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Drunk Driving Charges in Plymouth Michigan

Quick Facts about the 35th District Court in Plymouth, Michigan, Wayne County District Court

Picture of the 35th District Court in Plymouth Michigan where local DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving charges are prosecuted

If you are charged with a DUI offense in the City of Plymouth, Canton Township, Plymouth Township, the City of Northville, or Northville Township, then your case will be heard in the 35th District Court in Plymouth, Michigan. The three current judges of the 35th District Court are the Honorable James A. Plakas, the Honorable Ronald W. Lowe, and the Honorable Michael J. Gerou.

Although Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and the various assistant prosecuting attorneys working under the elected official have the ability to prosecute drunk driving cases in the Plymouth district court, most DUI cases in the 35th District Court 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 Wayne County Sheriff and the Michigan State Police occasionally bring drunk driving charges in the Plymouth District Court. When the case involves a Wayne County Sheriff's deputy or a Michigan State Trooper, these cases are handled primarily (although not exclusively) by the Wayne county prosecutor's office.

Thumbnail Sketch of DUI / OWI Penalties You Face in the 35th District Court If Convicted

If you plead guilty or if you are found guilty 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 Plymouth District Court

If you are convicted of a DUI in the Plymouth district court, you may be subject to random chemical testing. Increasingly, probation departments across Michigan are employing urine tests for alcohol known as EtG testing. The EtG test is a urine test that claims to detect biomarkers that result from the consumption of alcohol. Supposedly, these tests detect alcohol consumption for upwards of several weeks. If you have a positive EtG test but have not consumed alcohol, do not offer suggestions or defenses. Whenever you are going to court, whether it is in Plymouth or elsewhere, assume that you might be subjected to drug or alcohol testing, and do not attempt to purchase gimmicks claiming to help pass a drug test.

Important: When reporting for probation, you will likely be given a breath test on a PBT. Do not arrive to court for a probation appointment after consuming alcohol!

35th District Court Sobriety Court Program

The Plymouth District Court has a Sobriety Court program at this time. Click to see the brochure . Judge Ronald W. Lowe oversaw the implementation of this program, which appears to now be run by Judge Michael Gerou. A person in Sobriety Court is required to submit to more frequent drug and alcohol tests and participate in regular support meetings.

Important: A Michigan driver who is convicted of two alcohol-related offenses within 7 years faces mandatory lifetime revocation with no driving privileges, i.e. no restrictions, no breath interlock device, and no ability to get to and from work. Michigan's Secretary of State places a nationwide hold on revoked motorists, so moving to another state does not help. Under a new pilot project approved by lawmakers, certain Sobriety Court judges are permitted to overrule the Secretary of State's revocation procedures, granting a restricted driver's license to the Sobriety Court candidate. It is NOT CLEAR whether this pilot project is in place in Plymouth at this time, so if you are facing OWI 2nd charges, contact our office to discuss how we can help defend you on your DUI charges or help you save your driver's license.

The 35th District Court Prosecutors

There are five different jurisdictions in the 35th District Court, so figuring out who is handling a case can be a little daunting. Here is a list of the current prosecutors in the 35th District Court. 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 Wayne County

Kym L. Worthy (P38875)
Wayne County Prosecutor
1441 Saint Antoine St
Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 224-5777
Fax: (313) 224-8180

Eric Sterbis (P69689)
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
25637 Michigan Ave Fl 2
Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
Phone: (313) 791-9841
Fax: (313) 791-9800

City of Plymouth Prosecutor

Cameron A. Miller (P42279)
Miller & Bartnicki PC
134 N Main St
Plymouth, MI 48170
Phone: (734) 455-1230
Fax: (734) 453-1413

Canton Township and Plymouth Township Prosecutor

Ronald E. Witthoff (P23040)
Hemming Polaczyk Cronin Witthoff & Bennett PC
217 Ann Arbor Rd W Ste 302
Plymouth, MI 48170
Phone: (734) 453-7877
Fax: (734) 453-1108

City of Northville Prosecutor

Robert A. Marzano (P51154)
Plunkett Cooney
38505 Woodward Ave Ste 2000
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: (248) 594-6357
Fax: (248) 901-4040

Northville Township Prosecutor

Gregory D. Demopoulos (P41622)
Gregory Demopoulos PLLC
6231 N Canton Center Rd Ste 105-A
Canton, MI 48187
Phone: (734) 844-1400
Fax: (734) 844-2437

35th District Court Judges

The following opinions are drawn from our experiences and dealings with the Plymouth judges in the 35th 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. The Plymouth judges generally do not order jail time in DUI cases, but there are still serious ramifications to a DUI conviction, so you should treat this case very seriously.

Hon. Ronald W. Lowe

Judge Ronald W. Lowe of the 35th District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Judge Lowe is an excellent judge who could be best described as slightly pro-defense. This is not suggest that he holds any prejudice against the police or prosecution, because he clearly does not. To the contrary, on evidentiary issues, he will try to construe the evidence in a manner that is favorable to the police and prosecution. He is an intelligent judge, and he will have his staff research issues that might be unique. Like many smart judges, he could easily justify a results-oriented decision if he wanted to reach a certain decision, but he does not do that. Judge Lowe is willing to make the difficult decisions that go against the prosecution. If a case merits dismissal, a client can be reasonably sure that Judge Lowe will grant it. If evidence should be suppressed, Judge Lowe will (usually) suppress it. At trial, he is usually a great judge, but he will occasionally allow his demeanor to reveal his feelings on the case. In other words, it is important not to make him angry. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, Judge Lowe is a great judge for a DUI case as well as a DUI jury trial.

Hon. Michael J. Gerou

Judge Michael J. Gerou of the 35th District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Judge Gerou is an excellent judge, and we have had many drunk driving cases before him. We regularly appear before Judge Gerou. He allows regular challenges to be raised against the prosecution's evidence, and he is fair and unbiased. He will grant a defense lawyer's motion if he feels that it is merited. Like most judges, however, he tends to accept a police officer's testimony at face value, and he tends not to make dramatic rulings that go against the prosecution. At trial, Judge Gerou typically does not interfere with the trial process, keeping comments from the bench to a minimum and showing no bias or prejudice. Judge Gerou is also consistent. Even on a "bad day" it appears that he does not waiver from his unbiased approach to handling cases. On sentencing matters, Judge Gerou is pretty predicable. Most offenders are given every chance to avoid jail, so long as follow the court's orders.

Judge Gerou has qualified William Maze as expert witness in field sobriety testing, and he permitted Mr. Maze to testify before a jury after being qualified.

Hon. James A. Plakas

Judge James A. Plakas of the 35th District Court on DUI / OWI / Drunk Driving Cases

Judge James A. Plakas was elected as judge in 2008. The three or four years that he has served on the bench seem to have swept by in a mere fraction of a moment. Prior to being elected, he was a Westland City prosecutor. He was also a part-time criminal defense lawyer and handled civil cases while in private practice. He is the sort of judge who holds a lot of promise, but he has tended to be too pro-prosecution in his first few years as a judge. He is a genuinely really nice guy on a personal level, so this is disappointing given his diverse background prior to taking the bench. A person appearing before him can rest assured that he will not treat them poorly, and on sentencing matters he is almost certainly going to give the defendant a break. At trial, given his own experience, he is an excellent judge. He does not express an opinion one way or the other. But on legal issues and evidentiary issues, he needs to become more willing to rule against the police and the prosecution when they are wrong.

35th District Court Map

Map of 35th District Court and how to find the court where your DUI charge will be heard

The court is located at 660 Plymouth Rd., Plymouth, MI 48170. It is at an odd location away from the freeway, where Haggerty Road splits and jogs momentarily at Plymouth Road. The easiest way to access the court is to take the Ann Arbor Road exit off of I-275, traveling west on Ann Arbor Road and then north on Haggerty across Ann Arbor Trail and Hines Drive. This route avoids any possible trains from the north. Alternatively, from the north, you can get off I-275 at Six Mile Road, which is where our Livonia office is located, going south on Haggerty to Plymouth Road. From the east, along I-96, get off at Newburgh Road, travel south on Newburgh to Plymouth Road and make a right and drive west until you reach the second leg of Haggerty Road. The court's telephone number is (734) 459-4740.

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

If you are currently charged with drunk driving in Plymouth, Michigan, and seeking a qualified Plymouth DUI lawyer to represent you in the 35th 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 Plymouth 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 Plymouth 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 35th District Court or what you might expect in your case, call our office and schedule an appointment with Mr. Maze.