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Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Law Blog

What to do about being accused of cyberbullying

There’s no question that cyber-bullying has become a national dilemma. There are countless stories of teens mounting personal attacks and creating mob-like agendas against other children. Indeed, bullying is nothing new, but the added dimension of being able to broadcast attacks has far-reaching implications. Because of how pervasive cyber-attacks can be (i.e. forcing children to change schools and sometimes leading to suicide) there are many who believe that such bullying should be considered a crime.

While there is no federal law that specifically addresses cyber-bullying, there are state laws that prevent bullying and harassing behavior based on a number of characteristics, including race, sexual orientation religion and even mental or physical disability. 

How to avoid making critical mistakes on Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a time for people to celebrate love. Indeed, love comes in many forms, but for high school and college age students, love is often confused (or used) to obtain sex. This could have disastrous results for people who misinterpret a person’s intentions. Besides the heartbreak that can come from advances or feelings not being reciprocated, criminal charges can come about for those who take things too far.

That’s why the question of consent is just as important during this time of year as getting that perfect card or gift for someone you want to hookup with. With that, this post will share a few helpful tips so that you can avoid making critical mistakes on Valentine’s Day. 

Could medicinal marijuana lead to criminal charges?

It has been nearly 10 years since voters approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative, and licensed dispensaries have helped those who deal with chronic pain and related maladies find a way to cope that departs from traditional opioids and other painkillers. But even with legalized marijuana, users may still find themselves running afoul of the law.

Indeed, enforcement of federal law against large scale growers and dispensaries may be imminent, but individual users may be at risk even if they have a valid prescription for medical marijuana. For instance, if you are buying medical marijuana from a dispensary that is not properly credentialed or has had its license suspended or revoked, you could be subject to prosecution. 

4 ways doctors could accidentally commit Medicare fraud

As a doctor in Grand Rapids, your main focus is probably patient care. More than likely, you will do whatever it takes to make sure your patients regain their health as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are other aspects of a medical practice that you have to be aware of as well. For instance, if you mismanage the administrative side of your private practice, you could end up facing a Medicare fraud charge.

There are several mistakes you can make or accidents that can occur that might lead to a Medicare fraud charge. The following are a few ways you or your practice could be unintentionally committing Medicare fraud.

Expect more money laundering cases to be pursued

While the legislative session in Lansing and Washington, D.C. begin, headlines have been teeming with information about budget battles, votes on controversial issues and, of course, a government shutdown. In the midst of these legislative headlines, money laundering statutes and enforcement policies appear to be hidden.

Indeed, anti-money laundering regulations (AML) may only inspire visions of gangster movies, but as the scope of the definition of a “financial institution” grows, so does the number of institutions that must follow specific (and sometimes cryptic) guidelines. 

More men suing colleges after suspensions sex crime allegations

As we have noted in a number of our posts, those accused of sex crimes, particularly men, are treated as if they have already been convicted of such crimes. Indeed, these feelings likely come from the social stigma that comes with sex crimes, as they are considered the most invasive and heinous crimes in our society.

However, for those who are wrongfully accused, the penalties and interruption to their lives can be irreparable. This may be especially true of those who are accused while they are in college. In a number of situations, men accused of sex crimes have been suspended from school, stripped of their status and otherwise discriminated against. 

A few things to know about search and seizure

Felony charges are not created in a vacuum. They sometimes are created through searches that are not exactly illegal, but are conducted largely because a suspect does not know their rights under federal law, thus allowing law enforcement officers to discover evidence they might not have if a person’s constitutional rights were respected.

With that, it is essential for people to understand the restrictions and procedures the police must follow when searching an individual’s private property. This post will highlight a few important things about searches.

Why employees may not say anything about sex crime accusations

Indeed, the nation’s economy suggests that the job market is poised to improve in 2018, having a good job is better than hunting for one. However, the job market can still tenuous for those who work minimum wage jobs. When employees are on this end of the spectrum, they tend to worry more about keeping their jobs.

With that said, employers should not be surprised to learn if employees will keep mum about criminal accusations against them; especially if they have to deal with criminal sexual conduct. After all, sex crimes hold a special place of infamy in our society, and people tend to want to distance themselves from those accused of such crimes. It is almost as if people accused of sex crimes have to prove themselves innocent instead of the government proving them guilty. 

Did you commit income tax fraud?

No one really wants to pay taxes. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in order to keep the government running. With tax filing time right around the corner, you are going to have to present your income and allowable expenses on your tax return. While it is not uncommon to make a mistake when you fill in your tax forms, there is a line where some "mistakes" become fraud.

A conviction for tax fraud can land you in prison and cost you thousands in legal fees and fines. This is why it is important to understand the difference between tax fraud and negligence if you find yourself facing this kind of criminal charge.

Thoughts on mental health reform in Michigan prisons

At this time of year, crimes are not commonly a newsworthy topic, especially if it does not deal with drunk driving or overzealous New Year’s reveling. But it should, especially when prison reform is one of the most complicated topics legislators and law enforcement must deal with.

According to, prison reform, especially with regard to treatment of mental illness has become incredibly important in Michigan. It is estimated that far more people suffering from mental health problems are incarcerated rather than treated in hospitals. Of those who are imprisoned, less than half receive the treatment they need.

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