David G. Moore Attorney At Law
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Kalamazoo Michigan Criminal Defense Law Blog

Controlled substance classifications and sentences in Michigan

Possession of a controlled substance is a serious criminal offense. However, it is likely the most common of any criminal charge due to the drug epidemic sweeping our nation today. Sentencing guidelines and drug classifications for these crimes vary from state-to-state.

Section 333.7403 of the Public Health Code adopted by Michigan Legislature sets out the sentencing and classification guidelines for a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance by the state of Michigan.

Hartford man charged in fatal accident

A 22-year-old Hartford man faces charges of Moving Violation Causing Death after police said the pickup truck he was driving struck a bicyclist from behind. Though witnesses, including firemen, stopped to offer help, the bicyclist died at the scene. While the current charge is a misdemeanor, the accident is still under investigation and the charge could be upgraded.

Moving Violation Causing Death is somewhat of a controversial law in Michigan in that, due to recent revisions, it does not require a prosecutor to prove negligence. Therefore, it can be applied to anyone who commits a traffic violation, not just a reckless driver who caused a fatal accident. The only proof needed for the charge is a direct link between the driver and the injured.

Kalamazoo woman in jail, charged with operating while intoxicated

Jail time is the maximum penalty for driving offenses, as it pertains to the law. There are less severe consequences if a Michigan resident is convicted of a serious driving offense, like drunk driving, but it depends on whether or not a person is convicted or their specific situation.

One Michigan woman was recently arrested and sent to jail after being charged with operating while intoxicated. According to police, a man was driving a 2013 Chevy Camaro when he was rear-ended by a 2001 Mitsubishi SUV, driven by the accused. Once police met with the two, they determined that it was appropriate to arrest the woman for operating while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and having no insurance on the vehicle, in addition to an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Luckily, no one was injured in the collision.

Key facts about white collar criminal charges

Though white collar crimes do not usually involve physical harm, they are still quite dangerous and, therefore, are held very serious by the courts. If you face accusations of a white collar crime, you face criminal charges that may come with significant penalties.

To prepare for such events properly, it is important to understand what they entail. There are a few key facts to know about white collar criminal charges.

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.

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