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Prosecutor Functions

The Saginaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office serves the citizens of Saginaw County by providing a variety of services. A list of those services is below. For more specific information on how a case proceeds or for a glossary of criminal justice terms, use our submenu.

Case Review
Each day, any number of police officers and/or detectives bring in completed investigations for prosecutors in our office to review. Prosecutors who receive these investigations review the police reports and other associated paperwork and evidence included in the investigation and determine if a crime occurred and, if it did, whether there is sufficient evidence to charge an individual with a criminal offense or offenses. If a prosecutor authorizes a criminal charge or charges, the officer or detective who brought in the case then swears to the criminal complaint in front of a judge, who signs a warrant for the individual’s arrest. 

Felony Prosecution
Among the types of cases that our prosecutors handle are felony cases, which involve crimes punishable by more than one year. On these cases, our prosecutors are present for all court hearings and proceedings, including preliminary examinations (where we must prove probable cause to take a defendant to trial), bond hearings, pre-trial motions, trials, and sentencings but usually excluding arraignment. These cases begin in the 70th District Court (located on the third floor of the Saginaw County Governmental Center) and, if probable cause is shown for trial, end in the 10th Circuit Court (fourth floor).

Misdemeanor Prosecution
Misdemeanor cases also are among the types of cases handled by our office. These cases involve crimes punishable by up to a year in jail. Our prosecutors are present for some of the proceedings on these cases, including pre-trial hearings and trials. These cases are handled exclusively in the 70th District Court (located on the third floor of the Saginaw County Governmental Center). 

Individuals who receive traffic citations have the option to plead responsible and pay their fines or plead not responsible and request a hearing on the matter. If the latter is chosen, much like misdemeanor cases, our prosecutors are present for pre-trial hearings and trials, which occur either through a magistrate or a judge.

Juvenile Delinquency & Child Abuse and Neglect
Our office has two prosecutors assigned to the Family Division of the 10th Circuit Court, which is located 3360 Hospital Road in Saginaw Township. These prosecutors handle cases involving juvenile delinquents (those under the age of 17) and cases where there is parental neglect or child abuse inflicted by parents. In delinquency cases, our prosecutors charge these juveniles either with crimes or status offenses and decide on the appropriate adjudication for the juvenile. In abuse and neglect cases, our prosecutors are involved in the examination of a parent’s rights to his or her child or children, up to and including termination of those rights.

Our office’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) division establishes paternity and child support for people who receive public assistance through DHHS and for those who request IV-D services from the State of Michigan. Paternity may be established through marriage, an Affidavit of Parentage, a default hearing, or DNA testing. Once paternity is established, child support is calculated using the information provided by the parties and the Michigan Child Support Formula. The Prosecutor DHHS office also ensures that recipients of DHHS benefits remain compliant with the establishment process. Those who fail to comply with the establishment process are placed into non-cooperation with DHHS, which can affect any state benefits they receive. Parties shall remain in a non-cooperation status with DHHS until they contact the Prosecutor DHHS office and appear in person during walk-in hours to initiate the child support process. Walk-in hours for non-compliance are Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

After a defendant has been convicted of a crime, either by plea or by jury or bench conviction, they may choose to seek an appeal of that conviction. If they do so, our office has prosecutors assigned to respond to those appeals, all the way through the highest appellate courts in the United States. Our appellate prosecutors also may appeal decisions made by judges that we believe have incorrectly affected our efforts to seek justice for victims.