A criminal case is a legal proceeding brought by the government against a person who is accused of committing a crime. The purpose of a criminal case is to punish the defendant for their actions and to protect society from potential harm. In a criminal case, the Prosecutor presents evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant is found guilty, they may face a range of penalties, including imprisonment, fines, probation, or community service.

If You are a Victim of a Crime:

  • To report an emergency or a crime in progress, call 911.
  • If you have information about a crime or need non-emergency police assistance, call (517) 546-9111.
  • Victim Assistance provides ongoing services and support.


Defendants can retain their own attorneys or, if eligible, obtain a Court Appointed Attorney.


Probation is a possible outcome for all criminal case types.

For all criminal offenders assigned to Probation, there are specific terms that must be followed. If the terms are violated, the supervising Probation Officer may file a Probation Violation with the Court.

Drug Testing

Random drug or alcohol testing is a frequent term of probation. For many involved in Livingston County Courts, testing is conducted at DnA which is located at the Access Building near the Howell Judicial Center. It is important to get set up at DnA Drug and Alcohol Testing facility, or other location as ordered and to follow their procedures.

Specialty Courts & Programs

Some defendants may be eligible to participate in Specialty Courts. Typically, these are defendants with substance abuse, mental illness, or co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness problems. Specialty Courts give participants a chance to have a multi-disciplinary team from the court and community resources plan their case and provide support for their success, while the Judge and team recognize their accomplishments and provide guidance when they have barriers, to support their successful completion of probation and future well being. Some of these programs include:

Some defendants may benefit from programs including Swift and Sure Sanctions, which can provide access to services and funding for substance abuse treatment and testing.

Community Resources

Defendants involved in criminal cases often need the help of community resources, either as part of fulfilling the terms of their Probation, or because they recognize they need the help. Livingston County has significant resources available.

List of Available Resources

Legal Self Help Resources

Several resources are available for Livingston County residents who need help navigating legal matters. Browse our list of free and low-cost legal resources.

Livingston County Courts

Livingston County Official Logo


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Judicial Center

204 S Highlander Way
Howell, MI 48843