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Lansing Criminal Defense Law Blog

Connection between gambling addiction, embezzlement is common

There are many reasons why people who commit white collar crimes do what they do. Sometimes, embezzlement is the result of a person who has gotten into terrible financial trouble, has become desperate, and does something they would not normally do. They are not career criminals, but someone in the grip of an addiction or compulsion.

Gambling addiction is a serious problem in the U.S., according to Psych Central. Perhaps 2 to 4 percent of country is addicted to gambling. With millions of people potentially struggling with a compulsion to gamble, it is perhaps not surprising that some of them have been entrusted with money belonging to their employer, clients or other third party, and have found the temptation to take some of it too strong to resist.

Difference between DUI, impaired driving charges slight in MI

Michigan law enforcement continues to aggressively pursue those they suspect of driving under the influence. As we discussed in a recent article on our website, even if a motorist has just a trace amount of a drug in their system when they get pulled over, they could still face criminal charges -- possibly even if the drug is a legal prescription medication or over the counter medicine.

Michigan law creates a distinction between “operating while intoxicated,” commonly known as DUI or DWI, and “impaired driving.” A motorist is guilty of OWI when he or she is driving while “under the influence” of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of the two. Police may test a suspect’s breath or blood for the presence of drugs and alcohol.

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.

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