If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, including drunk driving, within the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Orchard Lake and the Townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, then your case will be handled in the 48th Judicial District Court, located in Bloomfield Hills Michigan.
Your case will begin with an arraignment. This is the first court hearing where you will learn the exact nature of your charges and when the conditions of your bond are set. You should plan on hiring an attorney before your arraignment so that you can get the best possible bond.
After you are arraignment your case will be set for a pretrial. It is possible for your case to be resolved at the first pretrial, but in most instances, several pretrials are necessary before your case reaches a conclusion. A pretrial hearing is where your lawyer, the prosecuting attorney, and the judge, determine whether your case can be resolved without a trial. This is also when pretrial issues, such as legal defenses and evidentiary issues, would be resolved. The reason a pretrial is called a “pre”-trial is because these things need to be addressed by the various parties before the case can continue to trial. A pretrial is also where plea bargaining and sentence bargaining, if applicable, would be addressed.
48th District Court Judges
There are three judges at the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills. These include Judge Small, Judge D’Agostini and Judge Barron. Your case will be assigned to one of these three judges by lottery. Both Judge D’Agostini and Judge Barron previously served as assistant prosecutors in Oakland County. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Small was formerly a Judicial Law Clerk to a Federal Court Judge.
Many people believe Judge Small and to a lesser extent Judge D’Agostini, always put everyone in jail even a first offense drunk driving. While it is true that jail time on the first offense drunk driving is far more possible or even likely in the 48th District Court it is simply not true that all drunk drivers go to jail. At the Barone Defense Firm, we have helped many of our clients avoid jail time in the 48th District Court, including many cases assigned to Judge Small. Having said that, Judge Small does believe that jail time is appropriate in most drunk driving cases. This includes most first offense drunk driving cases.
Role of the Prosecution
Depending on a variety of factors, your case will either be prosecuted by the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, or what is referred to as the “local prosecutor,” meaning the prosecutor assigned by the law firm representing the relevant municipality. Overall, the prosecutors in the 48th District Court are very fair and reasonable, and at least from a defense’s perspective, very pleasant to deal with.
Barone Defense Firm
The Barone Defense Firm typically handles dozens of criminal cases, including drunk driving cases, in the 48th District Court each year, and we’ve been doing so for almost three decades. We have an excellent track record for success in this court, including acquittal after trial, non-alcohol reductions in drunk driving cases, and no jail time, even in those cases pending before Judge Small.
Mr. Barone has decades of experience in the 48th District Court. Having grown up in the Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham areas he feels right at home when helping clients in this court. In fact, Mr. Barone attended Bloomfield Hills public schools then graduated from Birmingham Groves High School. He has excellent professional relationship with all the prosecutors working at the 48th District Court and looks forward to helping clients there in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about what to expect in the 48th District Court, or about how the Barone Defense Firm can help you, contact us today for your free no obligation case review.