If you are alleged to have committed an offense within the city limits of Grandville, Michigan, Walker, Michigan, and the surrounding communities, your case will be handled in the 59th District Court. The 59th District Court has two locations. The Grandville courthouse is located at 3161 Wilson Avenue, Grandville Michigan. The Walker courthouse is located at 4343 Remembrance Road, Walker, Michigan 49534.
The 59th District Court is presided over by the Honorable Peter Versluis (pictured left). If you are charged with a misdemeanor in the 59th District Court, your first court appearance will be the arraignment. The 59th District Court does not allow defendant’s to waive their presence at this first court appearance. You will have to attend this arraignment regardless of whether you are represented by counsel or not.
The 59th District Court moves quickly as compared to other district courts in the county. Following your arraignment, the Court will schedule a pretrial conference approximately three weeks later. The pretrial conference is a scheduled conference between the assistant prosecuting attorney or city attorney handling your case and your defense counsel where both sides can talk about the facts of the case and potential resolutions. You will have to appear at the pretrial conference. If you are charged with a city ordinance violation in Walker, the law firm of Bloom, Slugget & Morgan, the city of Walker’s attorneys, will prosecute your case. If you are charged with a violation of state law, your case will be handled by the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. If your matter is not resolved at the first pretrial conference, the court will schedule a second pretrial conference approximately three to four weeks later. The court will also schedule a jury trial date following the first pretrial conference for a date after the second pretrial conference. You do have to attend the second pretrial conference and you will be expected to either accept a plea offer (if one has been made) or set the matter for trial. Judge Versluis will not accept pleas to reduced charges after the second pretrial conference. You can still plead guilty after this date; you would just have to plead guilty to the original charge(s).
In the 59th District Court, the jury selection and the jury trial take place on the same date. Accordingly, both sides will pick six citizens from a pool of about 20 to serve on the jury and then will immediately try the case.
If you have no prior offenses and your offense did not result in any injuries to any body, misdemeanor sentences usually consist of fines and costs anywhere from $500.00 to $1500.00, possibly 40 hours of community service, and a one to two-year term of probation. Jail is generally uncommon unless some aggravating factor exists. If your offense is related to substance abuse, Judge Versluis will likely require you to be drug tested while the matter is pending. If you test positive or violate any other condition of your bond while the matter is pending, Judge Versluis will take that into account at your sentencing should you be convicted and will likely impose a short jail sentence as a result. Judge Versluis expects fines and costs to be paid at the time of sentencing. While he will allow you to set up a payment plan, he will expect you to provide some explanation as to why you are unable to pay all fines and costs at the time of sentencing.
If this is your first offense and no one was injured as a result of your operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, jail is uncommon unless an aggravating factor exists. Be advised that Judge Versluis will require that you abstain from the use of alcohol as a condition of your bond for all drunk driving cases. If he discovers that you have used or consumed alcohol or drugs while bond, he will make jail a part of your sentence – even for a first offense. You should also expect to receive a sentence of fines and costs in the neighborhood of $1000.00 to $1500.00 and 40 to 80 hours of community service.
If this is your second operating while intoxicated offense (regardless of whether you are pleading to an operating while intoxicated first offense or second offense) and your prior OWI offense was within 10 years, you should expect a jail sentence of 14 to 30 days in addition to the aforementioned penalties. The 59th District Court does not have a sobriety court program. However, Judge Versluis will approve transfers to the 61st District Court sobriety program provided the 61st District Court agrees to accept the transfer.
The Criminal Defense Lawyers at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law are dedicated to the defense of Greater Grand Rapids citizens accused of crimes. With offices in Grand Rapids and Fremont our sole focus is on the representation of clients charged with criminal offenses in county, state, and federal courts throughout West Michigan. If you or somebody you know, is facing criminal charges at the 59th District Court, call the top Grand Rapids criminal defense attorneys at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law, located nearby, for a free consultation. Call now Fremont (231) 924-8700 or Grand Rapids (616) 458-5500.