What Happens During a Criminal Trial

What happens during a criminal case may be confusing to a victim or witness. The following summary will explain how a case generally progresses through Michigan's criminal justice system. Specific procedures may be modified by local courts or judges.

  1. Crime Committed / Police Notified
  2. Police Investigate
  3. Police Make an Arrest (or Request a Warrant)
  4. Warrant/Charging Request Reviewed by Prosecuting Attorney
  5. Warrant Issued
  6. Suspect Arrested (if not already in custody)
  7. District Court Arraignment
  8. Trial (Jury or Bench/Judge)
  9. Pre-Sentence Investigation and Report
  10. Sentence
  11. Appeals