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What Is the Difference Between DUI, OWI, OWPD, and OWVI Charges in Michigan? Throughout the country, some common acronyms are used to denote drunk driving. The most common are DUI, or driving under the influence, or DWI, driving while intoxicated. And while these are more well known throughout the country and often commonly used here in Michigan as well, the actual legal terms are more focused.  If you’ve been arrested, call to speak with a Michigan DWI lawyer today (248) 451-2200. In Michigan, we have various levels of impaired driving offenses. What you are charged with will depend on many...
Posted in: Criminal Defense
In a recent opinion from a Michigan court involving drug possession, the prosecution asked for the court to reconsider its previous order allowing the defendant to suppress incriminating evidence against him. The defendant had filed a motion to suppress evidence and dismiss charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 25 grams and possession of marijuana. The trial court agreed with the defendant that the drugs should not be used as evidence against him, as the police officer that looked in his car had not followed the correct departmental protocols while conducting the search. The higher court in Michigan...
Marijuana is now legal for Michigan residents, regardless of whether they have a qualifying health condition. While the state initially legalized medicinal marijuana back in 2008, it wasn’t until 2018 when recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan. However, despite the legalization of marijuana, thousands of people still have convictions on their records for marijuana-related offenses. As we noted in a previous blog post, Michigan lawmakers recently passed the Clean Slate law, revamping the state’s outdated expungement laws. While the Clean Slate legislation impacts those with many types of criminal convictions, one of the most notable aspects of the law is...
Posted in: Expungements
The United States Supreme Court recently issued an opinion stemming from officers’ intentional use of force to apprehend an individual. The decision will likely impact the Michigan criminal defendant’s ability to hold police accountable for misconduct. More importantly for those facing criminal charges, the opinion will also likely have implications for how courts interpret search and seizure laws. The case stemmed from an incident where investigating officers were at an apartment complex. They approached the woman’s vehicle, and the woman fled, believing the officers were attempting to carjack her vehicle. As she was fleeing, the officers fired their weapons 13...
Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an interesting opinion in a Michigan gun case. The opinion implicates several areas of criminal law, including the state’s open-carry law and constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Facts of the Case According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was checking his oil at a gas station. As the defendant leaned over the hood of his car, officers passed by on routine patrol. As the officers glanced towards the defendant, they saw what they knew to be a handgun sticking out of the waistband of the defendant’s pants. The officers...
Posted in: Weapons Offenses
The Court of Appeals recently reviewed a Michigan defendant’s appeal of his criminal sexual conduct conviction. Amongst several issues, the defendant argued that his statements were involuntary because he was impaired due to prescription medication. The case stems from an interaction between the defendant and the victim during a marijuana transaction. The facts indicate that the defendant and complainant drove to the defendant’s friend’s apartment to purchase marijuana. The victim contends that the defendant sexually assaulted her in the car twice. However, the defendant asserts that although the complainant refused at first, she allowed him to touch her and have...
Posted in: Sex Crimes
Recently a state appellate court issued a per curiam decision in a defendant’s appeal of her Michigan drug offense conviction. The case arose when officers discovered a bag of cocaine in a store dressing room. An officer approached the defendant and her friend inquiring about the drugs, and the defendant admitted that the cocaine was hers. The defendant unsuccessfully motioned to suppress her confession because they were given involuntarily and in violation of her Miranda rights. A jury convicted the defendant of possession of cocaine. The officer testified that he did not threaten, restrain, or block her ability to exit...
Science and technology play an increasingly important role in our society. Over recent decades, advancements in these areas have been incorporated into the Michigan criminal justice system, with the advent of DNA evidence and other new scientific evidence. While, in theory, reliance on new types of evidence can help the fair administration of justice, too often, these new developments are used solely to obtain convictions, rather than to ensure a fair process for those facing serious crimes. A recent example of the fallibility of new types of evidence is discussed in a New York Times article. The article details the...
The United States and Michigan Constitutions provide residents with certain rights. Among those is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. While a person’s right to be free from unreasonable searches varies somewhat depending on where they are located, there is no greater protection afforded to a person’s home. Indeed, under Michigan law, generally, “a search of a seizure within a home or its curtilage without a warrant is per se an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.” Typically, when evidence is seized in violation of the state or federal constitution, it cannot be used at trial....
Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Michigan sex assault case discussing the defendant’s challenge to the lower court’s finding that he waived his rights before taking a polygraph test. The case highlights the importance of speaking with a Michigan criminal defense attorney before agreeing to speak with detectives or give up any of your rights when you could face serious allegations. The Facts of the Case According to the court’s opinion, detectives suspected the defendant of sexually assaulting his daughter. During their investigation, detectives asked the defendant if he would take a polygraph test, otherwise...
Posted in: Sex Crimes