The 31st District Court processes misdemeanor cases (less serious crimes), from arraignment through sentencing. The Court handles felony cases (more serious crimes), from arraignment through preliminary exam.
In most cases, the penalty on a misdemeanor charge does not exceed a fine of $1,000 and/or one year in jail. Failure to appear on your court date results in the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the accused and the Secretary of State could then suspend driving privileges for the individual until the matter is resolved. For more information on the misdemeanor case process, please see SCAO Self Help.
There are three types of Misdemeanors: Payable, Traffic and Non-traffic.
- Payable Misdemeanors: These include violations such as no valid license in possession, and driving with an expired license.
- Traffic Misdemeanors: These include violations such as driving while license suspended, driving while license revoked, drag racing, violation of a restricted license, having open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, and reckless driving.
- Non-Traffic Misdemeanors: examples include domestic violence, possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia and many types of local ordinance violations.
Generally, felony offenses include charges for which the penalty may exceed one year in prison. After the preliminary exam stage, felony cases are transferred to the Circuit Court for additional proceedings. For more information on the felony case process, please see SCAO Self Help.