Kalamazoo County Criminal Court

Kalamazoo County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Kalamazoo County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Kalamazoo County.

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 Kalamazoo County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Kalamazoo County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Kalamazoo County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Kalamazoo County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Kalamazoo County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Kalamazoo County Criminal Court

Kalamazoo County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Kalamazoo 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.

Kalamazoo County Required Court Appearances

In Kalamazoo 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.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

I need help for my Kalamazoo County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Kalamazoo County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Kalamazoo County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Prosecutor in Kalamazoo County

In Kalamazoo County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Kalamazoo County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Michigan. For the most part, the prosecutor in Kalamazoo County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Where will Kalamazoo County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Kalamazoo County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Kalamazoo County.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Sentencing in Kalamazoo County

In Kalamazoo 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.

Kalamazoo County Criminal Court Locations

  • 9th Circuit Court – Kalamazoo – Family Division

    Address: 1400 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo MI 49048
    Phone: 269-385-6000

  • 9th Circuit Court – Kalamazoo – Family Division

    Address: 150 E Crosstown Pkwy, Kalamazoo MI 49001
    Phone: 269-383-8666

  • 9th Circuit Court – Kalamazoo – Trial Division

    Address: 227 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49007
    Phone: 269-383-8837

  • 8th District Court – Kalamazoo – Civil and Traffic Division

    Address: 150 E Crosstown Pkwy, Kalamazoo MI 49001
    Phone: 269-384-8171 Fax: 269-383-8899

  • 8th District Court – Kalamazoo – Criminal Division

    Address: 227 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49007
    Phone: 269-384-8171 Fax: 269-384-8047

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