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Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Law Blog

How an evaluation can help your case

In some sex crime cases, harsh sentences can be avoided by proving that the accused is not a specific and continual threat to be a repeat offender.  Indeed, most defendants would say this to avoid jail time. However, showing this in a court of law may be a completely different exercise.

With that, criminal defense attorneys must present facts and arguments indicating that the accused will not be a future threat (if they are in fact guilty of the crime accused). A psychosexual evaluation is an important part of this process. 

4 factors must be present to prove embezzlement

Embezzlement is a very serious charge, and it probably conjures a specific image in your mind: you probably think about a man in a suit and tie, laughing in a board room after he just got away with swindling money out of a business account. Or something to that effect.

While it is true that most embezzlement cases occur in the context of employment or business, the person accused of embezzlement is not always some power-hungry individual who purposely committed the acts he or she is accused of committing. Embezzlement is defined as the theft of assets or money by a person in a position of power or trust. The embezzler then uses accounts and other means to conceal the act or obscure the information behind the theft of funds or assets.

Understanding the expungement process in Michigan

The unfortunate reality for many people who have been convicted of some manner of felony or misdemeanor is that they are often unable to escape from the shadow of their criminal record despite having paid their debt to society and wanting nothing more than a new beginning.

Indeed, a criminal record can prevent those seeking a job or a particular professional license from realizing their goals, as employers and licensing boards will often use this as a basis for disqualification. As distressing as this is, people should be aware that the state of Michigan has established a process for clearing a criminal record.

Michigan teens sentenced as juveniles in sex video case

In Michigan, children as young as 14 can be charged with a sex crime. That is what happened to two teenagers who pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to a cellphone video depicting one of them having sex.

Despite the defendants’ youth, they could have been sentenced as adults. The Detroit Free Press reports that the judge overseeing their case was considering sentencing the boys to up to 20 years in prison. Following hearings on May 10, the judge sentenced the two to juvenile rehabilitation facilities the Lansing State Journal reports.

Michigan family charged with serving alcohol to minors at party

A Michigan family is facing criminal charges after throwing a high school party and allegedly selling alcohol to the guests. This story shows how people can find themselves charged with a crime after apparently showing poor judgment.

Teenage party hosts

Michigan's changing medical marijuana dispensary law

When the state of Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, it forgot to set up a system for opening and operating dispensaries. After a state supreme court ruling that marijuana dispensaries were not legal businesses, many dispensaries closed, either voluntarily by the owners or after being raided by the police.

Several dispensaries still remain in Michigan, but in a legal limbo, potentially limiting access for patients.

Your Education’s Impact In Criminal Court

Statistics make clear that a high school diploma increases a person’s lifetime earning potential in the U.S. Now there is research that indicates graduating from high school also benefits a person if he or she is convicted of a crime.

The study, published in Crime & Delinquency, reports that high school graduates are 10 percent less likely to be sent to prison than those without a high school diploma. The study also found that high school graduates who are sent to prison receive shorter sentences than those who have not graduated high school – 1.4 percent shorter, to be exact.

Grand Rapids man blames himself for son's conviction

The father of a Grand Rapids man sentenced to 13 months in prison for deleting financial documents says he and his son made a terrible mistake. The older man blames himself for his son’s legal problems and says he was just being a good son.

MLive reports that the two men own three bars in the Grand Rapids area. Prosecutors and the IRS claim they embezzled $400,000 from the businesses and then destroyed records. On April 12, the younger defendant was sentenced to a year and a month in prison, and a year of supervised released. The father’s sentencing hearing is on July 10.

Does Michigan have too many crimes?

The old saying tells us “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” On the other hand, if there are so many laws that we can break one without even knowing it, there may be cause for concern.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan think tank, believes there are too many crimes on the books in the state. The group calls it “overcriminalization,” and in a 2014 report discussed in MLive found that Michigan created an average of 45 new crimes per year from 2008 to 2013. Things slowed down slightly in 2015-16, when legislators made 30 new crimes each year.

Michigan woman charged with embezzling from charity

Prosecutors claim that a Michigan woman took money raised by a charity she ran and used it for personal expenses. She has been charged with embezzlement related to nearly $20,000 in allegedly misused donations.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office told WDIV that the woman held several charitable gaming events a poker room in Flint between January 2011 and October 2013. The events were to raise money for Community Kids Martial Arts Science, which taught martial arts to children, as well as providing tutoring and other opportunities.

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