Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION

In Michigan, the Prosecuting Attorney is a constitutional officer who represents a ‘separate, but equal’ branch of government. The Prosecutor’s duty is always to seek justice, not merely to convict, with society as the client—not the victim, police, or any specific individual.


He or she is elected every four years.


To learn more, click here.

Victim advocates are paid professionals trained to support victims of crime. They work for each of Michigan’s county prosecutors. Advocates offer victims information, emotional support, help finding resources, filling out paperwork and going to court with victims to explain the judicial process and offer emotional support.


Advocates may also contact organizations, such as other criminal justice or social service agencies, to get help or information for victims. Victim advocates may also be called victim service providers, victim/witness coordinators, or victim/witness specialists.


To learn more about the rights of victims and victim services offered in the Huron County Prosecutor's Office, click here.


Before anyone is charged with a crime by the prosecutor’s office, the appropriate law enforcement agency will investigate the allegation. Once the investigation is complete, the officer(s) submits a “warrant request” to the prosecutor’s office. The Huron County Prosecutor’s Office then determines what, if any, charges to bring and then prepares the complaint and warrant. It may charge the defendant with a felony, a misdemeanor or a combination of both. The office can also deny a warrant request for a variety of reasons. If authorized, the warrant is then presented to the Huron County District Court Judge or Magistrate.

Crimes Against the Person

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.


Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.


Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.


To read more or get information on getting help, click here. To get information on obtaining a personal protection order, click here.

Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.


To read more, click here.

Convicted sex offenders who qualify under the Sex Offenders Registration Act, Act 295 of 1994, are listed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) website.


The Public Sex Offender Registry site may include: Offender’s name, date of birth, registration number, photo, registration details, physical characteristics, known alias(es), scars, marks, tattoos, offense information, address information, campus information, employment information, and vehicle information


You can learn more about it at: Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which people profit from the control and exploitation of others.


Victims include children involved in the sex trade, adults over the age of 18 who are forced, coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and children and adults compelled into different forms of labor or services against their will and who often receive little to no compensation.


Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, and it is the world's second largest criminal enterprise after drugs. In October 2014, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a package of 20 bills specifically geared toward strengthening statewide efforts to combat human trafficking.


If you suspect that someone is a victim of human trafficking, call 855-444-3911 any time day or night. If you feel that the individual is in imminent danger, contact law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Act

The MMMA is legislation passed by Michigan voters in 2008 to allow the medical use of marijuana under state law. The law provides certain protections for the medical use of marijuana and it provided for a system of registry identification cards for qualifying patients and primary caregivers.
The MMMA offers registered qualifying patients narrow exemptions from prosecution and arrest under of Michigan's laws but NOT federal law. Registered qualifying patients and caregivers under the MMMA will still be violating federal law and under certain circumstances, they could be prosecuted by the Federal Government
No. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does not permit a registered qualifying patient to give/sale marijuana to another registered qualifying patient for that person's medical use. People vs. McQueen, 493 Mich 135 (2013). Such an action is delivery of marijuana and illegal under MCL 333.7401(2)(d)(iii).
Yes. If the person is driving while under the influence of marijuana. "Under the influence" means that because of using marijuana, the person's ability to drive a motor vehicle in a normal manner is substantially lessened.

Traffic Safety

In Michigan, talking on a cell phone is legal, hands free or not. Texting while driving is illegal.


However, legal or not, using a cell phone at all while driving increases your risk of being in a crash, and using a hands free phone does not make it safer. You are still distracted driving as your mind is on the phone call, not driving.


Distracted driving is a serious problem and can happen to anyone. It is not worth the increased risk. Turn the phone off while driving and be safer on the road.

In Michigan and every other state in the United States, having a "blood alcohol content" (BAC) of .08 or higher means you are driving impaired. However, it is possible to be below that level and still be legally impaired. Impairment starts with your first drink, and the more you drink, the greater its effect on you.


How much alcohol it takes to get to that level varies from person to person based on gender, body weight, what and when an individual has last eaten, what they are drinking, and how fast they are drinking.


With so many variables and unknowns involving alcohol and driving, the best way to be safe is to avoid alcohol if driving. If you do drink, call a cab, enlist a sober designated driver, or stay at a friend's house.

Michigan law requires children younger than age 4 to ride in a child car seat in the rear seat if the vehicle has a rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a child car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the air bag is turned off.


Children must be properly buckled in a child car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seat of a vehicle for optimal protection.


For more information on Michigan's child passenger safety laws, visit the Child Passenger Safety section of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning Web site or on this website by clicking here.

Recreational Vehicles

Yes. Off road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are titled through the Secretary of State. While a registration is not issued, ORVs and ATVs used on public land must display an annual ORV decal. ORV decals can be purchased from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issues ORV decals.

No. Three and four-wheel ATVs CANNOT be upgraded for on-road use. Often called "quads," these are units with handlebars and a seat straddled by the operator.

Yes. All snowmobiles must be registered unless used on private property. A three-year registration is issued for $30. The snowmobile registration number is printed on the three-year snowmobile decal. Snowmobile decals must be displayed on "each side of the forward half of the cowl above the footwell of the snowmobile."

Yes. In addition to the regular 3-year snowmobile registration, all snowmobiles, except those operated exclusively on lands owned or under the control of the snowmobile owner or those operated on frozen waters for ice fishing, must display an annual Snowmobile Trail Permit sticker. This applies to both residents and nonresidents. A trail permit is not required for snowmobiles registered as a "historic" snowmobile.


Trail Permits expire on September 30 each year and must be displayed on the front of the snowmobile, centered on the hood directly above the headlight.

A moped is defined by law as a motor vehicle with two or three wheels that:


  • Has an engine that does not exceed 100 cc piston displacement
  • Does not have a gearshift
  • Has a top speed of 30 mph or less on a level surface

Vehicles exceeding any of the criteria above must be registered and titled as a motorcycle. Other types of vehicles, such as electric scooters, "pocket rockets" and mini-choppers, may fit the definition of a moped or a motorcycle, but cannot be registered by the Department of State if they lack the equipment required by law to legally drive on public roads.

Yes. Mopeds must be registered at a Secretary of State office unless operated solely on private property. A three-year registration decal costs $15 and is displayed on the back of your moped so it is visible to law enforcement officers. It expires April 30 in the year on the decal.

A Go-Ped, also known as a motorized scooter or motorized skateboard, looks like the old-style non-motorized scooter ridden standing up with one foot on the scooter and the other pushing off along the pavement. A handlebar rises up from the front of the scooter to steer with. The Go-Ped has an engine affixed to the back, which propels the vehicle at a speed of up to 19 mph. Go-Peds have both front and rear brakes.

No. Go-Peds fit within the definition of a moped, therefore they must meet the legal criteria for a moped, however, most Go-Peds fail to meet the criteria because they are not designed with seats, lights, or horns.


Go-Ped operators have no choice but to confine their Go-Pedding to private property.

Hunting

If convicted, Michigan law requires at least 5 days in jail and it could be as much as 90 days in jail with a fine of at least $200 or up to $1,000, and you have to pay an additional $1,500 for a bear or $1,000 for a deer or turkey. Also, it is REQUIRED that your hunting license is revoked for that year AND the following three years.


The prosecutor’s office and the court have no discretion on the minimum amount of jail or fine, or on your hunting license being revoked.

If convicted, Michigan law requires at least 30 days in jail and it could be as much as 180 days in jail with a fine of at least $500 or up to $1,500, and you have to pay an additional $1,500 for the elk. Also, it is REQUIRED that your hunting license is revoked for that year AND the following three years.


The prosecutor’s office and the court have no discretion on the minimum amount of jail or fine, or on your hunting license being revoked.

Michigan law provides that you could go to jail for as much as 90 days and that you have to pay a fine of at least $25 and as much as $250, and that your license to hunt MUST before revoked for the remainder of that year as well as the next year and it is in the court’s discretion to impose a longer revocation.


The prosecutor’s office and the court have no discretion on the minimum amount of time on your hunting license being revoked.