People v Frederick Limits Knock And Announce By Police

Recently, in People v Frederick the Michigan Supreme Court limited police in their use of knock and announce procedures. Under constitutional interpretation, Courts in the past have consistently upheld the police using knock and announce procedures. What is knock and announce, you may ask? This is the process or procedure where police will approach someone’s home in a legal and low intrusive manner, and then they will proceed to knock and announce their presence at the individual’s home. Generally, police will then begin questioning and investigating whatever issue or matter brought them to this residence to perform their knock and announce.

The reasoning there is no issue for police performing knock and announce by approaching an individual’s front door on their private property is due to old traditionally belief that there is an implied license this type of approach to another’s home. This is synonymous with other individuals, such as solicitors, delivery drivers, the general public, etc. that approach individual’s home without consent or invites. When the police are simply performing a knock and announce, they are not violating the 4th Amendment of the Constitution; however, each situation is based upon the given circumstances to the individual cases examined by court.

The underlying issue with this case was whether the timing of the knock and announce was outside the scope of the traditional norms and constitutionality of such a fact gathering procedure. In People v Frederick, the police performed the knock and announce at 5:30 in the morning, which was the key issue to the finding by the court that the police performed an unconstitutional act upon the individual defendant’s home. The reasoning that the knock and announce in this case was a constitutional violation ultimately hinged on the court finding that by the police arriving at such an early hour, waking all individuals in the home, they were actually trespassing. So, when you look to the analysis required by prior precedent and you couple police trespassing and gathering facts for an investigation, the police have violated the Constitution and performed a search.

The constitutionality of police actions and procedures are always being debated and pushed to the limits. This is only one of the many reasons you should always lawyer-up. Moreover, you should never rely on information posted on this website or any other website online when wanting, deciding or trying to represent yourself before any legal body, court, or representative in this State or otherwise without obtaining legal counsel and advice.

Native Tribal Lands And Medical Marijuana

When it comes to native tribal lands and medical marijuana the answer is not always clear nor straight forward, just as any medical marijuana laws have come to be seen. Michigan has had confusion and issues with its medical marijuana laws, and when we begin to analyze native tribal lands and medical marijuana, it becomes even more confusing. First, native tribal lands are typically controlled by local tribal or federal laws. Second, many of these laws will only apply to registered tribal members. Third, local tribal laws are limited in jurisdiction, meaning any criminal law enforced by a tribe are limited on its punishment and oversight to charge the specific crime.

So, when a crime is beyond or outside the scope of the specific tribal law, multiple things could occur to the individual in a criminal setting. This could and would consist of federal or state criminal charges. Again, this applies generally to tribal members when acting on tribal land, as opposed to non-tribal members who are specifically and strictly limited to state prosecution. What does this mean for tribal members on native tribal lands and medical marijuana is inevitably involved?

To begin, if the local tribe does not have a medical marijuana ordinance or law applying to tribal members then State law generally does not apply to such individual tribal members on tribal land. Stated in another way, tribal members on tribal land generally cannot afford themselves of the State medical marijuana laws since they are under the purview and jurisdiction of local tribal and Federal laws. Yes, that is CORRECT. Tribal members on native tribal lands and medical marijuana also involved will not have State law protection, such as the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). Whenever you are wanting or attempting to protect yourself under the MMMA or any other medical marijuana law, tribal or not, you should contact legal counsel in order to ensure you are protected. In fact, something that has not yet been discussed is the concept of non-tribal members being on tribal land and having medical marijuana. This too is an interesting issue because since tribal land is Federal land, the individual has the potential to increase his or her risk of Federal prosecution. With that said, all activity dealing with marijuana (medical or otherwise) is prima facie illegal in the eyes of the Federal government. This does not negate the interplay between native tribal lands and medical marijuana, especially when there are no tribal laws guiding tribal law enforcement and actions found to have occurred on tribal land.

In the end, tribal members while on tribal land are not afforded the exact same rights and oversight as compared to when acting outside of the tribal land borders. The reasoning for this comes down to jurisdictional oversight and enforcement, and thus tribal members must follow other laws while on their native lands. This too applies to non-tribal members found to be within the tribal land boundaries. And thus inevitably, there is a huge issue and concern when speaking about native tribal lands and medical marijuana use, possession, cultivate or manufacturing by individuals found on the lands. As sated above, this interplay and complexity also applies and involves non-tribal members and native tribal lands and medical marijuana due to the land technically being Federal land.

You should never rely on this article or any other statement, opinion or writing on this website or any other website when seeking, wanting or attempting to represent yourself before any legal, administrative, official or otherwise on any legal matter without the adequate assistance of legal representation. The MMMA laws are dangerously confusing in many instances and respects. Native tribal lands and medical marijuana add another layer of confusion and explanation when discussing native tribal lands and medical marihuana on those lands while involving tribal members. This is especially true when the individuals influenced are tribal members, which adhere to a different set of rules, regulations and laws that are not always inline with the State laws. With that said, make sure you figure out what can and cannot be done on your land if you are a tribal member here in the State of Michigan or any other medical marijuana friendly area.

Yielding To Pedestrians Explained

In Michigan it seems that yielding to pedestrians is controlled by MCL §§ 257.612 & 257.613. Yielding to pedestrians is based upon the circumstances of the interactions between the people, vehicles, bikes and others using the roadways. The basis of MCL § 257.612 essentially outlines that individuals operating motor vehicles must yield to bicycles legal traveling on the rode, while also yielding to pedestrians using a crosswalk. In order, to be properly or legally yielding to pedestrians in Michigan an individual must look into MCL § 257.613. The reason for this is being that this section of the law shows how individuals should follow the basic traffic lights in order to legal cross said roadway. This section specifically breaks down which light allows an individual to legally pass when facing which light or roadway crossing.

One could argue that an individual operating a motor vehicle is or should always be yielding to pedestrians, in Michigan and elsewhere, but legally speaking the vehicle should always give way. In the end, the law behind yielding to pedestrians rests behind MCL 257.612, which explains how a motor vehicle should travel on the roadway when approaching and traveling through interactions. MCL § 257.613 adds the layer of how individuals should approach and interact with lights on the roadway. It is essential to follow the proper “rules of the road” in order to protect yourself and others found near or on the roadway. This goes for both the driver and walkers, bikers, or others using the roadway.

It is important to know the law. It can protect you as an individual in multiple situations and circumstances. Not only does knowing the law help maintain your rights, both personally and constitutionally, but it also allows you to remain safe by knowing the basic “rules of the road.” You never want to simply rely on this article or any other article or piece of information on this website or any other website when wanting, attempting, or thinking of defending, representing, or presenting a legal theory, defense, or statement before any legal body, court or representative. It is essential to always lawyer-up whenever you are or could be facing a Michigan criminal misdemeanor or felony, criminal traffic ticket or traffic citation or ordinance violation.

Michigan’s “Pay or Stay” Practices Are Improper

Here in Michigan, it was common for individuals to receive a “pay or stay” sentence by a court when they faced punishment for a crime. The idea behind “pay or stay” sentencings focused on collecting the enforced fines and costs that were levied by the court at the time of sentencing. If an individual was unable to pay the fines and costs ordered by the court, the individual would be subject to incarceration, hence the “pay or stay” phrase used to describe the practice. Recently, the Michigan Supreme Court essentially outlawed this “pay or stay” practice by requiring courts to hold a hearing to determine whether the individual could afford the fines and costs or made good-faith efforts to pay such ordered monies. The reasoning behind enforcing the required hearing was to maintain constitutionality for those who are determined or found to be indigent and unable to pay the fines and costs.

Let’s explain this with example: Defendant is found responsible or guilty for a criminal act or traffic infraction of some kind, and at sentencing the judge orders the Defendant to pay a specific amount of fines and costs. This particular Defendant has a low income job and numerous bills and responsibilities that essentially make it difficult for him to live day by day. He has ever want and intent to pay the fines and costs ordered by the court; however, he literally is unable to financially afford those monies because of his debt to income ratio. Under a “pay or stay” scheme this individual would be going to jail for his failure to pay the monies ordered. Under the Michigan Supreme Court change, the Court must determine whether this Defendant is indigent, and if he is found to be indigent the Court necessarily cannot just throw him in jail. This is especially true when the individual has made good-faith efforts to pay the ordered monies, and thus the “pay or stay” policy is no longer valid procedure here in Michigan.

Even though the “pay or stay” practice cannot be followed without first making some determination on the individual’s ability to pay, Courts still seem to be attempting to enforce and use such practices. Because of this, it is vital to always obtain counsel and representation, even if court appointed, in order ensure that your rights are being protected. The “pay or stay” policy puts individual in a very sticky and difficult situation, which is why you must do all that you can to protect your freedom. Those in a financially difficult position cannot risk losing employment, so instead of being alone lawyer-up so you have someone standing and fighting with you. Remember, never rely on this website or any information found on the internet or any other website when wanting or intending to represent yourself before any court, legal body or otherwise here in Michigan or throughout the United States. Always obtain adequate and legal representation.

What Is Criminal Conspiracy Here In Michigan?

MCL 750.157a states that “[a]ny individual who conspires together with 1 or more persons to commit an offense prohibited by law, or to commit a legal act in an illegal manner is guilty of the crime of conspiracy.” A conspiracy charge will incorporate an underlying criminal charge, but what is criminal conspiracy exactly?

In order to be found guilty of a conspiracy charge, “the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: [f]irst, that the [individual] and someone else knowingly agreed to commit a crime[; s]econd, that the [individual] specifically intended to commit or help commit that crime[; and t]hird, that this agreement took place or continued during” a specified period. And fourth, the prosecutor must prove the elements of the underlying (or attached) criminal charge; i.e. prove the element of delivering a controlled substance if charged with a conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

What is Criminal Conspiracy And It’s Punishment . . . ?

If the underlying offense “is punishable by imprisonment for 1 year or more, the person convicted . . . shall be punished by a penalty equal to” the penalty of the underlying offense, “and in the discretion of the court an additional penalty of a fine of $10,000.00 may be imposed.” MCL 750.157a(a). Now that we understand what is criminal conspiracy, it becomes essential to know what the possible punishment is if convicted of such a crime.

If an individual is “conspiring to violate any provision of this act relative to illegal gambling or wagering or any other acts or ordinances relative to illegal gambling or wagering shall be punished by imprisonment . . . for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.” MCL 750.157a(b). If the underlying offense “is punishable by imprisonment for less than 1 year . . . the person convicted . . . shall be imprisoned for not more than 1 year nor fined more than $1,000.00, or both.” MCL 750.157a(c). If an individual is “convicted of conspiring to commit a legal act in an illegal manner [then they] shall be punished by imprisonment . . . for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.” MCL 750.57a(d).

It is essential to know what you are facing when you are charged with ANY criminal offense here in the State of Michigan, even when trying to understand what is criminal conspiracy. Never rely on information provided in this website or any other website on the internet when wanting, attempting or actually defending yourself before any court or body of law. Always consult legal counsel. Contact Josh Jones 7-days a week. He always has your back! For more information on aiding and abetting charges, please visit click here.

Possessing Forged License or Reproduced Drivers License

Here in the State of Michigan there is a criminal misdemeanor charge for possessing forged licenses or a reproduced drivers license. In fact, the charge includes the possession of a reproduced, altered, counterfeit, forged or duplicate drivers license, and thus much more expansive than simply possessing forged licenses. MCL 257.310.The statute states possessing forged licenses or a reproduced drivers license photograph, negative of the photograph, image, license, or electronic data contained on a license or part of a license is guilty of a misdemeanor.” MCL 257.310(10). If an individual is found guilty of the crime of possessing forged licenses or reproduced drivers license he or she will not only be found guilty of a misdemeanor, but they will also face a possible punishment of imprisonment for not more than 1 year and/or a fine of not more than $2,000.00. MCL 257.310(7)(c).

There is, however, an exception to the general rule of possessing forged licenses or a reproduced drivers license. The general rules does “not apply to a person who is in possession of 1 or more photocopies, reproductions, or duplications of a license to document the identity of the licensee for a legitimate business purpose.” MCL 257.310(16). Moreover, it should be noted that if an individual is convicted of possessing reproduced or forged drivers license there is no licensing sanction imposed for this offense. This is important because the drivers license or ability to operate a motor vehicle legally remains intact if convicted of possessing forged licenses or a reproduced drivers license. Therefore, a conviction is not and will not be reported to the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). MCL 257.732(16)(b).

It is important to understand the difference between those crimes that impact or can influence an individuals driving record and drivers license. For instance, because this is not reported to the SOS an individual’s car insurance company will also not increase an individual’s rates. However, criminal sanctions and the criminal record can and will be influenced depending upon the disposition or ending result of the criminal matter, such as possessing forged license or a reproduced drivers license. Anytime you are facing a criminal offense (whether a felony, misdemeanor or citation), do not represent yourself and rely on information on this website, blog or any other website or information on the internet without the assistance and advice of a criminal defense attorney. Always lawyer-up.

How to clear-up defaulted traffic tickets in Michigan:

Having a defaulted traffic ticket in the State of Michigan can have serious repercussions to an individual’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. The reason for this is due to the suspension that is generally issued when an individual has a defaulted traffic ticket outstanding within a court here in Michigan. I have seen an individual have a suspended driver’s license for a parking violated that defaulted. She had forgotten to pay the ticket, and thus the traffic ticket defaulted. When a defaulted traffic ticket is abstracted over to the Secretary of State (SOS) by the court, the SOS generally then suspends the individual’s drivers license. The SOS is supposed to notify the individual of the suspension. Until the individual has taken care of the outstanding defaulted ticket, his or her license will remain suspended. A clearance fee is usually assessed and must also be paid prior to the reinstatement of the drivers license.

It should also be said that in some situations a reinstatement fee must also be paid to the SOS prior to the issuance of a new valid license. Whenever an individual has a defaulted traffic ticket he or she must and should obtain assistance, or at least advice, from legal counsel. Depending upon the circumstances an individual clearing defaulted traffic tickets can be complicated, time consuming, and financially costly. In many situations, to have the best outcome for your individual case a bond must be posted with the court in order to have an opportunity to contest or reduce the impact of the defaulted traffic ticket. In other situations, defaulted traffic tickets that are considered criminal, likely misdemeanors, an individual will likely be required to appear in court in order to be arraigned on the matter.

Defaulted traffic tickets vary from situation to situation, and thus only after a review of an individual’s case can counsel properly and adequately provide advice on the necessary course an individual must take to cleared their defaults. If an individual is ever unsure about the number or location of their defaulted traffic tickets, the best thing to do is obtain your driving record from the SOS. By obtaining the record, an attorney will be able to see where the court’s holding each defaulted traffic ticket, and likely the specific citation, charge or violation for each default. It’s also important to note that the defaulted traffic tickets may not be the only issue or circumstance suspending an individual’s drivers license. With that said, it is important to consider obtaining advice and assistance with drivers license restoration. Again, there can be multiple reasons for a suspended drivers license, and only after proper consult can a true and full answer be provided. NEVER rely on information on this website or any other website on the internet when attempting, wanting or when representing yourself in or before any court of law, administrator, officer, or otherwise wanting to present or claim a legal defense, idea, opinion, interpretation, or otherwise here in Michigan or other body of law or representation.

Michigan Distracted Driving Law Explained

Under MCL § 257.602b, also known as Michigan’s distracted driving law, essentially makes it improper for someone operating a motor vehicle to use, text or look at their cellphone. The language of the distracted driving law focuses on texting on a cellphone or mobile device, but when reading the entire statute, it becomes clear that the distracted driving law actually forbids more than just texting while driving. Section 1 of MCL § 257.602b specifically states:

“a person shall not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state. As used in this subsection, a wireless 2-way communication device does not include a global positioning or navigation system that is affixed to the motor vehicle.”

Commercial and school bus drivers have an added layer applied to them under the distracted driving law. Under Section 3 of MCL § 257.602b, commercial and school bus drivers are also  not allowed to “use a hand-held mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication while operating a commercial motor vehicle or a school bus on a highway, including while temporarily stationary due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays.” This “use of a hand-held mobile telephone” or cellphone includes “[u]sing at least 1 hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication; [d]ialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button; [and r]eaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.”

There are also exceptions to the general distracted driving law, which allows for individuals to not be found responsible for distracted driving. With that said, there are many situations and circumstances where an individual could be seen acting as if they are violating the distracted driving law; however, the language of the distracted driving law is very specific. Because of its specificity individuals cited under the distracted driving law may or may not have defenses for such a citation. Whenever you are cited for a traffic offense or a criminal misdemeanor you should also consult and seek the assistance of legal counsel to ensure that you matter is handled appropriately. You never want to rely on this information or any information found on the internet when wanting, attempting or pursuing a legal argument in any court here in Michigan or throughout the United States without first seeking legal advice.

How Does Someone Reinstate Driving Privileges in Michigan Explained

How would someone reinstate driving privileges here in the State of Michigan? The answer to that broad question can be simple or complex, depending upon why or how the individual needs to reinstate driving privileges. The why or how provides insight to the reasoning behind the suspension, and thus the proper process to reinstate driving privileges is then sought. Without knowing the how or why an individual needs to reinstate his or her license, an attorney is unable to determine exactly what is the proper course of action. In order to best determine the extent of an individuals suspension and the how or why an individual needs to reinstate his license, an individual should seek out and obtain his or her master driving record from the Michigan Secretary of State. This is generally the national registry for driving license suspensions, at least those suspensions and reasonings affecting the Michigan drivers license.

Once the driving record is reviewed, an attorney, such as myself, will then begin talking and reaching out to the various courts or agencies to begin handling and correcting the record. It is essential to mention at this point that the complexity of any case is determined, meaning once the record has been reviewed and it has been determine why the suspension is occurring, an attorney must then begin the process to reinstate driving privileges. In order to reinstate driving privileges the attorney may have to contact and schedule multiple hearings before multiple courts to correct or clear-up the outstanding suspensions, depending on what they are. Moreover, once the suspensions or issues creating the suspension have been cleared, and attorney may have to then schedule and petition for a hearing before the Secretary of State. There are so many different reasons for an individual having issues on being able to reinstate deriving privileges that no online article can truly answer all of the questions and concerns with the process. The best thing to do whenever you want to reinstate driving privileges in Michigan is to begin with the driving record. The second state to reinstate driving privileges is to contact and obtain assistance from an attorney handling driving license restoration.

An individual who wants to reinstate driving privileges wants to begin the process on the right foot, so that when they do go to officially reinstate their license they will have no issue or concern as the SOS hands them their license back. Also be safe rather than sorry, and remember to lawyer-up. Never rely on this website or any other information attempting or wanting to convey some legal idea or opinion when you are wanting, attempting or have the desire to represent yourself before any legal court, body or other without the proper assistance of legal representation and counsel.

Michigan Sobriety Courts Explained

Here in the State of Michigan, numerous district and circuit court maintain and develop Michigan Sobriety Courts, which assist individuals in combating their issues with substance and alcohol abuse and dependency. Michigan Sobriety Courts are generally an intensive program or probationary period where the individual will enter into an agreement with the court and probation to ensure that they plan to live by the terms and conditions set by the individualized court. Moreover, Michigan Sobriety Courts are generally referred to one particular judge within the court, and thus the judge will over see the progress of the individual with the assistance of probation and possibly other 3rd party programs that the individual defendant will work with while in the Michigan Sobriety Court.

Each individual Michigan Sobriety Court will operate differently, meaning the protocols, procedure and requirements will vary depending on the area and court overseeing the individual. Also, it is highly worth noting that not all courts have a Michigan Sobriety Court. Another concern and issue many individuals face are the qualifications for entering the program. To enter a Michigan Sobriety Court, an individual must meet a certain NEEDS score after a proper and thorough assessment of the individual’s substance and alcohol past, issues and pitfalls. Essentially, the individual must have an addiction that requires the intensive assistance offered through Michigan Sobriety Courts.

The positives to Michigan Sobriety Courts also vary, but not on the court, rather they vary depending upon the individual. For example, many drunk driving offense (2nd subsequent conviction primarily) see individual enter into Michigan Sobriety Courts. Those individuals, if meeting certain requirements, are allowed to obtain restricted licensing earlier than mandated by the Michigan legislator and Secretary of State. Other benefits include substance abuse treatment, community oversight rather than jail time, and other possible reductions and benefits obtained through the program. Michigan Sobriety Courts were created specifically for those suffering from substance and alcohol abuse, and they attempt to assist individuals in correcting and overcoming their previous behavior and dependence on those substances.

Whenever you are charged with any criminal matter here in Michigan, or any other state, you should always obtain the assistance of legal counsel. They are here to assist and provide you with avenues to ensure that your matter is handled appropriately and properly, providing the best possible outcome. Never rely on this website or any other information or statement on the internet when wanting or attempting to defend yourself within or before any court or legal body.