Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Criminal Division

The criminal district division of the Isabella County Trial Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses (punishable by one year or less imprisonment). The court handles the case from arraignment through sentencing.

Felony cases (punishment over one year imprisonment) begin with an arraignment. A preliminary examination is held after arraignment. Following a preliminary examination in district court, the case may be bound over to circuit court.

Most cases before the criminal division of the district court will require a personal appearance before the Magistrate and/or Judge. 

The following list, but not limited to, are offenses that require a personal appearance on the date given to you by the arresting agency or jail:

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Arraignments

When appearing for an arraignment, report to Windows #3, 4 or 5 at the Isabella County Courthouse. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled arraignment time. For further information about your arraignment, contact the Criminal Division Coordinator at (989) 317-4218.

Video Arraignments

Anyone in the custody of the county jail will be arraigned by an interactive video system. These arraignments are usually conducted at 1:00 pm before the Judge or at 2:30 pm before the Magistrate. Visitors and observers are welcome to view these arraignments, but it is suggested that you call to verify time.

Retaining an Attorney

If you have been charged with a felony, you may need an attorney to represent you. You should make arrangements to hire an attorney prior to your preliminary examination. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may petition the court for a court-appointed attorney.  Forms are available from the court.

Waiver of Arraignment (attorneys only)

To waive an arraignment for your client on a misdemeanor charge, a formal appearance and a written waiver of arraignment must be filed prior to the scheduled arraignment. Upon the filing of these documents, the arraignment will be canceled and a settlement conference date will be scheduled.

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