Washtenaw County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Washtenaw County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Washtenaw 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.
Jury Deliberations in Washtenaw County
In Washtenaw County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Washtenaw County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Washtenaw County. The Washtenaw County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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 Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw 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.
Sentencing in Washtenaw County
In Washtenaw 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.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
Arraignments in Washtenaw County
During an arraignment in Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Washtenaw County Required Court Appearances
In Washtenaw 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.
Where will Washtenaw County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Washtenaw County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Washtenaw County.
Washtenaw County Criminal Court Locations
Washtenaw County Trial Court (22nd Circuit Court)
Address: 101 E Huron St, PO Box 8645, Ann Arbor MI 48107
14A-1 District Court – Ann Arbor
Address: 4133 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48108
Phone: 734-973-4545 Fax: 734-973-4693
14A-2 District Court – Ypsilanti
Address: 415 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti MI 48197
Phone: 734-484-6690 Fax: 734-484-6697
14A-3 District Court – Chelsea
Address: 122 S Main St, Chelsea MI 48118
Phone: 734-475-8606 Fax: 734-475-0460
14A-4 District Court – Saline
Address: 1000 N Maple Rd, Saline MI 48176
Phone: 734-429-2504 Fax: 734-429-2879
14B District Court – Ypsilanti Township
Address: 7200 S Huron River Dr, Ypsilanti MI 48197
Phone: 734-483-5300 (Civil) Phone: 734-483-1333 (Criminal/Traffic)
15th District Court – Ann Arbor
Address: 301 E Huron St, PO Box 8650, Ann Arbor MI 48107
Phone: 734-794-6759 Fax: 734-794-6753