Articles Posted in Criminal Penalties

Your Michigan defense lawyer may ask you to obtain a character letter for court purposes.  This article explains how to format and write such a letter. You can share a link to this article with those you ask to write such letters. While there are many suggestions here, what’s missing is a sample character letter or a form character letter.  This is because utilization of a form will cause all character letters to look substantially the same, and this defeats the whole purpose and is counter-productive.  Use of such forms is strictly discouraged.

Call (248) 306-9158 and speak with a Michigan criminal defense lawyer during your free consultaton.
Also, for many people, being involved in the Michigan criminal justice system is a new experience, so let’s start with some basics and a discussion of how such letters might be used by your criminal lawyer near me in Michigan.

Character Letters for Use During Plea Negotiations

The news stories covering the extremely tragic school shooting in Oxford, Michigan has brought the issues of gun safety and gun storage to the forefront in the Great Lakes State once again. As the unfortunate story goes, it is alleged that 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley opened fire on his fellow students at Oxford High School on November 30th, 2021.

It is alleged that he killed four students and injured seven others including a teacher. Crumbley is facing four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to commit murder, and 12 counts of possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

The Parents of the Oxford Shooter Are Also Being Charged With Crimes

A drunk driving conviction has lifelong consequences. Long after your driver’s license has been restored, you’ll still have the DUI conviction on your permanent record. The good news is that the expungement laws in Michigan for DUI cases have recently been changed.

Michigan DUI expungement lawyer Patrick Barone leads the Barone Defense Firm and is partners with some of the best DUI attorneys who handle the toughest DUI cases.
This means your conviction involving an operating while intoxicated OWI offense can now be removed. And this removal or expungement comes with many benefits. Many kinds of DUI convictions are eligible, sometimes even those drunk driving convictions involving injury or death can be expunged.

What Does DUI Expungement Actually Mean?

Hiring the Right Criminal Lawyer and the Right to Have an Attorney Represent You. When a client retains a criminal lawyer, that criminal defense law advocate acts as the accused person’s investigator, guide, protector, and confidant when negotiating the frightening journey through a criminal law case. The American criminal justice system is one of the fairest in the world but still has many imperfections.

Criminal defence lawyers in Canada and England have the most similar criminal justice systems. This similarity is understandable since the USA and Canada both patterned most of their criminal laws after Great Britain.

Only a small percentage of criminal defense lawyers are part of a private practice criminal law firm. The heaviest load for handling criminal law cases is found in the public defender system. So, more than 3 of every 4 accused citizens facing criminal prosecution (felony or misdemeanor) will have a court-appointed legal advocate to defend her or him.

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct, commonly referred to as CSC, is the unlawful sexual assault or touching or penetration of another. In Michigan, there are four separate offenses each defined by the acts of behaviors of the alleged offender.

Each level of offense is called a “degree.” Within each of these degrees are multiple variables or legal theories that the state must prove in order to support the allegation. Such variables may include the age of the victim, the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, and whether force or coercion was used in the commission of the alleged crime.

What Must Prosecutor Prove to Establish a Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree?

What to Know About the Sex Offender Registry in Michigan

When Is SORA Registration Necessary in Michigan?

In the past, many violations that would trigger sex offender registration were prosecuted under the old Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) even when the violation was a result of a mistake, ignorance, or unintended violations. If this has happened to you, then you’ll definitely want to hire a Michigan sex crimes attorney to help. Here is some more useful information for you to know about SORA:

How Can a Sex Crimes Lawyer Near Me Help Avoid SORA?

A top sex assault lawyer can help you avoid the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) in many different ways. Before we get to that, let’s first talk about SORA, particularly the newest version of SORA in Michigan.

SORA, which is also known as the sex offender registration act, applies to most forms of criminal sexual conduct. If you are facing a sex crime allegation, then you are also facing possibly being listed on SORA. This is also sometimes called sex abuse. If you are facing the kinds of allegations, indecent exposure, you will need a criminal defense attorney well versed in this complex area of law to assist you minimize or avoid the consequences.

A recent news report outlines some of the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Michigan Democratic state Rep. Mary Cavanagh of Redford, and as true with many media outlet stories it seeks more shock than substance.  To help elaborate on substance, and dispel some myths and misunderstandings about drunk driving laws, this article addresses the following three topic:

  1. A second DUI arrest does not necessarily mean enhanced DUI penalties, driver license sanctions or conviction,
  2. Being unable to stand on one leg is only a part of standard field sobriety tests, and;

Now that you understand the plea bargaining process in Michigan and how to prepare for court when pleading guilty, let’s now consider exactly what happens in court when you plead guilty. During the plea taking process the court will be concerned with two things. First that you understand the constitutional rights that you are giving up by pleading guilty, and second, that you are freely, knowingly and understandingly admitting to and acknowledging that you have committed the crime to which you are pleading guilty.

To confirm that you are fully aware that by pleading guilty you are giving up all your constitutional rights associated with trial, the judge will ask you a series of questions almost all of which are answered by the single word “yes”. So, for example, the judge will ask you if you understand that you have an absolute right to trial, to which of course your answer is “yes.” The judge will ask you if you understand that pleading guilty you are giving up your right to remain silent, to which again, the answer is “yes.” There are sometimes a few “no” questions as well, such as “have any promises been made other than those stated on the record, to get you to plead guilty.” The answer to the question so certainty be “no.” Another no question might be “have there been any threats, compulsion or duress used to get you to plead guilty.” Again, the answer should definitely be no. Once the court is satisfied that you are freely knowingly and understandingly giving up or waiving all your constitutional trial rights, and that no promises or threats have been made to induce the plea, then the court will move on to a establishing the factual basis for plea.

What Is a Factual Basis for a Plea?

Soon after you are found guilty or plead guilty to a federal crime you will meet with a United States Probation Officer who will complete a presentence investigation and then prepare a report (PSIR) for the judge’s use at sentencing. If the judge sentences you to prison, then the PSIR will also be used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in making housing and other relevant determinations. Consequently, it is essential that the PSIR be accurate and complete. What follows is a description of the kind of information the probation officer will collect during your interview as well as how to be well prepared for this important process.

Why Is the Federal Presentence Report Prepared?

federal criminal lawyerThe purpose of the presentence investigation and report is to provide comprehensive information about the offender that is both objective and accurate.  This information and report will be used by the court in making the appropriate sentencing decision. The report also will assist the Bureau of Prisons in making proper determinations relative to the management of the inmates under their supervision.

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