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Peter Alan VanGelderen

Criminal defense Attorney at Grand Rapids, MI

5.0   5 reviews

also known as Peter VanGelderen

Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 14 years
    State MI
    Acquired 2009
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Peter

Learn Peter’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Drug charges, medical marijuana defense, other misdemeanors and felonies.

    14 years

  2. Federal crime

    13 years

  3. DUI and DWI
    Operating while intoxicated; operating while under the influence of a controlled substance; operating in the presence of controlled substance; other alcohol related driving offenses

    14 years

  4. Expungement

    14 years


I earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in history, with a minor in moral and political philosophy in 2005.  Following my studies, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to clerk at Willey, Chamberlain, & Yates, which was my first experience with criminal law.  I received a J.D., with distinction, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2009.  While in law school, I served as an associate editor of the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review and Chairman of the Mock Trial Board, Grand Rapids Campus.  Additionally, I had the opportunity to intern in the Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office which provided experience with trial work and criminal law.


Prior to joining Willey & Chamberlain LLP as an associate attorney, I used my education and experiences from law school to open a private practice devoted exclusively to criminal law.  During that time, I focused on alcohol related offenses, drug offenses, and violent crimes and was able to gain valuable experience in state courts throughout West Michigan.  Since joining Willey & Chamberlain, I have continued to develop my expertise in these areas while expanding my practice into federal criminal defense. 


Top Contributor 2015
Top Contributor


Willey & Chamberlain LLP
300 Ottawa Avenue NW, Suite 810
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503


5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Gilbert | January 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
The highest praises you can give an attorney is that they know your case thoroughly, were well prepared, and fought vigorously. Peter excelled in all 3 aspects. While every case is unique, we won my case because he embodied these principals. So much so that at conclusion I asked him how I could leave a review. I would highly recommend Peter. He did an outstanding job!
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Posted by anonymous | April 9, 2015
Excellent Lawyer.
Peter VanGelderan handled my case both quickly and professionally. Great outcome and though I hope I never need a lawyer for any reason again, if I did It would absolutely be Peter VanGelderan. He got to the truth and from that my case was dismissed.
Posted by anonymous | September 9, 2014
result oriented representation
I enthusiastically endorse Peter VanGelderen. Having been referred to Mr. VanGelderen by one of the area’s top criminal defense attorneys, my expectations for his consul were very high, and in no way did he disappoint. From the beginning, Peter’s considerable legal skill and substantive knowledge were apparent; yet, it was his ability to effectively communicate the finer details of my case that separated him from any previous legal representation I’ve had. A consummate professional, his conscientious attention to detail and honest, principled approach to representation were only surpassed by his legal expertise in my deposition and trail.
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Posted by anonymous | June 27, 2014
Excellent Attorney
Peter did an excellent job handling my case. He made sure I had a fair resolution and never settled for anything less. Peter was able to successfully negotiate a plea bargain for me that kept a OWVI of my record. He was very responsive and willing to communicate in person, over the phone and through email. I would highly recommend Peter, he is a very knowledgeable individual who cares about his clients.
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Posted by anonymous | June 2, 2011
Trustworthy, Hard Working, Smart.
This gentleman was efficient, he knew what he was doing, and as a result of his hard work and smarts, was able to get a DV 2 charge, dropped to a DV1 charge, with only probation in the end. I truly feel if I had no representation the max sentence could have quite possibly been served. I would recommend this attorney to my closest friend, and I will.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Willey & Chamberlain
  • 2019 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Willey & Chamberlain
  • 2011 - 2019
  • Owner
  • Law Office of Peter VanGelderen PLLC
  • 2010 - 2011


  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2009
  • University of Michigan
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2005


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2014 - Present
  • Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys
  • 2014 - Present
  • Federal Bar Association (Western District of Michigan chapter)
  • 2012 - Present
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
  • 2011 - Present
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • 2009 - Present
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • 2009 - Present
  • Young Lawyers - Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • 2009 - 2014
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (22)
Endorse Peter
Federal crime Attorney | May 30
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I litigated against Peter during my years as a Federal prosecutor. He is smart, diligent, and a zealous advocate for his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is a great asset to the community. I don't think I have ever not seen him on the go getting work done. I would definitely recommend him."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jul 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I know Peter as an exceptional lawyer and came highly recommended to me when I was looking for DUI attorneys in MI to represent a former client of mine. I refer all my Michigan DUI cases to Peter."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of criminal defense. He is well respected in the legal community for his work ethic, passion for defending his clients, and innovative legal strategies. I highly recommend Peter for any criminal defense matters in either state or federal court."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Peter on several complex federal cases and can attest to his impressive skills as an attorney. His knowledge combined with a stellar work ethic make him an asset in any setting, whether it be a complex multi-defendant federal case or a single defendant state matter. I endorse Peter wholeheartedly and anyone looking to hire an attorney should not hesitate to hire him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 26
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Peter. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Peter on two pretty high-profile cases, one in federal court and one in state court, and have been impressed him. We often relied on his mastery of the facts because he was so detail-oriented and hardworking. He also has a good sense for practical considerations, i.e., how a jury might interpret the evidence, and legal nuance. His insights proved invaluable. I would definitely recommend Peter if you are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Grand Rapids."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Peter is an outstanding young attorney and truly a rising star in the criminal defense bar. I have worked with Peter on a number very complicated cases and have consistently been impressed with his knowledge of the law, his natural instinct, and his representation of clients in contested trials. He consistently achieves excellent results for his clients. I would not hesitate to refer criminal defense clients to Pete because I know they will be taken care of."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Peter Van Geldren in the area of criminal defense. Peter and I worked together for over a year and Peter is very competent, capable of handling any level of criminal case and most of all a smart and zealous advocate for his clients. If you retain Peter, you would not be disappointed!"
Unknown Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is a top notch criminal defense attorney who fights hard for his cliets and does so with class and integrity."
View more endorsements
Grand Rapids Criminal defense Lawyer Peter Alan VanGelderen
Peter Alan VanGelderen
Criminal defense Attorney
Grand Rapids, MI
Licensed for 14 years
Free Consultation