Fridays at 8:30 in the morning are when Pretrial hearings for felony cases for Judge Michael P. Hatty, Judge Suzanne Geddis, and Judge Miriam Cavanaugh. Our criminal attorney will meet with a different prosecutor than in the preliminary exam conference. There, we will go over any and all plea discussions with the prosecutor and relay them to you. If there are any plea deals that both you and our office agree are acceptable, then you would enter a guilty plea at that time based upon the plea agreement. If it isn’t possible to reach a satisfactory deal, then the next step is to set a final settlement conference and ultimately, trial.
In felony cases, there is always the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. One of the tools used by the Court to make such a determination is the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines are a source of frequent contention between the prosecutor and a competent criminal attorney asserting your defense. We have the experience to meticulously examine these guidelines as applied to you and assure the appropriate result. These guidelines take into account any prior criminal record and the actions taken regarding the alleged offense. The guidelines are also important because it can provide a basis for more advantageous plea discussions as well as predicting whether a jail or prison sentence could be involved in your case. It is imperative that you have a seasoned attorney who fully understands the ramifications of your guidelines prior to entering serious plea negotiations and considering the risks
of a trial.
Plea Bargaining Overview
If a satisfactory plea agreement can be negotiated prior to trial, then a detailed, factual account of the alleged offense will need to be discussed with your criminal attorney prior to meeting with a probation agent.
Scheduling a sentencing date is the next step the Court takes. Prior to the sentencing you will have to meet with a probation agent to fully discuss the case. This is an important step in the sentencing process because the probation department creates a detailed packet called a pre-sentence interview report (PSI). This report is reviewed by the prosecutor, our office and the Court. The PSI contains recommendations as to what your sentence should be. It is imperative that you handle yourself appropriately and answer questions directly and correctly; a negative PSI could have a harmful effect on the outcome of your case. Our office will fully discuss what you need to bring and do to
have a successful meeting with the probation department.
Final Settlement Conference (FSC)
Typically conducting the FSC is the Judge, the prosecutor and your criminal attorney; and it is where we explore both plea discussions and trial issues in an effort to resolve the case. If reaching a plea agreement is successful, then a plea is entered at that time. If reaching a plea agreement is impossible, then the next discussion among the parties is about trial issues and scheduling .
This is where the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal offense occurred. Additionally, that you are guilty of that offense. Our office has handled many trials and has years of trial experience handling matters by our criminal attorney. If the case does proceed to trial then we will meet to go over the legal options and the best way to handle the case. This may include motions, subpoenas, testimony from you and other legal issues that may arise.
In addition, there are several programs that may be beneficial to resolving your case that may be applicable and available to you. The outcome of some of the programs or statutes keep you from having a public record for the charged crimes. The intention of other programs provide assistance in dealing with addictions.
Please do not hesitate to contact our criminal attorney, Mr. Wilcox, at any time if you have questions or to set up a free consultation.
- Call or text (Cell): (248) 229-5933
- Call (Office): (517) 548-3333
- Email: [email protected]
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is meant to be general, informative and educational. It should not be taken as specific legal advice to any particular problem or issue. Please consult an attorney personally to discuss your particular circumstances.