If you have ever been asked by the police to answer questions in the investigation of a crime, you may think that talking to investigators will be okay. After all, the police will make it seem like having a conversation is nothing to worry about, especially if they say that you are not under investigation, and that it should not be a long conversation.
Because cell phones, laptops and tablets are ubiquitous within our society, many criminal investigations involve the seizure and search of electronic devices. In some cases, the right to canvass private devices for information is obvious, but in others, law enforcement may overstep their bounds. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court court ruled unanimously in Riley v. California that law enforcement officers must obtain a search warrant before combing through a suspect’s cell phone for information to link him (or her) to a crime.
As we near the Independence Day holiday weekend, we feel it prudent to revisit the question of whether drivers stopped on suspicion of drunk driving should take field sobriety tests.
Over the past few years, more police departments have embraced the use of body cameras which create video footage of encounters with the public. The interest in these devices is ostensibly based on the public’s desire to have more accountability with policing. However, the growing trend is that such footage is only being used to protect police officers from liability.
After nearly five years of criminal justice reform regarding drug crime prosecutions and sentencing, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to be rolling back such efforts. According to a recent Atlantic.com report, Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors across the nation to “seek the strongest possible charges and sentences against defendants they target.”
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.
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.
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.