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Felonies Archives

Will prosecutors always turn over exculpatory evidence?

Prosecutors and criminal investigators may push a suspect for answers by saying “help me help you.” While this may sound enticing and reassuring, the famous line from “Jerry Maguire” may be anything but helpful. After all, prosecutors seek evidence to help gain a conviction.

Do longer sentences actually deter crime?

The political season won’t begin in earnest for a few months in Michigan, but one topic that is certain to garner a great deal of attention are sentencing guidelines. It is no secret that sentencing (and the varying opinions behind them) have been a divisive issue in Michigan politics for quite some time. Yet there are still proponents of tougher sentences.

Mis-identification by eyewitnesses is still a problem

One of the bedrock principles of our criminal justice system is that the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The collection of constitutional protections afforded to the accused is supposed to make the process fair criminal defendants. After all, it is not uncommon for criminal defendants to be falsely or even negligently accused of crimes, especially due to false eyewitness accounts.

Do privacy rights die with the person owned them?

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, private citizens are supposed to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by police. This essentially means that law enforcement must have a warrant signed by an impartial judge before initiating searches of areas that a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

MSU official arrested in wake of Nassar scandal

Shortly after the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar for his conduct involving young gymnasts during his tenure with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, speculation was rampant as to who else may be responsible for enabling Nassar to operate undeterred for so long. Some suspected that current and/or former MSU officials could be held accountable in the same manner that others were held responsible in the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University.

A corporate forensic lab could help in your defense

It is not uncommon for criminal investigations to be conducted through a state-based crime lab. But given their cost limitations and capacity issues, some crime labs may have backlogs that may delay test results and give rise to other logistical issues. As such, more law enforcement agencies are relying on private crime labs established by corporate entities.

Marijuana use does not always mean impairment behind the wheel

One of the most common misconceptions about the use of marijuana is that it is likely to impair a driver in the same way that alcohol does. Essentially, if someone has smoked a marijuana cigarette and then gets behind the wheel, he or she will be just as impaired (if not more) than someone who has had a few too many drinks.

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.

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