48th District Court Judge’s Daughter Arrested for “Minor in Possession.”

by baronedefensefirm on April 8, 2009

After many years on the bench Michigan 48th District Court Judge Kimberly Small has earned a reputation as among the toughest on drunk driving.  Many laud her approach to sentencing, as is evident from this comment from the web site Courthouse Forum “Judge Small was tough, but absolutely correct. Drinking and driving is unacceptable. I appreciate her determination to enforce accountability. If she saves even one life, it’s worth whatever punishment she decrees. Thank you Judge Small.”

Others have a different opinion of Judge Small’s sentencing practices, which often include lengthy periods of incarceration for even first time offenders.  Many believe that sentences imposing long period of incarceration are disproportionate to the crime charged.  And so, nearly every defense attorney appearing before the judge for sentencing comes prepared to urge the court not to incarcerate their client.  Such arguments are rarely successful, and so the Judge’s reputation persists. So much so that simply mentioning the name of Judge Small to a person accused of drunk driving is often enough cause them a high level of anxiety.

Judge Small is also the subject of a lawsuit recently filed claiming that she unlawfully incarcerates youngster’s who violation their probation for the charge of Minor in Possession (MIP).  It is because of this reputation that today’s Free Press article has garnered so much interest.

It is unfortunate that this private family matter has received so much publicity largely due to Judge Small’s high profile relative to alcohol related crimes.  While Judge Small’s comment that “I guess it (my daughter’s arrest for MIP) shows that no family is immune,” is true, the Judge’s high profile has contributed to the fact that this otherwise innocuous arrest has actually become published news.  One can hope that this news article will be end of it, and that Judge Small’s family can focus their efforts on the best interests of their daughter.


This post was written by...

– who has written 204 posts on Michigan Drunk Driving Lawyers.

Patrick T. Barone is the author on two books on DUI defense including the well respected two volume treatise Defending Drinking Drivers (James Publishing), and The DUI Book – A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding DUI Litigation in America. He is also the author of a monthly DUI defense column for the Criminal Defense Newsletter, published by Michigan’s State Appellate Defender’s Office. Mr. Barone is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he teaches Drunk Driving Law and Practice. He is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorney’s of Michigan’s Trial Lawyer’s College where he provides trial skills training to Michigan’s criminal defense practitioners. Mr. Barone lectures nationally on various DUI defense topics, and he has appeared in newspapers, on television and on radio as a drunk driving defense expert. Mr. Barone has been certified as an instructor and practitioner of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and has also attended a 24-hour certification course at National Patent Analytical Corporation (the manufacturer of the DataMaster) and has thereby been deemed competent by the manufacturer to operate, perform essential diagnostic verifications and calibration checks on the DataMaster. Mr. Barone is a Sustaining Member of College for DUI Defense. Mr. Barone is the principal and founding member of The Barone Defense Firm, whose practice is limited exclusively to defending drinking drivers. The Firm is headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan.

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