How to Challenge a Speeding Ticket

There are many potential driving-related civil infractions in Michigan that drivers can receive. For many people, their only contact with the justice system will be a traffic-related citation. One of the most common infractions is a speeding ticket. Upon receiving a speeding ticket the driver has several options. The driver may simply admit responsibility and pay the fine. Or the driver may admit responsibility with the goal of mitigating the consequences of the civil infraction. Lastly, the driver […]

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The Ingham County Circuit Court Rules in Favor of Unemployment Benefits for Medical Marijuana Patients

The Ingham County Circuit in Kemp v. Hayes Green Beach Hospital ruled that marijuana use in accordance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act does not disqualify qualifying patients under the MMMA from unemployment benefits. Plaintiff Kemp was a technician at the Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. She is a qualifying patient under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, using marijuana to treat lupus and neuropathy. In may 2011, a patient made several complaints against Kemp, including failure to use […]

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ICE Releases Thousands of Immigrants Held in Detention

Due to automatic spending cuts to take effect on Friday, the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released 2,228 of illegal immigrants held in detention centers throughout the country. Detainees were released from centers located in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, and New York. Officials claimed the high cost of detaining immigrants was impractical in the face of spending cuts to the agency. The cost of detaining an individual for one day is between $122 […]

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House Bill To Be Introduced That Would Make Commercial Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Legal

House Bill 4271, to be introduced into the Judiciary Committee, seeks to legitimize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill follows the Michigan Supreme Court ruling in People v. McQueen, which essentially made the operation of a commercial dispensary impossible under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The bill envisions legal dispensaries, which it refers to as “medical marihuana provisioning centers,” as wells as establishments called safety compliance facilities, where marijuana would be tested for safety. The centers would be […]

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What is a Killebrew Agreement?

A Killebrew agreement is plea bargain in which the prosecutor promises the defendant will receive a particular sentence. Plea bargains area  common part of criminal law. A plea bargain is where a person admits guilt in exchange for a benefit in return. Common plea bargains may involve a guilty plea in exchange for a dismissal of a charge, or a reduction of the charges. Plea bargaining speeds up the disposition of cases, especially where there are no disputed factual […]

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The Court of Appeals Discusses Noncitizen’s Eligibility for Parole from Prison

In Chico-Polo v. Department of Corrections, Chico-Polo was convicted of delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance greater than 650 grams and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He filed for relief in trial court to compel the defendant, the Department of Corrections, to parole and release him to the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). MCL 791.234b provides that the parole board shall place a prisoner (who meets certain criteria) on parole and release that prisoner to […]

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Evans v. Michigan: Midtrial Acquittal Based On Error Is Still An Acquittal For Double Jeopardy Purposes

The U.S. Supreme Court case of Evans v. Michigan concerns the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause prohibition of retrying a defendant twice for the same crime. Evans was on trial for an arson charge in Michigan. After the State of Michigan rested its case, the court entered a directed verdict of acquittal for Evans, under the belief that the State had not met its burden as to a particular element of the arson offense. However, the unproven element […]

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Florida v. Harris: Drug-Sniffing Dogs And Probable Cause

For a police officer to make a warrantless search of a vehicle the officer must have “probable cause” that evidence of a crime will be found, as required by the Fourth Amendment. In Florida v. Harris the Court discussed when the source of the probable cause is a drug-sniffing dog, and affirmed the rule that such probable cause would be analyzed with the same general totality-of-the-circumstances test that is used to evaluate all probable cause. “The question – […]

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Texting and Driving

Several years ago the Michigan legislature deemed texting and driving to be a serious enough problem that a law was passed to prevent drivers from texting. Texting and driving is now a civil infraction. A first offense will cost you $100, additional offenses will be $200.  The driver does not receive points on his or her driving record. A driver can be cited for reading, typing out, or sending a text message on a cell phone.  Typing in […]

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The Supreme Court in Chaidez v. United States Decides That Padilla Applies Prospectively Only

In 2010, the Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky held that the Sixth Amendment requires an attorney for a non-citizen criminal defendant to advise on the possibility of deportation that could result from a guilty plea. Failure to advise on these consequences could be the ineffective assistance of counsel. The question before the Court in Chaidez v. United States was whether the rule in Padilla applies retroactively, so as to provide relief to defendants who may have had ineffective assistance […]

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