There are several judges in Michigan who are making a name based on how tough they are on first offenders who are convicted of OWI.
The Honorable Kim Small in the 48th Judicial District Court in Bloomfield Hills for example, has a reputation for sentencing first time offenders to serve time in the Oakland County Jail. A few lawyers have been successful in getting Judge Small not to order jail time but they are few and far between. Judge MacKenzie in the 52-1 District Court in Novi is rather infamous for his tough treatment on those convicted of OWI cases.
Great DUI defense attorneys who are known for their trial skills and ability to successfully handle trials on OWI cases are generally able to achieve plea bargains and dismissals that other, less proficient, criminal defense lawyers or general practice lawyers cannot get for their clients. Although not common, plea bargains to reckless driving, careless driving and other non-alcohol related offenses are possible under the right circumstances.
Although the majority of OWI cases get resolved with plea bargains, some cases just have to go to trial. For example, Loren Dickstein with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., recently represented a doctor who was charged with OWID (Operating While Under the Influence of Drugs) and went to jury trial in the 48th Judicial District Court in Bloomfield Hills. The verdict was not guilty! Trial Attorneys and Criminal Defense Attorneys Loren Dickstein and Randy Lewis, the partners with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have successfully defendant hundreds of OWI cases with several resulting in not guilty verdicts at trial and several resulting in plea bargains to non-alcohol related offenses and dismissals.
Other courts and judge’s in Oakland County are notorious for tough sentences on OWI and MIP (Minor in Possession) cases. Lawyers who are not used to practicing in Oakland County frequently will just refuse to take a case in that jurisdiction.
Other examples of tough courts and judges in Oakland County include:
- 52-1 District Court in Novi, Judges Travis Reeds, David Law and Robert Bondy
- 52-2 District Court in Clarkston, Judges Joseph Fabrizio and Kelley Kostin
- 52-3 District Court in Rochester, Judges Lisa Asadoorian, Nancy Carniak and Julie Nicholson
- 52-4 District Court in Troy, Judges Kirsten Nielsen Hartig and Maureen McGinnis
- 35th District Court in Plymouth, Judges Ronald Lowe, Michael Gerou, and James A. Plakas
- 43rd District Court in Hazel Park, Judge Charles Goedert
- 43rd District Court in Madison Heights, Judge Keith Hunt
- 43rd District Court in Ferndale, Judge Joseph Longo
- 44th District Court in Royal Oak, Judges James Wittenberg and Derek Mineke
- 45-B District Court in Oak Park, Judges Michelle Friedman Appel and David Gubow
- 46th District Court in Southfield, Judges Cynthia M. Arvant, Sheila Johnson and Deborah Nance
- 47th District Court in Farmington Hills, Judges James Brady and Marla Parker
- 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, Kimberly Small, Judges Marc Barron and Diane D’Agostini
- 50th District Court in Pontiac
- 51st District Court in Waterford, Judge Richard Kuhn