The 39th District Court in Roseville, Michigan, hears DUI cases for the cities of Roseville and Fraser. The Court building, located on Gratiot, between 12 and 13 Mile Roads, is small, compared to the rather large caseload it handles. Staffed by 3 very fair and reasonable Judges, a morning trip to this Court often leads to standing room only crowds. As a Michigan DUI attorney with 20 years of experience, I can attest that a lot of DUI cases wind through these halls.
It is the common sense approach of these 3 Judges to a DUI charge that makes being a Macomb County Lawyer so special. In the corresponding article about this Court published on my blog, I noted how this Court is decidedly not the kind of place that humiliates or otherwise “pounds” a person who commits an error in judgment and picks up a DUI charge. This is also a Court where the Judges follow the Law, and as much as they will enforce it, they will also dismiss evidence obtained, or even “knock out” a case brought in a legally impermissible manner.
This down-to-earth, “pedestrian” approach to DUI cases is a by-product of the quality of the Judges presiding over the Roseville (and Fraser) Court. Judges Joseph Boedeker, Marco Santia and Kathleen Steenland combine the desirable (and one would think, necessary) qualities of being understanding and reasonable, along with the appropriate degree of firmness. This means that with the help of their lawyer, a 1st time DUI Offender can get out of this Michigan Court without being put through the meat grinder. Jail isn't really on the menu in a First Offense Drunk Driving case here, although there are plenty of other negative consequences to avoid. That's where I come in...
Second Offense DUI cases also fare well here, or at least as well as can be expected, given the seriousness of the situation. To be direct about it, most people facing a 2nd Offense Drunk Driving in this Court can be kept out of Jail, although being proactive and getting into the right kind of Counseling is a necessary ingredient of the recipe for such an outcome.
The 39th District Court has its own, in-house Probation Department. The Probation Officers generally reflect the Judges pedestrian approach to DUI cases. The Probation Officers are the people supervising Probationers, and ensuring compliance with the various Orders the Judges issue. For the average person, “compliance” isn’t really an issue. For a distinct and rather visible minority, however, completing Probation without a hitch can be problem, because while on Probation, some people wind up testing positive for alcohol, or other substances, or seem to be on a roll of bad luck, and wind up getting charged with another Offense while on Probation for their DUI. These situations are never good, and simple Probation winds up becoming a Probation Violation.
My main focus as a Detroit defense lawyer, especially in 1st Offense DUI case, is to try and keep my Client off Probation, or at least limit their Sentence to Non-Reporting Probation. Those who have especially difficult (meaning “bad”) cases, or those who don’t hire a bona-fide Michigan DUI attorney like me, might find themselves on Reporting Probation that could have been otherwise avoided. Typical amongst the various terms of Reporting Probation is a requirement for “testing,” meaning either breath and/or urine testing for alcohol, and, quite often, drugs, as well.
Avoiding such difficult Probation and burdensome testing is, more than anything else, a matter of doing well on the mandatory alcohol assessment test that is, by Law, required in every DUI case. My decades-long background in and lifelong study of the onset and development of alcohol (and substance abuse) problems, as well as the diagnosis of and Recovery from them gives me an unsurpassed edge in prepping my Clients to do well at this most critical phase of their case.
By keeping my Client off of any kind of Reporting Probation, or perhaps helping them avoid Probation altogether, they don’t have to worry about testing and reporting and all the other stuff that goes along with being on a “leash” of sorts to the Court.
In a 2nd Offense case, keeping my Client out of Jail is my first priority, and, once that has been worked out, then I focus on limiting the conditions of my Client’s Probation and keeping that manageable.
In the end, a person charged with a DUI will have to stand in front of the Judge for Sentencing. Their DUI lawyer will have a few seconds, really, to come up with something good to say, lest the Michigan Judge look away, bored by another droning, monotonous speech. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it should not. If things are done correctly, and right from the start, a person facing a DUI can avoid Jail, avoid “Probation from Hell,” and perhaps avoid Probation altogether. Fortunately, such good results are possible in Roseville.