Criminal Division FAQs
What is an arraignment?
After your arrest on a felony or misdemeanor, you first appear in court for arraignment. During your arraignment, the court tells you the specific criminal charges being brought against you, whether or not you are eligible to be released on bond, and the amount of the bond. If you can not afford an attorney, you may ask the court to appoint one for you.
What is a prelimiary examination?
If you have been arrested and arraigned for felony violation, the next step in the legal process is to appear before a district court judge for a preliminary examination. A representative of the Barry County Prosecutor's office will be in court to present its case against you. The judge then decides whether or not there is sufficient evidence to believe that you have committed the crime for which you have been charged. You should have legal counsel present to represent you at this hearing. If you signed an appointment of counsel form at or following your arraignment, an attorney appointed by the presiding judge or criminal division will be present to represent you.
What is a pretrial hearing?
For individuals arrested and arraigned on misdemeanor violations, the pretrial examination is the next stage of the legal process. If your arraignment hearing was conducted by a magistrate, now will be your opportunity to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest); for arraignments before a judge, you have already entered a plea. You have the right to be represented by legal counsel at this hearing. If you signed an appointment of counsel at this hearing. If you signed an appointment of counsel form at or following your arraignment, an attorney appointed by the presiding judge or the criminal division will be present to represent you.
If you plead guilty, sentencing can occur now or after the judge has reviewed a report and recommendation prepared by court staff, otherwise, an assistant prosecutor presents the state's case, your attorney presents your case, and the judge determines the sufficiency of evidence. If there is enough evidence against you to go to trial, the court will ask whether you want a jury trial or a trial before a judge alone (bench trial). In either case, the court sets the trial date and mails you a notice.
What happens when I miss a court date?
If you have a misdemeanor offense the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. The amount of bond will be determined by the judge. To have this warrant lifted you will have to come into the court to be arraigned. You need to be prepared to post a cash bond, otherwise, you will be taken into custody.ï¿½€‹
How do I reschedule my court date?
Please contact that court.
How much money should I bring to my court date?
Pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 1.110, all payments of fines, costs, restitution and cost recovery are due at time of sentencing. Fines and costs can be paid by check, money order or credit card. Restitution must be paid in cash.
How can I obtain my criminal history?
Contact the Michigan State Police for your criminal history.
How do I request that a No Contact Order be lifted?
This is at the Judge’s discretion. The victim in the case may submit a letter as to why he/she would like the no contact order to be lifted and provide identification.
Where do I get a copy of my Michigan driving record?
Contact the Secretary of State to obtain your driving record.