I’ve been charged with a Misdemeanor

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor you can to turn yourself in and be arraigned on the charges. Misdemeanors are handled by the district court. The court will set bail to ensure that you show up to the next court appearance. The court may appoint an attorney for you if you cannot afford one for yourself. If the crime you are charged with carries the possibility of jail time, the court must appoint an attorney. Some courts will not appoint an attorney if the Judge feels that he or she will not send you to jail. Just because the Judge does not appoint an attorney for you does not mean that you will not end up in jail; if you violate probation you can end up in jail without ever talking to an attorney!

Once you are arraigned the court will set the matter for a pre-trial conference. The vast majority of criminal cases are settled at the pre-trial conference. You or your attorney enters into plea negotiations with the prosecutor. If you cannot reach a resolution in the form of a dismissal or plea bargain, the court will set the case 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. You or 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 misdemeanor contact us online or call (734) 397-4540 to discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys.

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