Can a Cop Search My Car if it Smells Like Weed?

Yes, the smell of marijuana gives a police officer probable cause to search a vehicle. The Law The Fourth Amendment provides that police officers need a warrant to conduct a search. There is an exception for the searches of cars, however. Under this warrant exception, a police officer can search a vehicle if there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed or is being committed. In the case of People v. Kazmierczak, the Michigan Supreme Court […]

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What is Felon in Possession of a Firearm?

Possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony is a felony itself. Anyone convicted of a crime who wishes to possess a gun should read the below law carefully. When this article says “possess,” that refers to the possession, use, sale, transport, purchase, ship, carry, receive, or distribute a firearm or ammunition (basically anything related to the firearm is to be avoided). Be sure to read the definition of “felony” and “specified felony” at the […]

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Whatever Happened to the California Man Charged with a Caffeine DUI?

In California last year a man was charged with driving under influence. The only substance in his system – caffeine. The police officer observed erratic and reckless driving, and believed the man to be under the influence of drugs when the man was amped up and agitated. A drug test came back negative for all substances except caffeine. The prosecution refused to drop the charges for almost a year, convinced the man must have been under the influence […]

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Prescription Medication DUIs

The operating while intoxicated laws make it possible to be charged for driving under the influence of your prescription medications, even if a physician prescribed the medicine to you. The Law The OWI law makes it a crime to drive under the influence of a controlled substance (non-schedule I). The phrase “under the influence” means your ability to drive was substantially lessened by the substance. There is no amount of the drug that will make you legally intoxicated […]

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What Happens in a Domestic Assault Case

If you’re reading this article either you or someone close has been charged with domestic assault. This is an overview of the law and your options in a domestic assault case. What is an Assault and Battery? This is how I explain an assault and battery to people. A battery is when I punch someone. An Assault is when I threaten to punch someone and have the present ability to carry out the threat, or a tried to […]

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Can I Drink And Drive In My Own Driveway?

In A Few Words No, drinking and driving in your own driveway is against the law, with a possible exception discussed below. Background This rule comes from the Michigan Supreme Court case of People v. Rea. The Court found that even a private driveway falls under the drunk driving statute. In this case, Defendant Gino Rea drove his car out of his garage but was stopped by a police officer in the upper part of his driveway next to […]

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Sniffing Glue, Intoxication, and Driving Under the Influence

In Michigan, it is against the law to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by an inhalant such as glue, paint, or other chemical agent. What is an Inhalant? A solvent chemical absorbed into the body through inhalation (huffing) is an inhalant. Solvents are chemical agents often found in everyday household products. Such chemicals include benzene, toluene, chloroform, Freon, methanol, and other coolants, glues, and paints. The Law A person may not operate a vehicle while under the influence […]

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Can I Use Medical Marijuana on Probation?

It depends. This is a common question I’m asked when a person is facing probation. Probation is a period of time following a conviction where a judge will set up requirements and prohibitions for the person convicted of a crime. All Judges Are Different What happens on probation is ultimately up to the judge, and all judges are different. Some judges will allow medical marijuana use on probation without question if you have a valid card. Other judges […]

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Michigan Anabolic Steroid Law

Anabolic Steroids are a Schedule 3 Controlled Substance, which means it is illegal to use or possess anabolic steroids without a prescription. What is an Anabolic Steroid? An anabolic steroid is a type of drug that promotes muscle growth. These drugs are used by bodybuilders and athletes because of the potential to increase athletic abilities and muscle mass. Steroid use in the athletic setting began in the Olympic games in the fifties and sixties by Eastern European nations […]

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Can You Get a DUI In A Self-Driving Car?

The future is not that far away and self-driving or autonomous cars may one day be the norm. Tesla has already created a self-driving car. Recently in California, a driver was cited for a DUI when he was arrested in his Tesla self-driving car. What Does ‘Operating’ in Operating While Intoxicated Mean? The answer to this question hinges on the definition ‘operating’ in operating while intoxicated. To be convicted of OWI you must be operating the vehicle. The […]

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