Guilty Until Proven Innocent

by: Matt Newburg

03/04/2015 09:56 AM EST
Tags:
  criminal  
  criminal law  
  news  

Virtually every criminal case that is sensationalized includes a comment by a law enforcement official indicating that the person they arrested clearly violated the law.  If the media reports a case while a trial is ongoing they interject their own opinions about the defendants guilt.  I have tried cases in front of juries and represented hundreds of criminal defendants—not one of those individuals was treated as an innocent person while their case was proceeding through the court process.  Even after 12 people find my clients not guilty of the crime they were charged with, the prosecutors and police still doubt their innocence.  Yet, they are innocent until proven guilty right?

The most recent comments of guilt came from Port Huron.  Today, an individual was arrested for possessing 106 marijuana plants and a large quantity of marijuana.  The article did not indicate whether the marijuana the individual possessed was wet, and thus exempt from the weight permitted under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act, whether the marijuana included the seeds, stems and stalks—again exempt from the weight requirements in Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act, whether all the useable marijuana was his and whether he was growing marijuana with another caregiver or patient.  Instead, the police stated that the “individual greatly exceeded the amount allowed by law.”

The Officers statement was deliberate.  He didn’t say the individual was over the amount under section 4 of the MMA, he said “amount allowed by law”.  Before making this statement—because according to him it is true—the officer must have also decided the individual was possessing more marijuana than the amount “reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted access” to his patients which is permitted under Section 8 of the MMA.  He didn’t.  In fact, I am sure the officer didn’t interview the defendant’s patients prior to arresting him.

Now, that individual who is innocent until proven guilty is being treated by a felon.  That is why my job as a criminal defense attorney is so gratifying.  On any given day, criminal defense attorneys are the only people who truly believe in their client.  Defendants are innocent until proven guilty.  Having won murder cases, minor misdemeanor cases and everything in-between, fighting for my client’s innocence is what I do.  Before making statements of guilt, or indicating someone is guilty before a plea or guilty verdict, remember, according to our constitution everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

To read the article published by the Times Herald, click here.

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