If you are charged with a drunk driving offense in Westland, Michigan, then your case will be heard in the 18th District Court. The two current Judges of the 18th District Court are the Honorable Sandra Ference Cicirelli and the Honorable Mark A. McConnell. The court is located at 36675 Ford Road. Westland, Michigan 48185, which is west of Wayne Road and east of I-275. Their telephone number is (734) 595-8720.

About the Judges:

Judge Cicirelli was a practicing attorney before she became mayor of the City of Westland. She stepped down as mayor to become a judge in the 18th District Court in 2006. Judge Cicirelli has proven to be a very compassionate judge, and she understands the law from both sides of the bench. She is also a reasonably good trial judge, providing only minimal interference during the presentation of evidence. Despite her attributes, however, she permits Westland police officers to engage in highly questionable traffic stops. Judges are charged with the awesome responsibility of protecting our Constitutional rights by ensuring that “police officers act appropriately and not abuse the power legally afforded to them by . . .carefully scrutinizing a police officer’s testimony as to the purpose of the initial stop.” United States v Hill, 195 F3d 258 (6th Cir. 1999). In this regard, Judge Cicirelli has allowed questionable stops to persist despite prevailing national jurisprudence on the subject because no Michigan court has ruled directly on the subject matter.

Judge McConnell is a former prosecutor from the law firm that formerly prosecuted most of the criminal cases in the City of Westland. Despite his status as a former city prosecutor, however, he was an excellent attorney with an outstanding reputation, and he has the potential to become an excellent judge.

Additional Information:

The majority of drunk driving cases processed in the 18th District Court are handled by the City of Westland’s privately retained city attorneys, Fausone Bohn, LLP. This includes OWI 2nd and even OWI 3rd cases in many instances because police officers charge drivers under local ordinances. It also generates more money for the local government.

The City of Westland has a very aggressive DUI task force. About half of the police officers working DUI enforcement employ the standardized field sobriety test battery (SFSTs). At least two of the Westland officers were members of Michigan STORM (Sobriety Trained Officers Representing Michigan), an inactive group of Michigan police officers advocating the SFST battery that has been merged into our state’s office of highway safety.

The Westland patrol cars are equipped with video and audio, and the police station also has video and audio recording equipment in the breath testing area. These materials frequently reveal mistakes made by police officers permitting challenges in DUI cases.