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Criminal Defense Archives

Stand your ground before Supreme Court

Michigan's criminal justice system grants homeowners with the presumption, which can be rebutted, that they acted in self-defense if they used deadly force to stop a person who is breaking and entering their home if they believed they were threatened with imminent death or bodily harm. The state Supreme Court is reviewing a defendant's appeal that the judge should have given clear instructions to the jury in his criminal case about this stand your ground law.

Guilty plea may not end challenge to criminal law

Normally, a guilty plea usually ends a Michigan criminal case and any appeal in the criminal justice system. But, the Supreme Court is currently reviewing an appeal of a defendant who pled guilty, but is challenging the constitutionality of the underlying charges.

New iPhone may weaken Fifth Amendment

Evolving technologies, such as the iPhone, have posed challenges to mounting a Michigan criminal defense and assuring that accused criminals are afforded constitutional protections. Apple's introduction of its new $999 iPhone X smartphone has presented new personal security issues because of its face recognition technology.

Supreme Court to rule on cellphone privacy

The Fourth Amendment protects Michigan citizens against unreasonable search and seizures. With the advent of new communications technology, however, it did not protect third-party access to online data. Next month, the Supreme Court will rule on a criminal defense case on how law enforcement can use the data that they obtain from smartphones and other personal electronic devices.

The police are always looking for an excuse to stop a vehicle

Police cannot stop a vehicle legally simply because of a random whim. They have to have what is known as probable cause or reasonable suspicion or an ordinance violation or criminal activitiy. This standard is typically satisfied by a driver traveling over the speed limit, weaving in a lane, failing to signal a turn or having some type of equipment failure, like a burnt-out taillight or turn signal.

The Michigan Department of Corrections has been misnamed

Criminal justice systems are based on two premises. One, the police and prosecutors should arrest and try dangerous criminals to maintain public safety. Second, those incarcerated should be reformed, rehabilitated or corrected, to enable them to return to broader society and become productive citizens.

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