The 59th District Court has authority to process felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses that occurred in the City of Grandville or the City of Walker.
- A felony is generally defined as punishable by more than one (1) year in prison.
- A misdemeanor is generally defined as punishable by one (1) year or less in a county jail.
- A person charged with a crime in the 59th District Court is processed as follows:
1. On both felonies and misdemeanors the accused is taken before the judge/magistrate for arraignment. The charges and maximum penalties are read. The judge will make sure the defendant understands the charges and penalty as well as the defendant’s right that go with the charge.
2. On misdemeanor offenses, the defendant is allowed to plead guilty at arraignment and be sentenced.
3. If the defendant pleads not guilty he/she will be given a pretrial conference date where he/she will meet with the city attorney/prosecutor.
4. If the misdemeanor is not resolved at the pretrial conference, the case would be set for trial by either a judge or jury.
5. On felony arraignments, the court will not allow the defendant to plead guilty without an attorney representing him/her.
6. Upon arraignment of a felony, the defendant is given a court date for a preliminary examination which is typically held within fourteen (14) days.
7. The examination’s purpose is to weed out weak cases not fit for a full blown trial, thus the prosecutor must prove to the judge’s satisfaction that there is probable cause a felony was committed and probable cause that it is "this" defendant. If this is established, the defendant is bound over to Circuit Court by the District Judge for a full trial.
Judge Versluis will sentence all those found guilty of any misdemeanor.
Sentencing options include the following:
- fines and costs
- residential treatment
- community service
- work crew
- psychological evaluation
- no contact with individuals or premises
- any combination of the above