LaWanda Crosby, Director
421 Madison, 1st Floor
Phone: (313) 965-8700
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The Criminal Division processes misdemeanor cases from arraignment
through adjudication including sentencing, and felony cases from
arraignment through preliminary examination.
If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, the Police
Department may detain you until arraignment, usually the following
day. You will be arraigned over video usually.
If you are not detained, the precinct station may give you a
release to appear form directing you to appear at Room 1020 in the
36th District Court.
At the arraignment the Court tells you the specific charge(s)
against you, whether you are eligible to be released on bond and, if
so, the amount of your bond. If your arraignment is held before a
magistrate, you will be given a date to return for the pretrial
examination. If your arraignment is before a judge, you may enter a
guilty plea and can be sentenced at this time. If you plead not
guilty, the judge sets a date for the pretrial hearing.
For those charged with a misdemeanor violation, the pretrial hearing
is the next stage of the legal process. If your arraignment was
conducted by a magistrate, you would now have an opportunity to
enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest.) If you enter a
guilty plea at this point, you can be sentenced by the judge. If you
maintain a not guilty plea, an assistant prosecutor presents the
state’s case, your attorney presents your case, and the judge
determines if there is sufficient evidence against you to go to
trial. If so, you may request a trial by a jury or the judge and you
will be notified of the trial date.
If you are charged with a felony, the next step in the legal process
is to appear before a district court judge for a preliminary
examination. A representative of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s
Office will be in court to present its case against you. The judge
will decide if there is probable cause that you have committed the
crime for which you have been charged and that the crime was
committed in the city of Detroit. If the judge determines there is
sufficient evidence to go to trial, you will be bound over to the
Criminal Division of Third Circuit Court for Arraignment on the
Information (AOI). That hearing will be set within 14 days following
your preliminary exam. The case file is then closed at 36th
District Court. At this point, all questions regarding the case
should be directed to the Circuit Court.