Indictment – The date on which the defendant is formally charged and asked to contest a guilty plea, not guilty or not. In criminal cases, an indictment may immediately follow a preliminary hearing. Complaint – Legal document prepared by the Public Prosecutor`s Office (DA) on the basis of police reports, testimonies and evidence collected. It lists the charges and highlights of the evidence against the accused. The complaint is filed in court and is a public document. So if your cousin was ”tied to the circuit court,” all that happened was that the judge determined the likely reason to proceed. This is very different from the burden of proof required at trial (”beyond a reasonable doubt”). In fact, the burden of proof in preliminary inquiries is so low that I rarely see a case that is not related to a circuit court unless the prosecution has not provided witnesses (which happens from time to time). It is extremely important to have the best representation from an experienced defense attorney in the pre-investigation phase of a crime in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County. An experienced defense lawyer will know what questions to ask prosecutors and witnesses, what arguments to make on behalf of the accused, and understand the prosecutor`s burden of proof and how to aggressively attack his or her position. My cousin was arrested and charged with a crime. The family doesn`t get much information about what`s going on, but we saw in the news that it was ”circuit court related.” Does that mean he was convicted and went to jail? What does ”related” mean? Subpoena – A written order of the court requiring a person to appear in court to testify.
The summons shall specify the date, time and place where the witness is to be located, as well as the type of proceedings at which the witness is required to appear. Failure to appear on the basis of a subpoena may result in an arrest warrant against the person. The process is the same as for points 1 to 4 of the tort case, except that the defendant does not enter a plea at the District Court hearing. In criminal proceedings, a preliminary investigation is scheduled within 14 days of the indictment of the accused. The following information explains some of the words you will encounter during the criminal trial. Other states do not use grand juries. Instead, a trial takes place before a district judge which is very similar to a trial. As in a trial, the rules of evidence apply and the defendant has the right to have a lawyer present and to have witnesses cross-examined.
Each party has the opportunity to call witnesses, cross-examine the other party`s witnesses, present evidence and present final arguments. If the judge is not satisfied that there is probable reason to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant has committed the crime, the case will be dismissed and the defendant released. If the judge finds a probable reason, he or she issues a document called ”information.” For all intents and purposes, the term ”information” is essentially the same as an ”indictment”: it attests that the court has found a probable reason to charge the accused with a crime. This is called ”linked” to the circuit court. Once this is done, the case essentially begins at the circuit court level and remains there throughout the conviction. Bail – A sum of money that must be deposited by the defendant with the court to secure future court appearances. In some cases, defendants are allowed to sign bail for a sum of money set by the court to secure future hearing dates. Defendants who are in custody at the time bail is set will not be released until they deposit the required amount of money or sign the ”signature guarantee” required by the court. Although the seriousness of an indictment is taken into account, the likelihood that the accused will appear in court in the future is primarily taken into account. In all cases, bail is subject to the condition that the accused appear before the court as prescribed, do not commit new crimes and do not threaten or intimidate victims or witnesses. Bail violations must be immediately reported to the law enforcement agency that investigated the original crime. The court will set a deadline for the prosecutor and the defendant or his lawyer to discuss the case, and likely a potential plea for all charges, some of the charges or reduced charges, depending on the case.
Some states and the federal judicial system use a ”grand jury” system. Citizens are summoned to the service of the jury and sit on a panel. The prosecutor then brings in witnesses and presents evidence to the grand jury. If the grand jury is satisfied that there is a likely reason to proceed, it issues a document called an ”indictment” and the case goes to trial court. If the grand jury is not convinced, the case is dismissed and the accused is released. In most jurisdictions, the rules of evidence do not apply in grand jury proceedings and witnesses are not allowed to have their lawyers present. Hence the old adage that a competent prosecutor could ”charge a ham sandwich”. The procedure for criminal offences is much more complicated than for administrative offences. The steps of a criminal trial in Michigan look like this: First Appearance – The first appearance of an accused in court. A commissioner or judge can read the indictment and set the bail.
At this hearing, the judge/commissioner will also order all ”liaison conditions”. Examples of attachment conditions include: no contact with victims or witnesses, no other crimes, no alcohol or non-prescribed drugs. During sentencing and before conviction, a victim can go to court and provide a statement of the impact on the victim. Preliminary examinations in Michigan District Court are best described in MCL 766.4. A preliminary test can be described as a mini-experiment. At this hearing, the prosecutor must prove that there is a probable reason why the accused offence was committed and that it is more likely that the accused committed that offence. It is important to remember this at this stage of the criminal proceedings; it is the burden of proof on the prosecutor. This means that the prosecutor must prove by the evidence he presents that there is a probable cause. It is important to have an experienced defense lawyer at this hearing. Indeed, the defence lawyer of the accused will have the opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution`s witnesses. To really explain what is meant by that when a person is ”tied to the circuit court,” I have to go into the details of how the law is structured. (Don`t worry, it won`t take long.) At its most basic level, law is divided into two parts: civil law and criminal law.
Civil law deals with how individuals interact with each other. Criminal law deals with how individuals interact with society. For this reason, in civil proceedings, the aggrieved party sues the accused, and in criminal proceedings, a prosecutor representing the government (not the aggrieved party) prosecutes the accused. After hearing the preliminary examination, the District Judge will make a decision. It will determine that there is probable cause and will ”bind” the defendant to circuit court for trial. If the District Judge determines that there is no probable reason against the defendant, the indictment is dismissed at the request of the defendant`s defense attorney. Often, some, but not all, charges are dismissed, and some charges are related to the trial. If you are tried by an itinerant court, it does not mean that you have been convicted of a crime, nor that a trial will automatically take place. Being tied to the trial simply means that there is a probable reason that a crime was committed and that the accused is the person who committed it. Michigan has regulations for the use of grand juries and preliminary examinations.
However, grand juries are rarely used in Michigan and almost all criminal cases are scheduled for preliminary investigations in district court. Conviction – The hearing at which the court imposes a sanction. The verdict follows a guilty or non-competition plea or a guilty verdict by a jury or judge. Information – The document on which a criminal complaint is filed with the District Court after a preliminary hearing. If the judge determines that there is a probable reason, the defendant is required to apply to the Circuit Court for further proceedings. Reimbursement – The amount of money determined by the court to pay the victim of a crime for the loss of property or injury caused by the crime. Compensation in criminal proceedings cannot include ”pain compensation”. Victims must be prepared to provide documents or proof of validity for a restitution claim at the request of a judge […].