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Lansing Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Michigan men arrested on child sex charges

A Michigan radio personality is facing charges of having sex with minors and creating child pornography, and a second man has also been arrested in the case. They were targeted by an investigation that combined federal, state and local law enforcement.

One of the arrested men, John Baylo, is a radio host on WCSG-FM, a Christian station located in Grand Rapids. He was arrested after police obtained a warrant and searched his home. The Lansing State Journal does not mention what evidence police used to obtain the search warrant.

Michigan woman acquitted of embezzling from auto body shop

When the prosecution says it has more than 100 pieces of evidence against someone charged with a white collar crime, your first reaction might be that the defendant must be guilty. But that assumes that the evidence actually proves the defendant’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors can present a mountain of documents and other evidence to the jury, but if that mountain does not establish guilt, the jury’s duty is to find the defendant not guilty.

The jury in a Michigan embezzlement trial took just two hours recently to find the former employee of an auto body shop not guilty, despite examining more than 100 exhibits presented by the prosecution. Afterward, the defendant’s attorney said that his client should never have been charged in the first place, and that the verdict showed that “the evidence wasn’t there” that the defendant had taken up to $24,000 from her employer.

Michigan State Trooper not charged for pulling gun on speeder

Dashboard cameras can help police officers gather evidence against suspects during a traffic stop. They can also vindicate the suspect when the footage disproves the officers’ claims. Cameras can also catch the police using excessive force, as happened in a recent Michigan incident.

A dashboard cam captured the scene. A Michigan State Police trooper is seen pulling a gun on an 18-year-old motorist and heard saying things to the young woman that sickened the county prosecutor. The woman was pulled over for allegedly speeding. She had heard that her home was being robbed and was apparently trying to reach the house. 

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