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.
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.