The 41B District Court located at 22380 Starks Drive, Clinton Township, Michigan 48038, phone: 586-469-9300. It has jurisdiction to handle civil, traffic and criminal cases arising in Clinton Township, Harrison Township and Mount Clemens. Clinton Township has its own police department while Harrison Township and Mount Clemens are policed by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. The Court is served by Judge Sebastian Lucido, Judge Linda Davis and Judge Carrie Lynn Fuca.
As I state in this publication, it is my opinion based upon several years of experience, that the 41B District Court will give a person a second chance and has a philosophy to encourage rehabilitation rather than impose jail.
41B District Court has an expansive jurisdiction that covers Macomb County from Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township to Hayes Road on the Sterling Heights border, and from 14 Mile Road to Hall Road. The area has a diverse mixture of established and newer real estate, shopping centers, Macomb County Community College, county government offices and the Partridge Creek Mall. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department and the Clinton Township Police are the predominant law enforcement agencies in the area.
Criminal Cases in the 41B District Court: Provisions of Law to Get Dismissals Available!
The 41B District gets a wide range of the criminal cases that occur within Macomb County. Our firm has represented clients charged with just about every imaginable misdemeanor and felony crime in the 41B District Court. The following is list of some of the most prevalent cases that we regularly see on the 41B District Court’s docket:
Getting out on bond, bond conditions: If you are arrested or arraigned on a criminal matter in the 41B District Court, you will appear either before a magistrate or judge. Insofar as possible, it is always advisable to have an attorney present for arraignment purposes. An attorney can make a considerable difference at an arraignment hearing by advocating for a personal bond (where no money needs to be posted) or a for a low cash/10% bond arrangement. I have found that the judges and the magistrate will listen to an attorney’s remarks regarding bond which can save potentially thousands of dollars that a bondsman would otherwise take. In addition to the cash component of bond, the Court can also impose bond conditions upon a person’s release from jail. Drug and alcohol testing are common bond conditions for those charged with any crime involving drugs or alcohol. A ‘no-contact order‘ is assured in assault cases, domestic violence, sex crimes and all other crimes involving a victim. In retail fraud cases, the accused party may be instructed to refrain from entering the establishment where the alleged shoplifting occurred. A motion for a hearing can always be filed to modify bond conditions, remove a no-contact order or eliminate travel restrictions.
Misdemeanor or Felony Classification: In Michigan, the district courts have full jurisdiction to dispose of misdemeanors through sentencing. A misdemeanor is classified as an offense that carries up to 1 year in jail. Felony cases are another matter. A felony is classified as a crime that can carry more than 1 year in jail. A felony case is initiated in the district court for the arraignment, probable cause conference and preliminary examination. A felony that is not resolved in the district court will be moved to the circuit court for further proceedings. In certain cases, a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor and can remain in the district court. Accomplishing reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, thus avoiding a felony conviction, is considered a huge victory.
The outcome of a criminal case in the 41B District Courts, as well as other Macomb County District Courts, is dependent upon many components. The most significant factors that can have a bearing on the disposition of a case are:
- Prior criminal history of the accused party.
- Cooperation with the police.
- Whether another party was injured, or property was damaged.
- The ability of the accused party to provide restitution for damages to the injured party.
- Whether the offense is a ‘policy case’ (crimes against senior citizens, children).
In our experience, criminal cases can be resolved favorably at the 41B District Court. All these special provisions of law are possible in the 41-B District Court which can result in a dismissal of a criminal matter:
- HYTA for youthful offenders (age 17 to 23)
- MCL 333.7411 for first time drug offenders
- MCL 769.a for domestic violence.
- Delayed Sentence or Deferral
Drunk Driving Cases in the 41B District Court
1st offense drinking and driving: The 41B District Court is known for imposing hefty fines and costs for first time drinking and driving offenders. For most first time drinking and driving offenders, jail is not likely in the 41B District Court absent some other aggravating circumstances. A person without any prior drinking and driving offenses can expect to get an OWI reduced to ‘operating while impaired‘ in the 41B District. It is extremely difficult and rare, but not impossible, to get a drinking and driving offense reduced to a non-criminal offense. Non-reporting probation, reporting probation and counseling may also be imposed depending upon the circumstances. Those with a history of alcohol or substance abuse, or that register a high blood alcohol content (BAC), can expect a longer period of counseling. Fortunately, the judges in the 41B District Court have a sentencing philosophy that encourages rehabilitation rather than incarceration. In addition to probation, a person convicted for a first drinking and driving offense (operating while impaired) is looking at:
- Probation for 1 year or less
- Fines and costs approximately $1,500.00
- Restricted license for 90 days
- Attend an alcohol or substance abuse program
- Possible drug testing, alcohol testing, AA meetings
- 4 points on driving record
There are other mandatory and discretionary sanctions associated with a drinking and driving conviction including: driver responsibility fees, probation oversight expenses and vehicle immobilization. The Court can also order installation of an ignition interlock system on any vehicle driven by a person convicted of a drinking and driving offense.
If a person is charged with Super DUI (BAC .17 or greater) a deviation may need to be filed to get a plea bargain to a lower offense. In 2016, there were approximately 140 arrests for operating while intoxicated related offenses in Clinton Township and 50 registered a BAC of .17 or more.
A repeat drinking and driving offender may be looking at a longer period of probation, up to 2 years, with the possibility of some jail time. There are many steps that we can recommend to those charged with a repeat offense to reduce the likelihood of incarceration in almost every Macomb County District Court.
The 41-B District Court Probation Department: 22380 Starks Drive, Clinton Township, Michigan 48038
The 41-B District Court has its own probation department located inside of the courthouse.
It is within the judge’s discretion whether to place an individual on probation after being convicted of a criminal or drunk driving offense. When probation is imposed, the judge may require reporting or non-reporting probation. The maximum period of probation that can be imposed in the district courts is 2 years.
Isolated Incidents, Not Likely to Re-offend: There are many instances where we have advocated for ZERO probation, or for an abbreviated period of probation, on behalf of clients that are not likely to re-offend.
Traffic Violations in the 41B District Court: Reduced to Avoid Points and Record of any Conviction!
Like other district courts in Macomb County, I would say that traffic tickets are on the top of the list of types of cases that are litigated at the 41B District Court. Gratiot Avenue, Metro Parkway, a stretch of I-94 and Hall Road all contribute to the traffic volume in the 41B District Court. When resolving a traffic matter in the 41B District Court, we are often able to negotiate a reduction or avoid points. A substantial reduction in a traffic ticket occurs when it is reduced to an offense such as impeding traffic or double parking. A traffic ticket that is reduced to impeding traffic or double parking does not carry any points and will never appear on a person’s driving record! We are also able to get favorable results for individuals charged with misdemeanor traffic offenses such as driving while suspended, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
The court staff and judicial officers are forbidden by law to provide you with legal advice. Yet many courts are now making it easier than ever to just pay your traffic ticket by visiting the court’s website and conveniently providing an option to pay by credit card. Unfortunately, most individuals that receive a traffic ticket do not hire a lawyer and wind up with a record and points that will have an impact on insurance premiums for several years. The path of least resistance, paying the ticket, can be much costlier in the long run.