All state felony matters are adjudicated in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice which is the criminal division of the Wayne County Circuit Court. Located near Greek town, the court is home to 15 judges. Four of those judges, James Chylinski, David Groner, Margie Braxton and Wade McCree are initial appearance judges. All cases are originally assigned to one of these four who are available to take and encourage plea negotiation and guilty pleas. They are not trial judges. Their only job is taking pleas, sentences and probation violations. Before a plea is taken, they can keep the case for a maximum of 21 days. If there is no resolution by then, the case is assigned to of the trial judge by blind draw. The arraignment judges are all pretty lenient and often times, the best deals are made there. But, often times not and requiring more litigation to get the best deal or prepare for trial. There is a lot of strategy that goes into planning a defense in this Court. If an attorney does not regularly practice in this court, they will certainly be disadvantaged.
Serious felonies like murder cases are common in Frank Murphy. One can imagine that the prosecutor’s office is busy prosecuting all of the crime that happens in the City of Detroit and in Wayne County. Therefore, plea bargains are always encouraged but taking the first plea bargain is usually not the way to go, the offers almost always get better. Knowing how this court works and how the prosecutors think is how I get amazing results in this Court. It does not hurt that I have friends in the right places as well.