David G. Moore Attorney At Law
Former DA Prosecutor Now Fights for Your Rights
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(Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan)

Kalamazoo Michigan Criminal Defense Law Blog

Potential sentences if convicted or pleading guilty to crime

After a trial, or after pleading to a criminal accusation or charge, the next step in the legal process is sentencing. Sentencing is the process in which a person is reprimanded for the crime they were convicted of or pled guilty to. It can include a variety of charges ranging in severity. For violent crimes, sentencing for these type of crimes can be most severe. Many factors go into sentencing decisions and the sentence may be handed down by a judge or jury.

Depending on the violent crime one is accused of, there could be several outcomes. Whether or not the person is actually guilty of the crime is most important. From there, a person can build a criminal defense that best suits them. Consider that the best criminal defense may be to agree to a plea deal or to plead guilty. However this obviously isn't the best option for those who are not guilty of the crime they are accused of.

Those accused of DUI can build a legitimate criminal defense

Different people will reach or exceed the legal limit for drunk driving differently, so it's easy to see how someone could be pulled over and be charged with DUI. Whether it's your first DUI charge or you have been accused or convicted before, there are ways to build a legitimate criminal defense. Despite the evidence, everyone has a right to seek counsel and build a defense that tells their side of the story. The potential consequences can vary in severity for those who are ultimately convicted of drunk driving charges. Minimizing those consequences, or preventing a specific consequence, like a license suspension, may be goals of someone who is charged with DUI.

There are a few tactics for building a credible criminal defense that can be customized to a person's DUI charge. Litigation is one strategy, which is built around a defense in which a person was improperly handled or charged and thus it affects the evidence presented by the prosecution. Another tactic that may be more applicable to certain situations is about minimizing the damage that a DUI charge and conviction could have on the accused and their family. It might be a combination of these two tactics that are in fact the best criminal defense strategy for you or a loved one accused of DUI.

Michigan residents may file for "no fault" divorce

In years past it was not uncommon for Americans to have to allege fault in order to secure divorces. For example, different jurisdictions would offer individuals a list of grounds on which to base their divorces, ranging from incarceration and intoxication to adultery, cruelty and abuse. Because pleading and proving fault in court opened litigants up to intense scrutiny, many jurisdictions added "no fault" bases on which people could ask the courts to end their marriages. In Michigan, individuals who wish to divorce have only one basis on which to proceed, and that is the no fault option.

In order to secure a divorce in Michigan, a person must allege that their marriage has broken down, that the objects of their matrimony have been destroyed and that there is no reasonable chance that the marriage can be salvaged. The relevant statute offers specific language that people seeking divorces should include in their pleadings, and attorneys who offer family law and divorce services can assist them with drafting their court documents.

Michigan DUI laws cut drivers some slack

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Michigan, resolving your case can be expensive and nerve-wracking. Take solace, however. According to a recent report by the personal finance website Wallethub, things would be a lot worse if you were arrested in most other states.

The Wallethub report states Michigan is the ninth most lenient state in terms of penalties issued for a drunk driving conviction. How are Michigan DUI laws more lenient than some other states? A DUI is not considered a felony in Michigan until the third offense. Also, the state does not have a minimum jail time for a first conviction and requires a minimum of five days for a second DUI.

Do I have a defense to my pending drug possession charges?

Defenses exist to drug possession charges, but the defenses that apply to a particular case will greatly depend on the facts of the relevant matter. Not all defenses apply to all cases. Here we will discuss several general drug possession defenses that may be used as an introduction to this otherwise complex area of criminal law.

A person facing drug possession charges may be able to have their legal matters thrown out if they are able to show that the search and seizure procedures used to collect evidence against them and place them under arrest violated the law. For example, without proper suspicion and legal cause, a law enforcement official may not search the closed compartments of a driver's car for a simple traffic stop. Police officers must act in accordance with the law when making drug possession arrests.

High BAC offense convictions come with significant penalties

In the last decade, a drunk driving law was added to the statutes of Michigan that highlighted a particular category of Operating While Intoxicated offense: the high BAC offense. A high BAC offense is defined as one where the suspected drunk driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .17 grams or more. The state's baseline BAC level for drunk driving charges is .08 grams.

High BAC offenses are misdemeanors, but a conviction of such a crime can bring with it a host of serious sanctions. For example, fines for high BAC convictions can range from $200 to $700. A person convicted of such a crime may be jailed for up to 180 days. They may also lose their license to suspension for up to a year.

You have rights when it comes to managing your divorce

Although many individuals think about divorce as an emotional, personal process, it truly is a legal undertaking. There are, of course, elements of divorce that tug at the hearts of Kalamazoo residents who choose to go through it, but at its very core a divorce is the termination of a legal relationship that was created through marriage.

As such, divorce proceedings must follow certain rules and meet certain criteria in order to be valid. A person who fails to respond to notices, does not provide information at the request of the court or who otherwise fails to engage with their divorce proceedings may find that their rights to support, custody and property are diminished through their lack of attention.

Men face drug charges after stop for outstanding warrants

Police officers in the nearby Michigan community of Dowagiac recently arrested two individuals after stopping their vehicle and searching them and their property. Apparently the officers involved in the matter spotted the driver of the vehicle and recognized him as an individual with a warrant out for his arrest. Incidental to their arrest of the driver on the outstanding warrant and the arrest of his passenger for a parole violation, the officers searched the vehicle and allegedly found illegal drugs therein.

The drugs were seized and per information released by the police department the men may face multiple drug charges. The search allegedly produced narcotics and articles that could be used in the dealing of drugs to others. The men will be arraigned on their charges and thereinafter more information on this story may become available.

Should police departments engage in photo-shaming via Facebook?

When a woman allegedly struck six separate mailboxes before crashing onto a lawn and coming to rest among some trees, local police were on the case. When she turned out to have a live lizard inside her bra, they were amused. They posted a flippant account of the arrest on the departmental Facebook page.

Many people were highly amused. "Great job (getting drunks off the road and entertaining us)," wrote one of the department's followers.

Roadside sobriety tests are designed to be failed

Try this: Stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground and remain as still as possible for 30 seconds. Did you have any trouble keeping your balance?

Next, walk slowly in a straight line, putting one foot in front of the other, touching your heel to your toe with each step. Any wobbling going on?

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