Sterling Heights and the 41-A District Court

The 41A District Court: Sterling Heights Division

Sterling Heights has a population of approximately 127,000 making it the second largest in Macomb County and the fourth largest in the State of Michigan; running only behind the City of Warren; its neighbor along the 14 Mile Road border. It covers a land area in Macomb County of 36 square miles. In addition to its residents, Sterling Heights is home to some 3,500 industrial and commercial business including the Chrysler Assembly Plant. The M-59 corridor is a retail and restaurant mecca, home of Lakeside Mall. In 2014, Sterling Heights was named one of 50 best places to live in America by 24/7 Wall Street.

The 41A District Court & How it Operates

There are actually 2 divisions of the 41A District Court; the Sterling Heights Division which has jurisdiction over traffic, criminal and DUI/OWI cases that occur within the boundaries of the City of Sterling Heights and the Shelby Township Division which has jurisdiction over matters that arise in Shelby Township, Macomb Township and the City of Utica. The Sterling Heights Division is located at 40111 Dodge Park Sterling Heights, Michigan 48313. (Phone: 586-446-2900). (Link to the 41A - Shelby Township Division).

How the Court Operates: The district courts in Michigan have complete jurisdiction over misdemeanors (such as domestic violence, disorderly conduct) and traffic matters. For felony cases that arise in the 41A District and elsewhere in Michigan, the district courts have limited jurisdiction to handle felony proceedings from the initial arraignment through preliminary examination. The magistrate handles most of the arraignments for misdemeanors or felonies at the 41A District Court. Keep in mind that a criminal defense attorney’s presence can have a positive impact on the outcome of an arraignment and the amount of bond that is required. After the Arraignment, felonies are scheduled for a Probable Cause Conference with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office and misdemeanors are scheduled for a Pretrial Conference. ABDO LAW attorneys handle criminal matters at the 41A District just about every week of the year.

Sterling Heights: Busiest Roads in Macomb Create Accidents, Traffic Tickets and Drunk Driving

Traffic Tickets: There are several major roads in Sterling Heights that are amongst the heaviest traveled roads in the State of Michigan; Van Dyke (M-53) Hall Road (M-59), Mound Road and Metro Parkway (16 Mile Road). The Sterling Heights Police have their hands full dealing with the nervous commuter and congestive retail traffic on these roads where rear end accidents are common and traffic tickets liberally issued for speeding, failing to yield, improper lane use and criminal traffic violations (DWLS, Reckless Driving). ABDO LAW has recently launched a publication explaining why it is a good investment to fight every traffic ticket. First of all, court personnel, the police and the judges are not a good source for legal advice. In fact, court personnel are forbidden by law to give any advice and the police have a clear conflict of interest. Judges strive to remain impartial and are just reluctant to give advice under any circumstances. Secondly, traffic tickets can be contested where the points are erased or substantially reduced which to keep insurance premiums under control.

Criminal Cases in the 41A District Court

Retail Fraud: Occurrences of retail fraud (shoplifting) in Macomb County are greater in areas like Sterling Heights which have major areas designated for malls, large shopping centers and big retail stores (Target, Meijer, Walmart, Kohl’s). In fact, retail fraud is consistently one of the top crimes on the dockets in the 41 District Courts (Sterling Heights and Shelby). Sterling Heights reported 425 retail fraud offenses in 2017 and approximately another 900 larceny (non-retail fraud) misdemeanors and felonies. Getting charged with retail fraud in some courts can end badly. The 41A District Court in Sterling Heights is not one of them. ABDO LAW has a long record of persuading the Sterling Heights Judges to give our clients the opportunity to get a retail fraud offense dismissed after a period of probation. (Link to Retail Fraud in the 41A District Court)

Drunk Driving: There were 2,188 drivers tested for drugs and alcohol in Macomb County in 2017 for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI, OWI, OUID, High BAC .17% or more), with 135 of those occurring in Sterling Heights. Commonly, a first time DUI can be reduced without loss of license and without jail in the 41A District Court. Repeat offenders do not necessarily get jail but face driver’s license revocation if they obtain 2 DUI convictions within 7 years or 3 convictions within 10 years.

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