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The Legal System in Michigan Explained

Posted 9 years ago by Detroit Bail Bonds

Every citizen needs to understand the government and the legal system.

Like the United States, state government of Michigan is a combination three important branches, each working through a system of checks and balances that operate to keep each other from growing too influential or too powerful.

You might be asking yourself, why does Detroit Bailbonds care about the structure of the government of Michigan? Because we believe that every citizen should be informed about about how your state operates and why certain decisions are made.

If you ever need bail bond services, it will be beneficial to have at least a base knowledge of the Michigan legal system, especially the judicial branch…

Understanding the Michigan Legal System


Before we talk about the judicial branch, we want to highlight the other two, starting with the executive. In the U.S. government, the executive branch is ran by the president. In state governments, it is ran by a governor. This is the person with the most power, and the one who has authority to make the most changes in a short period. Like the President, the power of Michigan’s governor is limited.


The main duty of the legislative body of the Michigan government is to make laws. They debate issues and bills proposed either by the governor or one of its members, and vote on legislation. Michigan’s legislative branch is made up of a senate and a house of representatives.

Judicial System

The judicial system in Michigan is the courts. From small civil courts to criminal trials to the Michigan Supreme Court, this is the body that is responsible for anything involving the court system.

Municipal Courts

There are other specialized courts, including probate, small claims, and administrative courts, but the municipal courts are essentially the ground floor for the court system. Cities and towns are responsible for handling the municipal courts, which usually oversees small violations of city ordinance like traffic tickets. They can also oversee issues like disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, and some smaller crimes.

District Courts

There are 105 districts in the state of Michigan, each holding its own district court. These are generally the most common type of court system, handling less-serious matters, including most misdemeanor cases. In almost all situations, the district court can not sentence people to more than one year in jail.

Circuit Courts

This is the section of the judicial system that handles serious crimes, including almost all felony trials. If there is a chance that the accused could be sentenced to prison, it will likely be handled by the circuit courts. Also, the 57 circuit courts in Michigan will oversee appeals from lower the courts.

Michigan Court of Appeals

This is a non-trial court that hears appeals from all lower branches of the judicial system. There are four appeals courts, also called “appellate” courts, in Michigan. They are located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Marquette. Appeals are examined by three judges who review the process and application of the law, not necessarily the facts of the case.

Michigan Supreme Court

Located in Lansing, this is the highest court in the State of Michigan. It reviews cases that have been reviewed by the Michigan Court of Appeals and provides a ruling. The only body that can overturn a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.

Making Bail is the First Step

Have you or a loved one been arrested? Making bond is the first step before you can start dealing with the complex judicial system.

Let us help you get out of jail by providing you with the bail you need. We’ll be there fast so you can start moving forward with your life.

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