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.

Police Officer Mistakes – They do happen

Whenever you are confronted by a police officer, it becomes essential that the particular police officer involved handles him- or herself accordingly. Police officer mistakes can lead to a great outcome in a criminal case. When police officer mistakes occur, it brings about the possibility of having the case dismissed against the particular individual or client. These situations do not occur all the time, but police officer mistakes can and do actually occur, which is why it is important to be receptive of the types of police officer mistakes that can come up in a given case.

The various types of police office mistakes vary from case to case and even person to person. There are multiple ways that police officer mistakes can affect a criminal case, which includes but are not limited to the following:

  • Constitutional violations
  • Lack of Reasonable Suspicion
  • Lack of Probable Cause
  • Searching a place/thing/person without a warrant
  • Seizing a thing/person without a warrant
  • Failing to read Miranda Warnings
  • Human Error

These types of police officer mistakes do not happen in all circumstances and police encounters. They can occur, however, in traffic cases, drug cases, incidences occurring in the home, and in other situations. Moreover, the types of cases where police officer mistakes are not apparent when first reviewing the case nor may it be easy to show that the mistake or violation has occurred. This is the reason it becomes necessary for any individual who is arrested or is encountered by a police officer to contact counsel immediately.

A criminal defense attorney who specializes in these issues is necessary because he or she see them continuously and understand what it needed in order to be victorious in defending the rights of their clients. Josh Jones, is a superior Michigan criminal lawyer, and is here to help you with all your criminal matters that occur or have occurred here in Michigan. Always make sure that you have someone fighting for you and your criminal matter, no matter the size or magnitude of the crime. Remember, contact Josh Jones today for your free consultation and your first step in defending your criminal matter.

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.

Michigan MIP Amnesty Law

Protections For Some Minors Who Come Forward

In June of 2012, the State of Michigan modified the Michigan Liquor Control Code (aka MLCC) to include an exemption for certain individuals suffering from alcohol poisoning, i.e. the MIP Amnesty Law. This exemption applies to a minor who purchases, consumes or possesses alcohol. See MCL § 436.1703(10). Traditionally, an MIP is a criminal misdemeanor if an individual under the age of 21 is caught purchasing, consuming or possessing alcohol. However, the MIP Amnesty Law provides dismissal in certain circumstances for individual in such a situation. The MIP Amnesty Law requires the individual to:

– Voluntarily present himself or herself to a health facility or agency for treatment or observation, including examination and treatment for any condition arising from criminal sexual conduct committed against the minor;

– Accompanies an individual who has consumed alcohol and who presents himself or herself to a health care facility for treatment or observation; or

– Initiates contact with a peace officer or emergency medical services personnel for the purpose of obtaining medical assistance for a legitimate health care concern.

The MIP Amnesty Law protects minors from fear of being criminally prosecuted for an MIP if the minor is seeking medical or emergency assistance because of alcohol use, and, inevitably charged with possession, use or purchasing alcohol. This legislation does not recuse MIPs outright; it does, however, provide individual minors who become ill, medically complicated, or make contact for assistance for those individuals ill or medically complicated will be protected.

The purpose of the MIP Amnesty Law is to provide protections for serious situations. The MIP Amnesty Law should afford individual minors with the comfort of coming forward to protect themselves and others when alcohol becomes dangerous. Know the law, know your rights, and always lawyer-up. Contact Josh Jones 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 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.

What Is Aiding And Abetting?

Here in the State of Michigan there is a crime known as aiding and abetting. It is important to understand what acts constitute conviction under the law here in Michigan. The concept may be considered similar to a conspiracy charge, however, aiding and abetting requires different proofs for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction.

First, in order to obtain a conviction under aiding and abetting, the prosecutor must prove that the individual defendant or someone else committed a crime. Further, the individual must have prior to or during the crime, assisted in some manner to commit the crime. Lastly, the individual defendant must have intended for the commission of the crime or knew was going to be committed.

The crime of aiding and abetting comes from common law and was generally a separate and distinct crime; however, it is abrogated by statute here in Michigan pursuant to MCL 767.39. The Statute actually abolishes the distinction between the aider and abettor and the principle. This means that an individual convicted of aiding and abetting will be sentenced (and technically convicted) of the principle offense attached to the elements of the aiding and abetting charge. Therefore, there is no difference (or distinction) between a principle (or leader) and aider and abettor (or supporter) or a crime.

But what is the difference between aiding and abetting and Accessory After the Fact, which is are separate offenses here in Michigan?

The jury will decide if the individual is guilty as aiding and abetting or accessory after the fact. The distinction is subtle, but matters when determining what an individual defendant can be found guilty of. To be found guilty of accessory after the fact the prosecutor must show that the individual defendant had known about the commission of the crime and assisted in the individual who committed the crime from prosecution or after its commission.

Whenever you are charged within a criminal misdemeanor or felony, it is essential to obtain counsel. Josh Jones understands the distinctions in the law and will assist you whenever you are charged within a criminal offense here in Michigan. Contact him today for a 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.

Furnishing Alcohol To Minors Here In Michigan

Pursuant to MCL 436.1701 it is a criminal misdemeanor for a person who knowingly sells or found furnishing alcohol to minors or failing to make a diligent inquiry as to whether the person is a minor here in the state of Michigan. The statute makes a difference between individuals who are licensees and those who are not, both obtaining different punishments if convicted, if found guilty of furnishing alcohol to minors.

“[A] person who is not a retail licensee or a retail licensee’s clerk, agent, or employee and who violates MCL 436.1701 is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 and imprisonment for not more than 60 days for a first offense, a fine of not more than $2,500.00 and imprisonment for not more than 90 days for a second or subsequent offense, and may be ordered to perform community service.” MCL 436.1701(1). A second or subsequent conviction of furnishing alcohol to minors will result in driver’s license sanctions.

Those that hold licenses and found guilty of furnishing alcohol to minors be subjected to misdemeanor sanction, or up-to 6-months in jail and/or a $500.00 fine. See generally, MCL 436.1909 and MCL 436.1701. It should also be said that for an individual to be guilty of furnishing alcohol to minors he or she must have done so with intent, meaning they knew they were under the legal drinking age, or had failed to make diligent effort into whether the person was a minor or of legal age. Furnishing alcohol to minors can lead to a criminal record, and if convicted multiple times will affect your driver’s license. Therefore, it is essential to know the law, know your rights, and lawyer-up with Josh Jones. He has your back when you are faced with criminal charges. Call him 7-days a week; he is here to help.

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.

Civil Citations Can & Will Come In Multiple Forms

Have you ever been charged with a criminal misdemeanor, yet not taken to jail or arrested, but rather issued a citation? A criminal citation is a ticket that police officers issue to individuals for certain low-level crimes. They can be in the form of a criminal misdemeanor or a civil (traffic) infraction.

Civil Citation Procedure In A NutShell

Civil Citations will generally notify the individual of a violation that has been committed, and may provide the date and time he or she must appear in court. Essentially the civil citation directs the individual to contact the court personally within a specified amount of time in order to take care of the matter leading to the issuance of the civil citation. Civil citations can bring about or attach criminal charges, a formal process to handle the matter or citation, i.e. going to court on criminal charges.

It is important to note that the time between the citation being issued and when you must appear in or contact the court can and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within Michigan. It is essential to stay in contact with the court or your attorney if you have been provided a civil citation, even after the time specified on the citation. Again civil citations can have criminal charges noted on them.

For simple civil citations, i.e. speeding or parking tickets, you will have one of two options. The first will be to simply pay the applicable fine for the particular infraction(s) committed. The second option will be to request one of two types of hearings (an informal or formal hearing). A civil citation with a listed criminal charge will require the individual appearing in a district court. Criminal charges on civil citations will likely be simple misdemeanors, meaning that felony criminal matters are handled differently.

All Civil Citations Matter

An criminal defense attorney can handle you civil citations, traffic or criminal, which is why you must always lawyer-up. A lawyer will be able to help you walk through this process with the littlest of ease because they are skilled and trained for performing such tasks. Civil citations, whether traffic or criminal, can impact you life if not handled appropriately and your records protected. Contact Josh Jones today for your free traffic or criminal consultation.

Criminal Sexual Conduct – Michigan CSC Crimes – Outlined

The Criminal Sexual Conduct (aka CSC) Act is divided up into Four Degrees (decreasing in statutory penalty as the degrees become larger. They are commonly referred as follows:

  • CSC – First Degree, i.e. CSC 1, which carries with it any term of years in jail if convicted.
  • CSC – Second Degree, i.e. CSC 2, which carries a possible 15-year maximum jail term and registration and possible electronic monitoring if the victim is less than 13-years old and the defendant is 17-years or older.
  • CSC – Third Degree, i.e. CSC 3, which carries a possible 15-year maximum jail term and registration.
  • CSC – Fourth Degree, i.e. CSC 4, which carries a possible 2-year maximum jail term and registration.

The variation in which specific degree of CSC that would be charged in any individual case is based upon the absence or presence of statutory circumstances or facts. The CSC act differentiates the degrees of CSC based upon whether there are assault that affect or intent to affect body cavities, i.e. sexual penetration or sexual contact. See People v Bristol and MCL 750.520a(m), (l), respectively. Sexual penetration crimes will fall under degrees CSC 1 and CSC 3, while the sexual contact crimes fall under the degrees CSC 2 and CSC 4. See MCL 750.520b-e.

Michigan CSC Crimes – Serious Charges, Requiring Competent Counsel

It is imperative that you obtain counsel if or when you are faced with any Michigan CSC crime. Michigan CSC crimes range from Felonies (CSC 1 through 3) to a high-court misdemeanor (CSC 4). The possible jail sentences and fines for these particular crimes are severe and could require monitoring and/or registering with the state as a sex offender. See MCL 750.520b-e. Moreover, CSC cases will be very fact specific, which means these cases need to be handled with care.

The CSC Act also encompasses Assaultive Offenses, which too can have a negative impact on individual futures and lives if he or she is convicted of or pleads guilty to Michigan CSC crimes and has prior assaultive crimes on his or her criminal record. Assaultive crimes will also be broken down in act involving sexual penetration or sexual contact. The following are both categories of Assaultive crimes found in the CSC Act:

  • Assault with intent to commit CSC involving sexual penetration. See MCL 750.520g(1).
  • Assault with intent to commit CSC II—contact. See MCL 750.520g(2).

Moreover, Michigan CSC crimes can be confused with or for attempted Michigan CSC crimes. Therefore, this is just another reason why counsel is so imperative and important in these situations. You must maintain your rights throughout every step of the crime process, especially when facing a severe crime such as CSC.

Michigan CSC Crimes & Sex Offender Registration

The Sex Offenders Registration Act (aka SORA) was created for “a person who has been convicted of committing an offense covered by this act poses a potential serious menace and danger to the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the people, and particularly the children, of this state.” See MCL 28.721a. But who is placed on the list?

If the individual conviction is for a crime that is specifically indicated in the act and designated as a “listed offense,” which inevitably falls within a specific “tier.” then registry requirements will ensue. There tiers are separated by the seriousness of the offense, the time length of required registration, and on whether the individual’s personal information will be listed on a public website. Therefore, the punishment for conviction of a CSC will be based upon the facts of the individual case and the criminal history of the individual defendant.

It is apparent that counsel is necessary when dealing with Michigan CSC crimes. Imprisonment, fines, registration, and government oversight are all possible and likely when talking about Michigan CSC crimes. Why go through this alone, blind, and without someone knowledgeable on the topic? Contact Josh Jones today, he has your back.

What Is Aggravated Assault?

When a punch or an intentional and harmful contact turns into aggravated assault the consequences become severe. No weapon is needed; however, serious or aggravated injury must result. The individual must not have the intent to commit great bodily or murder. Meaning that if an severely injures another, yet does not maintain the specific mental intent at the time of the crime the he or she is guilty of aggravated assault. An individual convicted of the crime will have a misdemeanor on his or her record and could spend up to 1 year in jail and/or fined up to $1,000.00.

In a general assault case, the evidence must show that the defendant intended to make contact. Meaning, negligent contact will not rise to the proper evidentiary level to prove that an assault occurred. A general assault (or assault and battery) conviction is a 93-day misdemeanor. This evidentiary idea holds true when dealing with aggravated assault as well, even though the injury inflicted is more severe.

A reader should also note the possible sentence enhancements for assault crimes, meaning that if the individual has prior assaultive criminal convictions their possible maximum sentence if convicted of the new crime can and will increase. Usually these can double a defendant’s possible maximum sentence depending on, but not limited to, the amount of prior convictions, the type of convictions (prior and present), circumstances of the case, and a defendant’s sentencing guideline score.

If you or someone you know is charged with this crime, you should contact an attorney immediately. There are possible defenses that can be used, case theories or possible motions that need to be filed in order to assist the defendant at trial. These cases will be fact specific and require a detailed oriented and driven individual. Contact Josh Jones today whenever you are charged with aggravated assault or any other criminal misdemeanor or felony 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.