MICHIGAN ADVICE OF RIGHTS – MISDEMEANORS

Here in the State of Michigan, any individual who is charged with a Misdemeanor will have his or her case heard before a District Court Judge. This process begins with an Arraignment before a Magistrate, and during the arraignment every individual is required to read and review a Michigan Advice of Rights form.

In many instances, the court will have the Defendant sign, date, and indicate his or her basic information at the bottom of the Michigan Advice of Rights form. In some instances, the Magistrate will simply review the rights listed on the form and make sure that the Defendant understands them, but this rarely occurs. Courts have the Defendant sign and review the Michigan Advice of Rights form in order to limit his or her ability to appeal for a lack of understanding his or her rights.

The following is the basic language of the Michigan Advice of Rights form; however, some of the language may change from court to court, but will maintain the same legal and constitutional effect:

1) If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities or if you require a foreign language interpreter to help you fully participate in court proceedings, please contact the court immediately to make arrangements.

2) You have been brought to court on a misdemeanor charge. You have the following basic rights:

a) To plead guilty or not guilty or to stand mute. If you stand mute, a plea of not guilty will be entered. You may plead no contest 
with the permission of the court.

b) To have a trial by jury.

c) To have the assistance of an attorney.

3) You have the right to an attorney appointed at public expense if you are indigent (without money to hire an attorney) and if a. the offense charged requires a minimum jail sentence, or
b. the court determines that it might sentence you to jail.

4) You may have to repay the expense of a court-appointed attorney.

5) If you have a trial, you have the following rights:

a) To call witnesses to speak for you at trial. You may get an order signed by the court to require witnesses to come to court.

b) To see, hear, and question all witnesses against you at trial.

c) To be a witness for yourself or to remain silent. If you choose not to be a witness on your own behalf, the prosecuting official 
may not comment on your refusal to testify.

d) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

6) If you plead guilty or no contest and your plea is accepted, you will not have a trial of any kind and will give up the rights listed in items 3 and 5 above.

7) You have the right to be released on bond.

8) If you are now on probation or parole and you enter a plea of guilty (or no contest) or a finding of guilt is made by judge or jury, it may result in a violation of your probation or parole.

9) You can be sentenced up to 93 days in jail or fined up to $500 plus costs, or both unless otherwise advised by the court. (The court will advise you if there is a minimum jail sentence.)

a) Fines, costs, and other financial obligations imposed by the court must be paid at the time of assessment pursuant to MCR 1.110.

b) An appeal to circuit court may be taken within 21 days from date of sentence or as permitted pursuant to MCR 6.625(B). If the sentence includes incarceration and if you wish to file an appeal but are financially unable to retain a lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you on appeal, if the request for a lawyer is made within 14 days after sentencing.

c) Federal law and/or state law may prohibit you from possessing or purchasing ammunition or a firearm (including a rifle, pistol, or revolver) if you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence and you are a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim; you share a child in common with the victim; you are or were cohabitating with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian; or you are or were involved with the victim in another, similar relationship.

The Michigan Advice of Rights form will always be signed before the taking of any misdemeanor plea, and sometimes it is signed on the date of arraignment, which is the first hearing scheduled in any criminal matter. The Michigan Advice of Rights form may not be provided, but it will be read on the read and the defendant will have acknowledged such language and rights. Further, even when the Michigan Advice of Rights form is signed and provided to the court, the language of the Michigan Advice of Rights form will again likely be restated by the court and reacknowledged by the defendant.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY upon any of the information contained in this article when trying to represent yourself. You should always consult with an attorney before relying upon any written advice, article, blog etc. Josh Jones maintains a full-service criminal defense firm, specializing in marijuana law, and handling expungements, probation violations, driver’s license restorations, traffic tickets or infractions, drunk driving, and all criminal felonies and misdemeanors.

About Josh Jones

Josh Jones is an experienced and professional Michigan Criminal Defense attorney presenting Metro Detroit, Genesee County, Livingston County, Lapeer County, and others throughout the State of Michigan. He is available 7-days a week and handles all felonies, misdemeanors, probation violations, traffic tickets, and drivers license restoration. Josh is only a phone call away and is here to help when you are involved with the criminal justice system.