All criminal cases prosecuted within the County of Allegan are filed at the 57th District Court. The 57th District Court processes misdemeanor cases (less serious crimes), from arraignment through sentencing; felony cases (more serious crimes), from arraignment through preliminary exam.
A few key terms:
- Defendant is advised of his/her rights, advised of the charge, advised of possible penalties, bond is set and a plea may be entered.
- An exchange of information between the two sides.
- Preliminary Exam:
- To determine if a crime was committed and if the defendant may have committed the crime, (probable cause).
- The final step in the legal process, a penalty is assessed for someone who is convicted of, or pled guilty to a crime.
Criminal cases are serious issues with the possible penalties of fines and/or jail time, and/or probation.
Some examples of criminal cases are:
- Theft or larceny
- Non-sufficient fund checks
- Domestic violence
- Assault and battery
- Dog violations
- DNR violations
- Drug charges