Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

Legal Help in clearing the past and moving forwardCriminal convictions often linger on your record for the rest of your life, leaving you stuck with the consequences. Any time an employer performs a background check, your conviction shows up. The conviction can then move you further down on a future employer’s list or even prevent you from getting a job at all. Not only that, some jobs will not hire you with criminal convictions of any type on your record. Luckily, a good expungement attorney can give you options for removing that record from the public eye, which can make it easier for you to seek employment or engage in

What Is Expungement?

Through expungement, you can seal the records related to your criminal charge so that they no longer turn up during a background check. Most commonly, the courts seal juvenile records once the offender turns eighteen. In other cases, however, you can petition the court to expunge your record even if you committed a crime after you turned eighteen. Essentially, an expungement means that the court erases the conviction from your record, freeing you from many of the ongoing consequences associated with that conviction. The conviction will no longer turn up on background checks.

Bloomfield Hills Restraining Order Violation - Michigan Defense LawWhen served with a restraining order—sometimes referred to as a personal protection order (PPO)—one must refrain from contact with a specific person. An order contains detailed information regarding prohibited actions and behaviors concerning the person seeking protection. Any violation of the restraining order results in serious consequences under Michigan law. A simple slip-up can land you in jail, cost you fines, or possibly both. If you’re charged with violating a restraining order, contact a Michigan defense lawyer without delay.

Types of Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court order for one person to stop violence or threats against another person. The order requires a signature from a judge, and once served, it is enforceable anywhere within the United States. There are two types of restraining orders:

There can be no doubt that domestic violence is a serious matter under Michigan’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Act. However, you are in a very difficult position if the allegations against you are untrue, exaggerated, or based upon ulterior motives. Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic abuse are more common than you think. They are particularly prevalent in divorce or custody cases when one party is trying to gain an advantage in court. Even when you know you are innocent, anger, frustration, and despair may take the place of logic. Do not allow your emotions get the best of you and potentially affect your case. Talk to a domestic violence defense attorney right away and follow a few tips on what to do about the allegations.

  • Keep Your Distance: Avoid your accuser as much as possible, which may mean moving out if you share a home. Separation gives you both a chance to cool off, and it may be legally required anyway if there is a Personal Protective Order (PPO) in place. Plus, staying away greatly reduces the chance that your accuser will follow up with additional allegations.
  • Know Your Rights During Police Questioning: Domestic violence is a crime, so you have rights that attach after your arrest. You have the right to remain silent, but may be tempted to proclaim your innocence. It is best to not make any statements until you retain an attorney to defend your interests.

Though you may not pay close attention to headlines in the legal world, you may want to take note of a recent opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The landmark case of Carpenter v. United States, which arose out of events and criminal allegations in Michigan, has significant implications for anyone who is charged in a crime based upon cell phone data. In sum, the finding expands your privacy rights because it limits the type of information police can obtain without a warrant. You should entrust your case with a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense lawyer, but some important information may help you understand your rights.

Case Synopsis

Telecommunications providers capture and archive data of customers for billing and other legitimate business purposes. A user’s phone bounces off the closest tower and delivers the time, date, and location information back to the company. These details can be very useful for law enforcement investigating the whereabouts of a person who is a suspect in a crime. Cell phone location data is exactly what Detroit, MI state and federal agents used to identify and arrest Mr. Carpenter. He was eventually convicted and lost on appeal, at which point he and his defense attorneys took the case to SCOTUS.

If you are arrested for shoplifting, it is important to learn more about the criminal charges you are facing and to seek help from a Michigan retail fraud defense lawyer as soon as you can. We often assist individuals who are facing shoplifting charges, and we want to walk you through some of the most important steps to take after being arrested in Michigan.

Understand the Charges You are Facing

If you are caught shoplifting in Michigan, you will likely be facing retail fraud charges (MCL 750.356c). Depending upon the value of the item you allegedly stole or attempted to steal, you could be facing anything from a misdemeanor offense for retail fraud in the third degree to a felony offense for retail fraud in the first degree. Retail fraud in the first degree is the most serious shoplifting charge you can face, and it is a felony offense. It is charged when the value of the property in question totals $1,000 or more. Retail fraud in the second degree is a misdemeanor offense that is charged when the value of the property shoplifted is between $200 and $999. Finally, retail fraud in the third degree is the least serious of the shoplifting charges in Michigan, and it is a misdemeanor offense that is charged when someone steals property valued at under $200.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unlawful search and seizure. There are many ways in which a search and seizure can be unlawful, from the illegal search of a person to the unlawful seizure of property from an alleged criminal suspect’s home or motor vehicle. One of the more contentious issues concerning the Fourth Amendment and its protection is the practice of “stop and frisk.” In 2013, The New York Times published an article about the prevalence of racial discrimination in “stop and frisk” procedures and programs. Despite the fact that a New York court found the NYPD’s stop and frisk program to be racially discriminatory, that same year the Detroit police chief asserted that stop and frisk procedures would not change in Michigan.

What is a stop and frisk, and when is it unlawful?

Fourth Amendment Protects Against Unlawful Search and Seizure

Do the police in Michigan have to obtain a warrant in order to draw blood from a DUI/OWI suspect? Under Michigan law (MCL 257.625a), a person can be charged with an OWI if that person’s blood, breath, or urine show any sign of alcohol if the person is under the age of 21, and if the blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher for anyone who is 21 and older. Sometimes Michigan police officers administer breathalyzer tests in order to determine a driver’s BAC, but a police officer also may require a driver to submit to a blood test if they prefer. Does a law enforcement officer need to have a warrant in order to force a driver to submit to a blood test?

This is a question that actually went before the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 2016 the Court ruled that warrantless blood draws are unlawful in most suspected drunk driving cases, while a warrantless breath test is lawful.

Understanding Warrantless Blood Draw Laws

Child abuse is defined as any action that causes a child to suffer physical or psychological harm. In addition to physical and verbal abuse, it can include neglect, a parent or caregiver’s failure to provide a child with adequate medical care, and actions that put a child at an unnecessary, unreasonable risk of harm.

When you are facing a child abuse charge, you have the right to defend your case. A child abuse conviction can come with steep fines and a long prison sentence. Even without a conviction, an accusation of abuse can permanently damage your relationship with your child and your social reputation. Below are a few potential defenses to a child abuse charge. Talk to your lawyer about the details of your case to determine which of these, if any, is the right defense strategy for you.

Your Child was Injured in an Accident

“Sexting” is the practice of sending and receiving sexually charged and sexually explicit text, images, and videos. Sexting can be done via text message, email, through social media, or through other means.

Many different actions fall into the category of “sexting.” These include:

  • Knowingly possessing an image or video of a minor engaged in sexual activity or posing in a sexual manner;

In Michigan, the age of consent is 16 years old. A child younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual contact, even with another minor. Adolescents age 16 and older may consent to sexual contact with all others over the age of 16, except for in certain circumstances.

When an individual engages in vaginal, anal, oral, or digital penetration with a minor who cannot consent to sex, he or she may be charged with statutory rape. This offense is also known as criminal sexual conduct.

In Michigan, There is No Romeo and Juliet Law

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