The 62B District court takes your rights very seriously. Please go over your rights several times to make sure you understand what they are, what they mean, and how it applies to your current situation. There are slideshows explaining your rights. The basic rights described below apply to criminal matters.
You have the right to a trial by a jury or judge. A jury will be six citizens of Kentwood.
You have the right to an attorney. You may have an appointed attorney
- if you are indigent, and
- the offense charged requires a minimum jail sentence or the court determines that might sentence you to jail.
Note: If an attorney is appointed at the public expense, you may have to repay that expense.
You may plead in one of four ways:
- not guilty,
- stand mute, or
- no contest.
If you stand mute, the court will enter a plea of not guilty.
You must have permission of the court to plead no contest. The court will give permission if you have no memory of the incident or if there is a possibility of civil liability. If a no contest plea is accepted, the court can impose all of the punishments that you could receive if you had pled guilty.
At trial, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has the burden to prove each element of the crime you are charged with beyond a reasonable doubt.
At trial, you may call witnesses to speak for you at trial. You may get an order from the court to compel witnesses to come to trial. This is called a subpoena. You may fill out a subpoena and have your attorney or the judge sign it.
You may see, hear, and question all the witness testifying against you. This is called cross-examination.
You may be your own witness. However, you may also decide to remain silent. If you remain silent, that fact will not be commented on by the prosecution to establish guilt.
For a more full text on your rights, please click on the form
. This is the same form that is read to you at the court and the one you will sign at your criminal proceedings. Click here
for an index of advice of rights forms in several different languages.
A note from the Michigan Supreme Court: "These forms do not replace use of the English versions since Michigan Court Rules require that all court documents be in English. These forms are provided for information purposes only and should not be completed and filed with the court or provided to parties to an action in place of the English versions. They are to be provided along with the English versions to assist in removing language barriers."