Joseph Longo, 43rd District Court Judge for Ferndale, Michigan
The 43rd District Court in Ferndale is located at 305 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale, MI 48220. The court handles misdemeanor cases and the beginning stages of all felony matters in that jurisdiction.
The Honorable Joseph Longo
Judge Joseph Longo is one of three judges in the 43rd District, which is composed of Madison Heights, Ferndale, and Hazel Park. Judge Longo has jurisdiction in Ferndale. Judge Longo is a good fit for the city in a community known for its colorful, eclectic, and fashionable nature.
Oakland County judges can be overly harsh with defendants. Defendants who need some help to get back on their feet may face jail time instead of receiving much-needed assistance. Anyone who knows Judge Longo and has represented clients in his court knows he is willing to go the extra mile to help when he believes it is appropriate. He will help and support a defendant he genuinely believes wants to turn their life around.
Important and Interesting Facts about Judge Joseph Longo in Ferndale
Magistrate Patrick Brennan described Judge Longo as “the smartest man I ever met.” Judge Longo graduated from the University of Detroit High School in only three years. He obtained his degree from the University of Michigan in merely two years while paying his way by working as a janitor!
Although he has been offered judgeships in higher courts, he has declined because of his love for the City of Hazel Park. He is a judge who truly values engaging on a local level, where he believes he can do the most good. His goal, as he says, is to “help people, not just punish them.” Judge Longo holds his unique version of Sobriety Court every Wednesday, wherein the focus is treatment and recovery. Based on national statistics, the chances of recidivism (repeat offending) drop from 66 % to 15 % if the offender gets the treatment they need. The difference in return offenders seen by Judge Longo, as he says, is “gargantuan.”
Types of criminal cases handled by Judge Joseph Longo in Ferndale
Like Judge Joseph Longo in Ferndale, all district judges handle three types of criminal cases: civil infractions, misdemeanors, and felony preliminary exams.
- Civil Infractions: These are tickets, such as speeding tickets or Minor in Possession of Alcohol. They are not “true” criminal cases but are simply a matter of a monetary fine and perhaps points on a driving record.
- Misdemeanors: Misdemeanors are criminal cases carrying a potential 30 days to 1 year in jail plus a term of probation and fine, typically ranging from $200 to $1,000.
- Felony Examinations: District judges do not have the authority to preside over trial and sentencing hearings in cases with a potential jail or prison term of more than one year. However, they have the authority to conduct preliminary exams, which are probable cause hearings where the judge decides if the prosecutor has shown (1) a crime was committed and (2) probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime. The district judge may handle the case to completion and sentence the defendant if the parties agree to a misdemeanor plea bargain and, possibly, probation. Judge Longo will dismiss charges if he finds that the prosecutor failed to establish probable cause.
Examples of misdemeanor cases handled by Judge Longo
- Retail Fraud 2nd or 3rd Degree (shoplifting)
- Assault and Battery
- Drunk Driving 1st and 2nd Offense (OWI or DUI)
- Domestic Violence
- Reckless Driving
- Aggravated Assault
- Operating with a High BAC
Examples of felony cases for which Judge Longo will schedule a preliminary exam
- Felonious Assault
- Drunk Driving 3rd Offense
- Drug delivery cases
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Armed or Unarmed Robbery
- Larceny from a Person, Building, or Vehicle
- Weapons Charges
How To Avoid Jail in the 43rd District Court
Jail may appear unavoidable with a violation of probation or sentencing for a defendant with a previous criminal history. This is not necessarily true with Judge Joseph Longo. Although he will not hesitate to jail a defendant that violates probation or repeatedly commits criminal offenses, he will listen to an argument for an alternative to incarceration. Judge Longo will consider and agree to an alternative to jail if a defense lawyer can persuasively and credibly present a satisfactory alternative. Alternatives to jail include community service, fines, therapy, education, and more.
Getting Great Results in Judge Longo’s Court
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have often appeared before Judge Longo, and we believe we have a mutually respectful relationship with him and his staff. Judge Longo appreciates attorneys who are well-prepared, zealous, and who genuinely care about their clients. Judge Longo knows we care greatly about our clients and will do everything we can to protect and defend them. If you have a criminal case before Judge Longo, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., and we will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.