What is Uttering & Publishing?

A look at a criminal court docket in Michigan will show at least several defendants charged with the crime of uttering & publishing. But what does this odd sounding crime involve? Uttering and publishing means to falsify a document in order to cheat someone. Often times this involves the passing of bad checks. The ‘intent’ to injure or defraud is a crucial element in the case against the defendant. This may be hard to prove beyond a reasonable […]

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Michigan Drunk Driving Arrests by County in 2012

Today the Michigan State Police released its annual report of drunk driving statistics in Michigan. Here is a list of drunk driving arrests by county in 2012: Wayne: 5,203 Oakland: 4,776 Macomb: 2,376 Kent: 2,187 Genesee: 1,493 Ingham: 1,218 Kalamazoo: 1,087 Ottawa: 941 Jackson: 907 Saginaw: 812 Washtenaw: 774 Berrien: 720 Livingston: 706 Calhoun: 693 Allegan: 613 Muskegon 588 Saint Clair 582 Lapeer 539 Van Buren 526 Monroe 457 Lenawee 455 Bay 449 Statewide Average 448 Isabella 428 Grand […]

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Michigan Fireworks Law

Michigan Fireworks Law July 4th is almost here and that means it’s time for fireworks. Last year the Michigan legislature legalized the sale of fireworks in the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act. The law originally did not allow cities to ban the use of fireworks the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday, such as the Fourth of July. After last summer’s heavy use of fireworks, however, the legislature updated the law to enable cities […]

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Salinas v. Texas: Claiming the Right Against Self-Incrimination

The Supreme Court today ruled that a witness who wishes to use the protection of the Fifth Amendment privilege must claim it explicitly at the time he relies on it. In the case of Salinas v. Texas, Salinas voluntarily went to the police station to answer questions regarding a murder. During questioning Salinas did not respond when asked if he thought that the shotgun shells found at the scene of the crime would match the shotgun he owned. […]

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Maryland v. King: Police May Take DNA Samples from People Arrested for Serious Crimes

The Supreme Court in Maryland v. King ruled that taking DNA samples from individuals arrested for serious crimes does not violate the Fourth Amendment, reasoning that the procedure was no different than photographing and fingerprinting. Justice Scalia authored a scathing dissent, writing that, “Today’s judgment will, to be sure, have the beneficial effect of solving more crimes; then again, so would the taking of DNA samples from anyone who flies on an airplane (surely the Transportation Security Administration […]

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Medical Marijuana Patients Gain Some Protection From OWI Laws in Michigan Supreme Court Ruling

The Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Koon ruled that medical marijuana patients cannot be convicted of a zero-tolerance law that prohibits drivers from having any amount of marijuana in their blood stream. For a medical marijuana patient to be convicted of an operating while impaired offense involving marijuana the prosecution must now prove that the driver was actually under the influence of marijuana while driving. “While we need not set the exact parameters of when a person […]

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Moncrieffe v. Holder: Marijuana Distribution Crimes No Longer Lead To Automatic Deportation For Noncitizens

The U.S. Supreme Court in Moncrieffe v. Holder today ruled that a marijuana distribution crime is no longer an offense that will lead to automatic deportation for noncitizens. Before today’s ruling such crimes were considered “aggravated felonies,” a class of offenses that foreclose the opportunity for noncitizens to obtain discretionary relief from deportation. For a marijuana distribution crime to be an aggravated felony now it must be established that the defendant either distributed the marijuana for payment or […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Requires Warrants For Blood Draws From Drunk Driving Suspects

In Missouri v. McNeely, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to adopt a rule that would permit police officers to draw a drunk driving suspect’s blood without a warrant under any circumstance. McNeely was pulled over by a highway patrol officer at about two in the morning. The officer observed that McNeely had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol.  McNeely performed poorly on several field-sobriety tests and declined a breath test. He was arrested and taken to […]

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Three More Weeks To Take Advantage of Washtenaw County Courts Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program

Until the end of April, the 14A and 14B district courts are waiving all penalties and late fees for outstanding tickets for traffic civil infractions and parking violations dated on or before December 31, 2011. These courts encompass the cities of Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Saline, and Chelsea. The license clearance fee for suspended driver licenses is not waived and must be paid before a license can be reinstated. To learn more information or to pay a […]

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Organized Retail Crime

A new law targeting organized shoplifting rings goes into effect today. Organized retail crime is now a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, a $5,000 fine, or both. Restitution will likely be ordered. Read the full Organized Retail Crime Act. A person is guilty of organized retail crime when that person does any of the following; 1. Knowingly commits an organized retail crime. 2. Organizes, supervises, finances, or otherwise manages or assists another person […]

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