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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 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 your arraignment, usually the following day. You would be brought to the court for arraignment. 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 by the judge and you will be notified of the trial date.

If you 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 sufficient evidence to show that you have committed the crime for which you have been charged. If the judge determines there is sufficient evidence to go to trial, you will be bound over to Recorder's Court for Arraignment on the information (AOI). That hearing will be set within 14 days following your preliminary exam. The case file is sent to Recorder's Court the following day where it is given a new file number. At this point, all questions regarding the case should be directed to the Recorder's Court.

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