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.
In Michigan, a criminal trial cannot proceed if the defendant is mentally incapable of participating in his or her own defense. The defendant’s mental abilities are often in dispute at trial.
A series of “milestone” criminal law bills have passed the Michigan legislature, potentially signaling a significant shift in the way the state treats minor offenders.
As controversial as drinking and driving is, sometimes there are news stories about OWI that are amusing -- at least, to those of us not facing the charges.
Mental illness is a serious health problem in the United States, and Michigan is no exception. Millions of Americans are living with mental illness, and the vast majority of them pose no more of a danger to others than the rest of the public.
Drug laws in regards to marijuana are currently in a sort of limbo in the United States. A growing number of states, including Colorado, Washington and California, have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. More states have legalized marijuana for medical reasons only.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees each of us access to a defense attorney if we are ever arrested or charged with a crime. Then in 1963, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision found that this vital right holds true for everyone regardless of ability to pay.
These days, it seems like everything we do is being videotaped. Between the increase in security cameras on the streets and the smartphones in people’s pockets, there are few public and semi-public places in Michigan where you are not being filmed, or at least could soon be.
The criminal justice system in Michigan grants people charged with a crime the presumption of innocence. The burden is on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.