Blog Posts Tagged with criminal defense

Michigan Court of Appeals Decides "Drying" marijuana Issue

by: Matt Newburg

January 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST

The Michigan Court of Appeals has, yet again, upheld a conviction of a Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient and Caregiver. In a 2-1 opinion, the Court addressed the meaning and consequences of marijuana that is found to be in the curing stages.  In People Rocafort, an unpublished opinion, the Court held the marijuana seized by law enforcement was dried marijuana--despite having moisture--and exceeded the amount of marijuana Ms. Rocafort could possess under the Michigan Medical...

Marijuana decriminalization in Grand Rapids withstands legal challenge

by: Matt Newburg

December 13, 2015 at 8:51 PM EST

The decision of Grand Rapids voters to decriminalize marijuana possession by amending the city charter will remain undisturbed, now that the Michigan Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the law’s constitutionality. 

In 2012, more than half of Grand Rapids voters amended the city charter and made marijuana possession a civil infraction, with fines ranging from $25 to $100. But Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth challenged the amendment, claiming that voters could not trump state...

15 minutes: The waiting game

by: Matt Newburg

August 24, 2015 at 7:59 PM EDT

Michigan Law requires that prior to the administration of a Datamaster test officers must monitor the person submitting to the test for the 15 minutes prior to the datamaster administration.  A datamaster is a test that is often times administered at the jail after an individual has been arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Liquor.  While Datamaster results are admissible in any civil or criminal case, the admissibility is not absolute.  Datamaster results are...

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...