Don’t Face Your Felony Charges Without A Skilled Attorney By Your Side
While no criminal charge should be taken lightly, a felony conviction often results in a jail or prison sentence along with a criminal record that can make life after your conviction difficult. In order to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome, it is important to work with a highly skilled defense attorney. In Grand Rapids and surrounding areas, look no further than the West Michigan Defense Team.
Our four attorneys take a team approach to each case, which means you’ll have more than 85 years of combined legal experience working on your behalf. Our practice is entirely devoted to criminal defense, and because some of our attorneys are also former prosecutors, we know how the state builds cases and works to secure convictions. We use that knowledge to your advantage in crafting a defense strategy.
Ready To Defend You Against Nearly Any Felony Charge
We have helped thousands of clients resolve serious felony charges, including those related to:
- Drug offenses (possession, intent to distribute, trafficking, etc.)
- Illegal possession of a firearm and other weapons offenses
- Sex crimes, including possession of child pornography
- Assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon and other violent crimes
- Child neglect and abuse
The first step to fighting your charges is to understand what they are and what potential consequences you face if convicted. You can discuss these matters with us during a free initial consultation.
A Basic Overview Of The Felony Process
The felony process in Michigan typically involves two different courts. All felony cases begin in district court and the majority of them end up in circuit court.
Once a person is arraigned on a felony matter the court schedules two hearings; a probable cause conference (PCC) and a preliminary examination. These hearings both take place at the district court level. At the probable cause conference (the first of the two hearings to take place) one of three things can happen:
- The case can be resolved through a misdemeanor plea or outright dismissal of the felony charge(s).
- The preliminary hearing can be waived and the matter can be moved on to circuit court.
- The preliminary hearing can be left on the court docket and remain as scheduled.
If the preliminary hearing remains on the court docket the prosecutor will typically subpoena witnesses to testify at the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is akin to a mini-trial where the prosecutor must prove that there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime(s) they are charged with. The probable cause standard is much less stringent than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard (the threshold to be found guilty when going to trial with either a judge or a jury) and in the case of a preliminary hearing, it is up to the district court judge to determine if probable cause exists. However, even though the preliminary hearing remains as scheduled that doesn’t mean that the preliminary hearing will actually happen. Typically there is still an opportunity to resolve things via a misdemeanor plea or waiver of the preliminary hearing to preserve a plea offer.
If the matter ends up in circuit court via waiver or because it was bound over to circuit court by the district court judge a status conference will be scheduled and take place within four to six weeks. In addition to the scheduling of a status conference, a circuit court judge will also be assigned to the case. Which judge is assigned to handle your case as well as the prosecutor who prosecutes your case are just two of the many variables facing you when you are charged with a felony in Michigan.
Learn About Your Rights And Legal Options For Free
When you hire the West Michigan Defense Team, you can be certain that you are hiring a firm with the experience, knowledge and skill to tackle any type of felony matter. To schedule your free initial consultation, you can reach out online or call us in Grand Rapids at 616-723-0152.