Newburg Law Blog

Minor in possession charge inching closer to decriminalization

by: Matt Newburg

March 8, 2016 at 6:03 AM EST

Persons under the age of 21 caught consuming or purchasing alcohol may soon face a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor, under legislation that recently passed the Michigan Senate.

Senate Bills 332 and 333, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), are now being considered by the House Committee on Criminal Justice. 

According to the Michigan State Police, more than 6,000 people faced minor in possession (MIP) charges in 2013. Sen. Jones has called it “outrageous” to make it a...

A bad romance: Can I get back that gift?

by: Kristin Arnett

March 3, 2016 at 11:03 AM EST

When a marriage ends in divorce, the courts help divide the parties’ personal property. However, the same cannot be said for dating relationships that fall apart. So what happens with any gifts that are exchanged during a romance that ultimately fails?

The general rule of gift-giving is that the giver relinquishes all rights as soon as the item is accepted by the recipient. Acceptance of a gift is usually obvious, through a hug or kiss, and then the recipient taking possession of the item. 

...

Firearms and Preliminary Breath Tests in Michigan

by: Matt Newburg

February 19, 2016 at 8:53 AM EST

The Michigan Court of Appeals in People v Booker have issued a published opinion on the suppression of Preliminary Breath Tests (PBT’s) in Michigan.  Mr. Booker was charged with one count of possession of a firearm while being under the influence.  The District Court suppressed the PBT results and the Court of Appeals has reversed that decision. 

On October 31, 2015 Farmington Hills Police Department were sent to investigate a robbery. While searching the parking lot, they found Mr....

Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce?

by: Kristin Arnett

February 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM EST

In situations where both parties want to end their marriage and agree to the settlement terms, the parties often wonder whether they can hire one lawyer to handle the case. This request is usually made to help keep down the legal costs.

The rules of ethics for Michigan attorneys, however, do not permit lawyers to represent both parties in a divorce. 

Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 says a lawyer “shall not” represent a client if the representation of that client will be...

Roadside Drug Testing Bills Moving Through Legislature

by: Matt Newburg

February 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM EST

Law enforcement in designated Michigan counties would be able conduct roadside drug testing, including saliva tests, under a measure currently making its way through the state Legislature.

Senate Bills 207 and 434 have already passed the Senate, and are now being taken up by the House. 

Senate Bill 434 would let certain counties establish pilot roadside drug testing programs. The pilot projects would give police officers the authority to swab the mouths of drivers suspected of driving under the...

Michigan Supreme Court takes on Medical Marijuana

by: Matt Newburg

March 4, 2015 at 11:54 AM EST

January 14, 2015 will be, perhaps the biggest day in the Michigan Supreme Court for Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Patients and Caregivers.  The Court will hear a total of three cases that discuss Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act and the defenses that are embodied within the statute.  The two cases that discuss the heart of Section 4 and Section 8 are Hartwick and Tuttle:

People v Richard Lee Hartwick / People v Tuttle:

Richard Hartwick, was arrested for illegally growing and...

Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Tuscola County Medical Marijuana Convictions

by: Matt Newburg

March 4, 2015 at 11:35 AM EST

On January 13, 2015 the Michigan Court of Apppeals, in an unpublished opinion finally held what Newburg Law attorneys have been saying for years.  There is absolutely no weight restrictions contained in Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act for “drying” marijuana.  In doing so, the Michigan Court of appeals reversed the convictions of Johnnie Randall.  After a bench trial (a trial in front of the Judge and not a jury) Mr. Randall was convicted of Possession of marijuana and...

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

by: Matt Newburg

March 4, 2015 at 9:56 AM EST

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...

Staying Silent is Your Best Defense

by: Matt Newburg

March 4, 2015 at 9:52 AM EST

Everyone knows about Miranda rights and everyone knows that, when questioned by police, they do not have to talk.  But why do so many defendants talk to the police even when they might be the target of an investigation?  Because they feel pressured to do so?  They were told by the police that if they talk nothing will happen to them?  Who knows.  What is clear is that silence is the best defense available to a criminal defendant.

Typically someone comes in contact with...

Removal from the Sex Offender Registry

by: Matt Newburg

March 4, 2015 at 9:18 AM EST

Convicted sex offenders who qualify under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (Act 295 of 1994), are listed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (“Registry”). The Registry includes an offender's offense, photo, a physical description, the offender's last reported address, whether the offender is enrolled at a post secondary school, employment address, vehicle information, and any known aliases.

The length of time an offender remains on the registry depends on which Tier...