Richard Hillman has been practicing criminal law for more than 30 years. His unique experience of serving as both a prosecutor and defense attorney makes him exceptionally well-qualified to obtain the very best outcomes for his clients. He has conducted hundreds of hearings and trials in criminal courtrooms throughout the State of Michigan.
If you, a friend, or family member is facing criminal prosecution it is of the utmost importance to get experienced counsel on your side as early in the process as possible. For most people, the experience is extremely stressful and traumatic. For many years Richard has committed himself to making sure he explores every possible avenue available for defending his clients, while at the same time providing close personal support to help ensure that his clients receive fair and just treatment by the criminal justice system. Richard’s legal services are highly confidential and are designed to take into account the unique circumstances that each individual client brings with them. Richard is careful to examine all the possible collateral consequences that a criminal conviction can have including the effect on a person’s employment, ability to drive, ability to travel, immigration consequences, and ability to carry out family responsibilities.
During his many years of practice as a defense lawyer and prosecutor, Richard has personally handled thousands of drinking and driving cases. These cases include serious felonies, such as Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death, Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injuries and Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense. Richard is also frequently called upon to defend persons charged with misdemeanor offenses of Operating With a High BAC (ie. Superdrunk), Operating While Intoxicated and Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (including opioids and marijuana).
Richard has also handled cases involving Moving Violations Causing Death, Moving Violations Causing Serious Impairment, and Reckless Driving Causing Serious Impairment. In addition to the criminal cases, many times clients are also faced with separate driver’s license sanctions that are imposed by the Secretary of State. Recent changes in the law have made it vitally important to have legal counsel who, like Richard, stays current in this constantly evolving area of law and is competent to handle all aspects of these challenging cases.
Richard is well respected by law enforcement, prosecutors and by judges throughout Michigan. He is frequently called upon to provide legal advice to members of the law enforcement and legal communities and has served as special counsel for the cities of Lansing and East Lansing.
Aside from practicing criminal law, Richard has engaged in general litigation for many years with a particular emphasis in real estate, zoning and land use, and landlord-tenant relationships. He has won cases for his clients in all levels of Michigan Courts, including appeals to the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court.
Memberships & Affiliations
- Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
- Michigan Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Ingham County Bar Foundation, Past Board Member
- State Bar of Michigan
- Criminal Law Section
- Ingham County Bar Association, Past Board Member
- Criminal Practice Section, Member
Industry & Professional Associations:
- Legal Aid of Central Michigan, Past Board Member
- St. Thomas Aquinas/St. John's Student Parish, Parishioner and Volunteer
- East Lansing Soccer Club, former Coach and Volunteer
- Lansing Catholic High School, former Hockey Coach and Volunteer
- MSU Extension Services, Master Gardner Trainee and Volunteer
Recent notable cases:
- Richard recently completed the successful defense of an individual charged with felonies by the Michigan Attorney General during the Flint Water Crisis. After defending one of the longest preliminary examinations in Michigan history, Richard and his defense team obtained a resolution resulting in dismissal with prejudice of all criminal charges against our client.
- Richard recently defended other publicized cases against the Attorney General including a State Employee charged with embezzlement of state funds and an individual charged with violating the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. Both cases resulted in favorable outcomes for our clients and sentences to no incarceration.
- Has been appointed to act as special city attorney for the cities of East Lansing and Lansing.
- Prosecuted successfully several high profile riot cases on behalf of the City of East Lansing that received national coverage.
- Succeeded in obtaining an injunction to allow a Township to seize a performance bond from a developer that failed to complete a condominium development in accordance with an approved site plan. The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court injunction.
- Succeeded in obtaining summary disposition, dismissing a claim of fraud against the seller of residential real property based on an underground storm drain. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court decision in a published opinion.
- Successfully defended a Township in a lawsuit brought by a developer claiming the zoning ordinance unreasonably limited the development of rural residential lots. The decision was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals and is an often cited precedent in the area of zoning and land use.
- MSP Breathalyzer Fraud Problem Could Affect Municipal Prosecutions, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, January 16, 2020
- Expungements are Now Possible for Non-Public Criminal Records, April 15, 2016
- Court of Appeals Rules Breath Test Inadmissible in MIP Case, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, October 2009
- Michigan Court of Appeals Rules PBT Inadmissible in MIP Case, Ingham County Bar Association Briefs, September 2009
- Cellular Towers on the Rise, Michigan Township News (Michigan Townships Association Publication), September 2002
News & Events
- Drunk Driving Defense, Presented to 2010 Ingham County Court Appointed Attorneys, May 22, 2010
- Criminal Defense Law, May 18, 2010
- Landlord Tenant Law, January 6, 2009
- The Law of Easements, and Michigan Zoning and Land Use Law, October 22, 2008
Marquette University Law School, J.D., 1987
Michigan State University, B.A., 1984
Honorable Thomas L. Brown
Ingham County Circuit Court and Michigan Court of Claims
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin