Chippewa County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Chippewa County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Chippewa County.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Chippewa County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
Arraignments in Chippewa County
During an arraignment in Chippewa County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Chippewa County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Chippewa County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Prosecutor in Chippewa County
In Chippewa County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Chippewa County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Michigan. For the most part, the prosecutor in Chippewa County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Chippewa County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Chippewa County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Chippewa County will take place at the Chippewa County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Chippewa County Criminal Court Locations.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
Sentencing in Chippewa County
In Chippewa County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Chippewa County Required Court Appearances
In Chippewa County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
In a jury trial in Chippewa County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
Where can I get help for my Chippewa County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Chippewa County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Chippewa County Criminal Court Locations
50th Circuit Court – Chippewa
Address: 319 Court St, Sault Ste. Marie MI 49783
Phone: 906-635-6300 Fax: 906-635-6385
91st District Court – Chippewa
Address: 325 Court St, Sault Ste. Marie MI 49783
Phone: 906-635-6320 Fax: 906-635-7605