The Criminal Process - What You Can Expect


Are you facing criminal charges in Flint, Grand Blanc, Genesee County, or anywhere in mid-Michigan? You will want a skilled criminal defense lawyer in the Flint area to protect your rights. While the following is a quick summary of what you are likely to face, contact our office at (810) 513-5315 for a free consultation on how to best prepare for the uniqueness of your case. If you are facing DUI charges in Flint or drug charges, you will want to visit those pages for more in depth information about the crimes and possible penalties.




In Michigan, there are several steps in the criminal process when you are facing criminal charges. The formal process where you are charged with a crime is called the arraignment. Here, the district court judge (or magistrate) tells the defendant the laws he or she is accused of violating, the possible penalties for the violation, and what the defendant's rights are.


For misdemeanors with a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail or less, you will likely receive a summons to appear in court at a later date for arraignment. For other misdemeanors and felonies, you will likely be arraigned prior to your bail being set. Having a criminal attorney at your arraignment can reduce the restrictions that will be placed on you, such as a restricted driving license, a tether, drug and alcohol monitoring, and perhaps most importantly, determine the amount of money (if any) you will have to put down in order to be released from jail.


Preliminary Examination


The next step after the arraignment when facing criminal charges is the preliminary examination. At the preliminary examination, the prosecution must demonstrate to the judge that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed, and that there is probable cause that the defendant has committed the crime. The failure of the prosecution to demonstrate probable cause for both of these will lead to the dismissal of the charge.


It is important that you have an aggressive, skilled attorney represent you at your preliminary examination. A successful motion to have key evidence excluded can be the difference between you walking free and you facing trial. Even if your charges do not get dismissed at the preliminary examination, a skilled attorney can succeed in reducing your bond conditions, negotiate the reduction or elimination of some criminal charges against you, and set the stage for your defense at trial.


If at the preliminary examination the prosecution has demonstrated that probable cause exists to charge you with the crime, you will be bound over to the circuit court for another arraignment. In Genesee County and some other counties, this process is waived and the matter moves to the pre-trial phase.


Preparing for Trial and Beyond


If you are facing criminal charges in Flint, you will want an aggressive, skilled attorney to represent you. Our office may be able to successfully reach a plea bargain with the prosecution for the reduction or elimination of some or all criminal charges against you, and/or reach an agreement as to what the maximum sentence will be. Contact us at (810) 513-5315 for how to best prepare for your case.