Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Anna M. Frushour to the 14A District Court of Washtenaw County on Dec. 17, 2019. Frushour’s appointment fills the 14A-3 open seat located at the court’s Chelsea location.
According to the release, “Anna Frushour is a partner with Reiser & Frushour, PLLC and a private practice attorney with Frushour Law, PLLC. She primarily serves as a criminal defense attorney and has served as assigned defense counsel for the Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Treatment Court, Sobriety Court, and Street Outreach Courts in Washtenaw County. Prior to her current practice, she served as a contract attorney with the Vincent Law Firm in Ypsilanti.”
“Ms. Frushour is a member of the Attorney Discipline Board appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court. She is a former board member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association and a past president of the Washtenaw County Women Lawyers Association. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Ms. Frushour lives in Pittsfield Township with her husband and their two children.”
“A district court is the community court. It should reflect the values of our community,” Frushour said in the statement. “My goal will be for every person to walk out from their court experience feeling like they were heard, respected, and treated with dignity.”
The seat opened up when Judge Richard Conlin Jr. announced his resignation last September which became effective Oct. 1, 2019. Conlin would not be seeking re-election in 2020 because of the 70-year age limit for Michigan judges. Judge Conlin, who has held the seat since 1995, told MLive that he decided to retire a year early because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Frushour’s partial term will commence January 13, 2020 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021. If Frushour wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for reelection in November 2020.
Courtsey of MLive
When a potential client reaches out to me about a second offense DUI, it's important to view the case from all sides of the aisle. As a former prosecutor, I understand that our prosecutor for our case will NOT give us the benefit of the doubt. Not only will they "judge you" on your prior, but they will assume the worst between incidents. What does this mean?
Let's say you had a prior DUI case in 2015, it's now 2019; prosecutor will assume you were drinking a driving for the last 4-5 years, but were simply not caught. It doesn't matter if it's true or not, it's a perception we need to overcome. Don't expect any sympathy from a prosecutor with a prior drunk driving offense. More on how to change that a in a bit.
Next, we need to factor in the judge. Based on more than a decade of experience working with judges on DUI cases, they think the same, but may not always expressively state that, but they still believe it. As an elected judge their role is to "protect and secure the community, which elected them" - what does this mean?
It means that if someone is a repeat drunk driver, as the judge of the community, they need to decide how to stop this person from repeating this dangerous behavior. There is also a track of record of having a past case and whatever was implemented from the previous judge, simply did not work to stop a repeat offense. First instinct is to do more, more severe, send a strong message; that makes a lot of sense and is the natural reaction for a judge. This could mean up to two years of intensive probation, daily alcohol testing, jail etc.
So how the heck do we overcome the prosecutor and the judge? How do we avoid simply sitting back and hoping for the best? What if you had the power to overcome these perceptions and create your own course? Well it's very possible, but it does take work. It means being proactive, and putting a series of steps into place right away. This can be the best or worst day of your life, and the prosecutor and judge are ready to make it your worst, so you don't do it again.
We have an opportunity to flip those tables and make it your best day, to begin to reflect, learn and change without anyone directing us to do this. This is what I do as a DUI lawyer in Michigan. We are proactive from day one and work every single waking hour on changing the perception of the case. Reach out about your unique situation, and we can discuss your options.
I work with a lot of clients who either live out of state when arrested for a DUI, or while on probation for drunk driving, suddenly have a need to leave the State of Michigan. Common reasons being job opportunities, change in family dynamics, caring for a family member, going to college or graduate school, and a number of other reasons.
By law, a court must grant someone on probation permission to leave the State of Michigan, which of course means if you want to move, you need the permission of the court. Many people are discouraged and think they are stuck here in Michigan, because they have a probation officer and requirements to be fulfilled. The good news is that with new technology, comes additional flexibility.
It's a very reasonable request to make of a judge if you have a valid reason to leave the State of Michigan. A judge may agree to end your probation, allow you to report via mail, or make your probation a non-reporting probation. There are many options on the table if you need to leave the State of Michigan for a drunk driving probation, and I help clients achieve this goal on a regular basis.
Livingston County Drunk Driving Judge Daniel Bain - Howell, Brighton, Green Oak, Fowlerville, Pinckney
Governor Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Daniel B. Bain to the 53rd District Court in Livingston County.
“Daniel is a proven professional who will treat the court, and everyone who comes before it, with the highest level of integrity and fairness,” Whitmer said. “I have full confidence that the residents of Livingston County will get the type of public service that they expect and deserve.”
Daniel B. Bain, of Howell, is a partner and general practice attorney with his law firm Bain & Bain, P.C., where he represents clients in civil and criminal cases, including contract disputes, landlord and tenant matters, zoning disputes, divorce and family law, and misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. Mr. Bain has been with his family’s firm for over 25 years, practicing with his brother, John, and late father, Jack. Prior to earning his law degree, he worked for the firm as a law clerk.
“My goal is to treat all litigants with courtesy, dignity, and respect,” Bain said. “Stepping into a courtroom for the first time can be an intimidating experience, and I want everyone to know that they are getting a fair shot when they are in court with me.”
Mr. Bain graduated from Hartland High School in 1985 and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Bain has served on the 52-1 District Court Sobriety Court Advisory Board and as a member of the Michigan United Conservation Club.
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after former Judge Theresa Brennan was removed from office by the Michigan Supreme Court. If Mr. Bain wishes to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November 2020.
This appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
The answer to this question is overwhelming yes, but there are exceptions. The default sentence for drunk driving in Michigan is some combination of jail and probation. This is actually a sound approach by a judge, because it's the judge's job as an elected official to protect the community, which means supervising someone who recently endangered the community by drunk driving, but what are these exceptions?
What if right after being arrested for drunk driving, you started a comprehensive proactive approach on your own terms? You started alcohol testing, subjected yourself to a fair and balanced alcohol assessment, engaged in counseling, attended AA meetings, gave back positive time back to your community and a series of other positive steps.
A judge, prosecutor and probation will be extremely impressed with your proactive mindset and your willingness to turn a negative into a positive learning experience. By supervising yourself, holding yourself accountable, and putting real tangible efforts into place, you have a much better chance of limiting or avoiding probation. Should this be the expectation? No, but when arrested for a DUI, your first thought should be, what can I do to improve my case, and the perception of myself with the judge, prosecutor and the community?
I help clients on a regular basis, limit, shorten, and sometimes avoid probation altogether. If you're in a court with a reputation for upfront jail, or you're on a 2nd or 3rd offense, jail is a strong possibility, and this approach becomes even more important.
A client charged with an OWI second offense in Michigan faces mandatory jail time and loss of license for at least one calendar year, more if there are additional prior offenses. Assuming you have one prior DUI in the past seven years, you need to strongly consider these two issues.
More importantly, what the heck is going on in your life that you picked up a second drunk driving? It doesn't make you a bad person, bad parent, employee, member of the community, or anything that can't be turned around, but it's really time to embrace help from outside sources.
A sobriety court in Michigan could help you avoid that mandatory jail, and potentially give you the ability to drive a car in the near future vs waiting a full year. The problem is your court MAY NOT have a sobriety court that is funded and approved by the State of Michigan. And if it does and you do not live within the jurisdiction, the sobriety court could say you're not eligible.
So here we are, we want to keep our license, avoid jail and get help, but all doors appear closed on us? Well not necessarily; I have successfully worked out sobriety court transfers in and out of many courts in Michigan. It's not always easy to ask a court to sign away power over your case after breaking the law in their city, township or village - even within the county. It's even trickier to get another court and probation staff to take one "someone else's problem" in a county or city which you didn't even break the law.
So how do we do this? We get to work, and demonstrate hard work, motivation and we're worth the extra screening, time, paperwork and effort by all parties. All of my clients begin a proactive program on day one, and this is the key part of working out this type of challenging transfer. It's not easy to get people to agree without previewing your performance and motivations.
If you or someone else has researched sobriety courts in Michigan, yet don't think you're eligible because of the court you're charged, let's talk about some options to get you where you need to be.
When contacted by a potential client charged with drunk driving in Michigan, one of the first questions I ask is how they came in contact with the police?
Most answer they were speeding, failed to use turn signal, going outside traffic lanes, not using headlights etc. Some are unfortunately involved in a single car or multiple car accident. Occasionally the client tells me they left the scene and were later found by the police, either still driving or already parked at home and they get a knock on the door.
Most would agree that committing a crime then "running away" does not make the situation better, in fact it does make it worse. I've sat across prosecutors on many occasions where they pile on and say "they drove away" and don't want to cut any deals or give any consideration for the case. I don't blame the way they view the case, because it is what I did when I was a prosecutor in New York City and in Michigan.
What I do as a Michigan DUI defense lawyer is focus them back on my client's proactive progress as how the client actually reacted to their poor choice as the "next step" - the driving away was not the next step, because they were still drunk and under the influence, and not being themselves. It's the same bad choice compounded.
Along with highlighting the steps the client has taken since the incident, it is important to remind the prosecutor that the incident/date in question was NOT a proud moment for the client, and they are no excuses for what happened.
Drunk driving was bad enough, leaving the scene while an additional poor decision is just part of same poor choice; a "bad night". If they were dumb and drunk enough to do this then it's not a surprise that they panicked and drove away. It's within the same lapse in judgment and we need to segment those choices together. Isolate them and close the door - the bad part is done with, no need to pile on.
If the prosecutor is going to view the drunk driving and leaving the scene as a series of bad decisions (1 and 2) and not the same one, it makes things more difficult. That is why the proactive steps need to be advocated as the "next step" or step #2 vs the leaving the scene being the next step. It doesn't seem like a big difference, but I've personally experienced this conversation on both ends, as a prosecutor and defense lawyer.
I just can't believe other DUI lawyers in Michigan don't prepare their clients for court, and to give them a fighting chance to show that "next step". To simply walk in and ask a prosecutor for consideration based on speculation "my client has learned from this, won't do it again", let alone try to sell that to a judge, it just boggles my mind.
The law in Michigan requires a driver to submit to a chemical test if under suspicion of a drunk driving offense. Failure to comply could lead to a suspension of your license. The driver is entitled to appeal this suspension by requesting a hearing within 14 days, but most of those appeals are denied and the suspension is upheld. For more information this process, click link below
Let's say the suspension is upheld, now what? There will be a period of time where you have no license, but if this is your first implied consent, there is a good chance that a circuit court judge will listen to your "hardship". This means if you work, go to school, have obligations to probation such as treatment, AA, community service, that a circuit court judge can sign an order to override the one year suspension by the Michigan Secretary of State.
Seems easy enough, but how do you do this? Most judges require a lot of documentation, precise routes to and from locations, letters of proof of employment from employer, documentation of enrollment in classes. A judge could even require an interlock in your vehicle.
I've found the best approach to this type of situation is double and triple documentation, and to paint a picture of progress since the arrest. A judge may wish to make this decision based on the facts of the case - was there a crash? what was your BAC number?
While those facts are relevant, should they be the deciding factor? Maybe.
I would rather focus on the progress my client had made since the arrest with treatment, education, compliance in testing, and growth in your family and professional life. We seek the license to continue our progress, which makes it easier for a judge to say yes.
I spend every single day of my life hearing from potential clients who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. I rarely talk to a person who I would consider a "bad person" - 99.9 percent of the people who contact me are good people, with jobs, families and big goals in life.
Some clients reach out and tell me they made a "mistake" - I quickly address that mindset, and help the client discover that they made a "choice" rather than a mistake. I also tell them that it's OK if they did something they regret, and with the right approach, we are very likely able to successfully address the majority of their concerns, and help them learn from those choices. We are human, we are not always using out best judgment, and sometimes "A" happens to avoid "B" from happening, and we need to embrace what life brings us, even if life gets difficult or stressful - it's likely a short-term thing rather than long-term.
Events in life happen for a reason - it may not seem like it in the moment, but choices and outcomes do happen for a reason. I tend to think that a manageable situation happens before something that is not manageable happens at a later point. The clearest example is a drunk driving case.
Drunk driving outcomes (levels of severity) are based on "the other parties". A person driving drunk will get away with the crime if they don't encounter a police officer; in fact more people drive drunk each day, and don't get caught then do get caught. Everyone agrees drunk driving should be against the law, but when you're arrested, you tend to feel bad for yourself and wish you didn't get caught. That's a very normal human reaction, and an isolated incident alone does not make you a bad person. I want people to learn from it, and never do it again, rather than bury their heads in the sand and do it again.
But let's add an element to the case and view the "it happened for a reason". If you have no prior drunk driving offenses, or maybe one prior, a DUI arrest is still a misdemeanor. Yes, there could be jail time, loss of license and a criminal conviction, but all of those can be negotiated, avoided or amended. Your life goes on, and hopefully you never find yourself back in that situation again. But what happens if this arrest never happened?
What if we add another vehicle or a pedestrian to the facts? What if you drive the same exact way, but now with added parts, your actions seriously injure someone else, yourself, or someone is killed? There is no going back from that, and there is nothing to negotiate or fix - those are permanent outcomes.
You made a bad choice, it's likely manageable if handled the right way, let's get to work.
Just completed a case with a client who was charged with drunk driving. Due to the nature of his career, a DUI conviction was out of the question. We set a big goal to avoid a DUI conviction, but his case was not a good case for trial. Sometimes you're just really guilty, and going to trial will simply be a waste of money, and potentially a harsher sentence. What do you do in this situation when a trial is not a viable option??
You get to work!
My client turned a bad facts DUI into a non-DUI by working his butt off proactively outside of the courtroom. He tested on a portable unit for 3 months, went to 60 plus AA meeting, completed over 300 hours of community service, completed a counseling program, and provided me 10 letters of recommendation. He went above and beyond, and the prosecutor took notice. He was able to walk away without a DUI conviction.
Better yet, when it came to his sentencing, the judge told him he already completed everything he would want him to do, and decided to simply have him pay a fine, and close the case. My client was in shock and grateful that the judge recognized his hard work.
From a DUI with bad facts, jail and two years probation on the table to paying a fine and avoiding a drunk driving conviction. Hard work pays off.
DUI Attorney & Former Prosecutor Jonathan Paul