Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law
Call for a Free Phone Consultation
Local 517-481-2680 Toll Free 800-385-0092

Lansing Criminal Defense Law Blog

Michigan appeals court sides with defendant in drug case

Search and seizure of evidence is an important issue when it comes to criminal defense, especially cases involving drug charges. Police are bound by certain rules when investigating suspected criminal activity and failure to follow those rules can ultimately weaken prosecution’s case. A recent decision by a Michigan court of appeals highlights this fact.

The decision, which came on Wednesday, held that police who pulled over a driver because the tow ball on his vehicle blocked his license plate did not have probable cause to make that stop, and that therefore their subsequent search of the defendant’s vehicle was illegal. In the search, police had found marijuana and other drugs, but because the search was illegal, that evidence was tainted. 

New sexual assault kit deadline may improve accuracy

Generally, a major part of a modern police investigation into a sexual assault complaint includes forensic evidence. This includes the so-called “sexual assault kit” or “rape kit,” which tests for DNA evidence left behind by the perpetrator.

Back in 2009, it came to light that the Detroit Police Department had kept more than 11,000 of these kits in storage without ever testing them. In reaction to this incident, the Legislature passed a bill earlier this year that sets a time limit for law enforcement to retrieve the sexual assault kit from the medical facility where the victim had the testing conducted.

Michigan's Labor Day anti-DUI police campaign ended Sept. 1

Now that the Labor Day weekend is over, kids in Michigan are going back to school, while their parents are returning to work. People of all ages said an unofficial goodbye to summer. Others had a less-than-happy holiday weekend -- they were cited or arrested for suspicion of drinking and driving.

As in many other states, Michigan law enforcement agencies stepped up their efforts to make DUI arrests before and during the long weekend. Starting back on Aug. 15, and running until Sept. 1, state and local police participated in the national Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Who can get medical marijuana in Michigan?

It was back in 2008 that Michigan citizens voted to join the growing number of states to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Since then, residents living with certain diseases or conditions have been able to use marijuana to help with their symptoms.

For those who are considering applying for a medical marijuana license, we will share some general information about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program, or MMMP.

Judge sentences Lansing man to take medication for sex crimes

If incarceration, probation and parole have not stopped a sex crimes convict from reoffending, could medicine make a difference? The Ingham County Circuit Court is giving a man a chance to avoid possible life in prison by agreeing to let him try medication to curb his inappropriate urges.

The man pleaded guilty on Aug. 6 to several charges of indecent exposure. He admitted exposing his genitals at coffee shops on three occasions. He has prior convictions for similar behavior that go back decades.

In Michigan, theft can mean life in prison, depending on evidence

There is more than one level to criminal law in Michigan. The same activity can lead to a wide range of penalties, depending on certain evidence that the prosecution uses against the defendant.

Let us examine theft for example. It is known more formally as "larceny" under the Michigan penal code. The statute says that theft of items with a value of less than $200 is a misdemeanor, with a maximum jail sentence of 93 days and a fine.

Woman wrongfully arrested on drug charges had same name as suspect

Police in another state recently arrested a woman who was eight months pregnant on drug trafficking charges. The problem was, the officers apprehended the wrong woman by mistake. It took the woman eight months to convince prosecutors to drop the charges, demonstrating the damage that law enforcement can do to innocent peoples’ lives when an improper arrest occurs.

The woman had just turned into the driveway at her mother’s home when two police cars pulled up behind her back in October. The officers got out of their cars and arrested her on suspicion of conspiring to sell marijuana and oxycodone. They believed that she was another woman of the same name who was the girlfriend of a man with drug crime convictions on his record.

Will Lansing's new loitering ordinance reduce drug crime?

Waiting for the bus in downtown Lansing could land you in jail for 90 days under the terms of a new city ordinance intended to deal with drug trafficking.

The ordinance appears to apply specifically to the CATA Transportation Center downtown. Police say the area is the site of regular drug trafficking activity. So the Lansing City Council passed an ordinance that makes it a crime to wait for your bus in certain spots near the station.

Lansing courts receive grant to set up domestic violence court

Domestic violence is a serious issue in the U.S., including in Michigan. The law provides for serious penalties for those convicted of domestic assault. For instance, a third conviction can mean five years in prison.

Some readers may wonder why someone would commit domestic violence multiple times, even after being arrested or convicted. Some in this position are struggling with drug addiction or anger management, which limits their ability to control themselves at times.

Warrant required for cellphone searches, Supreme Court rules

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck a blow in favor of those who believe that law enforcement is increasingly encroaching on the right to privacy in Michigan and around the country. The Court told police departments throughout the U.S. that they must obtain a search warrant before officers may look through a person’s cellphone.

The search warrant requirement is a fundamental part of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In general, it requires investigators to show a neutral magistrate, such as a judge, that probable cause exists that a search will turn up evidence of a crime, before they are allowed to actually conduct the search.

Listed In Best Lawyers - The world's Premier Guide Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense Recommended by peers for leading lawyers network - the top lawyers

Office Location

Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law

Eastbrook Plaza
4127 Okemos Road ,Suite 4
Okemos, MI 48864

Toll Free: 800-385-0092
Local: 517-481-2680
Fax: 517-349-5013