Possession Controlled Substance - Novi Criminal Lawyer
If you've been charged with a drug crime in Novi
this doesn't make you a criminal or a bad person. I see clients on a daily basis who have have never been been arrested or in trouble with the law, and they get arrested for a Michigan drug crime
. It's quite common that a good person will get themselves in a bad situation, which results in being charged with possession or use of cocaine, marijuana, heroin or another controlled substance.
When you first call me, I will want to know about your past, and if you have a criminal record. From there, I will want to know where this happened and who was involved. We will begin the fact gathering process together, and start to put together our comprehensive game plan. From there, we will order all of the police reports and evidence in your case. We may be able to track down video and audio, and if necessary will get a private investigator involved to build your various defenses. As a former prosecutor, I will begin working with the prosecuting attorney to explore all of your options. This will be a two part defense; one we will work to defeat your case either by a dismissal or a not guilty verdict at trial; two I will work on getting you the best possible plea deal on the table as a backup plan. You will have options, and together as a team, we will decide your best path for your case. I look forward to working with you.
Ann Arbor Resisting Arrest - Avoiding a Felony
If you've been charged with Resisting Arrest in Ann Arbor
for the very first time, this doesn't make you a criminal or a bad person. I see clients on a daily basis who have have never been involved with the police and have never hurt a person in their life. It's quite common that a good person will get themselves in a bad situation, which results in being charged with Michigan Resisting Arrest. Michigan Resisting Arrest
is defined as "an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties". Resisting arrest in Michigan is a felony that carries a penalty of two years in person.
If during the incident the police officer is injured and requires immediate medical attention, the offense is a four year felony. If the police officer suffers a serious impairment of a body function, the offense is now a 15 year felony, and if the incident causes death to a police officer, it is now a 20 year felony.
It is becoming more common for prosecutors to charge resisting arrest in cases where the charge may not have been issued in the past. One could argue that most arrests in Michigan have some aspect of either resisting, obstructing or opposing, but the crime is not always charged. Some prosecutors will cut the defendant a break, and only charge attempted resisting arrest, which makes the crime a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Another common charging strategy is to charge a bunch of misdemeanors along with felony resisting arrest, with the idea that dismissing the felony will be a bargaining chip to get the client to plead guilty to the other misdemeanors. While a dismissal of the felony is a great result, having a series of misdemeanors on your record will not allow you to expunge your record at a later date.
Washtenaw County Domestic Violence Attorney - Keep a Clean Record
To be found guilty of domestic violence in Washtenaw County
, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you assaulted or battered one of the following:
A spouse, a former spouse, a person which you share a child in common, a resident or former resident of your household or a person which you have or had a dating relationship.
A battery is a forceful, violent, or offensive touching
of a person or something closely connected with him or her. The touching must have been intended by the defendant, that is, not accidental, and it must have been against the victim’s will.
An assault is an attempt to commit a battery or an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery
. The defendant must have intended either to commit a battery or to make the victim reasonably fear an immediate battery. An assault cannot happen by accident. At the time of an assault, the defendant must have had the ability to commit a battery, or must have appeared to have the ability, or must have thought he/she had the ability.
As a domestic violence first offender,
you may also be eligible to a plea guilty as a first offender, but have the case dismissed after a period of time. This plea bargain falls under MCL 769.4A,
and is only available to Michigan domestic violence first time offenders.
This type of plea bargain requires consent by the prosecutor and the victim, and will require an admission of guilt or a plea of no-contest. Your admission of guilt is withheld, and proceedings are deferred for a period of probation, which the court will determine. During this probationary period, you may undergo anger management, counseling and/or drug and alcohol testing. The requirements of your probation are determined by the court, but your attorney can work with the court and prosecutor on formulating the requirements. If all requirements are completed, your case is dismissed.
One thing that makes a domestic violence trial unique is that the prosecution is entitled to introduce additional evidence that you as the charged party have committed domestic violence in the past. This could stem from another case, an arrest or even events that were never reported to the police. The prosecution can have the victim in the present case testify to past events and/or victims from your past. With Michigan domestic violence
comes the possibility of manipulation and ulterior motives. You need an advocate that is going to cross-exam the witnesses presented by the prosecution, and a game plan to present your own witnesses. Even with a checkered past, you are entitled to a fair trial.
In Michigan domestic violence cases,
the prosecution can also bring in statements of the victim made to the police about your case; this is unique to domestic violence cases. This exception for domestic violence is important to the prosecution, because the victim for a number of reasons may or may not testify to the complete story or even recant, but this exception allows the police to testify as to what the victim stated at an earlier date. This essentially allows the prosecution to have a backup plan in case the victim cannot provide the testimony needed for a conviction.
Ann Arbor Domestic Violence 101 - Judge Hines, Easthope & Burke
If you've been charged with domestic violence in Ann Arbor
this doesn't make you a criminal or a bad person. I see clients on a daily basis who are in a healthy relationship or marriage, with absolutely no history of domestic violence or abuse. It's quite common that a good person will get themselves in a bad situation, which results in the police being called, and the client being charged with a Michigan domestic violence. Domestic violence in Ann Arbor
is a reality, and it touches every age, gender and socioeconomic group. If you've been charged with domestic violence in Ann Arbor
, it’s important that you have an advocate in your corner from the very beginning. Michigan domestic violence affects every aspect of your life, and it can carry life altering consequences.
As your attorney, we will gather all of the evidence in your case, and get a private investigator involved if necessary. We will build your defense, and our first goal will be an outright dismissal or a not guilty verdict at trial. While building up your defenses, I will also engage in negotiations with the prosecuting attorney, to develop various backup plans. It may also be possible to have a conversation with the judge in your case, and get an indication of what your possible sentence might be. All of this will be very important in deciding the path of your case.
Ann Arbor Drunk Driving Penalties - Judge Joseph Burke
Here are the possible Michigan OWI Penalties for a first offender:
- a $100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
- Up to 93 days in jail.
- Up to 360 hours of community service.
- Driver's license suspension for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days.
- Possible vehicle immobilization
- Possible ignition interlock
- Six points added to driving record
- Driver Responsibility Fee ($1,000 for 2 consecutive years)
Here are the possible Michigan OWI 2nd Offense Penalties
- $200 to $1000 fine, and one or more of the following:
- 5 days to 1 year in jail.
- 30 to 90 days of community service
- Driver's license revocation and denial for a minimum of 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
- License plate confiscation.
- Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
- Possible vehicle forfeiture.
- 6 points added to the offender's driving record.
- Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000 for 2 consecutive years.
DUI Attorney Plymouth Michigan
If the prosecution is able to prove that you were Operating a Motor Vehicle on a Highway Open to the Public, the final element that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt is whether you breaking the law under three different theories - either "under the influence", operating with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 or a blood alcohol content above 0.17.
The first theory Operating While Intoxicated "under the influence" is defined by the Criminal Jury Instructions as
"Because of drinking alcohol, the defendant's ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened" -
"To be under the influence a person does not have to be what is called dead drunk, that is falling down or hardly able to stand up. On the other hand, just because a person has drank alcohol or smells of alcohol does not prove, by itself, that the person is under the influence of alcohol. The test is whether, because of drinking alcohol, the defendant's mental or physical condition was significantly affected and the defendant was no longer able to operate a vehicle in a normal manner"
The key to "under the influence" is you must be under the influence while driving your car. If the police make observations, administer field sobriety and chemical tests at a time after you were driving, then this evidence is less relevant the further away you get from driving the car. If there is evidence you were driving at 10 pm, but the police aren't involved until 11:30 then 90 minutes have gone by since the operation, and anything from 11:30 may not be relevant to your condition 90 minutes earlier. The reason this evidence may not be relevant, is because alcohol does not immediately peak after consuming; alcohol can take up to 60-90 minutes to peak in your system.
If you consume a large quantity of alcohol then immediately jump into a car, your blood alcohol level is going to be a lot lower than it would be 60-90 minutes later. There is also the possibility that the driver drove then consumed the alcohol after driving; any observations or test results would then not be relevant to the condition, which the defendant drove the car, because the drinking occurred after the driving.
If observations and tests are performed immediately after operation then there are still various ways to challenge "under the influence". Each Michigan drunk driving case is fact specific with strengths and weaknesses; your attorney will highlight factors that tend to show that you were not under the influence while driving, and your mental or physical condition was not significantly affected in operating a vehicle in a normal manner. Some factors may include the lack of bad driving, cooperation with the police, performing well on field sobriety tests. Remember, it is always the prosecutions burden to prove this element, but they will only highlight the negative factors to gain a conviction; your attorney must even out the playing field and tell the complete story.
The second theory Operating While Intoxicated - Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Level - .08 at the time of operation
This theory is based entirely on the chemical test results, which can be breath test, blood or urine sample, and is independent of the first theory of "under the influence". The prosecution will seek to admit the chemical test results to prove this element; it may be possible to challenge their admissibility and their accuracy if and when they are admitted.
There are two ways to defeat the "per se" charge:
The first way is to not challenge the actual test result, but challenge it's relevance to when the defendant was actually driving. If the defendant is driving at 10 pm, but the test is administered at 11 pm, then the result isn't actually what the driver would have registered at 10 pm. The test cannot prove what the defendant's blood alcohol was at 10 pm, but only at 11 pm. This could be very helpful if the blood result is in the 0.09 -0.11 range an hour later, because the blood alcohol could be rising, and was below 0.08 an hour earlier.
The second way is to challenge the accuracy of the breath, urine or blood test. This tests can be challenged on the basis that procedures, safeguards, chain of custody and may other factors were not followed, and results are not accurate. An expert could testify, and re-create the defendant's consumption, and based upon all factors including the amount of alcohol, weight of the defendant and time considerations, what the defendant's blood alcohol was at the time of operation. If this result is different than the state's evidence, it might create reasonable doubt for an acquittal.
Although both theories can be challenged, the jury only needs to find that either you were "under the influence" or had a blood alcohol level above .08.
Q. Will I be drug tested by the court or probation? Yes, you can be tested by order of the judge or by probation. It's quite common for a judge to ask whether or not you will pass a drug test; depending upon your answer, the judge may test you on the spot. It is always best to be honest, because lying to a judge is never a good thing. Probation can and will subject you to random and scheduled drug testing. If you fail a drug test, you could be in violation of your bond conditions, your probation terms, or be charged with a new crime.
Charged with Assault/Domestic Violence in Ann Arbor - FAQ Series
Q. Will the police come to my house and arrest me? If you've been charged with an assault crime in Ann Arbor, the police can come arrest you based upon an an active arrest warrant. For felony offenses in Ann Arbor, the police will most likely come arrest you, unless your attorney can arrange to have a walk-in arraignment to avoid an embarrassing arrest. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you will receive a notice in the mail to appear for court, and will most likely not be arrested prior to this court date. The judges in Ann Arbor are Judge Easthope, Burke and Hines.
Novi Michigan Drunk Driving Lawyer - FAQ Series
Q. If the judge sets a bond in my case, how do I pay? A judge can set a personal recognizance bond, which means you simply promise to return to court, but don't post any money. A judge may also set a cash or surety bond, which means you will need to post this amount to be released during the pendency of your case. If the judge sets a 10 percent provision, it means you only need to actually post 10 percent of the amount set, and the other 90 percent will be owed to the court if you do not show-up. It is always best to bring someone to post bond for you, because some courts will not allow a defendant to post their own bond.
Ann Arbor Criminal Attorney - FAQ Series
Q. I'm being investigated for a crime in Ann Arbor, but not charged yet - what does this mean? This means that the police department is still gathering information on your case. Once the investigation is completed, the information will be turned over to the prosecutor who will determine whether or not to charge you with a crime. The police department may have an influence over the charges, but the final decision is made by the prosecutor. It's important to speak with an attorney during this time, because you need information, and an opportunity to provide additional information, which could help avoid charges or more series consequences.