Police Encounters Discussed & Outlined

An individual that has involved in police encounters knows that the situations are never easy or comforting, at least when you’re the individual being questioned about the possibility of a crime occurring or have already occurred. Police encounters are considered special situations due the U.S. Constitution, which provides certain rights to individuals confronted by the government, i.e. police officers. These rights are generally held to the highest standard and attach to the person no matter where the location of the individual; however, certain locales will provide high degrees of constitutional protection.

For example, individual involved in police encounters that take place at their individual home or abode will maintain a high degree of constitutional protection than if that same individual is involved police encounters that occur while he or she is driving his or her motor vehicle. Regardless of the police encounter, an individual always has the absolute right not to speak to or answer questions asserted by a police officer. This is known as your right as incrimination, and it attaches at any police encounter where you have the potential of incriminating yourself for a crime or criminal acts. The right must be asserted; however, it does not negate the fact that whenever an individual is involved in a police encounter and they may have or believe or think they have committed a criminal offense (whether traffic, misdemeanor or felony) they should never make any statement attempting to defend or explain their actions or conduct.

Police encounters provide police officer a unique situation to use their questioning and fact-finding ability to obtain information easily and without very little effort. Police officers are fact-finders. This is their primary and essential job as investigators. By speaking, answering questions, providing facts, and essentially confessing police encounters become the easiest way for any individual police officer to obtain the evidence necessary to convict an individual for a criminal offense. Police encounters can be limited and ineffective in a legal and proper way, but only when the individual involved in the police encounter maintains his or her constitutional rights. These rights not only involve the right to remain silent, but also the right to have counsel present. Therefore, whenever any individual is involved in a police encounter it is best to always be safe and invoke both of those constitutional rights and safeguards.

You want to make sure that whenever you are involved in or with a criminal matter (felony, traffic or misdemeanor) that you obtain proper legal counsel. You never want to rely on this information or any other information on the internet, in any form, when wanting or attempting to represent, defend or explain yourself before any legal court or body. In fact, you should always lawyer-up.

Michigan Moving Violations and Nonmoving Violations Outlined

Here in the State of Michigan there is a difference between moving violations and nonmoving violations. Both types of violations are civil tickets; however, the most common moving violations are speeding tickets. Speeding tickets are not the only type of moving violations that exist in Michigan, even though they may be the most common. Another common ticket that is issued is a seatbelt violation, which is generally a nonmoving violation. The difference between a nonmoving and moving violation are indicated and controlled by the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code. There is a list available, via the internet, that coordinates each individual traffic infraction by driving code. This list also identifies whether the ticket is a moving violation or nonmoving violation.

In reality, the term moving violation is more a term of art. It is used in the legal realm to differentiate between those ticket infractions that abstract or are sent over to the Michigan Secretary of State, and thus those infractions that are placed on an individual’s driving record. Moving violations are placed on the driver’s record regardless of the amount of points that are attributable to that particular infraction. You read the statement correctly; traffic tickets can be zero points, but still be placed on the driver’s record. Nonmoving violations are not placed on the record. The fact that a traffic ticket is placed on someone’s record means that their insurance will also be influenced. So in the end, if there is nothing placed on the individual’s record there will be no influence on their insurance. As one can see, this is an important difference between moving violations and nonmoving violations and why counsel is always important before admitting responsibility to any traffic ticket.

To sit here and list or identify each individual moving infraction would take hours, but it is again important to know that there is a difference between each individual traffic ticket that may or could be issued against you. This is another reason to contact counsel to see if it is a nonmoving or moving violation. You must always remember to never rely on this website or any other website on the internet when wanting or attempting to defend yourself before any court or legal body without the proper assistance of counsel or legal representation.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Compliance Checks Reviewed & Explained

Michigan’s medical marijuana program has seen many changes over the years, which has brought about an increase in medical marijuana compliance checks. These medical marijuana compliance checks have seemingly increased since the medical marijuana program here in Michigan has provided grants to numerous counties through the State. To begin this discussion on medical marijuana compliance checks, it is worth noting that there is no State statute or law requiring these compliance checks to occur, except for those falling under the medical marihuana facilities act. However, there have been numerous local municipalities that have been attempting to or are passing local laws that require individuals (patients and caregivers) to submit to these medical marijuana compliance checks. Again, the issue I am discussing right now does not include the new State law requiring checks for those falling under the Medical Marihuana Licensing Act, but instead this conversation focuses on normal medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

If an individual patient or caregiver is ever approached by law enforcement and asked to submit to a medical marijuana compliance check, the individual must remember they are not required to consent that request. You are allowed to tell the officer “no.” This even applies in those areas where local laws have attempted to enact an ordinance requiring medical marijuana compliance checks to take place. State law, generally, trumps local laws when they are in conflict with one another. Therefore, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act would take precedent, and the individual again is not required under the Act to submit or consent to a medical marihuana compliance check. Generally, the only time an individual is required to consent to a check or a search (which is what a medical marihuana compliance check is), is when an officer has a valid search warrant for the particular place, person or thing they are requesting to look at or search.

So the question then becomes, what does an individual patient or caregiver do when they are approached and asked to submit to a medical marijuana compliance check? The answer: stand your ground, continue to indicate that you are not consenting to the medical marijuana compliance check, that you will not allow them to enter, and then attempt to end the interaction between yourself and the officer. The result of standing your ground can vary depending on the situation and the circumstances of the individual incident. You could be arrested, the police could force their way into your home, the could simply leave, or other things could occur. The most important thing to do is to maintain your innocence or silence, ensure that they know you are a valid medical marijuana cardholder, and that you have not consented to their medical marijuana compliance check. If you are arrested or a search ensues, it is imperative to contact counsel immediately thereafter. The mere fact that officers do what they believe is legal does not negate that fact that you may or could have a defense later in a court of law. However, if you consent or allow them to perform their compliance check (meaning you agreed for them to) then you will be in a completely different situation than if you maintain your ground and denied consent.

Whenever you are involved or believe to be involved in these types of situations you want to never rely on the opinions and statements on this website or any other site on the internet. Instead, you want to obtain counsel and seek their professional opinion and assistance. They can and will be able to help once they have been able to obtain necessary facts about your case.

Michigan Drug Crimes Outlined & Explained

There are common Michigan drug crimes that all individuals should be aware of because they can and will have long-lasting repercussions on you and your life. The various Michigan drugs crimes are differentiated by the specific chemical that makes up the particular drug in question. Based upon the chemical make-up of the drug, the Michigan drug crime can and will vary in severity if an individuals is convicted. Let’s see if we can better explain this comment on Michigan drug crimes.

The Michigan legislature, like many other states, have identified and categorized certain Michigan drug crimes as felonies and misdemeanors when speaking solely about the possession of the particular drug in question. What this means is for example, someone who is found in possession of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor, yet if an individual is found in possession of cocaine then he or she will be facing a felony charge. It should be noted that these hypotheticals are assuming the individual is being charged under State law and not a local ordinance. Another, issue that is presented with the varying Michigan drug crimes involve the circumstances and facts surrounding the particular incident with the drug in question. What I mean is that an individual can be charged with the following types of crimes, which are based upon their actions with the drug, which include, but are not limited to: use, possession, delivery, intent to deliver, or manufacturing. On top of the common Michigan drug crimes just listed, local ordinances can and will also other acts or circumstances involving drugs, such as possession of drug paraphernalia.

Of course, there are specific defenses for Michigan drug crimes if an individual is facing a drug charges that are listed above or extend beyond the information included in this post. The list of defenses is beyond the scope of this article, which gives reason to contact a criminal defense attorney any time you believe you will be or are charged with a Michigan drug crime. With that said, and to conclude, Michigan drug crimes come with numerous consequences that can change and impact your daily life. For example, many of the Michigan drug crimes attach a drivers license sanction and suspension and can preclude an individual from obtaining certain licenses if convicted of such a crime. Moreover, those seeking financial aid for school will also be impacted and unable to receive financial aid if convicted of a Michigan drug crime.

The variation, consequence and complexity of Michigan drug crimes make it essential to hire appropriate and adequate counsel whenever involved in such a crime. You should never rely on this information or any other information on the internet when wanting or attempting to defend yourself before any legal body, court or otherwise. Always lawyer-up.

Michigan Basic Speed Law Outlined & Explained

Here in the State of Michigan, as in all other states, there are specific speeds that individuals must operate their motor vehicle depending upon the posted speed limits signs. There is also a basic speed law, which becomes effective when the ability to travel or operate a motor vehicle at the posted speed is limited and requires more due care and caution. MCL 257.627 and 257.628 are the controlling statutes for Michigan’s basic speed law.

Because of the way the Statute is written and enforced, the basic speed law does not always apply, and rather it requires some decrease in speed as compared to the posted speed limit within the area in question. An easier way to explain this is to look at the definition within the statue. First, it is necessary to understand that a person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead. Instead, an individual is required to operate his or her vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition existing at the time.

As you read thru the definition of following the basic speed law, you will see where the key language lies, which is the circumstances surrounding the highway you are traveling on. Therefore, you will essentially always follow the speed limit signs; however, the basic speed law can and will become effective depending upon the conditions and circumstances of the roadway or highway that is being traveled. It is always prudent to travel at safe speeds, which is the idea behind the basic speed law and why it is in effect. Whenever you receive a civil infraction for speeding or any other traffic violation you should always seek the assistance and counsel of an attorney. Even basic speed law violations can impact your insurance, driving record, and ability to drive.

In the end, you never want to rely on this website or any other website when you are attempting to represent, defend or articulate legalese on behalf of yourself within any court here in the State of Michigan.

Michigan Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

Misdemeanor traffic offenses here in Michigan can have a long lasting impact on you, your driving record and criminal record. Of course, as you may already know, not all traffic offenses constitute a criminal misdemeanor. However, as legislation continues to become more complex, convoluted and numerous, misdemeanor traffic offenses are on the rise. Recently, the State of Michigan has incorporated new misdemeanor traffic offenses.

Pursuant to MCL 257.312a, and now being recognized under misdemeanor traffic offenses when an individual operates a motorcycle upon a highway or place open to a motor vehicle without a proper motorcycle certification or endorsement. In order to obtain such an endorsement, an individual will need to take and pass a written and driving test. Once completed, the individual will have the endorsement on his or her license. If an individual ignores obtaining an endorsement, he or she will be at risk for obtaining a misdemeanor traffic ticket if he or she chooses to operate or drive a motorcycle as indicated above. If an individual is found in violation of MCL 257.312a, he or she will be guilty of a 90-day misdemeanor for his or her first offense or occurrence of the crime. Moreover, if an individual is found guilty of a second violation under MCL 257.312a, he or she will be facing a one-year misdemeanor, rather than the 90-day misdemeanor as mentioned previously.

Other misdemeanor traffic offenses here in Michigan consists of “willfully and maliciously damaging, destroying, injuring, defacing, dismantling, tampering with, or removing traffic control device.” Prior to the enactment of MCL 750.377d, the oversight and protection of traffic control devises was actually found under the Motor Vehicle Code. However, the new statute, MCL 750.377d, takes away the need for the older statute, and expressly incriminates a willful act that inevitably affects a traffic control device. If an individual is found guilty of this offense for the first time will face a 93-day misdemeanor. A second violation will lead to a 180-day misdemeanor, while someone who is found guilty of the offense 3 or more times will be facing a 1-year misdemeanor.

Misdemeanors and misdemeanor traffic offenses can and will have serious repercussions on an individual and their criminal and driving record. It is imperative to always obtain or at least consult with a criminal lawyer prior to handling, disposing or taking care of any traffic or criminal offense. You must remember to never rely on information from this website or any other website when attempting or wanting to represent yourself in a court of law or before any individual her in the State of Michigan.

Michigan Civil Forfeiture Laws Updated

In 2016, new Michigan Civil Forfeiture law took effect, which continued into the following year. The changes in the Michigan Civil Forfeiture law will relax the previous existing law that took millions of dollars from individuals involved in certain criminal investigations during previous years. The new Michigan Civil Forfeiture laws, increase the required burden of proof needed to be brought forth into a court of law, prior to an individuals property being forfeited by the local or state government. Therefore, individuals will now have more ability to prove that their property is not involved or was not involved in a criminal act, as alleged pursuant to the civil forfeiture.

Not only has the burden of proof required in order to prove a connection between personal property and criminal activity increased, but also the need to provide a monetary bond in order for an individual to pursue his or her claim for their particular property has been eliminated. Note: this applies to those cases and matters involving personal property under $50,000.00. This need to post bond may be confusing for some, and thus an explanation is needed.

To begin, when an individual is suspected of specific criminal activity, such as drug crimes, the police are allowed, under law, to seize and seek civil forfeiture of any and all property connected to or involved in the criminal activity. If the property is seized through civil forfeiture, a notice is to be provided to the owner of the property, and the owner then must decide his or her next course of action. Previously, an individual must within 20 days of receiving the notice of forfeiture provide a written claim and monetary bond in order to preserve his or her right in said property. Providing the written claim and monetary bond was the only way to protect and maintain in the seized property, otherwise the lack of performing these acts meant the property would be automatically forfeited after the 20 days. Under the new Michigan Civil Forfeiture laws, an individuals is still required to provide a written claim within the 20-day period; however, they are no longer required to post or provide a monetary bond for said property. This is a huge benefit for individuals because the new Michigan Civil Forfeiture laws are now not discriminating agains those individuals who do not hold the extra funds in order to  fight a claim of improper forfeiture.

The new Michigan Civil Forfeiture laws can be complex and are separate from any and all criminal matters that mar or may not be associated within a civil forfeiture case. This is important to note because of the difference in procedure and law between the two matters. This is also reason to hire and maintain counsel any time you believe or are charged with or could be charged with a criminal matter. Never rely on this website or any information when wanting or attempting to defend, represent or articulate any legal matter before a court within this state, or any other state of individual.

The Michigan Court of Appeals on Dec. 20, 2016, issued a written opinion indicating that improperly transporting marihuana unconstitutional. See People v Latz. This means that the statute, MCL § 750.474, indicating how a patient or caregiver must transport his or her usable marihuana is no longer valid here in the State of Michigan. Previously, this statute made it a criminal misdemeanor if violated, but improperly transporting marihuana unconstitutional is not the new standard across the state. Since it passage, the improper transport law has created many issues and concerns for numerous patients and caregivers here in Michigan due to the specific language used in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). The MMMA never specifically limited how a patient or caregiver was required to transport their medical marijuana, and thus the improper transport statute seemed to be at odds with the MMMA. This was always an argument, prior to the People v Latz opinion; however, not every lower court had the same opinion.

The court in the end, specifically stated that the improper transport law was in conflict with the MMMA, and because of such conflict, the MMMA would take precedent over the improper transport law, just as any other law that is in conflict with the MMMA would be subjected to. Moreover, the court went on to explain that when “persons comply with the MMMA, it grants “broad” “immunity” from prosecution. As noted, there is no dispute, at least for the purposes of this appeal, that defendant was in compliance with the MMMA.” (citing MCL § 333.26424(a); Braska v Challenge Mfg Co, 307 Mich App 340, 357-358(2014)).

In People v Latz, the Court of Appeals ruling improperly transporting marihuana unconstitutional allows for patients and caregivers to follow the MMMA solely and not be confused by improper criminal statutes. It is worth noting that the Court of Appeals Opinion could potentially be reversed by the Michigan Supreme Court; however, until that occurs the opinion by the Court of Appeals is standing law. Moreover, there are still laws limiting and controlling the transport of certain medical marihuana products, but luckily the punishment for this violation results in a civil infraction rather than a criminal misdemeanor as the improper transport statute did prior to this Court of Appeals’ opinion. Whenever you are involved with a medical marihuana or criminal or traffic issue you should and must always contact and consult with proper legal counsel. Never rely on or use information from this website or another source when attempting, wanting or wishing to defend yourself or a matter within or among the legal system here in Michigan or throughout the United States. Always lawyer-up.

Border Searches Cover The Entire State of Michigan

I remember sitting in my constitutional law class when the professor began his lecture on border searches, and when he explained the basis of these types of searches I was a little surprised. There has always been a decrease in personal and constitutional rights when entering a country, whether it be the US or a foreign land. However, the issues involved within border searches extends far beyond what one would think as the actual international border. Many individuals are unaware that courts, and thus law enforcement, have interpreted and extended the actual international border. In fact, there is actually an imaginary line created, extending the international border 100-miles from that imaginary line and bringing about lower constitutional protections for individuals found within that area. This is where border searches come into play because when individuals are found within these 100-mile areas and confronted by border patrol they will be maintain lower standards of constitutional protections as compared to areas outside of these 100-mile areas.

The lower constitutional protection found within these areas allow for border patrol to potentially conduct warrantless border searches on individuals that they suspect to enter or be in this country illegally. In Michigan, border searches are found to be in higher number because of the Canadian border. With that said, the Great Lakes have also been interpreted as a functional equivalent to a international border when discussing border searches and these 100-mile zones. At this point, you may be thinking or coming to the conclusion that much of Michigan falls within a 100-mile zone because of the close proximately to Canada.

The ACLU recently began investigation and legal action involving this very issue: border searches occurring within Michigan. The Detroit News outlined some of the issues in a recent article. Because of the area covered by these 100-mile zones border searches can become an issue for anyone who resides or travels within Michigan due to the decrease in constitutional protection and allowance of warrantless searches. It has been estimated that a low number of border searches within these zones actually occur; however, there are serious concerns about the tactics and program implemented within these areas. The amount of coverage increases the impact that border searches can have on individuals, especially US citizens.

If you are ever involved in a criminal or traffic matter you should always obtain or consult with legal counsel. You should never rely on this website or any other website if wanting or attempting to defend yourself or use any legal ideal, defense, or procedure within a court of law. Always lawyer-up.

Common Traffic Ticket Questions In Michigan

 Common traffic ticket questions can range from traffic tickets that involve a civil infraction or criminal misdemeanors or felonies. Yes, traffic tickets can become or be issued as criminal felonies or misdemeanors, which makes common traffic ticket questions and answer so essential for individuals, so they know what to do and how to proceed when issued with a specific type of traffic ticket or infraction. As mentioned traffic ticket can consist of a simple issuance of a civil infraction, which will require the individual to pay a simple fine. The latter type of traffic ticket can involve the issuance of a criminal misdemeanor citation or a felony warrant, which is dependent upon the circumstances and acts involved within the incident.

Some of the most basic common traffic ticket questions can be found below, but essentially it should be noted that whenever you are involved with the police and a citation is issued you should contact a criminal law attorney immediately. There are time frames and procedures that may need to be followed in order to best perverse your matter.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 1 – Is my driving record affected anytime an officer issues or writes me a ticket ticket?

The short answer to this question is “no.” There are specific traffic infractions that may or may not abstract or be sent over to the driving record.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 2 – Does that include traffic tickets that are issued under a criminal ordinance or statute, meaning a possible misdemeanor or felony?

Yes, the answer above does include SOME traffic offenses that may be criminal in nature, meaning they be placed on an individual’s criminal record; however, nothing will appear on the driving record. It should be noted, that this only applies to some criminal misdemeanors and felonies that are traffic offenses.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 3 – So, what you are saying is that traffic offenses can leave me with a criminal record?

Yes, there are certain enumerated or specified traffic offenses that if committed, charged, and found guilty of the offense an individual will be left with a criminal record of some kind, and depending upon the traffic offense could also affect the individual’s driving record.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 4 – How does one go about determining whether or not the traffic offense is criminal or a simple civil infraction?

The best way is to contact a criminal defense attorney, and then discuss the matter with him or her. Ultimately, the court will be the ones who know exactly what your charge or infraction issued. This is being said because sometimes the infraction, charge or criminal indicated on the ticket is not the one actually issued officially against you. We must remember the the prosecutor of the county, state or local municipality is the ultimate decider of crimes charged.

Common Traffic Question 5 – Does a speeding ticket 0 to 5 over, on a limited access roadway impact my driver record? What about my insurance?

Yes. Your driving record will have a speeding infraction for speeding place on it, and this will in turn impact your insurance once the insurance company runs a review of your driving record.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 6 – Is there a way to avoid penalties to your insurance or driving record?

Yes. There are ways to avoid an impact to your driving record and your insurance. Your insurance is tied to your driving record, and thus if you are able to stop the infraction from appearing on your record then you will be able to stop the impact to your insurance. The best advice is to contact counsel and have him or her handle the matter for you.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 7 – Is there a time limit for fighting, contesting or negotiating a traffic ticket?

Yes. The amount of time will be listed on the ticket, but generally it is ten 10-days. This means that you have that amount of time to contact the court and schedule hearing. If an attorney is hired during that time, then he or she will handle the setting of the hearing. It is important to note that if you do not respond or pay the ticket within that time frame you will face a default judgment, which will impact your drivers license and the amount of fines and costs.

Common Traffic Ticket Question 8 – What happens if I fail to pay a traffic ticket within the appropriate time?

The court will enter a default against you and your driving record, which means that your driving record will likely be suspended until the ticket is dealt with and a clearance fee is paid. If you become aware that your driving record has been suspended because of a failure to pay a traffic ticket you should contact counsel to obtain information on your options.

Traffic ticket questions because of the nature of those tickets and the ramifications that the ticket could have on the person, depending upon the circumstances of that individual situation. You should always consider contacting and reaching out to counsel whenever you receive a traffic ticket. Obtaining an attorney could mean the difference between the ticket impacting your drivers license and a clean record. You never want to rely on information on this website or any website when wanting or attempting to represent yourself within any court of law here in Michigan or in any court or before any individual pertaining to a legal or possible legal matter or issue.