Felony cases are crimes where punishment is incarceration in excess of one year and are handled in Circuit Court. Felony cases require a great deal of time and require several court appearances such as pre-exams and preliminary examinations in District Court; and if the case is bound over to Circuit Court, the Prosecuting Attorney is responsible for all proceedings at that level including pre-trials, motion hearings, pleas, trials, and sentencing. All felony cases have strict time limits both for preliminary examinations (within 14 days) and trials (within 180 days). Allegan County has two Circuit Court Judges, who are primarily responsible for handling the adult felony cases.
The felony caseload has substantially increased in the past three years as a result of a Methamphetamine Abuse epidemic which has infected Allegan County. Methamphetamine use is prevalent in approximately 35% of all felony cases in Allegan County.