How is the criminal case conducted in regards to juveniles?
A criminal case is started when someone is accused of committing 1 or more crimes. The government, which is represented by the prosecuting attorney, starts a criminal case by filing a complaint against the individual, who is called the defendant. If the court finds the defendant guilty of a criminal offense, the defendant may have to pay a fine, court costs, and/or spend time in jail or prison.

There are 2 levels of criminal cases, misdemeanors and felonies. Both are initially filed with the district court, but, in some cases, may be transferred to the circuit court for trial.

Misdemeanor cases such as:
- First or Second Drunk Driving Offense
- Prostitution
- Shoplifting
- Trespassing
- Vandalism

These are usually handled by the district court closest to where the crime occurred. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you may be sentenced to spend up to 1 year in jail.

If you are accused of committing a felony crime, a preliminary examination will be conducted by the district court in the county where the crime took place. If the district court judge determines there is enough evidence, the case will be transferred to the circuit court for trial.

Examples of felony crimes are:
- Arson
- Burglary
- Drug Offenses
- Murder
- Rape
- Robbery

If you are convicted of a felony, you could be sentenced to spend from 1 year to life in prison and pay a fine of more than $500.

A criminal defendant has the right to an attorney. In some criminal cases, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the defendant.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between probation and parole?
2. Who is entitled to a court appointed attorney?
3. What if the individual requiring an attorney is special needs, mentally ill, or involved in a guardianship / conservatorship case?
4. How do I obtain a personal protection order (PPO)?
5. What are the steps of filing for a personal protection order (PPO)?
6. How are juvenile delinquency cases processed?
7. Are serious juvenile delinquency cases different if the juvenile is over 15 years old?
8. What are some of the juvenile's rights?
9. How is the criminal case conducted in regards to juveniles?