51st District Court Judge Richard D. Kuhn, Jr. in Waterford Township

The Waterford District Court is located at 5100 Civic Center Dr., Waterford Twp., MI 48329. The Court handles misdemeanor criminal matters and the initial stages of felony matters, including preliminary examination and arraignment.

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The Honorable Richard Kuhn, Jr.

Judge Richard Kuhn, Jr. is the son of the late Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Richard Kuhn, who served with distinction on the Oakland County Circuit Court for 32 years. The elder Judge Kuhn had a reputation as a law-and-order judge. Judge Richard Kuhn, Jr. in Waterford is also known for adhering to the law, but with a modernistic, compassionate approach. Anyone in his courtroom can see that he cares about his constituents and will do anything to help them.

As with most judges in Oakland County, Judge Kuhn expects attorneys in his court to be well-prepared and make well-reasoned and legally-sound arguments and presentations. As an attorney who has spent a reasonable amount of time in his court knows, he is a judge who will honestly and fairly apply the law to cases before him. He does not have an obvious bias in favor of law enforcement, as some judges sometimes appear to have.

Judge Kuhn has a long memory; he knows the lawyers who make winning legal arguments and those who sell out their clients and make frivolous or unsupportable legal arguments. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are highly prepared, knowledgeable, and competent in court. They have an unparalleled track record of success in felony and misdemeanor cases in Waterford, Michigan.

Judge Richard Kuhn in Waterford’s Education, professional history, and community involvement

Judge Kuhn, a lifelong resident of Waterford, graduated from Waterford Kettering High School and proceeded to Oakland University for his Bachelor’s Degree. He then attended the Detroit College of Law – at Michigan State University. After law school, Judge Kuhn entered private practice for 13 years and represented Waterford Township, Springfield Township, and Independence Township on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners from 1983 to 1990. He is a member of the Michigan District Judges Association.

Judge Kuhn is a member of the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chairman of the Waterford Coalition for Youth, Co-Chairman of Blessings in a Backpack (Waterford), and an annual sponsor of the Waterford Foundation for Public Education. In 2004, Judge Richard Kuhn in Waterford began a Teen Court program in the 51st District Court, a juvenile diversion program wherein high school students act as jury members and attorneys to educate them about the legal system.

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Types of criminal cases handled by Judge Kuhn in Waterford Township

District judges handle civil infractions, misdemeanors, and early felony hearings, such as preliminary examinations. A civil infraction is a ticket such as a traffic ticket. These are not “true” criminal cases, as they do not carry potential jail time but merely involve a monetary fine and possible points on a driver’s license.

Misdemeanors are more severe than civil infractions because the judge can order up to 1 year in jail and up to 2 years of probation. When defendants face criminal charges, they are entitled to a fair bond. The first hearing in felony and misdemeanor cases is an arraignment. The judge will set a bond at the arraignment hearing after listening to the police and defense lawyer’s arguments. It is critically important to have a top criminal defense lawyer at the arraignment so that the defendant has the best chance of being released from jail during the case’s pendency. After setting the bond, the judge will schedule the case for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination.

The most severe criminal cases district judges handle are felonies. Judge Kuhn may conduct the arraignment, probable cause hearing, preliminary examination, and in some cases, a plea to felony charges. Preliminary exams are probable cause hearings held in the court having jurisdiction over the city where a crime has allegedly occurred. The district judge’s job is to hear testimony and decide whether a felony crime has occurred and whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant is the person who committed it. If he finds enough evidence, Judge Richard Kuhn would “bind over” the case to the Oakland County Circuit Court for trial. The Circuit court has the authority to handle the trial in felony cases. Of course, a felony case may be plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor in the district court. The district court has the authority to sentence the defendant for a misdemeanor. If the defense lawyer is adept enough to successfully challenge the prosecution’s evidence at the preliminary examination, Judge Kuhn would have the power to dismiss the felony charges.

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Examples of misdemeanors in district court:

  • Retail Fraud 2nd and 3rd Degree
  • Operating While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence 1st and 2nd Offense
  • Domestic Violence
  • Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
  • Misdemeanor Drug Offenses
  • Assault and Battery
  • Impaired Driving (OWVI or DUI)

Examples of felony charges subject to arraignment and preliminary examination in district court:

  • Weapons Cases
  • Drug Charges
  • Felonious Assault or Assault GBH
  • Retail Fraud 1st Degree
  • Home Invasion
  • Armed and Unarmed Robbery
  • Stalking
  • Felony Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense
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Successfully and Regularly Appearing Before Judge Kuhn in the 51st District Court

The Oakland County attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. regularly appear before Judge Kuhn in the 51st District Court in Waterford. We have a mutually respectful relationship, and he and his staff know we are very serious about our client’s defense on felony and misdemeanor charges. Judge Kuhn appreciates the preparation and professionalism exhibited by our attorneys. The local and state prosecutors know that when we enter our appearance on behalf of a criminal defendant in Waterford, they are in for a fight. If you have a case before Judge Kuhn, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., and we will find a way to help you with fair and affordable legal fees.

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.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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