35TH DISTRICT COURT

PLYMOUTH, CANTON, AND NORTHVILLE

The 35th District Court has jurisdiction over criminal matters occurring within the Township of Canton, Plymouth Township, Plymouth City, Northville Township and Northville City. 

The 35th District Court is located at 660 Plymouth Rd, Plymouth, MI 48170. (734) 459-4740

The 35TH DISTRICT COURT

The 35th District Court has jurisdiction over Canton, Plymouth City, Plymouth Township, Northville City, and Northville Township. Within the jurisdictions mentioned above, the court handles all criminal misdemeanors from beginning to end and felonies up to their preliminary examination stage.

Aaron J. Boria is your premier criminal defense Lawyer, located right in downtown Plymouth about a mile from the courthouse. Over the past few years, Aaron J. Boria has defended hundreds of clients accused of crimes, the majority of them right here at the 35th District Court.

Aaron J. Boria’s ability as the best criminal lawyer in Plymouth has been tested and proven.  Criminal lawyer Aaron J. Boria has won multiple jury trials at the 35th District Court. Boria has won at least one trial in front of every judge at the 35th District Court, something few lawyers can claim.

On top of that, Aaron J. Boria has been hired by police officers, court staff, nurses, doctors, and other lawyers, so when you are facing a crime hire the attorney that the professionals hire – Aaron J. Boria. 

Boria has also been successful in getting felonies reduced to misdemeanors in the 35th District Court at the preliminary examination stage saving his clients from being bound over to the Wayne County Circuit Court and being permanently marked as a felon.

Call Aaron J. Boria (734) 453-7806

35TH District Court Judges

    Judges of the 35th District Court

    Judge Michael Gerou, a graduate of Eastern Michigan and the Detroit School of Law, was elected to be judge of the 35th District Court in 2002. He runs the Sobriety Court and also supervises the court interns.
    Judge Ronald Lowe, a graduate of Hillsdale College and the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, was elected to the bench in 1994. Lowe is a former City attorney for Plymouth City.
    Judge James Plakas, a graduate of Central Michigan and the Detroit School of Law, was elected to the bench in 2008. Judge Plakas is a former prosecutor and also practiced some criminal defense.

Procedure at the 35th District Court

    Procedure at the 35th District Court
    The procedure for a misdemeanor criminal charge at the 35th District Court is as follows:

    Arraignment at the 35th District Court 

    This is the first time you will appear in the court and come in front of a judge or a magistrate. At arraignment you will formally be told what criminal offense you are being accused of and what the maximum possible penalty is that you are facing. The judge is not asking if you agree with it or not, just simply if you understand it or not.
    The judge will also address bond at this stage. Bond is a promise to return to court and may require you to pay money to the court along with other conditions such as random alcohol or drug testing.

    Pre Trial at the 35th District Court 

    After your arraignment you will get a date to come back to the court. The next stage is the pre trial. At the pre trial your lawyer will speak with the prosecuting attorney, that is the attorney who is trying to convict you of a crime and see what can be worked out. If the parties cannot agree on anything then the case may be set for a motion, evidentry hearing, or trial.

    Motions and Evidentiary Hearings

    These hearings do not occur in every criminal case. They challenge legal issues like probable cause and reasonable suspicion but do not challenge facts. Facts, for the most part, can only be challenged at a trial.
    Most motions are the 35th District Court are set as evidentiary hearings in criminal matters. This means that the arresting officer, or witnesses for the prosecution will have to appear and testify. You can think of it as a mini trial. 

    Trial at the 35th District Court 

    There are two types of trials, a bench trial where the judge will decide the facts of the case as well as the law, or a jury trial where the jurors will decide the facts and the judge will decide the law. If you are found guilty you will proceed to sentencing, if you are found not guilty then you are free to go. Most criminal charges are resolved without trial.

    Sentencing at the 35th District Court 

    If you lose at trial, or if your lawyer works out a plea for you where you get some kind of deal then your next hearing will be the sentencing. Sentencing can be as simple as paying a small fine, or it can be the other end of the spectrum where you have to serve jail time.
    In some cases you may be able to have your sentencing hearing the same day as your pre trial if your attorney has worked out a plea for you. This is very convenient for people who cannot miss additional time off work or live away from the court's jurisdiction. 

35th District Court Prosecutors

    The prosecutor is the attorney that represents the city or state government and is against you. At the 35th District Court, each township or city has their own prosecutor. One year misdemeanor's and felonies are handled by the State of Michigan's Prosecutor's Office.
    Prosecutors work closely with police departments and their goal is to enforce the law. You should never talk with the prosecutor without your lawyer present. Any admission you make will be used against you.

    Prosecutor for Northville Township, Plymouth Township and Canton Township

    Hemming Polaczyk Cronin Wiffhoff Bennett & Demopoulos PC 217 Ann Arbor Rd W Ste 302 Plymouth, MI 48170

    Prosecutor for the City of Plymouth

    Cameron A. Miller 134 N Main Street Plymouth, MI 48170

    Prosecutor for the City of Northville

    Plunkett Cooney 38505 Woodward Ave Ste 2000 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

    Prosecutor for the State of Michigan

    Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym L. Worthy 1441 Saint Antoine Street Frank Murphy Hall of Justice Detroit, mI 48226

35th District Sobriety Court Program

    Annually, there are over 1,200 drinking and driving arrests in Canton, Northville and Plymouth alone. The 35th District Court in Plymouth offers a Sobriety Court program for individuals convicted of one ore more drinking and driving offenses.

    Sobriety Court at the 35th District Court

    The program works like probation but it involves intensive supervision by the Sobriety Court Probation Officer, Jim Hand, and the Sobriety Court Judge, Michael Gerou. People enter the program voluntarily but they cannot leave the program voluntarily.
    The benefit to someone entering the Sobriety Court program is that they avoid jail, are put on track to reinstate their drivers license, and they get intense treatment for alcohol abuse that has been proven to reduce the changes of recidivism.

    Sobriety Court Eligibility

To be eligible to enter the program, your conviction must be for drinking alcohol and driving. Common offenses would include the High BAC offense also known as Super Drunk, Operating While Intoxicated, or Operating While Visibly Impaired. Driving on drug offenses like operating while under the influence of a controlled substance or driving with the presence of a controlled substance are excluded from the program. The person entering the program cannot have been convicted of any violent offenses.
Many sobriety courts throughout the state require that you live within the court’s jurisdiction. This is not the case for the 35th District Court’s Sobriety Court program. There is no requirement that you live within the jurisdiction; however, most people in the program do not have a valid driver license, at least not for the first 45 days or more, so complying with all of the requirements and living a great distance away can be very difficult.
The 35th District Court Sobriety Court does require that a person surrender their medical marijuana card.

35th District Court Sobriety Program

The Sobriety Court program is broken down into four parts called paths. As you complete the paths, move forward, and satisfy requirements your obligations decrease.
Path One: Nine-week minimum to complete
  • Meet with the Probation Officer weekly
  • Attend Sobriety Court Review Hearings monthly
  • Attend substance abuse counseling
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Attend 12 step meetings and obtain a sponsor
Path Two: Nine-week minimum to complete
  • Meet with Probation Officer twice a month
  • Attend Sobriety Court Review Hearings monthly
  • Attend substance abuse counseling
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Attend 12 step meetings and contact sponsor at least one time per week
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours community service
Path Three: Nine-week minimum to complete
  • Meet with Probation Officer monthly
  • Attend Sobriety Court Review Hearings bi-monthly
  • Attend substance abuse counseling
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Attend 12 step meetings and contact sponsor at least one time per week
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours community service
Path Four:
  • Meet with Probation Officer monthly
  • Attend substance abuse counseling
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Attend 12 step meetings and contact sponsor at least one time per week
  • Complete any remaining hours of community service

    Penalties for Violating Sobriety Court Probation

    Second offense drunk driving usually results in at least 5 days in jail. As mentioned above, one of the major benefits of the Sobriety Court program is that you avoid any up front jail time.
    As Sobriety Court Judge Gerou likes to say, “you hold the keys to the jail.” Meaning, if you violate the terms of Sobriety Court you send your self to jail. A first violation will usually result in 3 days of jail time, a second violation will result in 6 to 9 days, and a third violation will usually result in 60-90 days jail time and removal from the program. These numbers are not written in stone and can vary based on the violation.

    Sobriety Court Drivers License

    A conviction for a second drinking and driving offense within seven years of a first offense conviction results in the loss of your driver’s license for at least a year. Three drinking and driving convictions within ten years results in the loss of your drivers license for at least five years.
    Absent sobriety court, a person can petition for driver’s license reinstatement through the Secretary of State Driver Assessment and Appeal Division after their period of revocation has run. The process for regaining driving privileges is time consuming and can be difficult. Most people will take longer than the minimum 1-year and 5-year revocation period because petitioners are required to prove a minimum of twelve months sobriety and can be denied if that period of sobriety was while on probation. In actuality, it can take someone 2-3 years on the short end and 6 years on the long end before they are eligible and likely to obtain restricted driving privileges through the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. For these reasons, the sobriety court is must more appealing way to regain driving privileges.

    Sobriety Court License Requirements

    A Sobriety Court license can be issued as soon as 45 days of the conviction being entered and participation in the Sobriety Court.
    The applicant must be in complete compliance with testing and treatment.
    Path one must be completed
    Fines and costs paid in full
    A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) must be installed on the vehicle

Notable Results at 35th District Court

    Drunk Driving - Not Guilty Verdict
    Our client, an executive for a major airline, was charged with drinking and driving after he and his wife were stopped by Canton Police on the way home from a wedding for running a red light and was ultimately arrested. The prosecution lacked evidence that our client was truly drunk and should not have been driving. Testimony from the officer revealed that the officer may have been wrong about his initial reason for sopping the vehicle. The standard the officer held our client to when preforming field sobriety tests was overly stringent. The jury came back and found out client not guilty. 
    Assault and Batter - Not Guilty Verdict
    An angry home owner accused our client, a delivery driver, of assault and battery. Facts came out at trial that our client was late for the home owner's salt delivery. When our client arrived the home owner was ornery and started insulting our client. Disputed facts came out that the homeowner may or may not have started a physical altercation. Our client denied ever assaulting the home owner but the Plymouth Township police arrested him anyway. After a day's trial our client was found not guilty by a jury. 
    Larceny - Not Guilty Verdict 
    Our client quit his job at a local bistro restaurant. When our client demanded his final payment he was accused of stealing from the cash register and was charged with larceny. At trial, evidence showed that the bistro had poor record keeping and that the money may not have been missing, a customer could have had access to it, and another employee could have been the culprit. The jury found our client not guilty. 
    Possession of Marijuana - Dismissed
    Canton police stopped our client for a traffic violation near I-275 and Michigan Avenue, an area well known for drug trafficking. The officer began to drill our client about potential drugs in the vehicle. After our client refused consent to search the Canton officer delayed the stop in order to get a drug dog in order to search the car. Marijuana was discovered and our client was arrested. Based on a 4th Amendment Violation, Boria filed a motion to suppress and dismiss. The Judge agreed that the police violated our client's rights by illegally extending the length of the stop and suppressed the drugs. 
    Felony Drunk Driving - Reduced to Misdemeanor (multiple cases) 
    Our client, barley a man, was charged with his 3rd offense drunk driving. In an effort to save him from being a felon for life attorney Aaron J. Boria fought and ultimately the prosecutor agreed to reduce the matter to a misdemeanor offense. Our client did not serve a single day in jail and after a few short months on probation is back on track to get his drivers license. 
    In a similar situation our client was charged with felony drunk driving in Plymouth and again we were able to get his reduced to a misdemeanor, without any jail time, and his case was able to stay in the district court.
    Child Endangerment Abuse Neglect - Dismissed 
    Every year someone is out shopping with their children. The kids are getting tired and don't want to come into the store or its such a hassle to get the kids in and out of the car. In this case, our client ran into Sam's Club and left the kids in the car on a hot day. She was in and out of the store in less than 20 minutes but when she got out a Canton Police officer was there to charge her with a crime for Child Endangerment Abuse Neglect. In court, we were able to get the case dismissed after taking a parenting class and a short term of probation. 
    Contributing to the Delinquency of a minor - Dismissed