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DUI - The Court's Location is very Important


When someone contacts our firm about a DUI case, the first thing we’ll ask is “where is it?” For Michigan DUI lawyers like us, the importance of “where” cannot be overstated.

My team and I limit where we’ll take a DUI case to the Greater-Detroit or Metro-Detroit area. This includes Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, and the surrounding counties of Lapeer, Livingston, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtnaw. We know what it takes to properly manage a DUI case, and believe that familiarity with the court is part of that.

Every lawyer has his or her own take on how to best handle DUI cases. We believe that in order to produce the best outcome possible, it’s important to limit our DUI practice to the above-listed areas. Our firm won’t handle an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge outside of the this Greater-Detroit area as described above.

Some lawyers feel comfortable offering their services statewide. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. My team and I believe, though, that by appearing again and again in front of the same Judges and prosecutors all the time in this concentrated area, we have become familiar with how things are done in those courts in a way that can help us produce a better outcome for our clients.

This doesn’t mean that an attorney has to have an office down the street from the courthouse. However, anyone who needs to hire a lawyer is certainly better off with one who is familiar with the court where his or her DUI case is going to be decided. As a rule of thumb, if a lawyer needs directions to get to the courthouse, then he or she can’t be very familiar with it.

THE COURTS In Michigan, the court system is primarily divided up by county.

There is a Supreme Court and a Court of Appeals that have state-wide jurisdiction. The real heart and soul of the Michigan judicial system, however, are the county circuit courts and the local district courts that operate under them.

Thus, in Oakland County, the Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac is the “superior” court at the top. Beneath are all of the local district courts. This includes places like Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Novi, Rochester, Royal Oak, Troy, and the other municipalities.

Similarly, if you have a DUI case in New Baltimore, it’s a Macomb County case. If your case is in Rochester, it’s an Oakland County case. If you’re facing a DUI charge in Plymouth/Canton, then it’s a Wayne County case.

The same applies in all of the other counties.

It’s important to understand that, beyond the geography, there is always a hierarchy of courts from toughest to most lenient, even at the local level. This means that within each of the various counties, every district court is unique. In other words, a DUI case in one court could wind up with a much more lenient result just because it’s there, and not in another court. Indeed, even in a court with multiple Judges, this can also be true, depending on which of those Judges is assigned to decide it.

It’s knowing and being able to work with (and, sometimes, around) these things that enables my team and I to actually make things better for our clients.

What really matters is whether or not the lawyer you hire knows how best to handle your DUI case in the court where it will be decided. That kind of knowledge can only coms from experience in them. It’s this experience that enables our firm to avoid all the legal penalties and negative consequences as possible for our clients.

When somebody hires us for a DUI case, they’re buying our experience, NOT paying our tuition to learn how things are done in some court we don’t know about. My team and I will make sure that our client either beats the charge, or otherwise avoids as many of those legal penalties and negative consequences as possible.


Not surprisingly, there is a strong correlation between how lenient or tough a particular court is on DUI defendants and how much a DUI lawyer will like that court (or not). Of course, every DUI attorney has courts he or she likes more than others. You can be sure, though, the least-liked are the “toughest,” and the most liked are more lenient.

It’s a given that DUI lawyers and their clients prefer to be in a court more likely to give them a break. Who would want to walk out of a court where they feel like they got pounded?


While there’s nothing to be done about where a DUI case is brought, there is a lot that can be done to make things better once it’s actually pending.

My team and I will put every shred of evidence under the microscope. If there is a way out of a DUI then we’ll leave no stone un-turned in the quest to get the charge dismissed. This is especially important if the case has been brought in a “tough” court.

If the evidence is strong enough to survive a proper legal challenge, then knowing what to do – as well as what NOT to do, especially before the specific Judge to whom it has been assigned – is extremely important. That’s why we limit where we go, so we can provide help based upon our experience doing just that.

Understanding how to best proceed before the Judge assigned to your case is absolutely critical. We can bring about the best result in your DUI case because we know – through experience – what will fly and what won’t with each Judge. Whatever else, testing the Judge’s patience is not a helpful tactic.

For me and my team, these considerations are a matter of instinct. That’s true precisely because we limit our DUI practice in the courts mentioned above. We know how to produce the very best results in in them – because we regularly practice in them.

In a very real way, the importance of location in a DUI case cannot be overstated.

Never forget that A DUI case is always an accident of geography, and also that Success in a DUI case is always best measured by what does NOT happen to you.

CONTACT US If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense in any court in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, Livingston, Monroe, St. Clair or Washtenaw County, and are looking to hire a lawyer, then you owe it to yourself to call our office.

All of our consultations are free, confidential, and done over the phone right when you call. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things. We NEVER push anyone to “sign on,” and instead, encourage everyone to check around and compare lawyers. As part of that, we’ll be more than happy to have you call back and compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told you.

We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at either 248-450-0906 or 586-684-1189.