Information Page

Below you will find two documents. One that outlines the steps to how a felony criminal case works and one that outlines the steps to how a misdemeanor criminal case works. 
Steps in a MI Felony Criminal Case
Steps in a MI Misdemeanor Criminal Case


Circuit Court Case Information
When you are charged with a felony offense, you have a constitutional right to be represented by counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney you have the right to request counsel through the Public Defenders Office. When counsel is appointed, you do not have the right to choose your attorney. You do, however, have the right to expect your appointed counsel to represent you vigorously.

A positive attorney-client relationship is built on trust over time. It requires communication and understanding between the attorney and the client. Please consider the following tips for understanding and fostering that relationship:

You have the right to expect your attorney to:
  • Communicate with you regularly and respond to your phone calls or letters in a timely manner
  • Protect the confidentiality of your communications
  • Investigate your case (including review discovery provided by the State)
  • Review the facts and evidence of your case with you
  • Tell you about any plea offers in full detail
  • Be punctual for all court dates and personal appointments
  • Provide accurate information about the judge and prosecutor assigned to your case
  • Provide advice on pros and cons of different options (e.g. plea versus trial)
  • Vigorously advocate for you throughout your case
You can help get the best possible result by:
  • Providing complete and accurate information
  • Responding to phone calls from your attorney (remember to check your voicemail)
  • Providing your attorney with any updated contact information
  • Appearing at every court date and meeting on time
  • Asking questions about the case and potential outcomes
  • Refraining from discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney
  • Not posting any information about your case on social media
You have the right to decide the following:
  • Whether to accept a plea or go to trial
  • Whether to testify at trial
  • Whether to waive a jury
  • Whether to appeal
When you are represented by an attorney, the attorney will decide (with your input):
  • What motions to file
  • How to investigate a case
  • How to conduct the trial (what jurors to select, what witnesses to call, what evidence to present, what questions to ask)
  • The central theme of your defense