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Criminal Defense Blog

Facing legal trouble regarding drugs on a college campus?

Michigan college life, like student journeys on most campuses throughout the nation, can be rewarding and adventuresome as well as challenging. Whether it's your freshman year or you are only months away from earning your degree, you have likely struggled at some point to keep up with the pace and rigor of academics. You hopefully have a network of friends who encourage and support you in your studies.

Social life can also be great fun in college. It's no secret that it can also be quite troublesome, especially if problems arise related to drugs or alcohol. The good news is that some studies show young adults in college do not use drugs as much as their non-college peers; however, illegal drug use on college campuses is still problematic in many areas. If you become entangled in a legal situation having to do with drugs, you'll need to know where to turn for support.

How zero tolerance laws affect underage drunk drivers

Some Michigan drivers who are under age 21 may not realize that they could face serious legal consequences for even having one drink and getting behind the wheel. Because drinking and even possessing alcohol is illegal for those younger than 21, they can get a DUI with a blood alcohol content of more than .02 percent.

The National Highway Systems Act of 1995 mandated that all states adopt the .02 threshold for underage drivers. This law was put into effect in order to reduce fatal underage drunk driving car accidents. Approximately 35 percent of fatal car accidents involving drivers between 15 to 20 years of age involve alcohol. Ultimately, this means that as long as an underage driver is shown to have a BAC of .02 percent, they do not have to exhibit any other symptoms of intoxication to be taken into custody.

Learning about murder laws in Michigan

Those who commit murder in a premeditated or especially evil way could face a first-degree murder charge. This is the most serious homicide charge that an individual in Michigan can face. It is important to note that premeditation means that the event was planned regardless of how long in advance. The law also doesn't care how well the murder was planned either. In some cases, a person can face this charge if a murder occurred while committing another crime such as rape, arson or kidnapping.

Furthermore, a defendant could face a first-degree murder charge after killing a peace or corrections officer engaged in his or her lawful duties. Those who are convicted of this charge could face the possibility of spending the rest of their lives in prison. There is usually no way that a person can be paroled if convicted of first-degree murder in Michigan. A defendant could also be subject to a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the victim's family.

2 women sentenced for murder of store manager

On June 1, two Michigan women were sentenced to decades in prison for the murder of an auto parts store manager during a robbery attempt. The incident took place on Nov. 1, 2017.

According to media reports, the defendants, ages 23 and 28, entered the O'Reilly Auto Parts store on the 16800 block of Schaefer Highway at approximately 5:30 p.m. After the pair browsed the aisles for a short time, the 23-year-old pulled out a gun and announced that a robbery was in progress. She pointed the gun at two female employees and ordered them to empty out the cash registers. As this was occurring, the male manager, age 69, came from the back of the store and tried to help the employees. The 23-year-old fired a single shot, and both defendants fled the scene. The bullet struck the manager in the head, and he later died.

Police take singer into custody after DUI

Michigan residents who are fans of musician Mac Miller may have heard that he was charged with a hit-and-run and drunk driving. On May 17, he reportedly struck a power pole with his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon before fleeing the scene of the accident. Police say that his blood alcohol content was .15 percent, and the legal limit in California is .08.

Authorities were able to locate Miller by looking up the address associated with the vehicle's license plates. He allegedly acknowledged that he was in an accident and was taken into custody at his home. Miller was held on $15,000 bond before being released, and the singer has a court date on June 7. According to police, Miller was polite during his interaction with authorities.

Are you ready for your parole hearing?

Some time ago, you were arrested and ultimately convicted for committing a crime in the state of Michigan. At your sentencing hearing, you learned your fate -- you would spend so many years behind bars with the possibility of parole. Well, you've been serving your time, and now your first parole hearing is fast approaching. Are you ready?

There is a lot riding on your parole hearing. Depending on how things go, you may be released or have to serve more time behind bars. With your freedom on the line, it is completely understandable to feel anxious about the entire process. Something that may put your mind at ease is knowing more about how parole works.

Michigan family accused of distributing heroin, fentanyl

According to the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor, a mother and her daughter and son are all facing multiple charges relating to allegedly distributing large amounts of heroin and fentanyl to users in the northwestern part of the state. The 45-year-old mother and her 19-year-old daughter were charged with multiple felonies for reportedly picking up drugs from their downstate sources and then selling them across the northwestern region. The woman's son was separately charged in his hotel room for possession of cocaine and a firearm.

According to law enforcement officers, the family's name kept coming up in other drug investigations. Multiple informants detailed how they purchased drugs from the family members. The woman and her daughter were arrested and charged after the police said they found almost an ounce of heroin and $800 in a hotel room.

Former football staffer offered plea in drunk driving case

One former football staffer at the University of Michigan has been offered a plea agreement after the man was charged with drunk driving and resisting police. The man was taken into custody on March 5 in downtown Ann Arbor when he allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17, significantly above the legal limit of 0.08. The man, who is the former director of football operations and director of performance for the Michigan football team, was accused of an array of related charges.

The man resigned from his university positions nine days after the incident. He was accused not only of OWI/DUI but also two counts of assault, three counts of attempted assault or resisting police, failure to stop after a property damage accident and disorderly conduct. He allegedly attempted to bite a lab technician at the time of his arrest, and police say he was found disoriented by the road after hitting and object and driving away from the scene.

Questioning breathalyzer test accuracy

When an alleged drunk motorist in Michigan is pulled over, authorities generally use a breathalyzer test to establish the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There is a presumption that a driver is drunk if their BAC is .08 percent or greater. While blood tests are more precise than breath tests, they are invasive and take a significant amount of time to produce results.

Therefore, most OWI/DUI charges are based on breathalyzer tests, which the suspect must blow into. While breathalyzers present reliable evidence of a driver's blood alcohol level, they can be challenged. In general, courts accept breathalyzer results, but the police must show that the device is reliable. Many people accused of drunk driving have successfully questioned the reliability or accuracy of breath test results in court.

Task Force arrests two men on drug chargres

Two men were taken into custody on March 21 on multiple drug charges at a Michigan residence. The arrest of one man, age 21, stemmed from a prior warrant while the second man, age 22, was arraigned after additional evidence was found at the scene.

According to the Goegebic Iron Area Narcotics Team, Task Force members were dispatched to a residence on a warrant for the charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and maintaining a drug house. All three charges were felonies that could carry several years in prison.

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