All defendants arrested for offenses committed in the City of Plattsburgh appear in the City Court. These cases can range from Violations such as Disorderly Conduct, Harassment and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, to serious violent felonies, such as Rape, Robbery and Murder.
The defendant is arraigned, the procedure where he or she is formally notified of the charges, assigned an attorney, if indigent, and bail is set. If the case is a Violation or Misdemeanor, all proceedings will take place in City Court, including a trial or guilty plea.
If the defendant is prosecuted for one or more felonies before the case is presented to the Grand Jury, then the defendant will be arraigned in City Court and has the right to a Preliminary Felony Hearing. The purpose of this hearing is for the District Attorney to present evidence to the Judge showing that there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed a felony. If "reasonable cause" is found after a hearing, or if the defendant waives the right to a hearing, then the case is transferred to the Grand Jury. If the Judge rules that there was not sufficient "reasonable cause" presented at the hearing, then the felony charge is dismissed.