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What to Expect in the 52-1 District Court Novi Michigan

May 24th, 2019 Criminal Penalties DUI Penalties OWI What to Expect in the 52-1 District Court Novi Michigan

52-1 District Court in Novi Michigan has jurisdiction over many kinds of criminal cases, including drunk driving. The three judges at the Novi Court preside over a very large geographical area with a corresponding large population of approximately 175,000 people. If you were arrested for a serious felony or a misdemeanor such as domestic violence or drug possession, or if you were just given a ticket for something like drunk driving, in any of the following communities, then your case will be handled in the Novi District Court:

  • Commerce Township
  • Highland Township
  • Lyon Township
  • Milford Township
  • ​Novi
  • Novi Township
  • South Lyon
  • Village of Milford
  • ​Village of Wolverine Lake
  • Walled Lake
  • Wixom

First Appearance in Court

Generally, your first appearance in the court will be an arraignment most likely along with a pretrial. The purpose of an arraignment is for you to learn of the charges against you and for the court to schedule your bond. Because of this, it’s important to hire a legal advocate before your first court date. Relative to the bond, in many instances you will be given a “personal” bond, which means you don’t have to post any money. Instead, you are giving your word that you will appear as required for all future court appearances. You will also be ordered to comply with several bond conditions such as alcohol testing and you will not be allowed to leave the state without permission of the court.

Process of a Pretrial

The purpose of the pretrial is for the court to determine if any assistance is needed in obtaining discovery on your case including things like the police reports, breath or blood testing logs and video recordings. The court will also be interested to learn whether or not there are any issues of evidence that the court needs to address or assist with before the case can be set for trial. Finally, there will be a discussion as to whether or not your case can be resolved through plea or sentencing negotiations. You will appear with your legal advocate for all scheduled pretrials.

In most instances, there are between two and four pretrials before the case is either set for trial or before you decide to enter a plea of guilty. Cases can be resolved at the first pretrial, but this is usually not the best idea since it is unlikely that your attorney will have obtained and reviewed all discovery, pursued all possible defenses and engaged in plea negotiations by the first pretrial.

Novi District Court Judges

There are three judges in 52-1 District Court Novi Michigan, and your case will be randomly assigned to one of these three judges. There is no way to “judge shop” or to have influence over which judge handles your case. The three judges are the Honorable Robert Bondy, Honorable Travis Reeds, and the Honorable David Law.

Judge Bondy

Judge Bondy was first elected to the Novi bench in 2002. Prior to that, he had been in private practice. As a law student, he was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Gene Schnelz. Later, Judge Bondy joined Judge Schnelz’s son Kurt Schnelz in the law firm of Schnelz & Bondy. Judge Bondy was a distinguished law student and continues to be an astute interpreter of the law. While presiding in Novi, Judge Bondy has been keenly involved in Novi’s sobriety court, and also helped to create the court’s community service program which includes the utilization of a community service garden which grows and provides food for various shelters and food pantries.

Judge Travis Reeds

Judge Travis Reeds was elected to the Novi bench in 2014. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law at the law firm of Reeds & Reeds. During this time Judge Reeds handled many kinds of cases, including criminal law, with a focus on drunk driving. Judge Reed’s father was widely considered one of the top attorneys in the state, and before taking the bench Judge Reeds was following in his footsteps. For example, he is the co-editor and co-author of Michigan Criminal Procedure and Michigan Drunk Driving Law and Practice.

Judge David Law

Judge David Law was appointed to the bench in 2015. Before joining Judges Bondy and Reeds as a District Court judge, he worked in several different positions, including work in a private practice law firm, a term as an Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor and an Assistant Attorney General for the Michigan Department of the Attorney General. Judge Law was also a State Representative for two terms.

Experience of the Barone Defense Firm

The Barone Defense Firm has been representing clients in the 52-1 District Court Novi Michigan for several decades. During this time we have handled numerous cases and for people charged with many different crimes including close to 100 drunk driving cases. We have had many drunk driving trials and have been able to accomplish terrific results for our clients.

We enjoy excellent professional relationships with all of the prosecutors and judges in this court, and we look forward to helping others accused of criminal activity there in the future.  Please contact the Barone Defense Firm to learn how we can help you through the difficult experience of being charged with a crime like drunk driving in the Novi District Court.