What Happens When Refusing A PBT During A Traffic Stop?

A Preliminary Breathe Test (PBT) is utilized during some traffic stops when an officer suspects that the individual operating the motor vehicle in question is operating under the influence of intoxicants. A PBT is supposed to measure the amount of consumed alcohol within an individual’s system. When administered during a traffic stop, a PBT will be used on the side of the road, and thus a PBT is different when compared to the more specialized chemical test breathalyzer, which is generally performed after arrest and at the police station. It is worth noting that refusing a PBT or a chemical test breathalyzer can and will each have their own respective consequences if found responsible or guilty of either refusal.

In order to conceptually understand the difference between the two types of testing, one must understand that a PBT is done prior to arrest, while a secondary test is performed after the arrest. A secondary chemical test requires certain legal and chemical rights be rad prior to its administration. A PBT, on the other hand, is usually done after field sobriety tests (walk and turn, one-leg stand, finger to nose, reciting ABC’s, etc.) and prior to being arrested. It will also generally be performed on the side of the road by a handheld device the officer retrieves from his patrol vehicle. If refusing the PBT a civil infraction can and likely will be issued to the individual who refused. This type of civil infraction is a zero-point, non-abstractable infraction, and thus it is not placed on an individual’s driving record. The repercussions of refusing the secondary chemical test are much more severe and long-lasting. If curious of this repercussions, a more detailed explanation and editorial can be found here.

It should also be noted that generally a PBT cannot be admitted into trial, mainly due to the sensitivity and accuracy of the devise and its results. Multiple issues arise when looking into the accuracy of a PBT’s ability to measure someone’s blood alcohol content. However, the results of a PBT do allow for the underlying arrest for a drunk driving charge, even if not ultimately being used for conviction. The secondary chemical test if the primary device or result used for a drunk driving conviction or matter. Therefore, the PBT generally lead to similar results or at least results in-line with the later corroborating secondary chemical test results. It becomes so imperative for individuals to always obtain defense counsel when faced with issues involving a PBT, chemical test, or traffic matter. The varying ideals can change from case to case and apply in a variety of scenarios, so know the law, maintain your rights, and lawyer-up.

Remember to never rely on the information, opinions or content on this website or any other website on the internet when wanting, thinking or trying to represent yourself before any legal court or body or entity within this State or any other within the US.

What Is HYTA?

The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, HYTA, is a deferral statue that has specific age restrictions for individuals attempting to use the statute. However, it is not allowed for a number of offenses, including offenses where the penalty is life, all traffic offenses, and most criminal sexual conduct offenses. To receive consideration under HYTA, a defendant must have committed the crime charged between the ages of 17 and 21, generally. Generally is being stated because under new provisions that took effect in 2015 extending the age of requirement up to 24 years of age. Moreover, the individual cannot be charged with a crimes falling under list of excluding crimes.

If, you are 21 years of age at the time the crime was committed you will NOW be eligible to apply for HYTA, including up to 24 years of age. However, the key wording is “up to,” meaning that if you are 24 years old at the time of committing the offense you will not be eligible. Furthermore, if you are over the age requirement at the time you are brought to court (meaning 24 or older) on the criminal charges you may still be eligible to apply for HYTA consideration, if at the time the crime was committed you were 17 years old, and under 24 years old.

It is important to note and understand that HYTA does not prevent a Judge from sending an individual to jail. Moreover, there are other considerations that may come into play beyond the statutory exclusions and jail when handling a matter being considered under HYTA. There is also the required probationary period or oversight a court will impose in order to determine whether an individual is successful under HTYA status.

What Are The Benefits Of HYTA?

Answer: Once you enter a plea of guilty under HYTA, there is no public record of the conviction. The court, on the other hand, will maintain a record of the incident and matter, yet the general public will not have access to the information. Upon successful completion of HTYA an individual will have their record remain nonpublic and a conviction of the criminal act will not ensue.

VERY Important Note: If an individual does not satisfy the terms and conditions of probation or Judgement of Sentence he or she could lose your HYTA status, which means your HYTA status could be revoked. If revoked the conviction(s) will be entered onto your criminal history and any and all repercussions extending from the conviction will become enforceable. When facing the possibility of losing HYTA status it becomes imperative to obtain a criminal defense lawyer. This can also be said when facing any criminal or traffic conviction, citation, warrant or charge.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY upon any of the information contained in this article when trying or attempting to represent yourself in any criminal matter. You should always consult with an attorney before relying upon any written advice, article, blog, opinion, etc. found within this site or any other site found on the World Wide Web. 

What Does The Future Of Michigan Medical Marijuana Businesses Hold?

As many already know, last year Michigan passed legislation allowing for Michigan medical marijuana businesses to operate under specific conditions and licenses. However, the laws allowing for Michigan medical marijuana businesses to operate within the State does not become effective until December 15, 2017. With that said, there has been a lot of discussion about how one goes about best situating themselves to obtain a Michigan medical marijuana business license when they become available towards the end of this year. First, it should be noted that the state licensing board will not have applications available for a Michigan medical marijuana business license until the effective date of Dec. 15, 2017.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, in order for a Michigan medical marijuana business license to be issued the local municipality, city, or township needs to opt into the new laws. The local municipalities have the option of choosing one (1) or five (5) or all five (5) of the Michigan medical marijuana business licenses enacted by these new laws.  In fact, they are allowed to choose any number of Michigan medical marijuana business licenses to issue or opt into. They are also not given a deadline for when they are required to opt into or out of the new laws. The only real requirement is that they pass local ordinances identifying that they are opting into the new laws. If the local area does not decide to opt into these new laws then sadly there will be no Michigan medical marijuana business license issued in those areas, meaning no medical marijuana businesses can operate there.

Thirdly, there has been discussion of what the board will be doing with those operating medical marijuana dispensaries under previous medical marijuana laws here in Michigan. There has been mention that the board overseeing the issuance of Michigan medical marijuana businesses and its licensing will be giving a deadline for those preexisting businesses to stop operation. Moreover, there could be legal recourse sought for those operating past the deadline. As of the date of this article, none of those discussions are official, but they have been made public and will be decided on soon.

In the end, if you are thinking of wanting to get involved in future Michigan medical marijuana businesses, it is advisable to contact counsel to assist with the application process and obtaining of the license. The above mentioned points are only some of the concerns and issues faced by future Michigan medical marijuana businesses, and they will likely only be expanding as time passes. You want to remember to never rely on any information, advice or opinion provided on this website or any other website on the internet when wanting, attempting or thinking about representing yourself before any body, entity or individual court or otherwise without first obtaining advice and assistance from legal representation. As always, know the law, maintain your rights, and then lawyer-up.

Unemployment Insurance Agency Falsely Claiming Unemployment Fraud

When an individual losing his or her job, they may be able to obtain unemployment benefits through the State of Michigan. When filing a claim for such benefits, an individual will essentially go through an application process of fact checking and reporting through the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). For the most part, the UIA’s process is automated in many instances, electronic online interfaces are used, and it can be tedious and long for some individuals. There had been issues with this system, which led to a voluminous number of fraud claims submitted by the department on individuals looking to obtain benefits between approximately 2013-2015.

Unemployment fraud within Michigan has been relatively high within the last several years. One may think this is due to the hard time faces by Michigan residents and an increase in criminality. However, the relative facts on why there was an increase in unemployment fraud was not to due the individual claimants. Instead, it was the UIA who were falsely reporting unemployment fraud due to misreporting, interpretation and misunderstanding within the UIA’s process and automated system. Essentially, there was no proper way to weed of mistakes made when self reporting to a machine, especially when the follow-up questioning would come by electronic or regular mailer with no direction other than submitting additional information. The process of identifying unemployment fraud and the reasoning for the allegation varies among each individual.

The ability to obtain information on the issues with how the UIA reported unemployment fraud was long because the department would not release all documentation and information immediately. Once all of the information was reviewed it became apparent the underlying issue was with the automated reporting process and technology. The automated system would not always provide accurate information, dates and underlying reasons for the unemployment claim being submitted by an individual, and thus when reporting the system would flag an individual for potential unemployment fraud. If an individual is not inapt or unable to prove something that is not true that individual will then be facing long administrative procedures in order to correct the alleged unemployment fraud. It is worth noting that unemployment fraud claims usually attach some monetary restitution to be paid or provided to the State or UIA as reimbursement for the fraudulent act. Moreover, these unemployment fraud claims are generally civil in nature; however, this does not mean criminal charges could or would not ensue. As always, unemployment fraud claims (like many legal ideals) are and can be complex and layers, making them complicated to navigate.

Because of the issues facing unemployment fraud claims, it is always necessary to obtain legal representation. Josh Jones has been involved in numerous unemployment fraud claim cases involving the UIA and understands the issues those faced the last few years. He has personally experienced the automated self reporting problems. And due to this, he highly stresses the importance of contacting counsel whenever alleged to have committed any form of fraud. Even when an individual knows no improper action has been committed on his or her own part, the possible repercussions can be grave. Competent legal representation can assist, correct and protect you legal rights. It’s what they do. As always, never rely on any information, advice or comment on any website on the internet when wanting to represent, defend, claim, or assert before any court, entity, or governmental body without first obtaining advice and guidance of legal representation. Know the law, maintain your rights, and lawyer-up.

People v Frederick Limits Knock And Announce By Police

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

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

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

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

Native Tribal Lands And Medical Marijuana

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

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

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

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

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

Yielding To Pedestrians Explained

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

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

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

Michigan’s “Pay or Stay” Practices Are Improper

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

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

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

What Is Criminal Conspiracy Here In Michigan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possessing Forged License or Reproduced Drivers License

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

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

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