan, Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP provide aggressive criminal and family court defense to clients who are facing domestic violence arrest. Our goal is to have your charges dropped or reduced.

We recognize that every case is different and help you understand the domestic violence crime and provide a vigorous defense against it. We can inform you of what you should and should not say to law enforcement officers to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood. We will also advise you or your family or friends on the bail process in Michigan.

Our criminal defense attorneys in Michigan can assist you with a variety of charges, including:

  • Assault and battery
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Sexual assault and spousal rape
  • Kidnapping and false imprisonment
  • Restraining order violations

If you or a family member faces charges of domestic violence or is under investigation for domestic violence,contact Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP of Royal Oak, Michigan immediately. It is important not to make any statements without an attorney present.

DUI & DWI

Michigan Criminal Law & DUI / DWI / OUIL Lawyers

Seasoned Michigan criminal trial lawyers navigate you through the DUI process

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence DUI, driving while intoxicated DWI, or operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor OUIL, you need the experienced trial lawyers at Ribitwer & Sabbota, LLP to represent you.

DUI is one of the most serious offenses tried in municipal court. Even if you have a clean driving record you will be facing mandatory fines, surcharges, license suspension, and possible community service, interlock devices, and mandatory jail time.

The goal for our Michigan criminal law attorneys is to fight to keep a DUI charge off your driving record, keep you out of prison, and minimize fines. When you come to us for help, we counsel you on your legal options, prepare a defense for your charge, and help you navigate the DUI process.

Michigan DUI laws are designed to protect those on the road. Any driver can be convicted of driving under the influence in Michigan, if:

  • You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or greater
  • You are impaired in any way by a substance
  • There is any presence in your body of an illegal drug like marijuana, barbiturates, or cocaine

A drunk-driving conviction in Michigan affects people in a number of ways, including: 

  • Mandatory jail or prison sentence
  • Suspension or loss of driver's license
  • Fines and forfeitures
  • Criminal record
  • Alcohol assessment and treatment
  • Community service and probation
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Job loss
  • Points posted to your driving record
  • Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture
  • Ability to obtain financial aid if you are a student

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, vehicular homicide in Michigan or any other alcohol-related crime, we can help. We handle not only the criminal aspects of a drunk-driving case, but also the practical concerns related to Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) Hearings, Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD) Hearings, Driver License Restoration, Habitual Alcohol Offenders, and Substance Abuse Evaluations.

Federal Crimes

Michigan Federal Defense Attorneys

Ribitwer & Sabbota serves clients in federal matters in the Detroit area and throughout Michigan. We provide aggressive defense in matters involving:

  • Drug conspiracy and interstate drug trafficking
  • Racketeering / RICO violations
  • Money laundering
  • Medicaid fraud / Medicare fraud
  • Prescription Fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Wire and Mail fraud
  • Tax evasion
  • Online credit card fraud
  • White collar crime
  • Embezzlement
  • Accounting fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Sex trafficking
  • Computer and Internet Sex Crimes
  • Child Pornography and Distribution

Grand jury investigations

We also provide knowledgeable legal counsel to people who have been subpoenaed by federal grand juries. Ribitwer & Sabbota thoroughly prepares witnesses before they testify before grand juries in Michigan.

To discuss a federal indictment, a grand jury subpoena, or a federal criminal investigation in Michigan, call Ribitwer & Sabbota.

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