Criminal Law and Procedure

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Ann Arbor Dog Laws

The City of Ann Arbor has many rules regarding the ownership of dogs. This article outlines those rules. Violations of Ann Arbor Dog Laws The following acts are all civil infractions (with one exception noted below). A first offense is a fine of $25 to $500, and a second offense of certain violations below may come with an increase if a $50 to $500 fine: 1. The dog is at any time not under reasonable control. Reasonable control […]

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People v. Neal: Indecent Exposure Law

The Michigan Court of Appeals in the case of People v. Neal answered a pressing question related to the indecent exposure statute: Does the exposure have to be in a public place? The Court concluded that the indecent exposure statute does not require a person be in public for a conviction. What is Indecent Exposure? Michigan Law MCL 750.335a is the indecent exposure statute and lays out the penalties upon conviction. It is against the law for a […]

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People v. Brown: Michigan Gross Indecency Law

The Michigan Court of Appeals in People v. Brown discusses the Michigan Gross Indecency Law. In this case, the Court of Appeals affirms the rule that for a conviction under this law the gross indecency must be in public. What is Gross Indecency Law in Michigan? In this case, the defendants were charged with gross indecency between female persons, in addition to soliciting and accosting. The gross indecency between female law is MCL 750.338a. The law states that […]

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People v. Warren: Can It Be Prostitution Without Sex?

The Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Brown answered a pressing question: Is it prostitution if it was only hands? In this case, defendants owned a massage parlor where nude female employees provided manual stimulation to nude male customers. The defendants argued that this was not prostitution because the definition of prostitution only applies to sexual intercourse. What Happened in the Case Defendants were charged with several crimes, including accepting the earnings of prostitutes, conspiracy to accept the earnings […]

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People v. Drake: Can it Be Gross Indecency Without Sex?

The Michigan Court of Appeals in People v. Drake focuses on the Michigan Gross Indecency Law. Specifically, the Court looks into the question of whether gross indecency is limited to certain traditional sexual acts or includes other sexual acts. The Court concluded that the gross indecency law is not limited to certain traditional sexual activities. Sexual gratification can come in forms beyond just the “traditional” or easily identified sexual activities. The question to answer is whether there has been […]

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People v. Kowlaski: Supreme Court Answers What Does It Mean to “Accost” A Child for Immoral Purposes?

The Michigan Supreme Court Case of People v. Kowalski focuses on the law of accosting a minor for immoral purposes under MCL 750.145a. Specifically, the Court answers the question of what does it mean to ‘accost’ a minor? What Happened in the Case Defendant was speaking with a “girl” on the internet whom he believed was 15 years old. The girl was really an undercover police officer. The Defendant and the fake girl had several conversations, that were […]

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People v. Tennyson: What Does It Mean to Contribute to the Neglect or Delinquency of a Minor Child?

The Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Tennyson discusses the Michigan law of contributing the delinquency of a minor. In this case, the Court sought to determine whether evidence that a child was present in a home where a defendant was in possession of drugs and firearms is legally sufficient for a conviction under the criminal law of contributing the neglect or delinquency of a minor under MCL 750.145. Specifically, what level of certainty is required to determine […]

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