Helping Your Case

Often times, when a potential client calls me, he or she has already admitted their guilt or the evidence is so overwhelming that being found guilty is inevitable. This is especially true in cases such a drunk driving where, if the initial stop and other procedures performed by the police were done properly and a properly calibrated Datamaster reveals intoxication, there is not much you can argue about. Or consider retail fraud, where store security has you on camera stuffing things into your purse and you get stopped outside the store with the merchandise and no receipt. Finally, a lot of people believe the police when they say, “Tell us what we want to know and we will go easy on you.” So then in front of someone who will later testify that you admitted your guilt with no duress or coercion, you spill out your guts and conscience and confess to even things you did as an infant.

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Silence is Golden

Probably the biggest obstacle a defense attorney faces is the client who confesses his crime to the police. Often times if you are a suspect, the police will invite you to come down to the station. When you get there, they will tell you that you are not under arrest and that you are free to go at any time. Then they will tell you that if you are willing to talk with them, they will do their best to go easy on you. They may also mention, that this is the time when you have the chance to tell your side of the story and if you do not talk, the prosecutor will only hear their side. Read More...

The Chihuahua Case

If you have been following my representation of Ken Lang, who was found to be living with 109 live Chihuahuas and another 150 or so dead ones stored in a freezer in the basement, he was charged with two counts of animal cruelty. Each of these counts are punishable by up to four years in prison and can be served consecutively rather than concurrently. Read More...

Learning About OCD

With a client who has severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; OCD and may face charges because of conduct associated with this, I had to take crash course to learn about it. OCD is the fourth most common mental disorder in the United States and is diagnosed nearly as often as the common ailments such as asthma and diabetes. In the US, it is thought that one in 50 adults has OCD. The phrase, OCD is often used to describe someone who is meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed in a cause, or otherwise fixated on something or someone.

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Has My Practice Gone to the Dogs?

One of the things you never expect when you go to law school is that one day you might be representing a client who has 109 dogs living in his house and another 150 dead ones stashed in the freezer. Well that is what happened to me last Thursday. I received a call from the sister of my client stating that housing officials in Dearborn, Michigan showed up at my client’s home and found just that. She wanted me to look into it. Over the past 10 days, I have found myself in the midst of a very sad but human story that could result in criminal charges being leveled against my client. Read More...

Taxi or DUI Arrest?

Last week an old friend called me to say he was working on an ad campaign for a taxi company and wanted to know the costs of being charged and convicted of drunk driving. The gist of his campaign was a comparison of the costs of taking a taxi versus the costs of a DUI conviction. Read More...

Any Excuse to Pull You Over

It’s 10:00 PM and you are on the road. So are the police and they will find any excuse to pull you over. So let’s say you are traveling north on Telegraph or some other multilane road. You look in your rear view mirror and there are no cars behind you except one other car way back there. You change lanes without using your blinker; didn’t seem to be much reason seeing the only other car was so far away. Read More...

Can the Police Search Your Car?

I was asked a question the other day about whether the police can conduct a search of your car when you are pulled over for a routine traffic violation. For instance, say you run a stop sign, can the police search the car looking for illegal drugs.

A police officer can search the car in some instances like: Read More...

The Hot Looking Blonde

I had a client a few weeks ago who was charged with solicitation. He was driving home from work, and there on the side of the road was a hot looking blonde in a sexy dress. Figuring why not, he pulled over, opened his window, and said to the lady, “How about oral sex for twenty dollars?” Read More...

Michigan's MIP Law

Under Michigan’s Minor in Possession Law, “A peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe a minor has consumed alcoholic liquor or has any bodily alcohol content may require the person to submit to a preliminary chemical breath analysis.” MCL 436.1703. This law has been stuck down, however, in a ruling issued by Judge David Lawson out of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Read More...

Let the Police Do Their Own Job

About 10:00 PM the police knocked on the door. “We have a report that someone is selling narcotics. Can we come in?” The 20 year old suspect stepped outside and closed the door. “Do you have a warrant?”
“Hey, we just want to talk, can we go inside?”
“OK, but only to talk.” Read More...

Field Sobriety Tests

In Michigan, if you are stopped and the officer smells the odor of alcohol, it is likely the Officer will ask you to take field sobriety tests or FST’s. Often the first test will consist of asking you to count backwards or recite the alphabet from “G” through “S” (if you continue on to T, you have a problem). Depending on how you perform, he may then ask you to step out of your vehicle and do the “Walk and Turn” or the “One Leg Stand”. Read More...

Rising BAC Defense

In Michigan it is against the law to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 when you are driving. However, because alcohol must be absorbed into the blood stream via the stomach and small intestine, it may be under the legal limit when driving but over at the time you are being tested. For normal social-type drinking, the highest BAC is usually achieved within 30 minutes after completion of consumption, though it could take as long as 60 minutes. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed over a short time interval, or when a large quantity of food is eaten when drinking, the absorption phase may not be complete for up to two (2) hours after last consumption. In other words, as noted above, your BAC may actually rise over the legal limit after the stop. Read More...

Fingerprint & Arrest Cards

I recently had a client, who when she was 20 years old was charged and pleaded guilty to retail fraud third degree. Not represented, the prosecutor offered a plea deal under MCL 771.1 with non-reporting probation and dismissal of the charges after 12 months. My client accepted the deal after being told that after the dismissal, there would be no public record of the conviction and she could honestly say that she had no criminal record. Two years later, while working as an intern at an investment house in Boston, she was summoned by HR and asked why she had misrepresented herself on her internship application when she stated that her criminal record was clean. Although her internship was not immediately terminated, she was told that there would be no job offer something that was usually was offered to successful interns. Read More...