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

Exclusionary rule is an important legal protection

Anyone who watches crime shows has probably heard television detectives discussing evidence, warrants and probable cause. While the sensational aspects of police dramas may overshadow these legal concepts, it is important for our readers in Michigan to know that rules do apply to law enforcement officials when they perform searches of suspects' homes, vehicles and persons. One of those rules is the exclusionary rule, and it has its basis in a Supreme Court decision from more than a century ago.

In the case of Weeks v. United States, the Supreme Court determined that the defendant could have illegally obtained evidence thrown out before trial. In general, a law enforcement official must have a warrant or probable cause in order to legally perform a search and seize alleged contraband. In the case of Weeks, the government agent had no constitutional justification for the seizure of the disputed evidence.

Things to know about Michigan DUI charges

Lawmakers and law enforcement in Michigan are once again cracking down on people who receive DUI convictions. Now more than ever, getting charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can mean a stain on your record that might not ever completely go away. 

Criminal defense representation for your serious charges

Acts of violence are generally non-existent in the lives of Kalamazoo residents. In fact, after the occasional childhood scuffle that a person may get into with their siblings or friends, most grown-ups live their lives without ever having to deal with altercations of assault or battery. Some people, however, do find themselves in difficult situations in which they may have to use force or threats to prevent themselves or others from suffering harm.

When a person is threatened with violence themselves, or when a person sees a loved one threatened with violence, they may have the right to offer proportional force to that which the aggressor is inflicting upon their intended victim. If the aggressor is harmed in the process, the person may have defenses to any criminal charges that are filed against them in the form of self-defense or defense of others.

What constitutes criminal assault?

While an assault may be generally defined as an alleged physical attack on another person's body, under Michigan law there are many different crimes that arise from the concept of assault. For example, there is simple assault and assault that committed with the intention of causing the alleged victim's death. Assaults can be perpetrated to prevent officials from performing their duties, such as law enforcement officials from performing searches or arrests, and assaults can be committed with weapons and firearms. As each type of assault under Michigan law may incorporate its own elements and requirements of proof, readers are encouraged to speak with criminal defense attorneys about their unique cases.

However, most assaults require individuals to have committed two mandatory elements: an intention to cause their victim to experience fear and an act that does in fact cause the victim to experience fear. A person may be guilty of an assault if they intentionally point a gun at their intended victim in order to cause that person to fear for their life.

Kalamazoo man sentenced in meth possession and assault case

A 47-year-old Kalamazoo man who shot and left his friend near an intersection in Comstock Township was sentenced Monday for possession of meth and assault with a dangerous weapon. The incident occurred over a drug dispute.

The Defendant was given a sentence of 29 months to 15 years for possession of methamphetamine. In addition, he was given a sentence of 18 months to six years for the assault charge. Both of these charges are felonies. However, the defense attorney was able to negotiate a plea deal for the Defendant with the Prosecutor. In addition, the man received credit for 203 days already served.

Just a threat of violence could land you in jail

We all know how easy it is to say things we don't mean in the heat of an argument. Most of the times those are empty words that later result in regret, but nothing more. However, there are times when the words can be considered a credible threat of violence. These can land a person in hot water in Michigan.

Michigan law sets out a definitive description of a credible threat, including a threat to kill or threat to physically harm another person. It also describes the context in which these statements would be made to be considered credible from a criminal perspective.

A study shows the number of women arrested for DUI is rising

Drunk driving continues to be a major issue in every state across the nation, including Michigan, and the offenders are usually men.

However, the results of a study that was presented at a traffic safety conference in East Lansing indicate the reasons behind an increase in the number of women arrested for driving under the influence.

Search laws in Michigan

Individuals have rights protected by both state laws as well as the United States Constitution when it comes to searches. Article I section 11 of the Michigan state legislature states that there must be a description of the property or premises to be searched, as well as probably cause, and an oath or affirmation taken prior to the search.

A search may occur when there is probable cause to believe that illegal activity has occurred. It may include searching a residence, a vehicle, a body, or other premises such as a business. A search warrant must be obtained prior to a search, as stated in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are, however, several exceptions to these requirements.

Kalamazoo man involved in police standoff arraigned on 5 charges

A 33-year-old Kalamazoo man who caused an 8-hour police standoff in Cooper Township has been arraigned on 5 charges. They include breaking and entering, possession of methamphetamine, reckless driving, and resisting or obstructing.

The man attempted to break into a house Wednesday morning, waking the homeowner by banging on the door, shouting, and demanding keys to a truck. It is not apparent who that homeowner was, or what relationship he or she had with the man. The homeowner told him to leave, at which time he went into a neighboring house. The police arrived to find the man's vehicle in the driveway of the first house he had attempted to break-in but did not find him there. Instead, he was located in the second house. They surrounded the second house and attempted to coax the man out. After multiple failed attempts, they then gained permission to enter from the homeowner. The man was arrested inside the home, and 10.5 grams of methamphetamine were found in his pocket.

Drunk driver suspected of killing Saginaw tow truck driver

In an ongoing investigation, a 49-year-old Bridgeport Township woman has been jailed while awaiting charges on allegations that she fatally struck and killed a tow truck driver while driving drunk.

At approximately 10:26 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, the tow truck driver was loading a disabled vehicle onto his flatbed truck. It was at that time that he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee driven by the 49-year-old woman. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and she was taken into custody. If found guilty, she could formally be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death. In the state of Michigan, this charge holds a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $1,000 to $5,000 fine.

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