Criminal Law and Procedure

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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New Parole Rules for Non-citizens

A new law will enable qualifying non-citizens to be released from prison early for the purposes of deportation. To qualify, the prisoner must have served half the minimum sentence. Prisoners convicted of murder in the first or second degree, criminal sexual conduct in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree, or sentenced as a habitual offender will be ineligible for this parole. In the event that the paroled prisoner is not deported after release, the Department of Corrections will […]

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Michigan Criminal Law Legislation in 2010

The following is an outline of Michigan Criminal Law Legislation in the year of 2010; I. New Crimes and Penalties A. Alcohol. 1. Beer Kegs. 2010 PA 344. Effective Dec. 21, 2010. Requires sold beer kegs to have an identification tag that allows the keg to be traced to the purchaser. It is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both, to do any of the following; a. Remove an identification tag […]

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New Rules for Attorneys Representing Non-citizen Criminal Defendants

The Supreme Court of the United States in Padilla v. Kentucky ruled that attorneys representing a non-citizen defendant must advise that a guilty plea may result in adverse immigration consequences. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that where deportation consequences for the defendant are clear, counsel has a duty to warn of the consequences. However, where the deportation consequences are not clear, counsel need do no more than advise the defendant that a conviction may carry a risk of […]

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People v. Brown: Anabolic Steroids, Trenbolone, and Human v. Cattle Use

The Case of People v. Brown focuses on a statute regarding anabolic steroids. What Happened in the Case The Defendant in this case was a police officer. Defendant was being investigated for possible anabolic steroid use. The investigating officer contacted an inspector in the Postal Service Office to intercept any suspicious packages going to a P.O. Box owned by Defendant. A parcel was intercepted with the help of a federal search warrant. The parcel contained 1o packages of Finaplix-H, […]

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Can I Get in Trouble for Sniffing Glue in Michigan?

It is against the law in Michigan to sniff glue to get high. State Law on Glue Sniffing Michigan Law prohibits a person from intentionally inhaling or smelling glue to produce intoxication or euphoria. Sniffing glue is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, fines and court costs, or both. MCL 752.272. In addition to the state law, there are both City of Ann Arbor and City of Ypsilanti ordinances prohibiting the use of model […]

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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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