Newburg Law Blog

Lockridge is a Game Changer for Sentencing in Michigan

by: Matt Newburg

August 2, 2015 at 7:55 PM EDT

Jail Cells

 The Michigan Supreme Court has changed the way criminal defendants will be sentenced in a dramatic fashion. As a criminal defense lawyer, I have had the fortune of traveling around the state on a number of criminal cases.  Some are high profile and others are not. Regardless, I knew one thing: if my client was convicted or pled to a felony, seeking a downward departure from the mandatory sentencing guidelines was going to be the primary challenge.  The Michigan sentencing guidelines set...

Statute Definitions Could Help Jackson Baseball Coach

by: Matt Newburg

May 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM EDT

This past week, Jonathan Hastings resigned from Jackson Public Schools amid allegations that he was engaging in illegal activity with a student who is believed to be 17 years old.  It appears that Mr. Hastings was charged with Using a Computer to Commit a Crime and Promoting or Distributing Child Sexually abusive activity.  It is the latter of the two charges that carries a life changing penalty.  He could face a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison (but, given his lack of...

Michigan "Firearm" change could prove to be a valuable defense

by: Matt Newburg

May 22, 2015 at 12:01 PM EDT

On May 12, 2015, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a series of bills that, in part, modified the definition of a firearm in Michigan.  That change could prove to be a huge benefit to Joe Forebeck.  Joe Forebeck, of Lansing is a 17 year old student who was recently arraigned in Eaton County District Court for bringing a BB gun to Waverly High School.  He was charged with Feloneous Assualt in a Weapons free school zone which is punishable by up to four years in the state prison. 

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Why Staying Silent Could Be Your Best Defense

by: Matt Newburg

May 18, 2015 at 11:58 AM EDT

As a criminal defense lawyer, it is no surprise that I constantly tell my clients not to consent to a search and not to talk with authorities.  However, very rarely do I get the opportunity to tell this to the parents of kids who are in trouble.  The story is all too familiar.  A child gets in trouble at school or while they are hanging out with their friends and there becomes a time when that child's parents find out.  Naturally, the parents next reaction is to call either law...

Michigan's Deferred Sentence: A Powerful Tool

by: Matt Newburg

May 12, 2015 at 11:56 AM EDT

Michigan has just a handful of statutes that permit an individual from leaving the criminal justice systems unscathed--absent an acquital or dismissal.  HYTA, or Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, has been discussed in detail here. The other is MCL 333.7411 which applies strictly to possession of certain controlled substances.  The third is the delayed sentence statute.  After a plea of guilty or a guilty verdict the court may delay the sentence for not more than 1 year to give the...