Category Archives:Criminal Defense

Michigan Criminal Defense and Crimes of Moral Turpitude

iStock 000011733339Small 300x300 Michigan Criminal Defense and Crimes of Moral TurpitudeMichigan Criminal Defense and Crimes of Moral Turpitude:

Our final post concerning convictions for non-US citizens will address which crimes are considered to be crimes of moral turpitude.   As mentioned before, being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude can render a non-U.S. Citizen removable or inadmissible.

A crime of moral turpitude is merely a description for other crimes.  This category includes crimes of violence as well as other crimes that may carry moral indicators.  Murder and other aggravated misdemeanors and felonies are considered crimes of moral turpitude.  Domestic abuse and other family-related offenses may be considered crimes of moral turpitude.  For example, child neglect and domestic assault can render you removable.  Other crimes of moral turpitude are immigration fraud, trafficking weapons or drugs, and retail fraud.

Crimes that are not associated with moral turpitude include basic assault, operating while intoxicated, disorderly conduct, and even carrying small amounts of marijuana.  The difference between being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude and avoiding a misdemeanor that is considered to bear moral turpitude hinges on whether you can successfully plead other offenses down to disorderly conduct.  This is why having an attorney that is experienced in criminal defense and understands your situation is so important.

The moral character of an applicant is a substantial factor taken into account by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services during the naturalization review.  Further, being convicted of crimes of moral turpitude may have effects on visa, green card and naturalization applications or render you removable.

It is extremely important that you consult an attorney to review your criminal record if you are facing a crime such as this.  Obtaining counsel that understands the difference between crimes of moral turpitude and crimes not associated with moral turpitude is important to ensure your future is secure.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are seasoned defense attorneys.  We pride ourselves on providing individualized care in order to achieve the best outcome for each and every one of our clients.Contact us with a private message for a free Consulation.

 

              

 

Tigers Opening Day Criminal Charges?

iStock 000016018188Small 300x300 Tigers Opening Day Criminal Charges?Opening Day 2014, Tigers take on Kansas City Royals

Opening day is here and with it spring temperatures. While we all remember past opening days when it was chilling and people were anxious to head home early, this year it’s actually nice enough to be outside and even hit the bars after the game. However, police are active and in the area during opening day and are often writing an inordinate number of citations.

Have you been charged with urinating in public at the Tiger’s opening day? If so, you may be charged under the city ordinance, or state law. Detroit’s code Sec 28-9-2.0- Indecent exposure states that “No personal shall make any indecent exposure of his or her person in any public place.” MCL 750.335a states: A person shall not knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of his or her person or of the person of another. Violation of the section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both. While both of these sound fairly ambiguous and like they are not a big deal, they actually have pretty serious consequences. You can end up on the sex offender registry unless these charges are successfully negotiated and reduced by an experienced attorney.

Have you been charged with a drinking and driving/DUI offense on opening day? Michigan law provides strict penalties for operating while impaired (OWI), operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), and OWI High BAC (HBAC Law), where your blood alcohol content is .17 or above. These are difficult charges to handle with an attorney, let alone on your own especially if it is not your first offense. You are looking at licensing ramifications, as well as potential jail time, court costs and fines. An experienced attorney can work to mitigate these penalties and protect your rights.

Finally, each year around this time we hear from people who have been charged with a Minor in Possession (MIP), open intoxication/public intoxication (public intox or open intox), or drunk and disorderly conduct. These are all misdemeanor offenses which can be negotiated with the city attorney or prosecutor to minimize the effect on your life. However, without an experienced attorney you risk jail time, a permanent criminal record, and high costs and fines. Our offices work with local prosecutors and city attorney’s every day and can work to get you the best deal available so you can go on to enjoy the rest of the season in peace. Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Criminal Convictions and Non Resident Visas Michigan

iStock 000014317254Small 300x300 Criminal Convictions and Non Resident Visas MichiganCriminal Convictions and Non Resident Visas Michigan:   

In a previous blog, we discussed the various statuses an alien may have in the United States and the rights that are associated with those statuses.  It is important to keep in mind that these statuses can be affected by criminal convictions.  Under 8 USC 1101(a)(48), a conviction is defined as a formal judgment of guilt entered by a court, a finding of guilty by a judge or jury, the entrance of a guilty plea or nolo contendere by the alien or admittance of sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilty when the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty or restraint on the alien’s liberty.   This broad classification includes pleas under the Holmes Youthful Training Act.

So what exactly are the ramifications of a criminal conviction?  Convictions can make aliens removable or inadmissible.  Removal (or deportation) involves a hearing before an immigration judge.  Inadmissibility applies to aliens who are seeking entry into the United States or aliens who are currently in on U.S. soil and are attempting to obtain permanent status through a green card.   Illegal aliens are typically considered both removable and inadmissible.

The effects a conviction may have depend on the nature of the crime.  For example, crimes of moral turpitude such violent crimes or crimes involving theft or fraud that are punishable for more than a year may render an alien removable or inadmissible.  Further, multiple convictions of crimes with moral turpitude can result in removal and detention.

If you are an alien facing criminal charges, it is extremely important that you seek the help of an experienced attorney who understands your status in the United States.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC have handled many cases and will select ideal tactics when handling your case in order to achieve the best possible outcome.  Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

 

Are you a Immigrant Facing Criminal Charges?

iStock 000014099805Small1 300x300 Are you a Immigrant Facing Criminal Charges?Are you a Immigrant Facing Criminal Charges? As a U.S. alien, it is important to understand your status because it determines your rights on U.S. soil.  As a non-citizen or non-national, there are 3 categories you may be a part of.

The first category is legal permanent residents.  Individuals in this group are green card holders.  As a permanent resident and green card holder, you are protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residency and your local jurisdiction.  You have the right to live permanently and work in the United States.  Also, you are able to choose whatever lawful profession you desire so long as it is not limited to U.S. citizens only.  These rights do come with responsibilities.  As a green card holder, you must obey all U.S., state, and local laws, file income tax returns and reports, and, if you are a male between the age of 18 and 25, you must register with the Selective Service.  Further, if you are convicted of a crime you may lose your green card.

The second category of aliens is non-immigrants who are legally in the United States.  These individuals are in the United States temporarily as tourists, business or temporary workers, or students.  These individuals must possess visas and may only perform activities related to that visa.  For example, if you receive a temporary work visa, you must work for the employer that you listed on your visa application.  If you would like to change employers, you must take steps to amend your visa application.  A non-immigrant may possess multiple visas, each for a different purpose.  If you receive nonimmigrant status through a visa, you gain certain rights.  If you have a temporary work visa, you have the right to be treated and paid fairly under U.S. law and to keep your passport and other documents in your possession.  However, like a green card, your visa may be subject to revocation if you are convicted of a crime.

The third category of aliens is illegal aliens.  These individuals entered the country illegally (without a green card or visa) or may have entered legally but remained beyond the authorized amount of time.  If you are an illegal alien you still have rights under U.S. law.  However, individuals in this category are often in a difficult position because they may not exercise those rights for fear of drawing attention to their illegal status.  Additionally, if you are convicted of a crime you may be subject to deportation.

Though these statuses guarantee certain rights, they are subject to certain rules.  If you are convicted of a crime it may jeopardize your status.  If you are facing criminal charges and you are a not a U.S. citizen or national, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for your rights.

Law Enforcement Develops Marijuana Breathalyzer

iStock 000023940779Small 300x300 Law Enforcement Develops Marijuana BreathalyzerRelease Imminent: Law Enforcement Develops Marijuana Breathalyzer: 

What a long strange trip it has been indeed, with respect to the various legal iterations of our society’s relationship with marijuana. What was first medicine was then criminalized, before being re-legalized for medical purposes at the state level in many states (including Michigan), and has now been decriminalized for recreational purposes in Colorado, Washington, and many Michigan cities. As the recent changes were largely effected by referendum legislator made law has failed to keep up with the changing times.

As such, law enforcement thinks it is high time for regulation to catch up. Researchers who believe that driving while under the influence of marijuana as driving under the influence of alcohol believe they may have finally come up with a new solution in an older form: the breathalyzer. The idea is that a simple breath test could reveal the presence of THC (the active chemical in marijuana) in the body. While breathalyzers are notoriously unreliable even for alcohol, this particular type of Breathalyzer has unique challenges.

The marijuana Breathalyzer can only detect THC, according to the study, 30 minutes to two hours after smoking. Those who smoke regularly may have a positive reading after up to a week of abstinence, much like the increased recovery time of heavy users in urine tests. This is problematic as it means that a person could be arrested for driving while under the influence of marijuana up to a week after using what is now a legal recreational substance. Furthermore, there are no safeguards yet in place for those who have a medicinal marijuana card. Additionally, this study Finally, even those who are very impaired who smoked even 30 minutes prior to the test may pass in some instances.

While we do not endorse driving while impaired, our experienced attorneys feel that this new Breathalyzer may present serious legal issues as applied to our clients. Hopefully by the time it gets out of the development stage these kinks have been worked out to ensure that those who are exercising their legal rights are not ensnared by these regulations.

http://www.hightimes.com/read/marijuana-breathalyzer-close-reality

To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters please contact us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private messageWe are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.

Serving clients in the following areas:

Detroit | Troy | Royal Oak | Warren | Sterling Heights | West Bloomfield | Novi | Rochester Hills | Farmington Hills | Southfield | Oak Park | Birmingham | Clinton Township | Livonia | Allen Park | Redford | Wayne | Dearborn | Berkley | Shelby | Romeo | Lapeer | Clawson | Madison Heights | Hazel Park | Bingham Farms | Harper Woods | Grosse Pointe | St. Clair Shores | Livonia | Plymouth | Northville | Canton | Pleasant Ridge | Clarkston | Waterford | Grosse Pointe Farms | Center Line | Eastpointe | Roseville | Fraser | Grosse Pointe Woods | Harrison Township, Mount Clemens | Armada | Armada Township | Bruce Township | Memphis | Ray Township | Richmond | Richmond Township | Romeo | Washington Township | New Baltimore | Macomb Township | Shelby Township | Westland | Inkster | Utica | Chesterfield Township | Lenox Township | New Haven | Taylor | Southgate | Hamtramck | Romulus | Woodhaven | Wyandotte | Ecorse | Lincoln Park | Wayne County | Lapeer County | Macomb County | Oakland County | Tri-County Metro Detroit area

Improper Transporting of Medical Marijuana in Michigan

iStock 000000493137Small 300x300 Improper Transporting of Medical Marijuana in MichiganMedical Marijuana is recognized as a legal substance for registered patients in the state of Michigan.  Patients with recognized conditions may use and carry the drug legally under Michigan Law.  Patients may apply for and receive an ID card from the State which provides legal protection if they are confronted with Michigan police officers.

Recent developments in Michigan law have slightly altered how patients may carry marijuana.  Michigan Public Act 460 became enforceable in 2013.

The Act clarifies how marijuana may be transported in motor vehicles.

Specifically it states that a patient may not transport or possess usable marijuana in or on a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel unless the marijuana is enclosed in a case in the trunk of the vehicle or, if the vehicle does not have a trunk, the marijuana is enclosed in a case that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle.  This law applies only to patients carrying marijuana that can be smoked or otherwise used by the patient, but not seeds or marijuana plants.  This offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 93 days or a fine of not more than 500.00 or both.

Many medical marijuana users find themselves faced with this new offense as it is increasingly common.  Though this may seem like another caveat of liability for medical marijuana users, the state legislature passed the bill with a large majority, reflecting that our representatives believed strongly in the law and that more laws similar to this may develop in the future.

Marijuana laws are complicated.  Michigan lawmakers have compiled these rules in a piece-by-piece manner.  New laws are developing constantly and existing laws may be amended through the future.  Further, federal and state law conflict.  If you are a medical marijuana user or are considering it as a treatment option, it is increasingly important that you are knowledgeable about how the laws work.  Our attorneys here at Garmo & Kiste PLC can serve as your legal resource because we have experience in this area of law.  We can explain how the laws interact and help to ensure you are in compliance with them in regards to your medical marijuana treatment.  Whether you are facing an offense or would like to ensure your treatment is carried out in a legal manner, please contact us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Charged with Improper Transporting of Medical Marijuana in Michigan? Serving clients in the following areas:

Detroit | Troy | Royal Oak | Warren | Sterling Heights | West Bloomfield | Novi | Rochester Hills | Farmington Hills | Southfield | Oak Park | Birmingham | Clinton Township | Livonia | Allen Park | Redford | Wayne | Dearborn | Berkley | Shelby | Romeo | Lapeer | Clawson | Madison Heights | Hazel Park | Bingham Farms | Harper Woods | Grosse Pointe | St. Clair Shores | Livonia | Plymouth | Northville | Canton | Pleasant Ridge | Clarkston | Waterford | Grosse Pointe Farms | Center Line | Eastpointe | Roseville | Fraser | Grosse Pointe Woods | Harrison Township, Mount Clemens | Armada | Armada Township | Bruce Township | Memphis | Ray Township | Richmond | Richmond Township | Romeo | Washington Township | New Baltimore | Macomb Township | Shelby Township | Westland | Inkster | Utica | Chesterfield Township | Lenox Township | New Haven | Taylor | Southgate | Hamtramck | Romulus | Woodhaven | Wyandotte | Ecorse | Lincoln Park | Wayne County | Lapeer County | Macomb County | Oakland County | Tri-County Metro Detroit area

Ann Arbor Mich's Open Container Law

iStock 000027505569Medium 300x300 Ann Arbor Michs Open Container LawHave you received a Open Intox Charge while Tailgating in Ann Arbor, Michigan? Understand Ann Arbor Mich’s Open Container Law

The tailgating season is in full force, and the University of Michigan is one of the best places to kick back and prepare to watch the game on TV or in person. Whether you are a student, an alumni, or an avid spectator it is always fun to put something on the grill, wear your jersey, and usually indulge in a few adult beverages while hanging out with your friends on State Street. Michigan rivalry games especially, Michigan State and Ohio State home games in particular, seem to result in a rash of open intoxication tickets due to overindulgence during the festivities. Most people think they are out of the woods for alcohol crimes at football games once they are over the age of 21. However, even adults of legal drinking age can be cited for open intoxication. Many treat this ticket as no big deal, but it is in fact a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanors of this nature can carry a penalty of up to 90 days in jail, a term of probation, fines, as well as court costs and fees. Further, the cases are usually open and shut cases if you were drinking public you are guilty and stand no chance of mitigating damages on your own. Through our practice though, we have been able to get many of these open intoxication charges reduced to civil infractions, or even dismissed. The difference between having a misdemeanor on your record, versus a civil infraction is a big one. A misdemeanor follows you for the rest of your life. You will have to check that you have been convicted of a crime on job applications. While a minor open intox charge might not seem like a big deal once you explain it to a potential employer, many people never get that chance since their applications are summarily dismissed. Hiring a lawyer at this time can save you a lot more trouble down the line.

So if you have received a Open Intox Charge while Tailgating in Ann Arbor, Michigan, let us help you. For more information and/or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Michigan Arson Defense Attorney / Michigan Arson Laws in Flux

iStock 000001859539Medium 300x300 Michigan Arson Defense Attorney / Michigan Arson Laws in Flux

In early April a series of changes to Michigan Arson law took effect. Prompted by a perceived increase in arson,and by a lack of awareness that arson is a violent crime rather than a mere property crime, the new set of laws provides for stricter penalties, and more prosecutorial discretion.

The sentence was raised to a term of years or life for the following offenses:

  • First degree arson.  This newly created category includes any arson that results in physical injury and any arson of a multi-unit dwelling even when no injury results.
  • Arson of an insured dwelling with fraudulent intent.
  • Maliciously setting fire to mines, any material in an underground mine or a structure over a mine shaft.

Fines are now available penalties, where previously only prison terms applied. A person may be fined up to $20,000.00 for first degree fraud arson.

Arson crimes at common law included only the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. Many states have made dramatic modernizing changes eliminating the dwelling of another requirement, or changing the intent requirement. The changes are meant to bring Michigan in line with stricter federal arson punishments which carry a minimum penalty of 25 years in prison. Law enforcement hopes that higher penalties will serve as a deterrent.

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/michigan_arson_laws_getting_st.html

To retain a Michigan arson defense attorney, call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Looking for a Warren Criminal Defense Attorney? Police Blitz Warren, Arrest More Than 100, Expect Another

iStock 000013271437Small 1 300x300 Looking for a Warren Criminal Defense Attorney? Police Blitz Warren, Arrest More Than 100, Expect Another

Between April 29 and May 31, Warren Police executed a crime sweep and cracked down on local criminal activity. The Mayor of Warren, Jim Fouts, reports that 115 arrests were made, 314 moving violations tickets, on parental responsibility violation, on juvenile ticket, and 270 other citations. The arrests included outstanding warrants, and drug related offenses.

Residents were reportedly pleased with the initiative, the second of its kind. The first, which ran from December 13, 2012- the end of April 2013 also targeted the city’s south side. These are considered the higher crime areas. Mayor Fouts says the initiative “sends a message that Warren is not a good place to commit crime.” He additionally told the Free Press the city would continue to deter blight saying “blight begets crime, and crime festers in blight.” The mayor looks forward to a third installment.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013306050134

Looking for a Warren Criminal Defense Attorney, to retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

For information about specific charges see the links below:

Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225

iStock 000005929874Small 300x300 Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225Michigan has a strong gambling economy, especially in Metro Detroit. With so many casinos, come gambling problems including addiction. In order to combat this problem, the Michigan Gambling Control Board maintains a list of Disassociated Persons pursuant to MCL 432.225, which reads:

Sec. 25.

(1) The board shall create a list of disassociated persons. The board shall, with the assistance of casino licensees, inform each patron of the list of disassociated persons and explain how the patron may add his or her name to the list.

(2) The board may add an individual’s name to the list of disassociated persons if the individual has notified the board in writing of his or her pledge not to visit a casino in this state by filing an application for placement on the list of disassociated persons with the board.

(3) The board shall create and make available an application for placement on the list of disassociated persons. The application shall include all of the following information about the individual who is applying:

(a) Full name and all aliases

(b) Physical description including height, weight, hair and eye color, skin color, and any other noticeable physical characteristics.

(c) Occupation.

(d) Current home and work addresses and phone numbers.

(e) Social security number.

(f) Date of birth.

(g) Statement that the individual believes he or she is a problem gambler and is seeking treatment.

(h) A photograph suitable for the board and casino licensees to use to identify the individual.

(i) Other information that the board considers necessary.

(4) An individual s name shall be placed on the list of disassociated persons after all of the following have occurred:

(a) The individual has submitted an application to be placed on the list of disassociated persons to the Michigan gaming control board.

(b) The application has been verified by a representative of the board.

(c) The individual has signed an affidavit in which he or she affirms that he or she wishes to be placed on the list of disassociated persons and authorizing the board to release the contents of his or her application to all casino licensees in this state

(d) The individual signs a form releasing the state of Michigan, the board, and the casino licensees from any injury the individual suffers as a consequence of placing his or her name on the list of disassociated persons.

(e) The individual signs a form stating that he or she understands and authorizes all of the following:

(i) That a criminal complaint for trespassing will be filed against him or her if he or she is found on the premises of a casino in this state and he or she will be immediately removed from the casino premises.

(ii) That if he or she enters a casino and wins any money, the board will confiscate the winnings.

(5) An individual who has his or her name placed on the list of disassociated persons shall remain on the list for the remainder of his or her life.

(6) After an application has been submitted to the board, the chairperson of the board shall file a notice of placement on the list of disassociated persons with the board at the next closed session. Information contained in an application under subsection (4) is exempt from disclosure under section 4c of this act and is not open for public inspection. The information shall be disclosed to the board, each casino licensee in this state, the department of attorney general, and the department of state police.

(7) The list of disassociated persons shall be provided to each casino licensee, the department of attorney general, and the department of state police.

(8) Each casino licensee in this state shall submit to the board a plan for disseminating the information contained in the applications for placement on the list of disassociated persons. The board shall approve the plan. The plan shall be designed to safeguard the confidentiality of the information but shall include dissemination to all of the following:

(a) The general casino manager or the managerial employee who has responsibility over the entire casino operations.

(b) All security and surveillance personnel.

(c) The department of state police.

(9) A casino licensee shall not extend credit, offer check cashing privileges, offer coupons, market its services, or send advertisements to, or otherwise solicit the patronage of, those persons whose names are on the list of disassociated persons.

(10) The casino licensee shall keep a computer record of each individual whose name is on the list of disassociated persons. If a casino licensee identifies a person on the premises of a casino, the licensee shall immediately notify the board, a representative of the board, or a representative of the department of state police who is on the premises of the casino. After the licensee confirms that the individual has filed an affidavit under this section, the licensee shall do all of the following:

(a) Immediately remove the individual from the casino premises.

(b) Report the incident to the prosecutor for the county in which the casino is located.

(11) A casino licensee who violates this act is subject to disciplinary action by the board.

(12) The board shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this act.

(13) An individual who has placed his or her name on the list of disassociated persons who enters a casino in this state is guilty of criminal trespassing punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(14) This act does not create any right or cause of action on behalf of the individual whose name is placed on the list of disassociated persons against the state of Michigan, the board, or a casino licensee.

(15) Any winnings collected by the board under this act shall be deposited into the compulsive gaming prevention fund.

As you can see, individuals who have a compulsive gambling problem can opt onto the list and will be prohibited from entering a Detroit Casino.

If the individual subsequently enters the casino they are guilty of misdemeanor trespassing and any winnings will be forfeited to the board to fight compulsive gambling. Once you are on the list, it is permanent. If you or someone you know has been charged with disassociated persons, it is critical to retain an experienced attorney ASAP.

Charged w/ Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225? We can work to protect your rights so this misdemeanor doesn’t become a bigger deal than it has to be. To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.