The first hearing in court for a Felony Firearm charge is the Arraignment and it will occur either at the Washtenaw County Jail or the 14A-1 District Court. The Magistrate will advise the defendant of the charge and ask how the defendant pleads. It is crucial that an experienced lawyer reviews the investigation records and properly counsels a defendant in this position. With the possibility of a mandatory 2-year sentence, you can’t take any chances in court. At this time the Magistrate will also set a Preliminary Examination date to be held within 1-2 weeks from the Arraignment.
The Preliminary Examination for a charge of Felony Firearm is the hearing where the prosecution has to prove that the crime of Felony Firearm has been committed and that the charged defendant committed it. It usually occurs within 14 days of the Arraignment, but can occur several months after the Arraignment if additional time to prepare is requested by either party in the case. The Preliminary Examination will take place at the 14A-1 District Court Service Center, located next to the Washtenaw County Jail. Any of the District Judges in Washtenaw County can hear a Preliminary Examination, depending on the location of the alleged offense. These Judges include Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines, Judge Karen Quinlan Valvo, Judge Joseph F. Burke, and Magistrate M. Colleen Currie.