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You have the right to due process and a fair trial. Criminal laws are complicated, so much so that it can be difficult for people to get that fair trial. If you’re facing criminal charges, the consequences are severe. If you live in and around Flint, criminal defense lawyers are critical to ensuring you get a fair trial and a just outcome.
Bruce Leach is a criminal defense attorney with experience in helping clients who face felony or misdemeanor charges in Michigan. You can rest assure that with Bruce in your corner, you’ll have a lawyer with experience in building a strong case and representing your best interest in every step of the case.
Bruce Leach can defend you against any criminal charge, no matter what it is. Whether you're facing a misdemeanor or a felony, we have the expertise to help you. Here is a list of some of the crimes we defend our clients against:
Most district court cases in Genesee County are handled in the 67th District Court. However, traffic offenses and misdemeanors from arrests or citations in the city of Flint are handled by the 68th District Court. Felonies, some misdemeanors, and appeals are handled by the 7th Circuit Court.
How Criminal Cases Work
Even though Michigan’s criminal justice process may seem intimidating, we can guide and prepare you for each phase. Let’s look at the process and what choices are available at each phase.
Whether you're charged the next day or weeks later, your first court appearance is known as an arraignment. All charges are processed at the District Court level. At this appearance, you may enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The judge will also review your bail if you're in custody or if your criminal defense attorney requests it. Judges may choose from several options, including:
If you enter a not guilty plea, you will be scheduled for your next court appearance either for a pre-trial conference or a trial for misdemeanors and traffic violations.
For felony charges, you will appear in what is called a preliminary hearing, in which the prosecution presents evidence to establish probable cause that you committed the crime for which you have been charged.
The prosecution usually proves the case in open court by having the arresting officer testify, after which the case goes to a grand jury for an official indictment. After a formal indictment has been issued by the grand jury, the case is then sent to the Circuit Court for arraignment.
Prior to trial, pre-trial conferences are held and give your attorneys the opportunity to work towards several objectives. These conferences are an excellent chance to seek a plea agreement. Plea agreements might include an unlimited variety of plea options.
These sentences could either be part of a plea or a diverted case where upon showing proof of completion, charges are dismissed.
Your criminal defense lawyer may request or receive evidence prior to your trial through pre-trial conferences. Through talks with the prosecutor, your lawyer may discover what evidence the prosecution has against you, what evidence they plan to present at trial.
The Court may also hear motions on a variety of topics, including requests to include or exclude certain evidence, request for the type of trial to be held, or changes in restrictions imposed on the defendant prior to trial.
Hearings can be quick and simple, or they can be long and complex, with each side presenting evidence to support their claims.
There are two types of trial that you might face – bench trail and jury trial.
In a bench trial, the prosecution will go first in a bench trial, and the defense may then present evidence and make brief arguments to the judge, who will make a decision.
In a jury trial, the process involves several steps to properly prepare and educate the jury on the questions they must answer and the evidence they may consider. The jury must answer whether you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jury trials include:
After the trial is over, there may be several actions that need to be taken. This may include a motion for a new judgment, a notification of appeal documents, or an expungement request. In addition, you may have to pay penalties and costs, in addition to providing proof to the court of completion of other sentencing obligations if you're convicted.
Contact Bruce Leach to Get Results
Facing a criminal charge is very serious and could lead to many long-term negative consequences. To get your best chance in the justice system, contact Bruce Leach, a Flint criminal defense attorney with a history of getting positive results for his clients.