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Kalamazoo Criminal Defense Law Blog

Convicted murderer, 21, waiting to learn if parole is possible

There's a 21-year-old man serving life in a Michigan prison. He currently faces no chance of parole. A judge in Kalamazoo County is expected to decide tomorrow whether he should ever be granted a chance at it.

The attorney for the defense says this young man deserves the hope of one day being released. But prosecutors say dying in prison is what his record suggests is deserved.

At the root of the case is whether the life sentence that is currently in place amounts to cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution because it doesn't consider that many serious juvenile criminal offenses are impulsive acts stemming from underdeveloped cognition and character.

Michigan medical marijuana case law still being written

Recent events out of Muskegon would suggest that the answer to the above question is, yes. Readers may be aware of the story. A medical marijuana advocate and eight others were arrested last month and charged with drug trafficking. They're alleged to have grown and sold medical marijuana out of a Muskegon smoke shop.

An attorney for all of the defendants says his clients are all legitimate medical marijuana card holders under state law and have not broken that law. But prosecutors disagree, and so the court is being asked to decide. 

What happens in a Michigan court with domestic violence charges?

Whether you are a victim of domestic violence or the person facing criminal charges because of an alleged incident of abuse, it's very likely that you have questions. Most people go through life without ever having a run-in with the law and a charge of domestic abuse often reflects a one-time set of circumstances in which emotions got out of hand.

That being so, it might be more appropriate to ask who wouldn't have questions? And so we feel our readers might benefit by a brief overview of the subject. We won't try to address all the possible issues. Rather, we hope to address some common questions and, perhaps, misconceptions. 

Traffic stop results in multiple drug charges

Many drivers across Michigan have had the unfortunate experience of being pulled over by the police. Seeing the red and blue lights in the rearview mirror can instantly make a person very nervous, scared and defensive. This is understandable because depending on what an officer observes while speaking to a driver, what started as a traffic stop can quickly spiral into a serious situation involving criminal charges.

This is often how people end up facing allegations of drug crimes. Police pull them over, see something suspicious, search the vehicle or conduct a canine sniff test, and ultimately uncover illegal drugs. In just a matter of minutes, a person could end up facing multiple serious charges, including drug possession and drug trafficking.

Police: Parent engagement may reduce juvenile criminal charges

Young people have a knack for making bad choices. Driving too fast is common. A lot of parents have had to deal with a minor child who has been caught drinking.

In many cities, including Kalamazoo, gang membership can be an issue, creating loyalties that can magnify peer pressure. What can happen then is that a juvenile, without really thinking things through, acts in a way that results in a serious criminal charge -- perhaps a felony or even a capital crime. The consequences can be dire.

Man avoids felony OWI penalties with plea to lesser charges

A Bay County man who had been facing the serious charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, third offense, is free today. He might have faced up to five years in jail had he been convicted of that charge, but he was able to work out a plea agreement that resulted in his avoiding incarceration.

The man's case may not only be a reflection of prosecutorial mercy, but also that anyone facing an OWI charge can benefit from the assistance of experienced legal representation. This man had that help.

The details of the case are interesting for the scope of issues that stemmed from a string of events that began in December 2012. 

38th of 39 defendants in Michigan health fraud case convicted

Federal authorities are chalking up another conviction in a massive fraud case out of Detroit. The latest action came earlier this month in federal court. Officials confirm that a jury found a Canton businessman guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to pay kickbacks to health care professionals in connection with the case.

According to records in the case, the defendant and his brother were owners of First Michigan Home Health Care Inc. in Livonia. Prosecutors alleged that the 41-year-old man regularly obtained referrals of patients by paying kickbacks to a variety of people in the medical community. 

Defense claims police retaliation in Grand Rapids drug case

No criminal case should ever be thought to be as straightforward as police or prosecutors make them out to be. Every case is different and all of the elements need to be compiled and assessed. For the sake of the rights and liberties of the defendants charged, the help of an experienced defense attorney should always be enlisted.

In some instances, supposed evidence presented by authorities can and should be challenged. If it was obtained by any sort of questionable means, it may be possible to have the evidence declared inadmissible.

This is a strategy that is reportedly being employed in a case of alleged drug trafficking out of Grand Rapids currently.

Mom apparently well enough now to face super drunk OWI charges

Authorities in Bay County, Michigan, say an arrest is now imminent in connection with a single-vehicle car accident that occurred back in May. The suspect in the matter is 29-year-old Midland woman and prosecutors say they expect to charge her with three criminal charges involving alleged drunk driving.

It's not clear why it has taken this long for authorities to take action, but it may be because the defendant suffered significant injuries in the crash and required a long stay in the hospital. Police say she broke multiple bones and suffered a number of internal injuries that left her in critical condition. Meanwhile, the woman's infant daughter, who was in the vehicle, escaped serious injury.

DUI suspected in Ada SUV-bike crash, felony homicide charged

The brother of a Bitely man suspected of impaired driving related to fatal crash in Ada Township says his sibling is no stranger to the trauma of drunk driving. He says that only makes the tragedy that left a 52-year-old Grand Rapids man that much harder to deal with. He says he's sure his brother is just devastated by the whole matter.

The events about which we write reportedly happened on the evening of July 9 on Egypt Valley Avenue between 3 Mile and 4 Mile roads. Authorities say that the victim was riding up a steep hill when he was struck from behind by an SUV being driven by the suspect. Despite rescue efforts, the bicyclist died at the scene.

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