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Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Blog

Driver in single vehicle crash charged with OWI

A Michigan resident was called before the court after being involved in a single-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of a passenger. This man has been accused of second-degree murder, OWI and failing to stop at the scene of a crash. The defendant was allegedly out on bond and awaiting trial for another offense. 

Authorities have alleged that the defendant was driving the involved vehicle with one passenger at the time of the crash. After the crash, the defendant supposedly left the scene and returned later while authorities were investigating. The defendant's girlfriend met police at the scene and claimed to have been driving the vehicle. Upon returning to the scene, the defendant allegedly admitted that he was the one driving the vehicle. He claimed to have left the scene in order to get help because his cell phone had been lost during the accident.

4 charged with white collar crimes in Detroit

Four individuals have been accused of running a deed fraud scheme in Detroit, Michigan. The supposed ringleader has been charged with 34 felony counts. These charges include extortion, larceny by false pretenses, conducting a criminal enterprise, and home invasion. Two of the defendants have been charged with eight felony counts, and the last defendant has been charged with three felony counts. Building a strong defense for white collar crimes like this requires a strict attention to detail.

The defendants would supposedly collect a small fee, usually between $1,000 and $5,000, from individuals in exchange for vacant properties in the Detroit area. Next, the defendants allegedly gave these individuals a forged affidavit or quick claim deed to the property in question. These documents were then said to have been unlawfully recorded at the Wayne County Register of Deeds. The lawful property owners were said to have been unaware of these sales. 

Mother prepares criminal defense after the death of her baby

A mother in Michigan is likely grieving over the death of her child after he allegedly suffocated during the night. Authorities believe that the cause of death can be attributed to the fact that the mother and child were sharing a bed and have charged her with child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. Those in charge of building her criminal defense argue that these charges are too severe.

Authorities claim that the mother of three fell asleep with her infant son on her bed after drinking alcohol. It is speculated that during the night the child became caught between the bed and the wall and suffocated. Authorities are also considering an anonymous complaint filed by a staff member at the hospital where the woman gave birth claiming that she appeared to be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

Criminal defense begins with the right to an attoney

Many people might not know that in Michigan, as well as most other states, defendants are not required to have an attorney during their first court appearance. Defendants will very often go into their arraignment hearings without representation of any kind. It is important for the accused, especially those individuals who are facing possible prison sentences, to build a strong criminal defense from the very beginning.

In one instance, a local judge recalled an arraignment where a man without representation pleaded guilty even though the judge suspected that he was not. When the defendant was asked why he pleaded guilty, he replied that he believed that was how the system worked. He believed that it was best to plead guilty and move on. 

Will a tax mistake lead to charges of tax evasion?

Although you may dream of what it would be like if you didn't have to pay taxes, this isn't the way things work in the United States. It's imperative that you understand the tax code, even if you only have a basic working knowledge of what's required of you.

The IRS is fully aware of the fact that its tax code is complicated. They are also aware of the fact that people can and will make mistakes on their tax return. There is no way around this.

18 people face federal charges for drug crimes

State and federal law enforcement are said to have cooperated in a large-scale drug bust recently. Federal warrants were obtained in early September for the arrest of 18 individuals, 13 of whom were said to reside in West Michigan. All but four of the individuals are now in custody and facing federal charges of drug crimes. The authorities have requested the public's help in locating the four who remain at large. 

An unspecified number of searches were performed in conjunction with the arrests. Law enforcement personnel say they found and seized several kilograms of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Equipment used to pack the drugs, a small number of weapons and ammunition, and a large amount of cash were also allegedly confiscated.

Woman arrested for OWI after alleged Facebook comments

Arresting a suspect for drunk driving on the basis of Facebook entries may not be all that it's cracked up to be. It happened recently in Michigan, but certain aspects of the arrest and prosecution for OWI may prove problematic for the government. The authorities arrested the woman after they saw incriminating evidence on her Facebook page.

They had responded to an early morning one-car accident on I-75. The driver of the vehicle had left it and fled on foot. The authorities allegedly found the person they were seeking in a hotel room. They accessed the hotel computer to allegedly observe a comment by the woman that she had been involved in an accident and was drunk.

Police may charge drug crimes and homicide in overdose cases

The opioid epidemic in Michigan and throughout the country has caused law enforcement and other agencies to devise strategies to combat that form of drug traffic. They have also focused on trying to reduce the numbers of overdose deaths from opioid use. One strategy of law enforcement agencies has been to crack down and include, in addition to drug crimes, a charge of homicide against the dealers who provide drugs to the individual who then dies from an overdose.

It is a difficult proposition for a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the dealer was a substantial factor in causing the person's death. There are several strong and viable defenses that the accused individual can raise in such a prosecution, not the least of which is the issue of whether the accused was in fact the provider of the  suspected substance. These considerations may apply in a recent arrest by the Michigan State Police and the West Bloomfield Police of a 41-year-old Detroit man.

Jury rejects man's criminal defense to resisting arrest charge

Resisting arrest is a somewhat common charge that comes up in traffic violations and driver impairment cases in Michigan. When an officer makes a traffic stop for erratic or suspicious driving patterns, resisting arrest is the last thing on the mind of the suspect or the police. However, things are known to typically escalate and emotions are sometimes unleashed and difficult to control. Criminal defense counsel must then step in and confront the propriety of the resisting arrest charge.

An 84-year-old man learned that principle when Michigan State Police troopers pulled him over several months ago for failing to use a signal when turning. The troopers say the man, the owner of a nearby bar, got out of his car and approached their car with a raised fist. They tackled him to the ground, sending him to the hospital with a broken arm and bloodied nose.

These drug crimes are common among addicts

An addiction hinders your ability to stop taking drugs even if you want to. The withdrawal is severe and potentially life-threatening, depending on the drug you use. People who are addicted to drugs don't need to be in prison. They need to be where they can get the help they need to recover from an addiction and dependency outside their control.

When addicted to mind-altering substances, it's easy to make mistakes that end up violating laws. Breaking the law leads to further trouble with the law, but with some support, could end up leading to treatment.

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