UPDATED Michigan Arson Statute(s)

The Michigan Arson Statutes ranges from 1st to 5th Degree and vary in punishment with 1st being the most severely punished and 5th being the least. 

MCL 750.72 – First Degree Michigan Arson Statute:

(1) A person who willfully or maliciously burns, damages, or destroys by fire or explosive any of the following or its contents is guilty of first degree arson:

(a) A multiunit building or structure in which 1 or more units of the building are a dwelling, regardless of whether any of the units are occupied, unoccupied, or vacant at the time of the fire or explosion.

(b) Any building or structure or other real property if the fire or explosion results in physical injury to any individual.

(c) A mine.

(2) Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether the person owns the dwelling, building, structure, or mine or its contents.

(3) First degree arson is a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

MCL 750.73 – Second Degree Michigan Arson Statute:

(1) Except as provided in section 72, a person who willfully or maliciously burns, damages, or destroys by fire or explosive a dwelling, regardless of whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant at the time of the fire or explosion, or its contents, is guilty of second degree arson.

(2) Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether the person owns the dwelling or its contents.

(3) Second degree arson is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

MCL 750.74 – Third Degree Michigan Arson Statute:

(1) Except as provided in sections 72 and 73, a person who does any of the following is guilty of third degree arson:

(a) Willfully or maliciously burns, damages, or destroys by fire or explosive any building or structure, or its contents, regardless of whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant at the time of the fire or explosion.

(b) Willfully and maliciously burns, damages, or destroys by fire or explosive any of the following or its contents:

(i) Any personal property having a value of $20,000.00 or more.

(ii) Any personal property having a value of $1,000.00 or more if the person has 1 or more prior convictions.

(2) Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether the person owns the building, structure, other real property or its contents, or the personal property.

(3) Third degree arson is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

MCL 750.75 – Fourth Degree Michigan Arson Statute

(1) Except as provided in sections 72, 73, and 74, a person who does any of the following is guilty of fourth degree arson:

(a) Willfully and maliciously burns, damages, or destroys by fire or explosive any of the following or its contents:

(i) Any personal property having a value of $1,000.00 or more, but less than $20,000.00.

(ii) Any personal property having a value of $200.00 or more if the person has 1 or more prior convictions.

(b) Willfully or negligently sets fire to a woods, prairie, or grounds of another person or permits fire to pass from his or her own woods, prairie, or grounds to another person’s property causing damage or destruction to that other property.

(2) Subsection (1)(a) applies regardless of whether the person owns the personal property.

(3) Fourth degree arson is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

MCL 750.77 – Fifth Degree Michigan Arson Statute:

(1) Except as provided in sections 72 to 76, a person who intentionally damages or destroys by fire or explosive any personal property having a value of $1,000.00 or less and who has 1 or more prior convictions is guilty of fifth degree arson.

(2) Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether the person owns the personal property.

(3) Fifth degree arson is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

(4) As used in this section:

(a) “Personal property” includes an automobile, van, truck, motorcycle, trailer, and other personally owned property.

(b) “Prior conviction” means a prior conviction for a violation of this chapter (Michigan Arson Statute) that arises out of a separate transaction from the violation of this section.

Civil Infraction Procedure Explained

Here in the State of Michigan individuals committing simple traffic violations will find themselves being issued a civil infraction for the particular violation. Once a civil citation is issued, the individual will have a limited amount of time, as noted on the ticket, before the individual must pay the civil infraction or enter a plea of responsible. See MCL 257.744.

If the individual chooses to plead responsible to a civil infraction then the individual can do so without having to appear in court. An individual has multiple options afforded to them if they choose to simply pay and plea responsible to the civil infraction issued. The individual may also appear at the designated court and offer a plea of responsibility. See MCL 257.745(2). However, it is important to appear before the time limit indicated on the civil infraction or appear on the specified date noted on the ticket. Various courts maintain different procedures and time allotments when issuing civil infractions and misdemeanors citations.

In some situations individuals can and will enter a plea of “responsible with explanation,” which is used in order to attempt to mitigate the civil penalty inflicted. THis type of plea or admission can be performed by mail and the judge has the option of accepting the plea simply based upon the mailed information and explanation or the judge could require the person to appear in person in order to offer a more complete explanation on the record. See MCL 257.745(3).

A judge or magistrate can not take a plea under advisement and cannot reduce the charge without the police or prosecutor’s permission nor can they take a plea of responsibility without imposing any points, as is often requested. However, if the individual chooses too he or she can deny responsibility and then the court will set the matter for a formal or informal hearing before the judge. If the individual is unrepresented by counsel the court will likely set the matter for an informal hearing; however, if specifically requested, then the court must allow a person to have a formal hearing. See MCL 257.745(5).

An informal hearing is one that is typically conducted before a magistrate, but sometimes a judge. Furthermore, and important to note, Attorneys are not allowed to represent an individual in an informal hearing. The hearing is also not required to be on the record because an appeal from an informal hearing is a formal hearing. Moreover, the rules of evidence are not allowed in an informal hearing, which allows those untrained in the practice of law not to be prejudiced by their ignorance to the rules of evidence and court procedure. However, individuals must still abide by standard courtroom decorum. See MCL 257.746.

If the individual decides to request a formal hearing the court must set the matter for such a hearing. This also occurs an attorney files an appearance on behalf of his or her client. The individual should and must notify the court in a timely manner before the scheduled informal hearing date. It’s important to remember that an individual is not required to be represented by an attorney nor are they entitled to a public defender. Furthermore, there is no jury in a formal hearing. If a formal hearing is held it will be infront of a District Court Judge and the rules of evidence are closely adhered to than an informal hearing. Any appeal from the verdict is by right not leave. Jeopardy does not attach in civil infraction hearings so either side may appeal a decision to the circuit court. See MCL 257.747.

In order to be found responsible in a formal or informal hearing the court must find by a perponderance of the evidence that the individual committed a traffic violation. Whenever you are cited for a traffic infraction it is important to contact an attorney. There could be consequences that you are unaware of, even though its a simple civil infraction. You may not be required or think that you need an attorney, but it’s always better to obtain a consultation before you risk your right to driver here in the State of Michigan. Josh Jones handles traffic matter and civil infractions throughout Michigan, including but not limited to, Genesee County, Metro Detroit (Wayne, Oakland & Macomb County), Livingston County, Washtenaw County, and Lapeer County.

Controlled Substance Classifications Outlined, Kind Of

A controlled substance is “a drug, substance, or immediate precursor that is included in schedules 1 to 5.” MCL § 333.7104. The Board of Pharmacy determines which drugs, substances, and immediate precursors are assigned to each of the individualized schedules or contolled substance classifications. As set forth in MCL § 333.7202, the following factors are to be used by the Board of Pharmacy in determining a controlled substance classification, and inevitably placing them in on one of the five schedules:

  1. The drug’s actual or relative potential for abuse.
  2. If known, the scientific evidence of the drug’s pharmacological effect.
  3. The state of current scientific knowledge about the drug.
  4. The historical and contemporary patterns of the drug’s abuse.
  5. The scope, duration, and significance of the drug’s abuse.
  6. The public health risk related to the drug.
  7. The drug’s potential for producing psychic or physiological dependence liability.
  8. Whether the drug is an immediate precursor of another drug already regulated under the Act.

Schedule 1:

MCL § 333.7211, requires that controlled substance classification for a schedule 1 drug must have a high potential for abuse and either:

  1. has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or
  2. lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision, and it includes marijuana, opiates and opium derivatives (e.g., heroin), hallucinogenics (e.g., LSD, peyote, mescaline, and psilocybin), synthetic equivalents of the substance found in marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy), BZP, naphyrone (“rave”), mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (“bath salts”), and other related substances.

Note: 11‐carboxy‐THC, “a byproduct of metabolism created when the body breaks down the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana,” is not a schedule 1 controlled substance because it fails to meet the requirements of a schedule 1 controlled substance classification as set forth under MCL § 333.7212. See also People v Feezel.

Schedule 2 


MCL § 333.7213 explains that a controlled substance classification for a schedule 2 drug must meet the following requirements:

  1. its potential for abuse is high,
  2. it has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or it has currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and
  3. its abuse could lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.

Controlled substance classifications for schedule 2 drugs include opium and opiate and their derivatives (e.g., codeine, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone), coca leaves and derivatives (cocaine and cocaine‐related substances), amphetamines, any substance containing methamphetamine, and central nervous system depressants (e.g., methaqualone and secobarbital).

Schedule 3

MCL § 333.7215, indicates that a controlled substance classification for a schedule 3 drug must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. it has less potential for abuse than the substances in schedules 1 and 2,
  2. it has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and
  3. its abuse could lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Controlled substance classifications for Schedule 3 substances include certain stimulants and depressants, and materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of certain listed narcotic drugs, which can be found in MCL § 333.7216.

While controlled substance classification for Schedule 4 and 5 drugs decrease in the amount of abuse that can be found with using the substances listed. The chemical compounds and substances on these lists are determined by MCL § 333.7218 and MCL § 333.7220

DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECUATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION. YOU SHOULD AND MUST CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AND DISCUSS WITH HIM OR HER THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY AND ALL IDEAS, STATEMENTS, OPINIONS, EXPRESSIONS OR OTHERWISE STATED ON THIS SITE. HOPE TO SPEAK WITH YOU SOON.

Michigan Statute Explained – Leaving Scene of Accident

Leaving scene of accident charge occurs more than individuals think.  Many drivers have been or will be involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident during their lifetime. Hopefully the accident is minor and nothing serious happens to either party. People need to not only worry about increased premiums, vehicle damage and possible injury, but they also need to worry about criminal charges in some cases.

Whenever an individual is involved in an accident state law requires him or her to remain at the scene of the accident until certain things have occurred (otherwise leaving scene of accident charge can and will ensue). Essentially, Michigan law requires the individual driver involved in a car accident to “immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident” and remain at the scene up until he or she has satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Give his or her name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is operating, including the name and address of the owner, to a police officer, the individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided;
  2. Exhibit his or her operator’s or chauffeur’s license to a police officer, individual struck, or the driver or occupants of the vehicle with which he or she has collided; and
  3. Render to any individual injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or arrange for or provide transportation to any injured individual. See MCL 257.618.

It’s important to note that since an individual involved in the accident must know or have reason to believe that he or she was actually involved in an accident, it allows for the possible defense when the “accident” is so minor that it would be unreasonable to know of the accident. However, remember that such a situation will always be based upon the factual circumstances involved in the particular case and there is never a guarantee to know that particular outcome. Leaving Scene of Accident charges can maintain severe consequences depending upon the specific charge issued.

If convicted of leaving scene of accident, pursuant to MCL 257.618, an individual will have a misdemeanor placed on his or her record and face a maximum 90-days in jail and and/or $100.00 fine, and 6 points placed on his or her driving record. It should also be noted that individuals involved in an accident where personal injury occured and the individual with leaving scene of accident will face an enhanced criminal charge. See MCL 257.617a. The enhancement increases the leaving scene of accident charge to a 1-year criminal misdemeanor attaching a $1,000.00 fine, 6 points on the drivering record, and a 90-day suspension of the drivers license.

It should also be noted that this article does not include all leaving scene of accident charges possible here in the State of Michigan. There are numerous varitions of the cime due to the various types of actions and events that can occur in these types of situations. For example, when the individuals involved in an accident and it occurred on a main roadway they are required to remove or move their vehicles unless the the individual involved in the accident knows or reaosnable should know that serious impairment of a bodily function or death occured because of the accident. See MCL 257.618a. If violating this statute an individual will be issued a civil infraction.

Whenever you are involved in a criminal matter, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, you need to maintain counsel. The smallest incidences can have the largest impact on an individual’s life, especially in the criminal justice system. Individual’s must be aware of the fact that probation, license sanctions, fines, and jail time can all occur when facing a criminal charge. Josh Jones is here for you, and has your back no matter the situation.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECUATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION. YOU SHOULD AND MUST CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AND DISCUSS WITH HIM OR HER THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY AND ALL IDEAS, STATEMENTS, OPINIONS, EXPRESSIONS OR OTHERWISE STATED ON THIS SITE. WE HOPE TO SPEAK WITH YOU SOON. 

Marijuana And Driving  – Intoxicated or Not?

Marijuana and driving may be the next big drunk driving issue within the United States, which is due to the passage of many laws allowing for the drug’s use for either recreation or medicinal purposes. It is interesting for individual’s who qualify for protection under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (known as MMMA), while it is per say illegal for general recreational users of marijuana when they are found to be driving or operating a motor vehicle. This means that if marijuana or THC is found within an individual’s system they will automatically be determined to be intoxicated even if they are not high. This is different for MMMA Patients. The reasoning for this is the MMMA and the decision opined in People v Koon.

However, the protection afforded by the MMMA and interpreted in Koon is not absolute, and thus individual’s need to understand what it takes in order to be convicted of drunk driving while using marijuana and being an MMMA patient.

Even the scientific and forensic communities are not certain about the correlation between marijuana and driving habits, issues or inferiorities. In fact, there are discrepancies in studies when attempting to determine whether or not there is an actual correlation between being intoxicated by marijuana and driving a motor vehicle, i.e. is your ability to operate a car effected when your high?

I recently scribed an article attempting to explain and outline the difficultes in detecting a level of intoxication that was indicative of an individual being high because of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle. If you are interested in the topic of marijuana and driving under the influence of the substance please read “Marijuana And Driving In Michigan: Identifying Intoxication.”

IT IS IMPERATIVE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER TO NEVER USE ANY OPINION, STATETMENT OR OTHERWISE POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE [OR ANY OTHER WEBSITE] WHEN ATTEMPTING OR TRYING TO REPRESENT ONE’S SELF IN A COURT OF LAW. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS OBTAIN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE REPRESENTATION WHEN INVOLVING IN ANY CRIMINAL OR CIVIL COURT MATTER. KNOW THE LAW, MAINTAIN YOUR RIGHTS AND LAWYER-UP. 

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FIREARM SAFETY TIPS POSTER

This firearm safety tips poster has been created in order for individual to know some of the most basic firearm safety tips so that they can prevent harm to themselves and others. Firearms are dangerous, yet they are used on a daily basis for protection and recreational purposes. Firearm safety tips are forever, whether you are carrying a concealed weapon or a rifle during hunting season.

It is better to be safe than sorry because when handling firearms being sory could mean death, which could mean criminal charges. Therefore, anytime you are handling or using a firearm make sure to follow this basic firearm safety tips. They could mean the difference between life and death. Of course, this firearms safety tips poster does not provide every policy that an individual should follow when using a firearm; however, the following ten (10) tips can make a difference in numerous situations involving firearms.

Remember, that depending upon the situation you could see yourself involved in criminal charges when using or possessing a firearm. Michigan does have favorable firearm laws; however, they are not exclusive to every individual in every situation. Therefore, not only should you be aware of the above firearm safety tips, but also when you are and are not allowed to possess or use a firearm. They are dangerou because they can injure and kill, but they are also dangerous with regard to the potential risk and punishments that an individual could face in a given situation that involves a firearm.

Josh Jones handles all Michigan criminal misdemeanors and felonies, criminal expungements, probations violations, and specializes in marijuana defense (medical and non-medical). Contact him 7-days a week.

REMEMBER, NEVER RELY ON INFORMATION OBTAIN ON THE INTERNET WHEN ATTEMPTING OR WANTING TO DEFEND YOURSELF IN A COURT OF LAW OR IN ANY SITUATION INVOLVING A LEGAL MATTER WITHOUT FIRST CONTACTING, DISCUSSING AND RETAINING LEGAL COUNSEL. THIS INCLUDES ALL INFORMATION FOUND ON THIS WEBSITE OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OPINION WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET.

 

 

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MEDICAL MARIJUANA TIPS – FOR YOUR SAFETY

This marijuana tips flier, poster or card was made for individuals who are medical marijuana patients and caregivers. It was created in order to provide you with vital and important information dealing with medical marihuana here in the State of Michigan. Knowing the law then maintaining your rights can and will impact your case so that when you lawyer-up you are in the best situation you can be. Following these basic medical marijuana tips can held you smoke carefree.

Josh Jones understands the Michigan Medical Marijuana law, and this is the reason he believes that this medical marijuana tips poster can assist you when you are approached or confronted with law enforcement. This medical marijuana tips poster outlines the basic criminal and constitutional rights that you maintain when you are involved with law enfrocement activities and investigations whether they are in the home, on the street, or in a motor vehicle. It is beyond important to exercise your constitutional rights, and thus knowing them becomes the first step.

Michigan has an ever changing medical marijuana law, which is why it is imperative to remember your basic constitutional rights. This Medical Marijuana tips poster will assist in that. It is important to not solely rely on these medical marijuana tips if trying or wanting to defend yourself in a court of law or other proceeding or legal situation. Therefore, you should always see a marijuana defense lawyer whenever you are involved or charged with criminal acts or incidences. However, if you keep the basic principles of the Medical Marijuana tips poster in mind you will be assisting yourself when and if you are criminally charged.

Please, download, share, print and save these Michigan Medical Marijuana Tips, so that you can smoke carefree. Josh Jones hopes that these Michigan Medical Marihuana Tips will assist medical marijuana patients and caregivers throughout the State of Michigan. You can contact Josh Jones 7-days a week. He always has your back, and is your Michigan Marijuana Lawyer.

What Is The Vehicle Search Exception?

Once an individual motorist has been pulled over and the police officer has probable cause to perform a vehicle search a warrant will not be necessary in order to actually vehicle search. This is known as the Motor Vehicle Search Exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of first obtaining a search warrant. The reasoning for such a rule is because of the easy ability for a vehicle to be readily mobile.

The rule generally states that an officer is allowed to perform a vehicle search of all compartments and areas of a vehicle, without the need for a warrant, if there is probable cause to believe that the particular area to be searched contains contraband. This can occur if the contraband is viewed in plain sight, meaning as the officer is near the vehicle and sees the contraband then he or she will have probable cause to search the vehicle. Moreover, this rule does not stop a police officer from performing a vehicle search of the passengers of the vehicle when the individual to be searched has the ability to conceal or hold the suspected contraband.

Michigan law explains that a police officer will have probable cause to perform vehicle search if he or she smells marijuana coming from the vehicle. However, it can and should be argued that if a police searches the passenger compartment of a vehicle, because he or she smelled burnt marijuana, yet did not discover any contraband during the search then he or she may be precluded from searching the trunk compartment of the vehicle. Michigan courts have yet to answer this specific question; on the other hand, the United States Supreme court does have precedent indicating that an officer may not continue the vehicle search when he or she has come up empty handed.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY upon any of the information contained in this article when trying or attempting to represent yourself in court. You should always consult with an attorney before relying upon any written advice, article, blog etc.

Josh Jones is here for all your criminal matters (whether felonies or misdemeanors) and all your marijuana matters (both medical and non-medical). Call Josh Jones today when you are involved with a vehicle search here in the State of Michigan.

THE MICHIGAN CRIMINAL PROCESS

THE ARREST

The Michigan criminal process begins with the arrest, generally. In order to properly arrest, the police must have probable cause that a crime was committed. Probable cause is reasonable belief that you (the defendant) committed a crime.

Warrants are not required in order to arrest individuals, yet they are required prior to a “search,” sometimes. The following exceptions apply requiring no warrant or the establishment of probable cause to allow for a warrantless search:

1. Incident to (or after) a valid arrest; however, you may be patted down for weapons.
2. Exigent Circumstances—emergency situation; i.e. destruction of evidence of crime, police in hot pursuit, or threat of death or harm to an individual.
3. Plain View or Smell—no search occurs but criminal activity is discovered; i.e. seeing alcohol in motor vehicle from window, smelling burnt, fresh or other marihuana in vehicle
4. Consent to Search person, property, or residence—there is no requirement stating you must allow an officer to search if he or she does not have a valid warrant to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTE: after your arrest, yet prior to any interrogation, you must be advised of your rights. This includes the right to remain silent and to have legal counsel. These rights must be expressly stated and made by you (the defendant).

POST ARREST

After you are arrested and taken to the local jail you will proceed through the booking process ,which will include, but may not be limited to:

• Providing your name, address, phone number, etc.
• Fingerprinting
• Cataloguing of your personal property

The Jail will hold you for up-to 72-hours for that particular charge or citation. Within that period you may post bond, if it has been set; be released and cited with a citation; or be presented to a magistrate or judge.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may be held in-custody longer depending on your current criminal status. Being able to post bond does or may not allow for you to be released from custody if you have outstanding warrants or other holds from other jurisdictions. A full consultation and review of the facts regarding your case by an attorney is in order to properly and effectively provide advise and explanation of any given case.

It is essential to obtain a criminal defense attorney immediately following any citation, release from custody, or pending criminal matter. Criminal convictions and charges can have life changes consequences. Know the law, maintain your rights, and lawyer-up with Josh Jones. He handles all felony and misdemeanor criminal matters and specializes in marihuana (medical or non-medical) matters.

COMMON CRIMINAL LAW TERMS

Arraignment – It is the first hearing within a criminal case and will occur at District Court. A second arraignment will occur in all felonies matters, yet it will occur at the Circuit Court. The main two focuses of the arraignment are the amount of bond and the type of plea to be entered. A plea consists of one of the following:

• Guilty—an admission of guilt and statement of facts pertaining to the crime being admitted too.
• Not Guilty—a denial of the crime and the charges stated.
• No Contest—neither admitting guilt nor disputing the facts and charges.
• Standing Mute—no admission of the correctness of the charges; i.e. asserting you are standing mute and understand the charges pending against you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never plead guilty at an arraignment, and instead assert a not guilty or stand mute plea. You have that right and the right to obtain counsel, so lawyer-up. ALWAYS consult an attorney prior to pleading guilty or no-contest to any and all crimes. You may not know the consequences of such a plea.

Plea Agreement – The formal agreement between the parties, which identifies the charges sought to be plead to and possible sentencing agreement. These will vary from case to case.

Trial – The formal hearing determining guilt. Here there will be testimony and the presentation of evidence presented to the Jury (or a Judge if a Jury Trial is waived).

Sentencing – This will occur after a plea or trial (when the verdict is guilty). Here the Judge will determine the appropriate sentence or punishment to render, which will be based upon a number or factors including statutory rule, a probation recommendation, or other facts or evidence presented during such a hearing.

Verdict – The rendering of judgment by the Jury (or Judge), which will either be innocent or guilty.

Appeal – In the State of Michigan, a Defendant generally has 42 days from the judgment to file an appeal. There are two kinds of appeals: by right or by leave. The Judge will state such on the record at the time of plea or trial.

Please, do not rely on this information when or if attempting to represent yourself in a criminal court. This is not meant to replace counsel, and you should always lawyer-up when you are facing any criminal charges here in the State of Michigan. Josh Jones maintains a full-service Criminal Defense law firm, and specializes in Marijuana law, so call him today if you are involved in the Michigan Criminal Process.

Stop and Frisk or Pat Down – When Can It Occur?

A police officer has three opportunities to perform a search (or a stop and frisk or pat down) on an individual:

(1) A Search Warrant,

(2) Consent, or

(3) A Search After Arrest.

All three ways or opportunities to search are fairly straight-forward. However, each way has possible defenses, which can in-turn affect the ultimate outcome of the legality of the search performed.

But this article is not here to explain those three ways to perform a search on a person; rather, what I will discuss is when a Stop and Frisk or pat down can occur. It has been determined and found that this brief detention and limited “search” does not violate an individual’s right to privacy.

The United States Supreme Court has explained police are legally allowed to stop an individual and briefly detain you to inquire about name and address (or identification). To hold an individual longer or not allow them to leave would be construed as a custodial detention, and thus begin the invocation of privacy rights (such as the right against self-incrimination). This also brings about the requirement of Miranda Warnings. This can be a complex area of the law; therefore, it is advisable to simply provide your name and address, proceed to end the conversation, and if you are not free to leave invoke your rights to counsel and silence.

But what about a Terry Stop and Frisk or Pat Down? The truth is a Terry Stop and Frisk or Pat Down can only occur if the police are able to articulate reasonable suspicion that you are carrying a weapon. This is a very low threshold; however, merely stating a need of safety without being able to articulate facts indicating a present danger is not enough to perform a Stop and Frisk or Pat Down.

If the officers insist on searching you DO NOT RESIST. Simply and calmly state that you do not consent to the search (Stop and Frisk or Pat Down). Make your refusal known, but do not create more problems with the officer.

Following these tips will provide counsel with the best possible outcome when it comes to conduct that leads to police encounters. Know the law, maintain your rights, and lawyer-up with Josh Jones. He provides a full-service criminal defense law firm, specializing in marijuana laws.

DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR REPLACE LEGAL REPRESENTATION. YOU SHOULD AND MUST ALWAYS CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AND DISCUSS WITH HIM OR HER THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY AND ALL IDEAS, STATEMENTS, OPINIONS, EXPRESSIONS OR OTHERWISE STATED ON THIS SITE. ALWAYS LAWYER-UP.