DUI Courts and Legal System


DUI Courts and Legal System Lawyers Representing Clients Accused of DUI the State

As trusted Michigan DUI defense attorneys, the team at Grabel & Associates understand that for those accused of DUI, drunk driving, OWI, and related offenses, the courts and legal system can seem quite complex and confusing. While Michigan's court system is considered "One Court of Justice," this concept is easily misunderstood. There are various courts that handle various types of cases whether civil or criminal, some at the county or district level, others at the state level.

Below is a description of each of the courts in our legal system:

Probate Court. Orders for treatment of developmentally disabled individuals, estates and trusts, wills, and other probate matters are handled by the Probate Court.

Small Claims Court. This court is a division of the District Court, hearing civil cases involving $3,000 or less. Both attorney magistrates and judges hear these civil cases.

Court of Claims. Part of the 30th Circuit Court (Ingram County), the Court of Claims hears claims filed against the state of Michigan; generally speaking, a suit cannot be brought against the state without its consent.

District/Municipal Court. All criminal cases for adults (individuals 17 and older) originate in district court, which hears both civil and criminal cases. Individuals are informed of the charges against them, given their rights, and informed of the potential consequences. The district court will conduct the trial when an individual faces a misdemeanor charge punishable by less than one year in jail. Otherwise, the case moves on to the Circuit Court.

Circuit Court. Due to its very broad powers, the Circuit Court is also known as Michigan's trial court of general jurisdiction. Some of the cases under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court include all criminal cases in which the offense is considered a serious misdemeanor or felony; civil cases involving more than $25,000 are also heard by the Circuit Court. This court also hears cases, which are appealed from lower courts.

Michigan Court of Appeals. An "intermediate" court between the trial (circuit) court and Michigan's Supreme Court, the appeals court began in 1965, and is where individuals go when dissatisfied with the decision handed down by the Circuit Court. An individual who loses his/her case in Circuit Court generally has the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals. Three judges listen to the argument for the appeal. When all three are not in agreement as to the outcome, the majority (two of three judges) make the final decision.

Michigan Supreme Court. The highest court in the state of Michigan, the Supreme Court hears an appeal when an individual who has filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals and is not satisfied with that court's decision. Not all requests are granted; in fact, while more than 2,000 applications for leave to appeal are filed each year, less than 100 are granted leave. There are seven Justices including a Chief Justice who make a decision on those cases that are granted leave. The "opinion" of the Justices is based on documents and oral arguments presented by attorneys.

Contact A. Scott Grabel Today

We understand that the various courts and legal system in Michigan can be difficult for most people to navigate and that for individuals who have never been charged with a criminal offense, knowing which direction to go is all but impossible. Contact us online.

Our Michigan criminal defense attorneys are experts in the courts and legal system, having over 100 years of combined experience in defending clients accused of all types of crimes, including DUI and drunk driving offenses. We are dedicated to providing you with a level of legal guidance and representation that is unsurpassed in the industry. Call our toll-free number today for a free evaluation of your case at 1-800-783-4448.