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Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Blog

Criminal defense to drone delivery will depend on the facts

Prisons in Michigan do not allow inmates to possess cell phones. The prohibition creates an extensive underground trade in cell phones within the prison populations. When arrests are made for smuggling cell phones, both those on the outside and the inmates inside must determine whether they have a viable criminal defense that can be raised against the charges.

With the assistance of friends and family on the outside, inmates have engaged in various creative ways to smuggle cell phones into prison. When they are caught, criminal charges are likely to be filed not only against those bringing them into the prison grounds but also against any prisoners found in possession of them. The standard not-so-creative method of getting cell phones, and drugs for that matter, into the prison grounds involves people on the outside simply throwing a package over the prison fence, where it is retrieved by a waiting inmate.

Dispensary owners are being arrested for felony drug crimes

Medical marijuana in Michigan was meant to bring about pain relief and other positive medical outcomes for persons suffering from specified chronic conditions. However, difficulties with the interpretation and application of the caretaker provisions of the law continue to crop up. Raids of marijuana dispensaries in the northern part of the state have been taking place recently, with the result that dispensary owners are facing charges for drug crimes, which is certainly not an intended outcome of the law's intent.

The caregiver provisions of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act cap the number of patients at five for any one caregiver. The caregiver is trained to maintain and prepare the plants and ingredients approved for each patient. Due to the widespread negative impact of the Northern Michigan raids, at least one dispensary owner is speaking out.

Drug crimes the subject of large dragnet by feds and state cops

The federal prisons are filled with individuals from Michigan and elsewhere who have been convicted of drug charges. Many of these persons are serving draconian sentences for drug crimes under unrelenting federal sentencing guidelines. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the guidelines are not mandatory, the federal district court judges continue to pay homage to the steep guidelines sentencing frameworks.

Federal law also imposes steep mandatory minimum sentences in many drug prosecutions. A recent set of raids in Saginaw illustrates the aggressive enforcement efforts of state and federal authorities to keep up the pressure on allegedly high-level drug dealers. A total of 19 people were reportedly arrested by federal and state law enforcement officers as part of an ongoing federal and state investigation. Officials would not, however, release the details of their ongoing investigation.

Is it a crime to be affiliated with a gang?

Growing up, young people make mistakes. It's not unusual to find out that a young adult has made their way into a gang or that they've become affiliated. Unfortunately, that can become a negative influence quickly in that person's life.

Of course, in general, being in a gang is not enough to get you into trouble with the law. What is enough is if you are involved in gang activities that are illegal. Many states actually define gangs as groups that intend to commit crimes, so being affiliated with one can be bad news if you're accused of a crime.

Embezzlement is one of the white collar crimes created by statute

White collar crimes in Michigan and nationwide take a cumulative toll on our economic well-being. The government unfortunately spends far too many resources trying to make arrests that are debatable violations of the criminal laws that exist. One of the commonly recognized white collar crimes, however, is embezzlement.

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property, usually money, by one who has lawful access and who is lawfully entrusted with the property. To embezzle means to take or convert to one's own use the property of another where the embezzler has the lawful control and access over the property. A bank employee who skims funds from the drawer each day may be guilty of embezzlement.

Criminal defense will assert religious rights in mutilation case

Despite the presumption of innocence, courts in Michigan and elsewhere do not always provide bail to seemingly deserving defendants. In a recent case in Detroit, a federal court judge has denied bail to a doctor who is accused of performing genital mutilation on girls from a Muslim sect. The decision to deny bail is questionable, especially in light of the woman's likely criminal defense.

One way in which the prosecutor may sway a judge to deny bail is to claim that the defendant is a risk to run. The court denied bail on that basis, even though the defendant is a U.S. born citizen. In addition, with modern electronic tracking devices, it is unlikely that the accused would find a way to escape the country. Furthermore, the holding of her passport will make it even more difficult for her to abscond.

Police accuse marijuana dispensary worker of alleged drug crimes

The advent of medical marijuana has been a step forward for Michigan and other states with respect to reversing the harsh results of the decades-long war on drugs. However, with most new laws that liberalize prior unreasonable policies, a new set of necessary laws and regulations emerges. It may even be said that a new category of drug crimes has sprung up due to the expressed need to regulate the medical marijuana industry.

The problem was illustrated by a recent arrest in Gaylord that was conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement team. The enforcement team alleges that it received a tip that marijuana was being grown near a medical marijuana dispensary. The team alleges that it followed up and obtained a search warrant.

Resisting arrest may be wrongly in the violent crimes category

Michigan criminal law follows most other jurisdictions in making it a crime to resist or obstruct the police in making an arrest. Such offenses may be categorized as violent crimes, but they often do not involve the level of criminal intent or the depth of violent action that are usually perceived as falling into that classification. The reason is that most resisting arrest situations involve some degree of force being applied not only by the suspect but also by the police.

The police usually appear to get the best of the suspect in such confrontations. In addition, when a person struggles to be free of an arrest, he or she may actually be innocent of any charged crime. Many people become flustered by physical contact from the authorities when they feel, rightly or wrongly, that they have done nothing wrong.

How much does an OWI cost in Michigan?

You weren't thinking straight when you got behind the wheel, but you didn't believe you were over the limit. Despite that, you're now facing an OWI charge for your actions. Now, you've been arrested for an OWI, and you need to do your best to defend yourself.

You know that if you're convicted, you'll end up paying fines. Do you know everything that could end up costing you? Here are a few of the fees you may face.

Federal violent crimes allegations arise from airport attack

Michigan sometimes deals with immigration problems that spill over into criminal arrests. Because the state borders another country, such problems arise daily but do not always contain the added aggravation of violent crimes. Recently, however, an immigrant was arrested in a Michigan airport for allegedly attacking and stabbing a police officer in the neck.

The FBI carried out the arrest of the 49-year-old man who faces charges of causing violence with a weapon at an international airport. Additional state or federal charges could be filed. The federal agency indicated that it is looking at the alleged violation as a possible terrorist act, which could justify additional federal charges. It is alleged that the accused was ranting anti-American slogans about failed United States policies in the Middle East. The FBI reported, however, that the man is not believed to have been a part of a cell or organized terrorist network.

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