The 52-3 District Court located in Rochester Hills is a notoriously difficult court when it comes to operating while intoxicated cases. The 52-3 is served by three judges, Judge Julie Nicholson, Judge Lisa Asadoorian, and Judge Nancy Carniak. Although the 52-3 District Court has a reputation for being a harsh court on drunk driving cases, there is some hope that jail may not be in the cards. The reason for this is that for most cases, it has been our experience that all three judges will consider probationary sentences for first time drunk driving offenders. However, for operating while intoxicated second offenses, jail is a near certainty. Also, if an accident is a part of the drunk driving case, there is a chance of jail in this court depending on which judge is handling the case.
We have a long history of fighting drunk driving cases in the 52-3 District Court, including having some of our greatest jury trial victories with drunk driving charges. An example is when Amberg & Amberg trial attorney Jim Amberg received a not guilty verdict in a case where his client crashed her vehicle into a car stopped at a light on Tienken road in Rochester Hills. Although her blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit, Jim was able to convince the jury that his client was innocent due to her issues with indigestion.
That being said, there are alternative sentences available in the 52-3 District Court, including sobriety court for repeat offenders. The court serves the northeast section of Oakland County with Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Orion Township, Oxford, Oxford Township, Lake Angelus, and Addison Township.