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Criminal Defense Archives

District Court Judge Declares Marijuana Law Unconstitutional

Judge Hartig of the 52-4 district court in Troy Michigan, declared unconstitutional Michigan's operating with the presence of a controlled substance statute, MCL 257.625(8). She found that the statute impermissably treats two classes of drivers differently: those who use marijuana legally by possessing a medical marijuana card and those who use marijuana illegally (i.e. no card). The defendant in People v Sulaka, was pulled over for speeding and allegedly arrested for not having his driver's license. The officer smelled the odor of marijuana and sent defendant for a blood draw. The draw showed that defendant had 5 Nano grams of THC per 100 mL in his blood. Defendant moved to have the charge dismissed, claiming that the statute was unconstitutional. Judge Hartig agreed with the defendant, dismissing the charges based on defendant's equal protection argument.  This decision came on the heels of People v Koon, wherein our supreme court held that card-carrying medical marijuana users are permitted to drive with the presence of marijuana in their system, so long as they are not otherwise impaired. It will be interesting to see if Judge Hartig's decision will be followed by other judges.

Child Porn Charges Follow Breakup of Cohabitation Arrangement

The fall-out when a cohabitation arrangement breaks up can be very unpredictable. Unlike a divorce, a formal property settlement is not necessary. But if the couple had children, child support and child custody may need to be determined.

Defense for Failure to Pay Child Support in Criminal Cases

The Michigan Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision recently held that if a person criminally charged with the failure to pay child support could demonstrate it was "impossible" to pay, that will be a defense against the charge. This is significant as currently failure to pay child support can be prosecuted as a felony. To see the July 31, 2012 article, go to: http://www.freep.com/article/20120731/NEWS06/120731087/Michigan-Supreme-Court-creates-defense-in-child-support-cases?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Targeted Arrest and Prosecution at Issue in Civil Rights Case

This blog is normally devoted to family law. This week, however, it is important to provide an update on a significant case our firm is handling involving claims for civil rights violations, false arrest and malicious prosecution.

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