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October 2013 Archives

Parents who use medical marijuana regain custody of baby from CPS

Though Michigan has made medical marijuana legal, one state agency tried a tactic other than arrest to punish a married couple for using the drug legally. Child Protective Services seized the couple's infant daughter, claiming that the couple was exposing the girl to marijuana.

Drug sentencing guidelines often fail to serve justice

As part of its aggressive “War on Drugs,” federal drug statutes are supplemented with tough sentencing guidelines. While these guidelines are technically not mandatory, judges are frequently expected to issue sentences close to what the guidelines suggest. These guidelines often seek to lock up defendants for many years, even for nonviolent offenses. They rarely ask the court to take the defendants’ individual circumstances into account.

Michigan's sex offender registry has serious impact, no matter

Like many other U.S. states, Michigan keeps a list of people convicted of certain sex crimes that is available for viewing on the Internet. The Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry includes registrants’ names home addresses, work addresses and a photograph of their face. The sex offense for which they were convicted or pleaded guilty is included, but the description is limited to the charge.

Recent results obtained for clients

Client charged with three misdemeanor moving violations, including Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident (Hit and Run), Reckless Driving, and Reckless Driving Resulting in Personal Injury. Client was facing jail time and mandatory suspension of license. Through diligent advocacy on behalf of Client, negotiations with the prosecuting official resulted in reduction of the charges to three civil infractions, with only three points being applied to Client's driving record. Client, an MSU graduate student, avoided a criminal record, jail time and loss of his license.

Okemos man's murder trial began this week

The murder trial of a 19-year-old Okemos man began earlier this week in an Ingham County Circuit courtroom. He is charged with open murder in the February stabbing of his sister's boyfriend. The evidence has shown that a fight between the victim and his girlfriend (defendant's sister) is what set the tragic event in motion. The defendant and the victim exchanged increasingly heated text messages in the early morning hours the day of the stabbing. The conflict between the two men began when the defendant's sister told him the victim had assaulted and injured her over lost keys. That is when the victim and defendant began texting each other, insulting and challenging each other to a fight. Transcripts show the defendant asked the victim if he could show up at his apartment, and the victim tauntingly challenged him to do so.

Witness allowed to testify for man convicted of multiple murder

Sometimes, even after a Michigan resident pleads guilty to a violent crime, new evidence emerges that may put a reasonable doubt on whether he or she committed that crime. That appears to be the case with a Detroit man with special needs who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder related to an incident that occurred when he was 14.

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