I’ve been charged with a Felony
If you are charged with a felony you have the option of turning yourself in or you may be arrested on a warrant. You will be arraigned on the charges by a Judge or Magistrate. The Judge or Magistrate will set bond to ensure that you show up to your next court appearance. The court will set the matter for a preliminary exam to be held at the district court. The court will also appoint an attorney for you if you do not have one. Under Michigan law a preliminary exam must be held within 14 days of the arraignment.
A number of criminal cases are settled at the preliminary exam stage. Your attorney will enter into plea negotiations with the prosecutor to resolve the case without going to trial. If you cannot reach a resolution in the form of a dismissal or plea bargain then either the preliminary exam must be held or must be voluntarily waived.
The preliminary exam determines if there is probable cause to believe that there was a crime committed and that the person charged committed the crime. Most cases are bound over to circuit court, on some charge.
Once the case is bound over, the court will set a circuit court arraignment date. At the arraignment there are more plea negotiations. If your case is not settled at this point the court will set the matter for trial.
If your case goes to trial, you have the right to a trial by jury or by the Judge acting as a jury, also called a bench trial. Your attorney has the right to call witnesses and cross examine witnesses on your behalf. You can elect to testify or remain silent. Your silence cannot be held against you. The trier of fact must find beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime charged.
For more information about being charged with a felony contact us online or call (734) 397-4540 to discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys.