Generally speaking, it’s better to wind up facing a 1st offense DUI in a Macomb County district court rather than anywhere else. There are 9 district courts in Macomb: The 37th district court in Warren, the 38th district court in Eastpointe, the 39th district court in Roseville, the 40th district court in St. Clair Shores, the 41-A1 (Sterling) district court in Sterling Heights, the 41-A2 (Shelby) district court in Shelby Township, the 41-B district court in Clinton Township, the 42nd Division 1 district court in Romeo, and the 42nd Division 2 district court in New Baltimore. As a group, these courts handle the cases for every municipality in Macomb County. In this article I will examine why, even if you’ve been unlucky enough to be arrested for an OWI charge, it’s at least a bit of good fortune if your case is in a Macomb County district court.
Even though what we know as the Metro-Detroit area is comprised of 3 adjacent and closely connected counties, (the “Tri-County area” of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb), each one, at least as far as court systems go, can kind of be like its own separate country, and those broader differences filter down into all of the district courts within their respective borders. I trust the reader understands that, as a Michigan DUI lawyer who practices exclusively in the Tri-County area, I’m not going to rip any court, nor make any specific and unflattering comparisons between one court and another. However, I can explain this almost as clearly by outlining a few key factors that show why, at least for the person facing the DUI, having it in one of the district courts mentioned above is real break. To be sure, there are plenty of times when someone charged with OWI or OWI with a BAC of .17 or greater (High BAC) will end up with a more lenient outcome from some court in Wayne or even Oakland County, but there are also plenty of times when that won’t be the case. Thus, one of the defining attributes of the Macomb County district courts is a general consistency to what happens to DUI drivers.
The focus of this article is on what happens to you in a DUI case, and in that sense, you’d have to be nuts to want ANYTHING other than the most lenient outcome possible. If I had to go through the DUI process, I’d want my case to be heard by the nicest and most sympathetic Judge out there; I’d hope the case could be dismissed, or, if not, that I’d get the best plea deal possible, and wind up with the least amount of penalties, as well. Nobody would choose more punishment over less punishment, or having to pay more fines and costs rather than less, right? Let’s start, then, with some really good news: you aren’t going to jail in a 1st offense OWI in Macomb County. Even with a High BAC charge, jail isn’t on the menu. When I meet with a new client and I state this so matter-of-factly, I usually have to repeat myself, and explain it a little because many people get all worked up about getting locked up, even though it’s simply not going to happen. It’s understandable that everyone’s deepest fear is going to jail, but we can end all that stress right here – you’re not going to jail. That said, there are plenty of other things that could, might and, indeed, will happen, so our time is better spent looking at them in the context of a 1st offense DUI case brought in a Macomb County district court.