New Rules for Attorneys Representing Non-citizen Criminal Defendants

The Supreme Court of the United States in Padilla v. Kentucky ruled that attorneys representing a non-citizen defendant must advise that a guilty plea may result in adverse immigration consequences. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that where deportation consequences for the defendant are clear, counsel has a duty to warn of the consequences. However, where the deportation consequences are not clear, counsel need do no more than advise the defendant that a conviction may carry a risk of […]

Continue Reading

People v. Yamat: What Does It Mean to Operate a Vehicle?

The Court of Appeals in People v. Yamat discusses what it means to “operate”  a vehicle. Although the Yamat case dealt with a charge of felonious driving, the case is relevant for an operating while intoxicating charge. What Happened in the Case Defendant was a passenger in a car and his girlfriend was the driver. The couple had an argument. Defendant grabbed the steering wheel and turned the car. The vehicle then veered off the road, and hit […]

Continue Reading

People v. Wood: Is It Drunk Driving When the Driver is Asleep and the Car Isn’t Moving?

The Court of Appeals in People v. Wood focuses on the definition of “operate” in an operating while intoxicated charge. What does it mean to operate a vehicle? A person must of course be operating a vehicle before they could be convicted of a DUI. The starting point for each case is whether a person operated. Most of the times this is pretty obvious. The police officer sees a person driving down the road and pulls them over. […]

Continue Reading

People v. Lechleitner: The “Operating” in Operating While Intoxicated

In the case of People v. Lechleitner, the Court of Appeals focuses on the definition of “operate” in operating while intoxicated. Facts of the Case The Defendant Lechleitner drove with a blood alcohol content of .12. While he was driving, he lost control and stopped his vehicle. The truck was stopped in the middle of two lanes of the freeway. He turned off his headlights but put on his flashers. He opened the door of the truck to […]

Continue Reading

People v. Brown: Anabolic Steroids, Trenbolone, and Human v. Cattle Use

The Case of People v. Brown focuses on a statute regarding anabolic steroids. What Happened in the Case The Defendant in this case was a police officer. Defendant was being investigated for possible anabolic steroid use. The investigating officer contacted an inspector in the Postal Service Office to intercept any suspicious packages going to a P.O. Box owned by Defendant. A parcel was intercepted with the help of a federal search warrant. The parcel contained 1o packages of Finaplix-H, […]

Continue Reading

People v. Barbarich: OWI Stops Based on Tips from Other Drivers

The Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Barbarich tackled the issue of whether a traffic stop was justified when the only basis for the stop was a tip from an unnamed person who told a police officer a driver was being dangerous or reckless. The driver in this case was charged with operating while intoxicated. What Happened In the Case On St. Patrick’s Day, a Michigan State Trooper was out on patrol near a bar when he encountered […]

Continue Reading

Can I Get in Trouble for Sniffing Glue in Michigan?

It is against the law in Michigan to sniff glue to get high. State Law on Glue Sniffing Michigan Law prohibits a person from intentionally inhaling or smelling glue to produce intoxication or euphoria. Sniffing glue is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, fines and court costs, or both. MCL 752.272. In addition to the state law, there are both City of Ann Arbor and City of Ypsilanti ordinances prohibiting the use of model […]

Continue Reading

How Should I Dress For Court?

People often ask me what they should wear to Court. Here’s how I respond: Dress to Impress Wear an outfit to Court that shows you are trying to dress to impress. Think to yourself, what could I wear that shows I’m taking this seriously? Your clothing choices can communicate a lot to the judge. It communicates you know to be respectful to the judge and the courtroom. When you take the time to wear nice clothing it shows […]

Continue Reading

People v. Boomer: The Case of the Cussing Canoeist

The Michigan Court of Appeals in the case of People v. Boomer struck down a hundred year-old law on the books that made using bad language in front of women and children a crime. What Happened in the Case The case took place on the Rifle River up in Arenac County, Michigan. Mr. Boomer was canoeing down the river when he fell into the water. Mr. Boomer let out a stream of profanities, slapped the water, and threw […]

Continue Reading

Plymouth Township v. Hancock: Disturbing the Peace with Loud Noises

The Michigan Court of Appeals in Plymouth Township v. Hancock refused to strike down an ordinance regulating loud noises that disturb of the peace. What Happened in the Case In this case, the Defendant allegedly unleashed a stream of profanities at his neighbor when she was on her lawn, on two separate occasions. The profanities were loud enough so others in the neighborhood could hear. Law at Issue The law in question was a Plymouth Township Ordinance, which […]

Continue Reading