A warrant v warrantless search can be the difference between a constitutional violation and a legal search (and later seizure) by a police officer. Warrant v warrantless searches can occur in many situations and circumstances. To begin, a warrant to search is constitutionally required in situations, unless there is a constitutionally accepted exception that allows for a warrantless search.

The warrant to search must enumerate specific areas, locations, property and otherwise those things, items, places or persons that are to be searched. Moreover, in order for the warrant to be proper and constitutional there must be a factual basis establishing a reasonable belief or ability to find criminal activity within the area or location enumerated in the search warrant. An officer will submit what is called an affidavit of facts to a magistrate or judge for review and approval. This statement holds true, so long as there is not an exception to the general rule that requires a police officer to first obtain a warrant prior to performing a search on an individual here in the United States.

The exceptions to the warrant requirement allows for an officer to perform a warrantless search, and thus without first submitting an affidavit to a neutral and detached magistrate. Exceptions to the warrant requirement include situations involving situations where the officer has seen criminal activity in plain sight (or smell), in exigent circumstances, when an individual consents, when the situation lacks a reasonable expectation of privacy, or in other various situations. Essentially, unless a warrant is presented in a situation, an individual should always deny consent to be search or have his or her property, home, vehicle or otherwise searched.

No matter the situation an individual always has the right to deny consent to search. In fact, it’s a constitutional right, and it can make the difference in warrant v warrantless searches. In the end, if you are approached by a police officer, you have the absolute right to remain silent, not answer  any of his or her questions, deny a consent of your person and property, and to ask if you are allowed to walk away or free to leave. If he denies you the ability to leave or walk away, then you may be in a situation known as a custodial arrest or detainment, and at this situation you want to invoke your rights to silence and an attorney immediately, emphatically, and vocally to the officer. Know the law, maintain your rights, and lawyer-up.

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. 

What To Do With An Outstanding Warrant In Michigan

In Michigan, and other states, when an individual has an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor or felony, he or she will need to satisfy or turn themselves in on the outstanding warrant. Outstanding warrants can involve both Michigan misdemeanors and felonies, depending upon the circumstances and charges filed or issued by the local or county prosecutor. It should be known that if a felony warrant is being issued, it will not be by a local or municipal prosecutor, but rather a State or County prosecutor will be issuing felony warrants. City, local or municipal prosecutors will generally sign off on misdemeanor warrants; however, state prosecutors can also issue misdemeanor warrants. Misdemeanors are handled and within the power of both municipal and state prosecutors, unlike felony warrants.

Whenever an individual has an outstanding warrant for their arrest, albeit it be a misdemeanor or a felony, the individual should always first consult with a criminal attorney. The reason for this is due to the sensitivity of handling the outstanding warrant. Here in Michigan, if the criminal charges involve an open and outstanding warrant, the individual will generally be required to turn him- or herself into the court in order to close the open and outstanding warrant. This generally means the individual will have to do what is called a “walk-in” arraignment, which is where the individual will be arraigned on the outstanding warrant. During the arraignment the main purposes of the hearing will consist setting bond, reading of the charges, and setting the matter for the next appropriate hearing. Depending on whether the charges are for felonies or misdemeanors, the court in which you will be arraigned on an outstanding warrant will generally be the district court.

Outstanding warrants can consist of new charges, probation violations, or other criminal issues and matters. Because of the various situations and circumstances of your outstanding warrant, you should always consider and contact a criminal attorney. He or she will be able to advise you specifically to the nature of your criminal matter and inform you of what you need to specifically do in order to close the outstanding warrant. The information above applies generally to outstanding warrants; however, each case and situation is different, so please do not rely on this information or any information on any website if attempting, wanting, or trying to represent yourself in a court of law. Hire proper and competent counsel.

Filing License Restoration, Taking The Step

After taking the first and initial step in re-establishing your driving privilege, filing license restoration is the next step. Filing license restoration matters should always be handled by an experience license restoration attorney because of the special nature with the documentation and information that you will be sending to the Michigan drivers license appeal board. If the documentation and hearing is not executed accordingly and the individual fails to establish his or her burden in showing that they are privileged to having driving privileges again the individual will be required to wait an minimum of one-year before reapplying for his or her license.

It should be intuitive then that the second step of filing license restoration is highly important. This endeavor will consist of obtaining certain individuals to write letters of support on your behalf that will be submitted with your appeal. Depending on the reason for your suspension or revoked license, these individuals will need to attest to certain facts regarding your previous and current behavior. In many situations, individual lose their license because of substance abuse or criminal charges, and thus the letters of support in those situations will explain how the individual was prior to and after sobriety. Those attestations will help show to the appeal board that you will continue with your sobriety.

Furthermore, a substance abuse assessment, with a drug panel screening, will also be needed and submitted with the application to reinstate an individual’s drivers license. Again, it is highly important to obtain assistance when preparing and obtaining these documents for submission because the assessments are just as, if not more, important than the letters of support.

In the end, all of the information discussed above, and more that you will obtain from your attorney, will be and is important when submission your appeal for license reinstatement. Filing license restoration should begin with a full consultation from an experienced attorney, which will eventually lead to collecting the appropriate and correct documentation that will be submitted to the appeal division.

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.

The First Step For Drivers License Restoration

Do you have the legal ability to currently drive here in the State of Michigan? Have you lost the right to have a drivers license? Is your drivers license suspended, revoked or denied? Do you currently hold an invalid license? Have you heard of Drivers License Restoration?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you should consider and/or research looking into drivers license restoration. Depending upon why your license has been suspended, revoked, or denied there will be a specific course of action and/or plan that you will want to consider before actually attempting to re-obtain your drivers license. When determining how to get your license back, you should first begin by looking at your master driving record. The reason you should look at your driving record first is due to the fact that it will inform you of whether you are actually approved to apply for a hearing before the State Drivers License Appeal Board here in Michigan.

There are times that an individual who is looking to restore his or her driving privileges will find out that they are not eligible at such a time, and thus drivers license restoration . The reasoning for this is due to the fact that the individual’s record reveals that they are still under some sort of suspension or hold on their license because of traffic infractions, criminal convictions, or other driving license consequences. The suspension or hold results in license sanctions, which then in turn can prolong the individual’s eligibly for applying to reinstate his or her license. Drunk driving is a very prevalent reason for initially losing an individual’s drivers due to suspension or revocation; however, that is not the only reason or way to lose a driver’s license.

As stated before, numerous actions can lead to an individual losing his or her drivers license. Because of the various ways and possibilities, an individual should always seek the assistance and guidance of an attorney who handles drivers license restoration whenever they find themselves with an invalid, suspended or revoked license. Seeking their advice will allow the individual to understand the status of their license, which then allows for them to figure out the proper course of action in order to re-establish driving privileges.

DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECTUATE 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.

Electronic Insurance Cards Allowed

With the advent of technology Michigan law has been modified to correlate itself with such advancement. Prior to January 2015, the State of Michigan did not recognize electronic insurance cards as sufficient proof of proper insurance, which is required for automobiles in the State. Electronic insurance cards specifically refer to those found on an individuals phone or other electronic device representing a sufficient proof of insurance. The new law can be found under MCL 257.328.

Specifically speaking, providing an electronic form that is issued by the insurance company certifying the showing of insurance is a valid form of an electronic insurance card. Having an electronic insurance card on your individual person is prima facie proof of proper insurance. However, it should be noted that an officer can require that the individual subsequently submit the electronic version of the insurance to the proper or appropriate police department.

This new law allows for the expansion and protection of individuals that have insurance, but do not hold or have a paper copy of their insurance. Electronic insurance cards provide individuals a secondary option of showing that they do in fact have proper insurance, which would allow the individual to have options of bypassing a misdemeanor or other civil infraction. Remember, even civil infractions can impact an individual’s driving record.

Whenever you are or could be facing a criminal or traffic offense contact a local counsel. He or she always provide guidance regardless of the situation or severity of the circumstances. It is what they are here for. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week, and handles criminal and traffic offenses throughout Michigan.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECTUATE 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. 

Traffic Infraction Consequences

Traffic infractions consequences are important because with the right amount of consequences can lead an individual to losing his or her drivers license. The State of Michigan has certain ways that individuals can lose their license because of traffic infraction consequences. In numerous situations, individuals who accumulate or obtain too many points on his or her driving record will have his or her license suspended until certain criteria are met.

Moreover, prior to losing drivers license, an individual will or could face responsibility fees for the accumulation of too many points, which will also occur upon the suspension of a license. This is why it becomes to important to obtain an attorney prior to admitting responsibility for or paying a traffic ticket, which helps avoid potential traffic infraction consequences. An individual should never simply pay a traffic ticket, even when it’s their first traffic ticket or infraction. The reasoning behind this logic is because another traffic infraction consequence involves the increase in insurance premiums when the traffic infraction is placed on an individual’s driving record.

Simple traffic infractions can be pesky and annoying and involve the accumulation of points on the driving record. But did you know there are other traffic tickets that are classified as criminal, attaching serious traffic infraction consequences? Some of these infractions include reckless driving, drunk driving, driving without a drivers license or insurance, and other various traffic infractions, violations and the like. Traffic infraction consequences can bring about immediate suspension upon conviction of the above aforementioned crimes or infractions. Responsibility fees, points, and possible criminal probation can also ensue from a conviction of such a crime. Moreover, the individual’s criminal record will be impacted and a conviction placed on the record will also occur. Criminal traffic infractions are serious, and they should always be handled by a traffic attorney.

In the end, whether the traffic infraction consequences are severe or simply involve the accumulation of points, and individual should never shy away from obtaining assistance on his or her matter. The end result will provide a softening of any impact that may or may not occur on the individual facing the infraction. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week by phone, email or text. Contact him today with your traffic matters.

DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECTUATE 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.

Grand Rapids Marijuana Law Upheld

In the final months of 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court provided much hope for the marijuana community by failing to hear and take up the case involving Grand Rapids’ marijuana law, decriminalizing marijuana within the city.  It must be said that the Michigan Supreme Court did not specifically hear oral arguments or render an opinion, but rather the Court decided not to hear arguments on the case nor did it accept the case on appeal from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Earlier in 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court found for the City, and it determined that the Grand Rapids’ marijuana law, which was amended through the City charter, was valid. The local ordinance does not replace or nullify any existing, specifically when faced against the state law that criminalizes marijuana under Michigan Public Health Code. Now, the City of Grand Rapids and its interrelated City Police Department issue civil infractions for violations of its marijuana ordinance. The civil infraction criminalizes an act involving marijuana, but it does not provide criminal punishment nor a criminal record. Instead, as stated above, a civil infraction is issued under Grand Rapids’ Marijuana law.

An individual must remember, the Grand Rapids Marijuana Law only applies within the city limits. If found in violation of the local law, an individual will face a $25.00 fine for the first violation, $50.00 for a second violation, and $100.00 for a third or subsequent violation. IN order to fall under this local law, the individual must be at least 18 years or older. There are still very many issues that can appear and evolve within Grand Rapids due to this new local ordinance; however, the Grand Rapids’ Marijuana Law does provide for certain safeties that were not in place beforehand.

It is essential to remember that individuals are not fully protected by the Grand Rapids’ marijuana law, even when those individuals are found to be possessing within the city limits. There are numerous reasons for this and they should be examined separately pursuant to each individual case at hand. With that said, whenever you are facing or could face charges for marijuana acts, please contact a criminal defense attorney immediately in order to seek advice and guidance on your individual case. Josh Jones is here for you 7-days a week and is only a phone call away.

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.

Looking At Detroit’s MMMA Dispensary Ordinance

Here in the State of Michigan, Medical Marihuana Dispensaries operate in a gray-area within the law because of the People v McQueen decision rendered by the Michigan Supreme Court. The lack of legislation action has only increased the gray-area for how and if dispensary can operate here within Michigan. Many local municipalities has enacted local ordinances that allow medical marihuana dispensaries to operate within their areas.

Prior to the conclusion of the 2015 year, the City of Detroit passed a local ordinance that would control the operations, location and legality of medical marihuana dispensaries within the city. Detroit’s MMMA dispensary ordinance will cow-tail the pre-existing medical marihuana businesses, which may or may not make some people unhappy. Prior to the passing of the Detroit’s MMMA dispensary ordinance there was approximately 150 or so dispensary already operating within the city. Detroit’s MMMA dispensary ordinance is said to become effective on March 1, 2016, which means there will be some time for preexisting and new operators to take the appropriate steps in order to operate within the city legally.

Detroit’s MMMA dispensary ordinance is said to essentially limit the amount of legal operations to approximately 650 spaces or parcels within Detroit. Moreover, there is not a buffer or free zone within Detroit’s MMMA dispensary ordinance which does not allow a dispensary within 1,000 feet of another dispensary, church, school, city parks, or drug free zones (such as libraries, educational institutions, child care centers, etc.). However, it has been reported that Detroit’s MMMA Dispensary Ordinance does allow for individuals to petition or ask the council for a variance, which would inevitably allow the owner or operator to place his or her location within the 1,000 foot area. This would of course be dependent on the City Council. It has been reported that some individuals believe the new MMMA ordinance for Detroit is far to constrictive, even though it was believed that the law needed to be passed and regulations put into place.

The medical marihuana industry is in constant flux, which is why whenever you are involved in or with medical marihuana you need to ensure that you have someone who will stand by your side. Josh Jones specializes in marihuana defense (both medical and non-medical) and is here to assist you in the do’s and do not’s of the medical marihuana industry as it applies here in the State of Michigan.

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 Supreme Court Eliminating Sentencing Guidelines

In 2015 the Michigan Supreme Court wrote an opinion eliminating sentencing guidelines, which meant that felony sentencings would change after People v Lockridge. Prior to this opinion, courts were required to follow sentencing guidelines, unless the judge or court were able to specifically articulate a reasoning (after specific findings) to divert or go against the recommended sentencing guidelines within the particular case at hand. Eliminating sentencing guidelines, as was held in People Lockridge, removed this mandate and requirement of following sentencing guidelines here in the State of Michigan.

Essentially, the Court ruled that mandatory guidelines violated the 6th Amendment by requiring a mandatory minimum, and inevitably eliminating sentencing guidelines. It must be noted that the entire sentencing guideline system was not eradicated, but rather it was softened and loosened by providing judges with more discretion when rendering a sentence. Prior to the Lockridge opinion, Judges were required to find a substantial and compelling reason to depart from the sentencing guidelines, which would then be established by the defendant or the facts provided to the jury.

The Michigan Supreme Court, extended a prior U.S. Supreme Court opinion that provided a similar conclusion regarding the federal sentencing guidelines. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Apprendi, originally ruled that the federal guidelines also are discretionary, yet they too must be considered. Therefore, in Michigan the sentencing guidelines essentially become advisory for courts; however, the court must still justify the sentence imposed and consult the guidelines. In the end, it can be seen how the sentencing court essentially eliminated sentencing guidelines, but they are not thrown out the window.

No matter the situation, or the crime, a criminal defense attorney is essential. They provide necessary information, guidance, and assistance for felonies and misdemeanors. Eliminating Sentencing Guidelines influences felony crimes, but misdemeanors too can bring about jail and confinement. So whenever you are charged or could be charged with a crime here in the State of Michigan, contact your criminal lawyer. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week.

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.

Examining Drunk Driving Prevention

Many individuals know that drunk driving charges can and are serious matters. This is especially true, not because of the possible jail confinement or fine imposed, but because of the other consequences, sanctions, and punishments that can be and are inflicted on an individual convicted of a drunk driving charge. At the end of the day, drunk driving prevention is essential to keeping you safe and out of jail. Remember, drunk driving charges encompass a large range of various crimes, such as OWI, OWVI, DUI, or OWI 2nd subsequent.

Drunk driving prevention begins and ends with the individual who chooses to drink and then get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The best way to prevent drunk driving charges is to not drive. This either means that when you drive your vehicle and then decide to drink, you call a cab, Uber or a friend or family member, or the other option is to not drink at all when you are utilizing your motor vehicle. Drunk driving prevention begins with the choices we make before we even make the choice to drink. For example, contacting a cab or Uber or having a designated driver is an obvious choice rather than abandoning your vehicle once you have already went out for the evening. But drunk driving prevention is not always that easy nor clean cut.

The real issue begins when an individual is involved in an accident or a traffic stop that subsequently also the suspicion of drunk driving. This too is where drunk driving prevention can come into play. The reality of life is that people drink and drive, and thus when they are confronted by police during these times. Drunk driving prevention becomes imperative because even if you are intoxicated you have specific rights that should not be infringed upon or given up. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, the right to counsel (or representation), and you lose that right and will have things used against you during a police encounter if you choose to speak or voluntary provide them with incriminating information. This is beyond important, and so many individual’s forget these two important rights.

You are not required to answer questions such as “have you been drinking,” “when was your last drink,” or “how many drinks have you had tonight.” These are incriminating questions, which you can and should invoke your right to silence on. It is not enough to simply remain silent, you must unequivocally voice your right that you will not answer and instead remain silent. Use this right whenever you are involved in questioning by a police officer and feel that what you say may be incriminating. It is better to invoke this right and the right to counsel prior to hurting your case and yourself. Police officers have a job, which is to collect evidence and protect other citizens. Invoking your rights is not against the law nor is it hindering an officer’s job performance. In fact, it is forcing the officer to continue with his or her duty of color to actually perform an investigation in order to substantiate their claims of criminality against you.

Simple questioning is not the only thing involved in drunk driving prevention or investigations. Officers will ask you to perform field sobriety tests, roadside and in-custody breathalyzer tests, and possibly other various tests and procedures to determine if you are in fact intoxicated beyond the legal limit. Knowing what can and cannot be done during a drunk driving investigation is essential all drunk driving cases. This is why having proper representation whenever you are involved in drunk driving charges is the key too drunk driving prevention. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week; contact him today for your free consultation.

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.