Michigan’s New Arson Law

Michigan’s new arson law goes into effect today. It has been completely rewritten to reflect the following; 1. First Degree Arson. The wilful or malicious burning of any of the following. First degree arson is a felony, punishable by life or any term of years, a $20,000 fine / 3 times the value of the destroyed property, or both. MCL 750.72. It is a B felony under the sentencing guidelines. MCL 7707.16c. a. A multi-unit building or in which 1 […]

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Missouri v. Frye: Attorneys Must Discuss Plea Bargain Offers With Criminal Defendants

Under the Sixth Amendment criminal defendants are guaranteed the right to effective assistance of counsel. In the case of Missouri v. Frye, the U.S. Supreme Court held that effective assistance means that defense counsel must communicate offers for plea bargains to the defendants. In the summer of 2007 Frye was charged with driving with a revoked license. Frye had been convicted of that same offense three times, so he was now charged with a felony punishable by up […]

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Howes v. Fields: The Supreme Court Clarifies Miranda Rules

The United States Supreme Court, in Howes v. Fields, rejected a per se rule that questioning a prison inmate in a room isolated from the general prison population about events occurring outside the prison is custodial interrogation. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution requires that a person in “custodial interrogation” be read Miranda rights, those rights which come from the case of Miranda v. Arizona. Fields was serving a sentence in a Michigan jail. He was taken to […]

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People v. Lino: Michigan Supreme Court Focuses on Constitutionality of Gross Indecency Law

The Michigan Supreme Court took up some important issues related to the Michigan Gross Indecency Law in the consolidated cases of People v. Lino and People v. Bashier. Issues of the Case There were four issues in these cases: Is the Michigan Gross Indecency Statute unconstitutionally vague? Whether the standard of common sense of the community should be the standard for gross indecency cases Whether oral sex in public is an act of gross indecency Whether the specific […]

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2012 Michigan Criminal Law Legislation

The following is an outline of criminal law legislation that was passed in 2012; I. New Crimes and Penalties A. Animal Fighting. 2012 PA 350-351. Effective Dec. 12, 2012. Makes animal fighting violation under MCL 750.49 predicate offenses for CCE violations. MCL 750.158g. 1. Animal fighting violations were also added to the omnibus forfeiture act. MCL 600.4702. B. Arson. 2012 PA 531-534. Effective April 2, 2013. Completely rewrites the arson statute. 1. First Degree Arson. The wilful or malicious burning of […]

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Smith v. Cain: The Prosecution’s Duty to Disclose Evidence

The case of Smith v. Cain did not break new legal ground but instead served to correct a past injustice. Smith was charged and convicted of killing five people during an armed robbery in Louisiana. At trial, the jury heard the testimony of a single witness, Larry Boatner.  Boatner testified that he was at a friend’s home when Smith and two other robbers entered the home, demanded valuables, and began shooting. He identified Smith at trial as the […]

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No Medical Marijuana Coverage in Worker’s Compensation or No Fault Insurance

Two Michigan laws that went into effect this past week will deny certain insurance benefits related to medical marijuana. Employers will not be required to provide reimbursement for expenses related to medical marihuana under worker’s compensation benefits. MCL 418.315a. Personal protection insurance benefits, also known as no-fault car insurance, will not be required to cover medical marijuana treatments. MCL 500.3107. Read the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act Check out ArborYpsi Law’s Michigan Medical Marijuana Act Blog     Contact […]

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People v. Tipolt: Foundation for Breath Test Evidence

In the case of People v. Tipolt, the Court of Appeals discusses the foundation requirements for the introduction of Breathalyzer evidence for trial. The Facts Defendant Tipolt was arrested in White Lake Township and charged with the equivalent of the driving while intoxicated crimes at the time the case was decided. In the District Court, the defense moved to suppress the results of the Breathalyzer machine. The defense claimed there a failure by the police to comply with […]

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Michigan Criminal Law Legislation in 2011

The following is an outline of the new criminal law legislation in Michigan for the year of 2011; I. New Crimes & Penalties A. Bath Salts. 2011 PA 88. Effective Aug. 2, 2011. Adds bath salts that are sold under some of the following trade names to schedule 1; White Lighting, Scarface, Sonic, White Dove, Cloud Nine, Red Dove, Ocean, Ivory Wave, Hurricane Charlie, Charge Plus, and MDPV. MCL 333.7212(1)(m-r). B. Criminal Sexual Conduct by Health Professionals. 2011 […]

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Kentucky v. King: Destruction of Evidence and Warrantless Searches

The Fourth Amendment requires that police obtain a warrant before entering a home though there are some exceptions. One exception involves a situation in which evidence of a crime is being destroyed. In the case of Kentucky v. King, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the question of whether this rule applies when the police, by knocking on the door of a home and announcing their presence, cause the occupants to the destroy evidence in the first place. The […]

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