Michigan Criminal Law Process

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Criminal Law Process

If you or someone you care about is facing a criminal charge, protecting your legal rights and bringing your strongest defense is critical. A conviction can seriously alter the course of your future, but an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney can help.


Police officers can make an arrest whenever they have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed or is in the process of being committed. Probable cause in this context means having reasonable grounds for harboring this belief. Arrests can also be made in response to a warrant for arrest.

Contacting an Attorney

If you’ve been arrested, the most important first move you can make is to consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The criminal justice system is extremely complicated, and without skilled legal guidance, it’s not uncommon for defendants to lose their way. You can count on the arresting officers to begin building a case against you from the outset, which makes addressing the matter of your defense as soon as possible the best path forward.


If bail is set and you’re able to post it, you can gain your release from custody. If law enforcement believes you are a flight risk, you’ll likely need a bail hearing, where the matter will be determined by the judge.


At your arraignment, you will go before the judge, and the charges against you will be read. It’s here that you’ll enter your plea, which will very likely be not guilty.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is a mini version of a trial at which the prosecution will present the evidence and witnesses they believe will convince the judge that proceeding to trial is appropriate. If there is probable cause for continuing, your case will move forward. If this is the case, the prosecution and your criminal defense attorney may discuss the possibility of a plea deal or another form of resolution.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions set the rules that will guide the trial, and either side can make them. The most common pretrial motions have to do with the following:

  • The evidence that will be allowed in court
  • The witnesses that will be allowed to testify in court


At trial, the prosecution will outline its case against you with the goal of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense attorney will respond with your strongest defense, and the verdict in your case will be determined.

Sentencing and Appeal

If there is a conviction, the court will impose a sentence, and your lawyer can advocate for a lesser sentence for your conviction. You also have the right to appeal your conviction and/or sentence.

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

The focused Michigan criminal defense attorneys at Aiello & Associates have a wealth of experience successfully defending clients like you, and we unleash the full force of our vast experience and legal skill in pursuit of optimal outcomes for every case we take on. Your future is important, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information about how we can help today.

If you are facing a tough legal issue, the decisions you make now can affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced and aggressive lawyer.
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