Criminal Law and Procedure

New Law Limits Painkiller Prescriptions

A new law goes into effect that is designed to help curb the opioid epidemic. What the New Law Does Doctors may now only prescribe seven days worth of opioid medicine to people with a short-term need for the drugs. A short-term need may include surgeries, a bad back, or a broken limb. Prescriptions can be refilled after the seven day period expires. What is an Opioid? Opioids are more commonly known as pain killers. Prescription opioids can […]

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What Happens to Old Marijuana Convictions if Weed Becomes Legal?

In the next November election, Michigan voters will decide whether marijuana will be legal for recreational personal use. It is a real possibility that marijuana use and possession will soon be legal. This leads to the question – what about all those people who have convictions on their record for possession or use of marijuana? It may not seem fair that many people will be stuck with marijuana convictions on their record once the basis for that conviction […]

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Court of Appeals Rules Against Support Dogs for Adults in Trials in People v. Shorter

The appearance of support dogs in court has become more and more common. The idea is for the dogs to provide comfort to people who are scared or stressed to testify in public. The most common area for the dogs are for the complainant (the person accusing the defendant of the crime) in sex crime cases. This leads to the question: How does the jury see the dogs? Might the jury be prejudiced into believing the complainant over […]

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What Does Open Carry Mean in Michigan?

Open-carry is the ability of people to openly carry a firearm in Michigan. Where Can I Find the Authority for This? There is no specific law allowing open-carry of guns. There just simply is not a law against it. Open carry is the opposite of concealed. The firearm must be seen – such as in a holster. The Firearm Must Be in The Open You may only carry a concealed firearm if you have a concealed pistol license. […]

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Will An Expungement Help Me Get a Concealed Pistol License (CPL)?

Do you have an old conviction that’s holding you back from getting your concealed pistol license? Many criminal convictions will prevent you from getting a CPL, described more below. If you do then it’s time for an expungement. An expungement is the legal process to make it as if the conviction did not happen. Why Do Criminal Convictions Prevent You from Getting a CPL? All felonies will prevent you from getting a concealed weapons license. The only way […]

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Michigan Moves Closer to Preventing Dog Breed-Specific Regulations Usually Aimed at Pit Bulls

The Michigan State Senate voted yesterday to prevent cities from banning dog breed-specific ordinances. There are 30 Michigan cities with dog breed-specific ordinances. The ordinances mainly regulate pit-bulls. Twenty other states prohibit dog breed-specific regulation. Michigan Cities With Breed-Specific Regulation There about 30 Michigan cities with specific dog laws on the books. For example, Grosse Pointe Woods ban the 4 dog breed types generally regarded as pit bulls. Orchard Lake and Sylvan Lake also ban pit bulls without […]

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Michigan Becomes First State to Make the Anti-depressant Tianeptine Sodium a Controlled Substance

Today Michigan signed a new law making the anti-depressant tianeptine sodium into a schedule 2 controlled substance. Tianeptine sodium was previously unlisted as a controlled substance in any state or on the federal level. What is Tianeptine Sodium? Tianeptine sodium is used as an anti-depressant drug. It is considered an atypical anti-depressant, which means it does not work like your average anti-depressant, such as Prozac. Tianeptine acts by producing opioid-like effects which create a euphoric feeling. Why Was […]

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Assault with Self-Defense Spray

Assault with a self-defense spray or foam is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both. The law instructs judges to consider enhancing a person’s sentence where there is an assault or threat of use of self-defense spray. A person may use self-defense spray in self-defense, which is discussed below. What is Self-Defense Spray? Self-defense spray is a device which uses as a projectile a chemical solution which includes; Not more […]

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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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