Student Legal Services


Student Legal Services (“SLS”) has three criminal defense attorneys:  Alexander Hermanowski, Douglas Lewis (Director), and K. Orlando Simón.  During busy times,  Christina Arnold, a paralegal, may conduct the intake appointment.  Criminal matters can be either misdemeanor or felony.  Please refer to our list of criminal definitions, for a definition of these two terms, as well as, other legal terms.

At SLS, we handle a variety of criminal matters.  Criminal, as well as, traffic matters can be handled by the City of Ann Arbor Police Department, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department, or the University of Michigan’s Department of Public Safety (DPS).  If you are charged with any crime, contact our office immediately to discuss your legal options.  However, we cannot offer advice or defend a student in sexual assault cases.

As for DPS, it also employs housing security officers who patrol university buildings but are not police officers. Usually, a DPS housing officer will perform an initial investigation and then contact DPS police if the housing officer believes a criminal act has occurred or a student is in need of medical attention. Only police officers can issue tickets and handle arrests.

Sometimes there are instances in which you encounter the police, are questioned, but are not given a ticket—keep in mind that you can still be charged with a crime at a later time. For instance, an officer may search your dorm room or residence and take away evidence for testing.  Testing results can take as long as six months.  This happens with most marijuana investigations.



Possession of Marijuana

The charge for this offense differs based on whether you are on or off the University of Michigan's property.


Party Manual

When it is time to host or attend a party, just know that it  is more than just fun and games - especially when alcohol is served!  Understand and learn the potential consequences.