43rd District Court, Ferndale, Michigan
The 43rd District Court in Ferndale is located at 305 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220. The Court handles all traffic cases, including formal and informal hearings, trials, and parking violations. In the criminal area, the District Court handles all arraignments, misdemeanor cases, the setting and acceptance of bail, bench and jury trials, sentencing, and preliminary examinations in felony cases.
The District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the following types of cases:
- Civil Infractions/Traffic Violations
- Civil litigation up to $25,000
- Criminal misdemeanor offenses (adult only) punishable to a year’s imprisonment
- Landlord/Tenant disputes (e.g. evictions)
- Preliminary examinations and arraignments for felony cases (adult only) punishable by more than one year
Misdemeanor Charges in the 43rd District Court in Ferndale
A misdemeanor in Michigan is an offense punishable by a maximum of 1 year or less in jail. A high-court misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of up to 2 years in prison, and these charges are handled as if they were felonies. The Ferndale District Court has the power to place a defendant on probation for up to 2 years on a misdemeanor offense. Common terms and conditions of probation include:
- monthly or weekly reporting,
- court-ordered therapy,
- educational programs,
- GPS and alcohol tether,
- house arrest,
- restricted travel,
- restricted rights to possess and use firearms,
- community service,
- drug and alcohol testing,
- fines, costs, and supervision fees,
- maintaining full-time employment or school, and more.
The types of hearing in misdemeanor cases include arraignment, pretrial, motions, evidentiary hearings, and trials. A trial can be with a jury or the judge without a jury. Most cases in Ferndale are resolved with plea bargains and sentence agreements. Trials are fairly rare in this court.
Felony Charges in the Ferndale District Court
All felony cases start in a district court. The first hearing following the issuance of a complaint and warrant is an arraignment. The judge determines the amount of any bail or bond during the arraignment hearing. If the defendant is unable to pay the amount of money ordered by the judge, he or she will remain in Oakland County Jail while the case is litigated. If the defendant can post bail, then he or she is released on bond and will have to return to court for any future court hearings.
Following the arraignment, a felony charge will be scheduled for a Probable Cause Conference and a Preliminary Examination. At a Probable Cause Conference, the prosecutor and defense lawyer discuss the case and advise the judge if a Preliminary Examination will be needed or not. If not, then either the case must be dismissed, or the prosecutor and defendant must waive their respective right to hold a Preliminary Examination.
A Preliminary Examination is a hearing where the Ferndale District Court judge is required to determine if the prosecutor has sufficient evidence for the case to go to trial. The prosecutor is required to prove that there is probable cause to believe a felony was committed and whether the defendant is the person who committed the crime. If the Preliminary Examination is held, meaning the prosecutor calls witnesses and admits evidence, and it fails to establish probable cause, the case is dismissed. If sufficient evidence is introduced, the case is “bound over” or sent to the Oakland County Circuit Court for further proceedings.
Bail and Bond in Ferndale, Michigan
A judge has the option of ordering a personal bond, cash bond, surety bond, or a 10% bond. The differences in the bonds are as follows:
- personal – although an amount of money is set by the court for a personal bond, no actual deposit of funds with the court is required (it is merely a promise to return to court),
- cash – meaning actual cash or a cashier’s check must be used to satisfy the full amount of the bond,
- surety – means that a bonds person can post the bond on behalf of the defendant, usually for a substantial, non-refundable fee, and
- 10% – meaning the defendant must pay 10% of the ordered amount of bail.
An order for bail or bond may require the defendant to remain in Michigan, get alcohol and drug tested, not possess firearms, refrain from using electronic devices (like computers and phones), and more.
If a defendant does not appear in court for a scheduled hearing, or he or she violates a term of the bond, the judge may forfeit the bond and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. If the bond was personal or a 10% bond, the defendant would then be ordered to pay the full amount of the bond.
Typical Cases in the Ferndale District Court:
- OWI, DUI, OWPD, and OWVI
- Retail Fraud
- Assault and Battery
- Domestic Violence
- Driving on a Suspended License
- Disturbing the Peace
- Theft Crimes, such as Retail Fraud, Larceny, and Embezzlement
- Weapons Crimes, such as Felonious Assault, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Felony Firearm
- Drug Crimes, such as Possession, Distribution (sales), Conspiracy, and Manufacture
- Violation of Probation
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.