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Lansing Criminal Defense Law Blog

Child abuse charges are very serious in Michigan

No criminal matter in Michigan is a joke, but an official accusation of child abuse can have serious consequences for the defendant. Law enforcement can be quick to take action when it believes a child is being abused or neglected.

As with most forms of domestic violence charges, a charge of child abuse likely will trigger two separate legal proceedings. Besides charging you with a crime that carries a potential jail or prison sentence, Child Protective Services may decide to intervene and take your children away from you. In some cases, CPS tells the court to strip you of your parental rights permanently. It can also gather evidence to be used in your criminal case.

Report says Michigan is 'overcriminalized'

Every once in a while, there is a news report about strange, obscure laws that remain on the books in Michigan or elsewhere. These stories are typically humorous, because they deal with laws that come from the 19th Century, or make seemingly old-fashioned actions a crime.

These laws are good for a laugh, because few of us are at risk of accidentally breaking them and facing prosecution. But other statutes indeed can affect our lives and lead to serious criminal charges. Especially here: Michigan lawmakers have quietly built one of the longest criminal codes in the Midwest.

What can the court do to a teen convicted of alcohol possession?

We all know that the legal drinking age in Michigan is 21 years old. We also know that many teenagers and 20-year-olds occasionally experiment with alcohol in high school and college.

Being a minor in possession of alcohol is a misdemeanor in Michigan. Teens may not think about this when they go to a party where alcohol is served, but they are risking a criminal conviction that may appear on their permanent record. Future potential employers may find it while conducting a background check. Mortgages and car loans may be harder to obtain, and even getting a visa to go to certain countries might not be possible.

Does Michigan law deal with tax crimes, like federal law does?

Having your taxes audited can be a lengthy and unpleasant process. But being charged with a crime related to taxes is arguably even worse, because a conviction could lead to prison time.

Someone facing charges related to their taxes could be charged at both the state and federal level, depending on the government’s claims against them. In other words, the IRS could get involved. The stakes will likely be high, so a defendant needs to make sure that they have an experienced defense attorney on their side.

Can police 'follow' me by tracking my cellphone?

Wireless technology allows us to stay in touch with more ease and convenience than ever before. A smartphone about the size of a deck of cards gives you the power to make calls, text and update your social media from almost anywhere in Lansing.

One trade-off that many residents are likely unaware they are making for this service is their privacy is being eroded. The same cellphone that keeps you in constant touch with the world can be used by state and federal law enforcement to follow you -- often, without having to get a search warrant first.

Assault charge dropped against Flint man after more investigation

Michigan police must have probable cause that a person committed a crime before they can arrest him or her. Even then, “probable cause” is not the same thing as proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, the accused person’s defense attorney will conduct an independent investigation, and find evidence that the authorities missed that disproves the defendant’s guilt.

Criminal charges against a Michigan man in relation to a bar fight were expected to be dropped. MLive.com reports that new information has emerged that suggests the defendant was only defending himself against the alleged victim.

What happens if the police want to search my car?

Even the most prudent driver may be stopped by the police at one time or another.  However, being asked to exit the car, or to be asked if search the car may be searched may be questions that may catch you flat-footed and afraid for what may happen next.

As such, this post will briefly highlight your rights under the Fourth Amendment as they apply to roadside automobile searches.

Michigan couple alleges false prosecution in 2007 rape charges

A lawsuit against three former Michigan prosecutors accuses them of relying on dubious evidence to charge the parents of a severely disabled girl with sexually assaulting her. In her opening statements on Oct. 9, the couple’s attorney accused the defendants of allowing political ambition to interfere with their duty to serve the interests of justice.

Authorities arrested the couple late in 2007. They are the parents of a severely autistic daughter who cannot speak. The arrest and charges were largely based on a message that the then-14-year-old girl “typed” with the help of a school aide.

Consequences of a conviction can last long after official sentence

Being convicted of a crime can mean jail or prison time, fines and other consequences. Among these are subtler, societal penalties that may linger the rest of the defendant’s life, long after he or she has paid his or her legal debt.

First, there is getting arrested. Though an arrest is not the same thing as an indictment, let alone a conviction, being placed under arrest can be highly embarrassing for a suspect and his or her family. Depending on the circumstances, you may lose your job. Friends and relatives may turn away.

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.

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