Criminal Law and Procedure

Civil Asset Forfeiture in Michigan May Come Soon

Michigan is moving closer to reforming civil asset forfeiture following arrests. In Michigan, the police may keep seized property during an arrest. This has become a tool for funding police departments. Currently, police can keep seized property even when the person is not charged with a crime or is later found not guilty. The new law would stop civil asset forfeiture for amounts of property under $50,000 unless the person is actually convicted of a crime. What is […]

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Six Residents in Nebraska Wrongfully Convicted of Rape and Murder Receive Damages

In a huge miscarriage of justice, six people were convicted of a murder they had no connection with. Each person had no connection whatsoever with the murder victim. A police psychologist convinced 5 of them they committed the murder but they had no memories of the crime due to a psychological concept referred to as “memory repression.” What Happened in the Case An elderly women, Helen Wilson, was raped and murdered February 5, 1985 in Beatrice, Nebraska. The […]

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The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear First Second Amendment Case in a Decade

The U.S. Supreme Court has not heard a Second Amendment gun rights case since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008. The Court has now signaled they will a case which challenges a New York City ordinance which limits the ability of residents to carry guns within city limits. The Supreme Court has declined to hear many lower court appeals on gun rights cases since Heller. What Does the Ordinance Say? New York has a gun license called […]

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Can I Get In Trouble Using a Drone?

Drones are more and more common now. But you could land in trouble for using them the wrong way. What Exactly is a Drone? The legal name for drones is “unmanned aircraft.” An unmanned aircraft is defined as aircraft flown by a remote pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links, and any additional equipment that is necessary for the unmanned aircraft to operate safely. MCL 259.303 How Can I Get […]

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What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is a deal between the prosecution and defendant. A plea bargain is where a person admits guilt in exchange for a benefit in return. There are two ways to resolve a criminal case – either through a plea or by challenge by defendant, such as motions or trial. A plea bargain is the most common type of resolution. This is because a plea bargain provides the defendant with certainty about the outcome and known benefits. […]

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Court Upholds Police Practice of Pulling Over Uninsured Drivers Based on LEIN Info

The Court of Appeals said police may pull over cars that the Law Enforcement Information Network shows has no insurance. This is from People v. Mazzie. What Happened in the Case The case was based on a traffic stop made by Monroe City Police Officers. The officers stopped the car because the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) showed that the vehicle had no insurance. Defendant was a front seat passenger in the car. Police later found cocaine in […]

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Inhalants: Use, Effects, and Dangers

Inhalants refer to solvent chemicals and aerosols that people inhale to get high. The chemicals can be found in household products, such as gasses, glues, coolants, and paints. Inhalant are commonly used by younger people, who may be unable to obtain drugs and alcohol but have easy access to such products. Although the types of chemicals that can be used are diverse, they all have two things common. First, the chemicals can be inhaled in gas form. And […]

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Universities Must Allow Cross Examination in “he-said she-said” Sex Misconduct Cases, Court Says

Colleges must provide an opportunity for cross examination in sexual misconduct cases where credibility of the parties is the main issue. This was the opinion of the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals when it found in favor of a college student accused of sexual misconduct. You can read the full case here. This case will have a great impact on the way colleges in Michigan conduct sexual misconduct hearings. What Happened in the Case John Doe and […]

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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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Recent Court of Appeals Cases

Here is snapshot of several recent Michigan Court of Appeals cases. People v. Edwards: The Court vacated a conviction for lying to a police officer in an operating while intoxicated case. The Court based its opinion on the officer’s failure to inform the Defendant he was under investigation for a drinking and driving offense. Although an unpublished opinion, the reasoning is important for OWI cases. People v. Mazzie: In this published opinion, the Court ruled that officers may […]

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