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Wilcox Law Criminal Law AttorneyscaleHave you been charged with a felony?

Marcus D. Wilcox has personally handled over 2,500 cases such as these throughout his career in Livingston County.

He is exceptionally familiar with the procedures, practices, Judges and prosecutors. He will help you clearly understand your rights and options and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation during this difficult time in your life.

Below, and on the next page, you will find some basic information about felony offenses. Additionally, don’t hesitate to contact Wilcox Law free of charge to ask any questions or to set up a free initial consultation.

About a Felony Charge

Felonies are charges that carry the potential penalty of over a year of prison incarceration and the Circuit Court handles them. Specifically in Livingston County, the two Judges that handle felony cases are Judge Michael P. Hatty and Judge Miriam Cavanaugh. Some of the more common felonies are: OWI-3rd, Resisting/Obstructing a police officer (R/O), possession of controlled substances, felonious assault and many others.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony, these are the steps you can expect to take place:

Felony Arraignment

This is the first time you will appear in court in person or by video if in jail. This hearing is where the reading of the formal charges against you and setting the bond. Also, there are certain charges where waiving an arraignment is possible if you have the assistance of counsel. Therefore, It is wise to have an attorney present at the arraignment to seek a personal recognizance bond, which enables the defendant to leave without posting any money while the case is pending which can be several months.

Preliminary Exam Conference (PEC)

Each county handles cases differently, but in Livingston County a PEC is the first time the attorney meets with the prosecutor to go over the case, which happens in the District Court. The first step involves exploring preliminary plea discussions. Next, discussing the evidence  and making a determination whether or not to hold a preliminary examination. A Preliminary Examination (PE) is a hearing where the prosecutor has the burden to prove their case to a probable cause standard. The prosecutor must call relevant witnesses to testify in order to form a basis for the charges against you. Furthermore, you have an ultimate right to a PE within 14 days of your arraignment.

Occasionally, a tactical defense decision is made to waive the PE.  This is due to the low burden of evidence that the prosecutor has to prove and the likelihood of success. When at trial the necessary burden of proof on the prosecutor is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  However, at a PE the standard is the lesser burden of “probable cause”.

Read more about the trial process here.

Please do not hesitate to contact 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.