Crimes I’ve Defended
In Olde Englande, arson was defined as “the burning of a dwelling house of another at night.) In the good old USA these days, burning a house, garage or car is a bad idea no matter what time of day, and a serious felony. If you do it to get money from an insurance policy on the burned property, it’s also called insurance fraud and that’s a separate felony. Arson charges often arise from homeowner’s insurance claims because insurance companies are evil and would prefer to just take your premiums and not pay claims. I’ve prosecuted and defended many civil and criminal arson cases, and have the skills and experience to work with arson investigators to determine the cause and origin of suspicious fires.
MINOR IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL (MIP)
: Michigan law now requires that police get consent from a minor before demanding that the minor take a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). You don’t have to consent to take the test. DON’T AGREE TO TAKE A PBT! Most cops ignore this rule and later claim that the minor consented. The police have to prove that you consented, and it better be in writing. Beware
of attorneys who just hold your hand while you plead guilty to a MIP charge. Without written consent, a motion should be filed asking the court to dismiss the case! 23 minors were recently charged with MIP for attending a house party in Grosse Pointe Park, and 22 of them were found guilty or plead guilty. Our client’s case was dismissed because we filed the motion that all the other attorneys either didn’t know about or couldn’t be bothered with. 1 out of 23. Who do you want representing you?
: These are big ones—the things you don’t want to do while driving.
- Vehicular Homicide
- Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death
- Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury
- 3rd Offense (or greater) Felony Operating While Intoxicated
- Fleeing and Eluding (driving away or running from the cops in your car)
- Felonious Driving (a variety of things can get you charged with Felonious Driving, including trying to run someone over.) However, most Felonious Driving charges are trumped-up nonsense. Ask me why.
If you are in a serious accident involving an injury or death, or are charged with an OWI Causing Serious Injury or Death, you need an attorney with a background in defending injury and death cases. As former general counsel (top attorney) for a national transportation company that had over 1,000 vehicles in service, I’ve got extensive experience in accident and crash reconstruction. In a Monroe County drunk driving death case I proved that not only was my client not driving, but that the Sheriff’s Department tampered with the evidence and switched out a blown rear tire.
Check this out to read about the lengths that police and prosecutors will go to in trying to convict you. This shameful (but not unusual) episode in police evidence tampering was discovered and exposed during a drunk driving death trial I defended. We won, and the Monroe County Sheriff and Prosecutor were so pissed that they threatened to sue me for “libeling” their departments. http://www.duigulag.com/faqs.htm
: Don’t let the “misdemeanor” classification fool you. Losing your privilege to drive will profoundly mess up your life.
- Careless Driving
- Disobeying Traffic Signals
- Tinted Windows
- Traffic Tickets
And a whole bunch of other fake reasons that police come up with to justify pulling you over…
This is your basic run-of-the-mill traffic stuff, but traffic stops are very often just a pretext (fake reason) to pull you over and investigate you, search your car, claim you had drugs, harass you because the cop doesn’t like the looks of you. Don’t make the mistake of paying a ticket without hiring counsel “because I’ll never get another ticket.” If a conviction goes on your record it is harder with each new charge to fight the latest ticket, and your insurance rates can skyrocket. KEEP YOUR RECORD CLEAN—call me now.
: (“A&B”) from fistfights to lead pipes, knives to poisonings, gunplay to good old-fashioned mayhem (fun factoid: technically, “mayhem” is “disfiguring a face”). The last thing you want on your record is an assault conviction. There are many defenses to assault cases, and this is one crime that prosecutors are notorious for “over-charging”: they’ll charge you with Felonious Assault (a 5-year felony) when the alleged crime only really supports a simple misdemeanor A&B. Then, they try to use the felony charge to convince you to plead to the lesser A&B. We don’t play that game and neither should you.
Felonious Assault (FA)
: This is an assault with a deadly weapon (clue: think Colonel Mustard in the Drawing Room with a Lead Pipe). In the mind of a prosecutor, just about anything can be a “deadly weapon.
Aggravated Assault (Agg. Assault)
: An assault that causes an “aggravated” injury. What’s an “aggregated injury”, you may well ask? Whatever the prosecutor wants it to be, and yes, they love to overcharge a simple Assault by raising the stakes to
Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm (GBH)
: An assault with a really serious injury.
Assault with Intent to Murder (AWIM)
: Either the weapon or the circumstances ramp this charge up to a very serious felony. If it looks like a judgment call between GBH and AWIM, guess which one the prosecutor will charge? Yep! The AWIM.
: Someone got killed and you’re the suspect. I’ve prosecuted and defended a wide variety of homicide cases. Retain a skilled lawyer immediately, and re-read the Basic Rules up top. Enough said on this one?
Domestic Violence or Assault and Personal Protection Orders (DV)
: This crime is based on a “relationship” with the person who claims that they were beaten/injured. DV charges often pop up in divorces, where one spouse decides to make a false claim that the other spouse beat them—amazingly, a lot of divorce lawyers tell their clients to call 911 if the spouse even looks at them funny. Assault and Domestic Violence convictions have extremely serious consequences. Federal laws say that if you are convicted of certain assault crimes you can’t own a gun. Ever. So if you are hunter, a target shooting fan, or merely value your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, don’t even think about pleading guilty to an assault crime.
: Repeatedly following, contacting, telephoning, or showing up at someone’s house or workplace. Since being annoying is not illegal, Stalking is often used as a garbage or “catch-all” crime when the police or the prosecutor can’t find anything else to charge you with. A very common allegation after a bad break-up, stalking used to be called infatuation. Now, Big Brother can send you to jail for it. Ain’t love grand?
Breaking and Entering or Home Invasion
: Whatever you call it, it’s a felony that can land you in prison for a very long time. Oh-and the “breaking” part of “breaking and entering” is not what you think. If you even just open an already cracked open door a teensy bit-BANG! That’s a “breaking” for purpose of this law. The other half of the crime is the entry is with a “felonious intent”, meaning you broke in with a plan to steal something (theft), assault or murder or rape, someone, etc.
Child Abuse & Neglect
: These cases often arise when Child Protective Services (CPS) receives an anonymous call about someone else’s (yours) children. You can lose custody of your children in a heartbeat just upon the mere allegation of neglect or abuse, and it can happen with lightning speed. CPS can appear out of nowhere and before you can say-“Wait a minute!”, your children will be in the custody of The Government. Call your lawyer immediately.
: Whether your license is revoked or restricted due to multiple OWI convictions (is there a monkey in a cheap suit in your past…?), or merely too many points on your record in a short period of time, this is a tricky area of law and restorations are best left to those of us who regularly practice before the Driver’s Assessment and Appeal Division, formerly known as the Driver’s License and Appeal Division (DAAD or DLAD). Call me.
Drug Possession Charges, Delivery of Narcotics or Violation of Controlled Substances Act (VCSA)
: Ahh, yes: the crime of our times. Despite the overwhelming support of voters approving medical marijuana usage by qualified patients, Michigan’s lunatic attorney general, fascist prosecutors and local cops are treating marijuana as if it were the fount of all evils in society.
In reality, the cops and courts make so much money from forfeitures of property and money taken from the accused (NOT convicted, just accused!) that until marijuana is legalized, this is their ticket to a TV in every office. A police Lieutenant who runs a local drug “task force” actually told me that the reason they were holding out on giving my clients’ property back was because not all of the cops’ offices had big TV’s “yet.” (Seriously-I recorded the conversation.) Police gangs called “multi-jurisdictional task forces” (cops who like to don beards, dresses and dirty T-shirts to try to “look like” drug dealers/users) will trample your rights as fast as they can kick in your door.
Since President Nixon declared “war on drugs” in the early seventies, The Government has wasted well over a trillion dollars and have created a huge narcotics cartel known as “law enforcement. "I defend and represent medical marijuana dispensaries, users, possessors, and anyone else caught up in this trillion-dollar money-grab. Drug use is up, Mexico is a war zone, the CIA is to a great extent controlling the flow of opium from the Middle East (particularly Pakistan) so those countries’ economies don't implode, and US police agencies are profiting from this failed “war.” Don’t be the next victim. Don’t talk. Call me.
Possession of Controlled Substances
Delivery of Controlled Substances
Possession with Intent to Deliver Controlled Substances
Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) Issues
Compassion Centers and Dispensaries
Retail Fraud or Shoplifting
: Having a theft conviction on your record will close a lot of doors, especially if you’re looking for a job. There’s also a law that allows the store to go after you for civil money damages even if they never lost the property allegedly lifted, even if you didn’t even leave the store. Don’t pay it, don’t plead guilty. Among other stores, Meijer is famous for sending civil “demand letters” to people accused of shoplifting. Not one of my clients has ever paid.
Robbery: Armed (RA) or Unarmed (RNA)
, or even suggesting that you have a weapon (see RA) is another of the basic, yet most serious felonies out there. Call me for more details Do not talk to the police.
School Suspensions & Expulsions
: Most schools don’t even know their own procedures, let alone follow them. Often occurs in tandem with a criminal charge. A knowledgeable lawyer can get this dismissed, or at least reduced.
Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC
), also known as
: There are four “degrees” of this crime, from misdemeanor to a life in prison felony. Luckily for teens, Michigan finally passed a “Romeo and Juliet” exception for sex among teens within certain age bands. However, many teens are still charged with having sex with one another, often because the parents won’t acknowledge that their children are sexually active, so it must have been rape, right? Still, there are thousands suffering under the burden of having to register on the Sex Offender Registry (SORA) for 25 years. Rape is easy to charge but in the hands of a skilled defense attorney, it can easily be disproved. I use skilled investigators, polygraphs, forensic scientists and other tools to defend against false rape charges, so don’t trust your case to just anyone.
Internet Sex Crimes
: Popularized by Dateline on television and by huge federal grants to law enforcement, another version of the “sting” except these are run by cops hiding behind computers who enjoy honing their skills at sounding like a 14 year-old girl. OMG! Entrapment, anyone?
: Teenagers don’t realize that taking a nude or semi-nude photo of their own body is called
Manufacturing or Producing Child Pornography.
And when they text or email that photo it becomes even more serious because anybody who even has the photo on their phone, tablet or in their email is considered to be in
Possession of Child Pornography. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is just “kids being kids” or that your child’s school or the police will let it “blow over.” This is an extremely serious crime that is very common. Do not allow the police to talk to your children and do not willingly hand over an electronic device, even when the police tell you that their not going to charge anybody and that they “just need to complete their investigation.” It’s a lie and a trap.
White Collar Crimes
: Basically, stealing from your employer or someone who has entrusted their property to you. Pull a conviction for one of these and even McDonald’s won’t hire you to take out the trash.