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Kalamazoo Criminal Defense Law Blog

Search for gunmen underway after Plainfield Twp. Jewelry heist

It isn't often we read about jewelry store heists. Such felony crimes seem to be relegated to the obscure annals of history or are the works of mystery fiction. Such is not the case out of Plainfield Township today.

Kent County authorities confirm that they are searching for four suspects believed to be responsible for an alleged attempted robbery at gunpoint at Medawar's Jewelers.

As is the case with any criminal charge, those associated with this case will be serious if and when authorities make arrests. But as is equally the case with any criminal matter, it must be remembered that anyone who might be charged is granted the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. A vigorous defense is always called for.

Feds revive Michigan drug case dismissed in October

Federal authorities in Grand Rapids always said they would revive their case against members of what they allege to be a multi-county drug ring. Today they were as good as their word.

According to documents unsealed Wednesday, a total of 37 people now stand indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the case. Officials allege that they conspired to use the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) as a cover to grow marijuana for sale and distribution to social users.

Readers may be somewhat familiar with the case, we wrote about it back in October. At the time, federal officials declared that 27 people who had been arrested in a massive sting were being released and charges being dismissed. But they also said they were taking the action because they had so much evidence to process that they needed more time to build their case.

House may not be all that's damaged in Kalamazoo DUI case

You don't typically think of an allegation of driving under the influence resulting in someone being displaced from their home. But that appears to be what has happened in a DUI case over this past weekend.

Authorities say a suspected drunk driver crashed into a home on West Michigan Avenue Friday morning near the campus of Western Michigan University. No one was hurt as a result of the crash, but officials say the home suffered such significant damage that it will require an inspection before residents can return.

At the time this is written, it's not clear if that inspection has been completed. Authorities do say, though, that they have a suspect in custody. 

Conflicting alcohol content data prompts dropped DUI charge

The outcome of a drunk driving case out of Plainwell has caught our eye. We first wrote about the case back in December and just recently we learned how things have played out for the individual charged.

Every case is different and it isn't possible to say that the results that were achieved in this case would be duplicated in another with similar circumstances. What the case does do is reinforce the view that anyone facing serious charges stemming from an allegations of driving under the influence should be sure to work with experienced legal counsel to protect their rights. 

Cadillac father charged with abuse of 7-week-old infant

Parenting is not an easy job. The younger the child, the more difficult it can be. Sometimes the challenge of trying to make sure that all of an infant's needs are being met can be overwhelming. Even the most well-intentioned parent can find him or herself driven to a point of such frustration that it results in domestic violence.

That is not intended to be offered as an excuse for such situations, merely an acknowledgment that such circumstances can occur. When they do, they can lead to criminal charges. And, as with any criminal charge, domestic violence accusations need to be taken seriously and met with the help experienced legal counsel. The defendant's future could be at stake.

Chemical odor in Pavilion Township leaves 3 facing drug charges

Kalamazoo County authorities are ever alert to the threat of methamphetamine. Considered a major source of concern in communities throughout the region, police and prosecutors seek to obtain the maximum penalty possible for drug-related crime convictions.

It matters little whether the charge is basic possession or more accusations of manufacturing or trafficking, the consequences that could be meted out are such that anyone facing such charges should enlist the help of experienced legal counsel.

An example of just how vigilant authorities are, there is the report of a drug bust earlier this week in Pavilion Township, near Portage. 

Parchment embezzlement case closed with no arrests made

Authorities in Parchment are convinced a theft crime was committed. But after 19 months of investigation, they don't have the necessary evidence to either show what happened to proceeds of the alleged embezzlement or charge anyone with the crime. The case is now officially closed.  

The outcome of this case likely leaves many with a bitter taste in their mouths, but it is the way the legal system in the United States is supposed to work. Criminal charges are typically brought only when prosecutors are convinced they have the proof necessary to show that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

What Parchment School District officials say they know to be fact is that some $20,000 in athletic event gate receipts from the 2011-12 school year went missing.

Teen faces felony charge in pedestrian injury OWI case

Fear may be the deepest emotion that a person experiences when they first encounter the legal system as a defendant. This is understandable. Most people go through their whole lives never getting any closer to such a situation than watching crime dramas on television.

A crucial thing to remember is that a charge of any kind, whether it is a first time accusation of petty theft or something more serious, such as an operating while intoxicated felony, is not a verdict. It is an accusation and anyone brought before a Michigan criminal court has the right to an attorney. It is one that should always be exercised.

Insanity verdict means treatment for Portage mall threat suspect

Mitchell Meister has been ordered to undergo treatment and observation. That is the determination of a Kalamazoo County Circuit Court judge after finding the 23-year-old man not guilty by reason of insanity.

Readers may know the case. Meister was accused of felony charges in connection with alleged threats made against people at The Crossroads mall in Portage back on July 12. Authorities who responded and arrested Meister had booked him on two felony counts; one of making a terrorist threat or falsely reporting a threat, and a second of resisting or obstructing police.

4 Kent County jailers facing drug-related charges

Four officers with the Kent County Sheriff's Department are on administrative leave and could be in much more serious trouble depending on how an internal investigation pans out and how drug-related charges they are facing get resolved.

All four of the men have served as guards at the county jail. According to news reports about their case, the four of them have combined years of service totaling 88 years. WWMT-TV reports the four were arraigned on an array of drug charges today. Bonds for all of the individuals apparently were set at $2,000.

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