The criminal judicial process is confusing to most, if for no other reason than most people figure that they will never have to deal with it. As someone who deals with it on a daily basis, allow me to explain the process as simply as possible. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you are “arraigned” in front of a magistrate in the local district court who sets your bond and sets the case for a “pre-trial” (also in the district court). If the two sides (the defense and the prosecution) cannot come to a resolution, then the case is set for trial and a trial is ultimately held before a judge or jury in the district court.
Felony cases are a little more involved. In a felony case, following the arraignment, the defendant has a “preliminary examination.” At this examination, the prosecution has the duty to show two things: (1) that a crime was committed, and (2) that the defendant is “probably” the person that committed the crime. If the prosecution meets this burden, then the case is sent up to the circuit court for the defendant to stand trial (this is referred to as being “bound over to the circuit court”). Once in the circuit court, there are various pre-trials, and if no resolution can be reached, then the person stands trial before a judge or jury in the circuit court.
The VAST MAJORITY of felony cases are bound over to the circuit court. It’s hard to assign a percentage, but a good guess is that probably 90% of cases are bound over.
Last week, a gentleman retained Neil Rockind, P.C. to represent him – in a very tough county – regarding the felony charge of Carrying a Concealed Weapon, which is a 5-year felony. He was scared, and rightfully so. If he were to be convicted, he would no doubt lose the most important thing in the world: his KIDS.
We dove into the case and discovered several disheartening things right off the bat: (1) The Judge was going to be difficult (both from prior experience and talking to other attorneys); (2) We were not going to be able to adjourn the examination – which meant that we were working on an accelerated time schedule; and (3) The police report was seriously lacking, including the names of some officers – which we ultimately had to track down and subpoena before the examination (all within 5 days!). All of this taken care of – we began prepping for the examination.
While most attorneys advise their clients to “waive” their preliminary exams or, alternatively, go into court with the preconceived notion that bind-over is a foregone conclusion, Neil Rockind does the opposite. Neil goes into EVERY SINGLE examination thinking the same thing: “We have a chance to beat this case at the examination and that’s exactly what we are going to try to accomplish.”
Neil appeared in court this afternoon with our client, prepped and ready to proceed with the preliminary examination. However, after several discussions with the prosecuting official (and countless hours worth of work prior to the actual court appearance), the State decided that it could not proceed with the case!
ALL CHARGES DISMISSED AT THE EXAM – including the felony CCW charge! And now the client can have some peace of mind during the Holiday Season.
This is what we do. This is who we are. And this is how we fight.
If you or a loved one are investigated or charged with a crime this holiday season, please do not talk to the police. Instead, call our office as soon as possible at 248-208-3800 to learn how Neil Rockind, P.C. can protect you.