Definitions

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Phone:(989) 317-9393
Fax:(989) 317-9394
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Below you will find some common terms you may read or hear when dealing with a court case and their definitions.

A hearing in which criminal charges are read to the defendant, bond is set and the next hearing date is scheduled

Trial by judge, as opposed to a trial by jury.

The transfer of a felony or high misdemeanor case, from District Court to Circuit Court

Legal document that tells the district court and defendant what type of charges are being brought against the defendant

Criminal charge punishable by more than one year

Charges carrying a penalty of two years incarceration. Treated similarly to felony charges, but do not carry the same stigma as felonies if convicted

Trial in which a jury decides the verdict

Criminal charge punishable by one year or less in county jail

Help to decide many legal and evidentiary issues surrounding a case

An agreement in which the prosecutor and the defense agree on a suitable punishment for the offender. This requires a plea on behalf of the defendant.

Hearing at the District Court level for both felonies and high court misdemeanors at which the prosecution must present evidence to show probable cause that a crime was committed; and that the defendant committed that crime. If probable cause is shown, the defendant is then bound over to Circuit Court.

Meeting between the prosecutor and the defense attorney (or between the Prosecutor and the defendant if he/she does not have an attorney) to resolve issues surrounding the case and to discuss whether there will be a plea, motions, or a trial.

an offense that occurs when you break the terms or conditions of your probation

Punishment handed down by the judge to a defendant who has been found guilty

A meeting of the parties to a case conducted prior to trial

Meeting held in felony case following arraignment before a preliminary examination hearing is scheduled. The probable cause conference is designed to expedite matters, accept an early plea or resolution to the case, and to preserve victim testimony at the earliest possible stage.