Police & Court Practices and Process
What you don’t know can hurt you if you are being investigated by the police or have been charged with a crime. The police may make you think that they are on your side but in reality, they use proven tactics and tricks to get information, statements and confessions. The court system is a judicial branch of government with the prosecutor, probation officers and judges often located in the same building. There are potential landmines at every turn in in the halls of justice which you cannot even remotely begin to understand. If you find yourself in this position, it is imperative that you join forces with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to formulate a plan to avoid making costly mistakes in the system.
In the passages below, you will find a variety of ABDO LAW website links that cover pertinent criminal topics related to police practices and the court process.Links to Police Practices, Court Proceedings and Other Criminal Law Topics
The field of criminal law is broken down into the areas of specific “crimes” and “criminal procedure”. We have several web pages that are dedicated to specific crimes such as drunk driving, assault crimes, sex crimes, drug crimes and theft/property crimes. The process in which a crime is handled in the criminal justice system is called “criminal procedure”. Criminal procedure broadly encompasses all of the police practices and court process that are involved in the administration of a criminal case.
Many cases are won or lost during the criminal process. Therefore, we believe that it is important for you understand the nature of police practices, investigations and the purpose of every court proceeding. ABDO LAW has selectively published website pages that cover frequent matters that arise in criminal cases. These publications are based upon our experience handling over 10,000 criminal cases for a period of four decades in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair and can be linked here:
- Rights of the Accused
- Criminal Investigations
- Police Interrogations/Confessions
- Arrests, Warrants, Arraignments
- Pretrial Conference
- Probable Cause Conference
- Preliminary Examination
- Plea Bargaining
- Probation Violations/Modifications
- Forfeiture of Property
- Felony Representation
- Misdemeanor Representation
- MI Laws for Dismissals
A skillful criminal defense lawyer can help you look at things in a way that is impossible to do yourself. The final outcome of a criminal case can be dependent upon decisions that are made before and after a case enters the court system. Here are a few common scenarios that arise daily in our criminal law practice:
- Talking to the police during a criminal investigation.
- Submitting to a polygraph examination.
- Cooperating with the police or act as an informant.
- Holding or waiving the preliminary examination.
- Taking a plea bargain or going to trial.
- Testifying or remaining silent at trial.
Being guilty of a crime doesn’t mean you will wind up being convicted. We write about pretrial conferences and probable cause conferences because we have disposed of numerous criminal cases with amazing results at these levels of the court process. There are often solutions in every criminal case to get criminal charges dismissed. First offenders charged with crimes can avoid convictions in most circumstances. Even repeat offenders charged with a felony are not necessarily looking at a felony conviction or jail.Presumed Innocent: When Going to Trial is the Best Option
Even though the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved without a trial; the innocent, the falsely accused and those with a legal defense (self-defense, lack of intent, mistaken identity) should aggressively assert their right to a trial.
At the heart of criminal law is the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution which guarantees every criminal defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony the right to a jury trial. The accused party has a number of rights at trial.
- The accused party is not required to testify at trial pursuant to the 5th Amendment privilege protecting one from self-incrimination, or being a witness against one’s self.
- The accused party is entitled to confront and cross examine witnesses that are called to trial and may use the court subpoena power to compel witnesses to appear at trial to testify.
- The accused party is presumed innocent and is not required to prove innocence at trial to avoid a conviction.
The burden of proving guilt at trial is upon the prosecutor and the powerful instruction is read to the jury in every criminal trial:
Michigan Criminal Jury Instruction 3.2: A person accused of a crime is presumed to be innocent. This means that you must start with the presumption that the defendant is innocent. This presumption continues throughout the trial and entitles the defendant to a verdict of not guilty unless you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he/she is guilty. The prosecutor must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is not required to prove his or her innocence or to do anything. If you find that the prosecutor has not proven every element beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find the defendant not guilty. A reasonable doubt is a fair, honest doubt growing out of the evidence or lack of evidence. It is not merely an imaginary or possible doubt, but a doubt based on reason and common sense. A reasonable doubt is just that: a doubt that is reasonable, after a careful and considered examination of the facts and circumstances of this case.
We hope you will utilize our resources and contact our law firm if you need a lawyer for a criminal investigation or if you or a loved one is charged with a crime.
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CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo