Appeals from the District Court are heard in the Circuit Court. Appeals from a Circuit Court or Probate Court order are heard in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Appeals from Court of Appeals decisions are heard in the Michigan Supreme Court. Appeals are not usually successful; however, when they are successful, you may be entitled to a new trial or even to be set free.


After you have been tried convicted and set free you may be able to have your conviction expunged from your record. In Michigan the grounds for an expungement are narrow; however, by talking to a knowledgeable attorney you will better understand your options.

Police Investigation

When police are notified of an alleged crime they begin an investigation to determine whether or not a crime actually occurred. During their investigation Law enforcement officials or local law enforcement may interview the alleged victim, witnesses, and suspects; collect physical evidence, photograph the crime scene, and conduct line-ups. During their investigation a Judge may issue a search warrant that allows investigators to search for evidence at a specific location. If you believe you may be under investigation contact a knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney today.

Requesting A Warrent and making an arrest

If, after their investigation, the officers have sufficient information to believe someone has committed a crime a request for an arrest warrant may be made; however, if the crime is committed in the police officers presence an officer may arrest the person on the spot. If the officers have probable cause (enough particularized facts to lead a common-sense person of reasonable caution to believe that there is a fair probability of criminal activity) to believe a crime has been committed, the officer may submit a charging/warrant to the Prosecuting Attorney. At this stage, the Prosecutor determines whether a person should be charged with a crime and, if so, what the crime should be. If the Prosecutor determines to arrest the suspect, the prosecutor will present the warrant to the magistrate/judge for his or her signature and return it the officers to arrest the suspect.


When you are placed under arrest, you are entitled to certain constitutional rights, which protect you against abusive governmental authority. Among your many rights are both the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and the Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. When you are arrested you should be given an opportunity to contact a lawyer to represent your rights.

Arraignment in District Court

This is the first court appearance for any misdemeanor or felony. You will be informed of the charges against you, the maximum penalty if convicted, your constitutional rights to a jury or bench trial, appointed attorney, presumption of innocence and much more. In most cases, depending on the nature of the charges, you will either stand mute or enter a plea of not guilty. Depending on whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, a pretrial or preliminary examination will be scheduled. Bond will also be set at this stage.


When determining bond, the Judge or Magistrate will consider numerous factors which include the nature of the crime, your ties to the community, whether you work, whether you have ever failed to show up before in a criminal matter, and the danger to the community if you are released. In addition, the judge will determine any conditions for release as well as the amount of the bond required to be released from custody.

Pretrial Conference or Preliminary Examination

What happens next depends on the type of crime charged. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, a pretrial conference will be scheduled. If you are charged with a felony, a preliminary examination will be scheduled.

Pretrial Conference: All misdemeanor cases are scheduled for a meeting between an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and you or your attorney to determine whether the case will go to trial or be resolved with a plea.

Preliminary Examination: The preliminary hearing or probable cause hearing, if not waived, is held within 14 days after the arraignment. This is the stage at which your attorney can require the government to provide a preview of the evidence that they intend to use against you. The prosecutor will attempt to present evidence to the judge that shows there is probable cause to believe that you committed the alleged crimes. During this hearing your attorney may seek to cross-examine the government’s witnesses to determine the weaknesses of their case. After the hearing, the judge may find probable cause for all the charges, only some of the charges or dismiss the charges entirely.

Plea Bargaining

Sometimes the best option is to resolve your case without going to trial. A plea bargain is a negotiation between the accused and his attorney on one side and the prosecutor on the other, in which the accused agrees to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to some crimes, in return for a reduction of the severity of the charges, dismissal of some of the charges, the prosecutor’s willingness to recommend a particular sentence, or some other benefit to the accused. If going to trial is the best option Sherbow is ready to zealously defend your rights at trial; however, if you decide that a plea is the best option for you and your family Sherbow Attorneys will aggressively negotiate on your behalf.

Pretrial Motions

Prior to trial many events can occur. There may be pre-trial hearings on constitutional issues involving police misconduct in regards to confessions, searches, identifications and various other rights the government may have violated against you. The issues are presented to the Court through written motions. The judge is required to determine if and how evidence will be admitted and whether there is a legal reason why the case should go to trial.