A felony case is transferred to Circuit Court after a Preliminary Examination bind-over or waiver. Once the felony case is bound-over (transferred) to Circuit Court, Defendant is Arraigned, meaning that he/she is given formal notice of the charge(s) against him or her. An Arraignment can usually be waived if Defendant has an attorney. At the Arraignment, Defendant is provided a copy of the charging document, called an Information, advised of his/her constitutional rights, and given the opportunity to enter a plea to the charge(s) (plead guilty, not guilty, or stand mute).
If Defendant pleads guilty at the Arraignment, a Sentencing date is scheduled, usually within six (6) weeks. If Defendant pleads not guilty or stands mute at the Arraignment, a Pre-Trial Conference is scheduled, usually within two (2) weeks. A Pre-Trial Conference in Circuit Court is similar to a Pre-Trial Conference in District Court. It is a meeting between an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Defendant (or his/her attorney) to discuss whether the case will be resolved prior to trial. As in District Court, if a Plea Bargain is reached during the Circuit Court Pre-Trial Conference, Defendant will take a plea, usually that day, and then be sentenced, usually at a later date. Also, at a Circuit Court Pre-Trial Conference, the case can be adjourned, set for a Motion Hearing to, for example, resolve evidentiary issues, or set for a Trial, either by a Jury, or a Judge.
If you have any questions about a legal charge pending against you please contact Aida at (248) 624-5500