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Drunk Driving Charges in Novi Michigan

Quick Facts about the 52-1 District Court in Novi, Michigan, Oakland County District Court

Picture of the 52-1 District Court in Novi Michigan where local DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving charges are prosecuted

If you are charged with a DUI offense in Novi, South Lyon, Wixom, Walled Lake, Milford, Highland, Commerce or Wolverine then your case will be heard in the 52-1 District Court in Novi. The three current Judges of the 52-1 District Court are the Honorable Dennis N. Powers, the Honorable Robert Bondy and the Honorable Brian W. MacKenzie.

Although Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and the various assistant prosecuting attorneys working under the elected official have the ability to prosecute drunk driving cases in the Novi district court, more than half of the DUI cases are prosecuted by local jurisdictions using private attorneys who work under a contract with the city or township. In addition to the local jurisdictions, the Oakland County Sheriff and the Michigan State Police frequently charge drunk driving cases in the 52-1 District Court. These cases are handled primarily (although not exclusively) by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

Thumbnail Sketch of DUI / OWI Penalties You Face in Novi in the 52-1 District Court If Convicted

If you plead guilty or if you are found guilty of an alcohol-related offense in Novi following a trial, you are facing the following penalties. Please note that your driver's license remains valid unless or until you enter a plea or are found guilty, even though the police may have issued you a temporary paper license.

First Time Offender: Super Drunk Over .17 BAC

First Time Offender: OWI - Operating While Intoxicated (Same as DUI or DWI)

First Time Offender: OWVI - Operating While Impaired

A second offense for either OWI or OWVI within seven years of a prior OWI or OWVI results in tougher penalties, greater likelihood of jail, and a lifetime revocation of a person's driver's license. A third offense for any combination of OWI and OWVI charges in a lifetime is a felony OWI 3rd offense, which carries mandatory jail and a possible prison term of up to 5 years.

Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Novi District Court

If you are arrested and charged with a DUI in the Novi district court, JAMS testing is regularly ordered as a condition of bond and pretrial release. JAMS, LLC stands for "Jail Alternatives for Michigan Services," and it is a private company that performs drug and alcohol monitoring. Their website provides additional information. This means that, even though you are presumed innocent, you might be "punished" for months before going to trial, being forced to spend both your time and your money to permit the court to invade your privacy. If you fail to test, you can go to jail before going to trial. This absurd practice, which undoubtedly has good intentions, has gotten out of hand at the 52-1 District Court.

52-1 District Court Sobriety Court Program

The Novi District Court was one of the forerunners implementing a sobriety court program. This intensive program is designed to address substance abuse problems. For repeat drunk driving offenders with alcohol problems, this program has proven remarkably successful, reducing recidivism and helping people. The program combines monitoring with frequent meetings, and a system of punishments and incentives.

Under a pilot project passed by the Michigan Legislature, convicted offenders in the Novi District Court's sobriety court program are eligible for a restricted driver's license long before the one year revocation period has elapsed. The 52-1 District Court has provided driver's licenses to sobriety court candidates under this program, which offers a great alternative to the convicted drunk driver who is committed to sobriety.

The 52-1 District Court Prosecutors

With so many jurisdictions under one roof, and so many contracts with different municipal governments, figuring out who is handling a case can be a little daunting. Please note: We do not recommend that you contact the prosecutors directly! It is always wiser to have your lawyer engage in all communications with the prosecutor because statements that you make can be used against you.

State Prosecutor for Oakland County

Jessica R. Cooper (P23242)
Oakland County Prosecutor
1200 N Telegraph Rd
Pontiac, MI 48341
Phone: (248) 858-0656
Fax: (248) 858-0660

The Oakland County Prosecutor's office has announced (and enforced) a "No Deals/No Reduction" policy on most drunk driving cases. This ridiculous policy has angered a lot of defense lawyers, and we have encouraged all of our fellow defense lawyers to more aggressively assert their clients' right to trial. Despite our encouragement, most lawyers simply plead their clients guilty. In response to Ms. Cooper's policy, we have also instituted a No Deals/No Plea policy, and we set all drunk driving cases handled by her office for jury trial.

Novi City Prosecutor / Lyon Township Prosecutor

Philip H. Seymour (P24448)
Gabe Quinn & Seymour
1026 W 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: (248) 399-9703
Fax: (248) 399-1711

Note: Charlie Cooper, who was the long-time city prosecutor and who remains a really nice guy and easy to work with on a drunk driving case, is no longer the prosecutor. He has taken a position with the 52-1 District Court as the magistrate. As of the date of this publication, September 14, 2012, this information has not been widely disseminated.

South Lyon City Prosecutor / Wixom City Prosecutor / Novi Zoning

Charles D. Snell (P49458)
Johnson Rosati Schultz & Joppich PC
34405 W 12 Mile Rd Ste 200
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Phone: (248) 489-4100
Fax: (248) 489-1726

Commerce City Prosecutor

Lisa J. Hamameh (P57936)
Barry Daniel Malone (P72813)
Adkison Need & Allen PLLC
40950 Woodward Ave Ste 300
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: (248) 540-7400
Fax: (248) 540-7401

Walled Lake Prosecutor

Vahan C. Vanerian (P48196)
Secrest Wardle
2600 Troy Center Dr
PO Box 5025
Troy, MI 48007
Phone: (248) 539-2819
Fax: (248) 538-1223

Milford Prosecutor / Wolverine Lake Prosecutor

Paul V. Groth (P37565)
Groth Elowsky Kelley Pawlak & Seglund PLC
28345 Beck Rd Ste 306
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 869-0030
Fax: (248) 869-0039

Note: Paul Groth also handles cases arising out of Kensington Park and Highland recreation area.

52-1 District Court Judges

The following opinions are drawn from our experiences and dealings with the judges in the 52-1 District Court. It's important to understand that these are just opinions, and other lawyers might disagree. Because we routinely challenge drunk driving cases, however, our firm's experience with a particular judge might be different from lawyers who do not take cases to trial. None of the comments here should be viewed as an attempt to discredit a particular judge or reflect poorly upon the judiciary.

Hon. Robert Bondy

Judge Robert Bondy of the 52-1 District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Robert Bondy of the 52-1 District Court has grown increasingly more and more conservative in recent years. It can be difficult to practice before him as a defense lawyer unless the attorney has established a relationship with him. Behind the scenes, Judge Bondy is a very likable judge, but he can be brutal on defense lawyers and defendants. At trial, he has begun to express an opinion through his rulings and demeanor, which makes a jury trial especially difficult. Judge Bondy's ruling have increasingly allowed the prosecutors too much latitude, and his sentencing practices have recently resulted in a sharp rise in fines and costs as well as extremely aggressive alcohol monitoring. If you plead guilty, expect high fines and costs, with portable breath testing, JAMS testing, EtG testing, and interlock devices installed on vehicles, creating a nightmare of multiple-layers of alcohol testing that seem redundant as well as expensive. Jail sentences are not unusual, but they are not excessive unless or until a probation violation occurred.

Hon. Brian W. MacKenzie

Judge Brian W. MacKenzie of the 52-1 District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Judge Brian W. MacKenzie of the 52-1 District Court is an excellent judge with a much-feared reputation. We have developed a really good working relation with Judge Brian W. MacKenzie and understand how his court runs. It is a common myth that Judge Brian W. MacKenzie lost a daughter to a drunk driver. He has very strong views about alcoholism, and he shares his opinions with convicted drunk drivers. His much-feared reputation is a direct result of his persuasiveness. Despite his reputation, Judge Brian W. MacKenzie is an excellent judge for both motion practice as well as trial. At sentencing, Judge Brian W. MacKenzie is a fair judge, and, contrary to popular opinion, he does not typically incarcerate people unless the person violates the terms of probation.

Hon. Dennis N. Powers

Judge Dennis N. Powers of the 52-1 District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Judge Dennis N. Powers of the 52-1 District Court is an excellent judge, and we have won a couple of impressive motion hearings on DUI cases before this judge. For the most part, however, cases either resolve in a plea or go to trial in his court. Evidentiary issues are usually decided during the course of trial unless the police have clearly violated something important in the case. He is generally pro-police in deciding stop issues, deferring to the police on those issues, but he can prove to be an awesome judge on issues attacking probable cause/arrest issues as well as chemical testing matters. During the course of a jury trial, he is a fair judge. At sentencing, we have had one case with more-or-less horrible facts where he ordered a short jail sentence up front after losing before a jury, but on balance, our victories before this judge far outweigh any losses.

52-1 District Court Map

Map of 52-1 District Court and how to find the court where your DUI charge will be heard

The 52-1 District Court is located at 48150 Grand River Avenue Novi, MI 48374, and the court's telephone number is (248) 305-6080. If you are charged with a criminal offense, however, the court's listed telephone number connects you to a civil division clerk. The criminal division can be reached at (248) 305-6460.

Take the Beck Road or Wixom Road exit off I-96 for easiest access. There is a Tim Horton's on Beck Road, a Dunkin Donuts on Wixom, and a Caribou Coffee along Grand River. Despite being a great court to practice in for a DUI defense lawyer, this court runs a little slow because it has a long docket. Coffee is a great way to get through the morning docket.

If You Are Searching for Qualified Novi DUI Lawyers . . .

If you are currently charged with drunk driving in Novi, Michigan, and seeking a qualified Novi DUI lawyer to represent you in the 52-1 District Court, please complete our free on-line evaluation form or call our office at (888) 941-1122 or locally at (734) 591-0100.

The Maze Legal Group can provide you with the highest quality representation in your Novi drunk driving case. Mr. Maze is an award-winning attorney and one of Michigan's leading drunk driving defense lawyers. He limits his practice to handling only drunk driving cases and DUI-related traffic matters. He is certified in standardized field sobriety tests and teaches other lawyers how to defend DUI cases. He has been trained on the BAC Datamaster breath testing device at National Patent Analytical Systems and owns two BAC Datamaster devices. He has received toxicology training in blood and urine testing, and he has attended hundreds of hours of specialized training in DUI defense across the county.

The Maze Legal Group has handled many Novi DUI cases, successfully representing clients through motions and jury trials that have resulted in favorable rulings. If you want to know more about our experience in handling drunk driving cases in the 52-1 District Court or what you might expect in your case, call our office and schedule an appointment with Mr. Maze.