Frequently Asked Questions

How do I update my address and/or phone number with the Prosecutor’s Office?
You may email the Victim's Rights Unit, or call them at (810) 985-2301 with any updates to your phone number and/or address.

I feel that a crime has been committed. How do I press charges? Can I report a crime directly to the Prosecutor's office?
Crimes are investigated by the police, not the Prosecutor. Crimes should be reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the crime occurred. For example, crimes occurring inside the City of Port Huron should be reported to the Port Huron Police Department. Likewise, crimes occurring within the boundaries of St. Clair, Marine City, Yale, and Marysville…etc. should be reported to their municipal police departments. You may also contact the St. Clair County Sheriff Department or the Michigan State Police. Once the initial investigation has been completed, the police department's report is filed with the Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor reviewing the warrant request may send the case back to the police for further investigation. Ultimately, the reviewing Prosecutor decides what charge(s), if any, will be issued and when the charges(s) should be issued (see our Case Process for more information)

I am the victim. Can I drop the charge?
Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to "press charges" against the suspect/defendant, or to later "drop the charges". All crimes are offenses against the community, not just the individual victim. Criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of Michigan, not the individual who called the police or the person who may have been personally harmed by the defendant's conduct. ONLY the Prosecuting Attorney can issue charges. This is important because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting the suspect/defendant off the victim's shoulders and puts it on the Prosecuting Attorney's, where it legally belongs. It also means that the defendant cannot "pressure" the victim into dropping the charges. Although the decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the Prosecuting Attorney, the victim's opinion is important and the Prosecuting Attorney will attempt to take those wishes into account when making decisions about the case. However, the victim CANNOT drop any charge filed by the Prosecuting Attorney.

How do I get my property back?
Each police department has their own evidence retention policy, please contact their department. If your property was stolen and recovered by the police, it can sometimes be returned to you before the case is done. If the items are important pieces of evidence, the items will need to be kept secured in police custody. Contact the Victim's Rights Unit for more information on a specific case.

How do I get a copy of the police report? Is there a charge?
A police report you must get it from the Police Agency that created the report. It is a good idea to call ahead to the department as each department may differ in their charges or release policies.

Who do I talk to if I have more information on my case, or if I think there may be an error in the police report?
Please provide any additional information to the police agency that took the complaint; they will forward that information to the Prosecutor’s Office.

All investigative information needs to go through the police agency that took the initial complaint. The agency can take your information and then provide the Prosecutors office with a supplement to their report.

The defendant is not paying court-ordered restitution. Who can help me?
Call the District Court Probation Department at (810) 985-2100, or the Circuit Court Probation Department at (810) 985-2280 and ask for the probation officer who is assigned to the case. The probation officer can facilitate if restitution was a condition of the defendant's probation and if the defendant is still on probation.

If the probation has expired, and if the defendant is no longer on probationyour restitution has not been paid in full, you still may have options. Please contact the Victim's Rights Unit to provide you your other options.

I was the victim of a violent crime, will the Prosecuting Attorney pay for my hospital bills and lost wages?
Unfortunately the Prosecuting Attorney’s office has no funding to cover these expenses for victims. However, the Michigan Crime Victim's Compensation Fund may be able to help you with un-reimbursed medical expenses and lost income. With regard to compensation for pain and suffering, you may need to contact a private attorney.

Will I be paid for testifying?
Yes. After you are finished in court, you need to give your subpoena to the Assistant Prosecutor. The prosecutor will write how long you were there and your round trip mileage on your subpoena. The subpoena is then sent to the controller’s office for payment to be sent out in the form of a check to the address on your subpoena.

You will receive $6.00 for a half day and $12.00 for a full day in court. You will also receive $0.10 for each mile it took to get to and from court.

If you forget or lose your subpoena, a subpoena voucher is available at the Prosecutor’s Office or the Victim’s Rights Unit that can be completed for you.

Witness fees are only paid if your case is listed as going on the Witness Line the night before your case is scheduled to go to court. If you fail to call and come to court to find that your case was not going we will not be able to pay you a witness fee.

What happens if I don’t come to court when I am subpoenaed?
If you fail to appear on a subpoena without being formally dismissed, you may be found in contempt of court and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.

What if someone tells me I don’t need to come to court?
Only the Court or the Prosecutor may dismiss you from your subpoena. Be sure to call the Witness Line (the phone number is listed on your subpoena) after 5:00 PM the evening before you are to appear to verify that the case is still going as scheduled.

What if I don’t have transportation to get to court?
If you foresee a transportation issue, please contact the Victim's Rights Unit, or the Witness Unit as soon as possible to discuss possible arrangements/accommodations.

Will I have to testify in front of the Defendant?
The Defendant must be present in court to hear the case against him. First the Assistant Prosecutor will ask you questions and then the Defense Attorney will ask you questions.

Can other people view my testimony?
The courtrooms are a public area. They are very rarely closed, and only upon order of the court. Testimony can generally not be given via telephone or deposition.

Will my case be handled by Mr. Wendling?
Mike Wendling is the elected St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney, so his name appears on most criminal court documents, and our office correspondence. However, he may not be personally handling the case in court. There are 13 assistant prosecutor in our office, one of them may be handling your case. Please call our Victim’s Rights Unit with your questions and concerns. We will either answer your questions and if we can not, we will find the answer, or direct your call.

I want a no contact/restraining order to keep someone away from me. Will the Prosecuting Attorney assist me?
If the defendant is charged with a crime, the court can add a no contact” provision on the bond. If you would like this added please contact the Victim's Rights Unit. The no contact order will remain in effect as long as the criminal charges are pending.

Protection can also be obtained through a Personal Protection Order (PPO). PPO’s are separate from the criminal case, and once granted it remains in effect for 180 days from the date of issuance. Please contact Victim’s Rights for assistance.

What if someone threatens me?
Witnesses are very rarely threatened. However, if you are threatened or harassed in anyway, make sure to document what happened and call the police agency who investigated the case immediately so that action can be taken. In an emergency please call 911.

Will the Prosecutor talk to me before the court hearing?
While the Prosecutor will make every attempt to talk to you before any hearing that may result in a plea or hearing in which you will testify, the courtrooms are a very busy place with many hearing taking place every day. If you have a question or concern please call the Victim Rights office prior to your hearing so we can get your question answered as soon as possible.

Why do I have to testify if the State is pressing the charges?
The prosecutor must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to present the case, the Prosecutor needs you to provide testimony and evidence in support of the charges. Primarily the victim and the police officer handling the case are the best witnesses to testify about the crime.

What if the Defense Attorney contacts me?
The Defense Attorney (the Defendant’s Attorney) may call you and want to talk to you about the case against his/her client. You do not have to talk to him/her if you do not want to. If you have questions or do not feel comfortable talking to the Defense Attorney on your own please call the Assistant Prosecutor handling the case and they can answer your questions or be with you at the time of the interview.

Can you tell me what the defendant's sentence will be?
Sentencing in Michigan varies with the crime and can be the most confusing part of the criminal process. A few crimes have mandatory sentences, but most often the sentences are at the judge's discretion. Because of that, a prosecutor can only approximate what the actual sentence may be.

I have a question which is not answered in your FAQs.
Please contact us by email: Victim's Rights Unit, or call us at (810) 985-2301.

Our office will not disclose your information to the defendant or the defense attorney.

Contact Information

St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney
201 McMorran Blvd., Suite 3300
Port Huron, MI 48060

Phone: (810) 985-2400
Fax: (810) 985-2424
Email: Prosecuting Attorney

Photos courtesy of the Port Huron Times Herald and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department

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