Have you received a Open Intox Charge while Tailgating in Ann Arbor, Michigan?
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.
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.
Police Blitz Warren, Arrest More Than 100, Expect Another “Crime Sweep Initiative” in the Near Future
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.
Michigan 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:
(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.
(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.
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.
Arguably finding out there is a warrant out for your arrest can be one of the scariest parts of a criminal matter. Often people have never been in trouble before, don’t know what they’re being charged with, and don’t know what to do. While we can only give general advice without knowing the details of any particular case, in general it is best to contact and attorney and make a plan to turn yourself in. Then someone who is experienced in these matters can either get your arraignment waived or accompany you to the arraignment to ensure your rights are protected and have the bench warrant removed. This initial conversation is a good time to find out what the possible long term results of the crime you have been charged with are, and how we can work to mitigate them.
As part of a larger court of specialized courts such as the Drug Court, or Mental Health Court, Wayne County recently instituted the Solutions Oriented Domestic Violence Prevention Court. On April 25th, 2011 it heard its first case.
Funded by federal grants, the Court is meant to address the larger problem of domestic violence within families through combining all cases involving the parties which will then be heard by one of three judges who are specially trained in issues of domestic violence.
Cases are selected for referral to the SODVPC at the time a Personal Protection Order petition is filed. If the filing clerk believes there is a high probability of fatality, or the abuse alleged is very severe, a representative will interview the Petitioner to further assess the probability of mortality. If it is considered probable, the Petitioner will be offered the opportunity to transfer the case to the SODVPC.
If it is transferred, all pending cases will be consolidated and heard by one of following Judges: Halloran, Elder, or Kelley. Other than that, the PPO matter will be handled in the same way as usual.
As a new court it is hard to know whether SODVPC will turn out to be advantageous or disadvantageous to a Defendant/PPO Respondent. On one hand, if your case is assigned to SODVPC it means it has been evaluated and found to be very severe. However this does not mean the allegations are true or not. If Petitioner’s claims are false, you stand just as good of a chance of being exonerated in SODVPC as any other court. Additionally, the Judge’s additional training may be to your advantage in rooting out the truth of what really happened.
In the Northville/Plymouth area juvenile offenses are now handled out of the same court as adult offenses
Previously juvenile court used to be a strictly rehabilitative venture. The consequences were light and the court had the best interests of the child alone at heart. As it evolved though, it became more of a punitive endeavor, taking the best interest of the public into consideration in sentencing. As a result attorneys began to get involved to protect the liberties and due process rights of the children being charged. As an example of this shift, one need only look as far as the 35th district court. In the Northville/Plymouth area juvenile offenses are now handled out of the same court as adult offenses. While there are some differences such as dedicated probation officers and the application of juvenile as opposed to adult law, this is still a dramatic difference. If you or your child have been charged in the 35th district court or any other, you need an experienced advocate to represent you. This is not the time to let your child learn a lesson, as the court has made a clear statement it is no longer playing the role of a disciplining parent but rather a punitive body. An experienced attorney can work to get you one of these “best case scenarios.”
The results we got this morning in Roseville District Court are too excited not to share! Our client was charged with a misdemeanor leaving the scene of aand a careless driving charge. These are very serious charges carrying possible sentences of 93 days in jail, $500.00 fines, court costs, fees, and even possible licensing sanctions. We were able to negotiate with the prosecutor on his behalf and get him a plea deal where he only received a two point infraction for failure to stop within an assured clear distance. In a few years these points will fall of his driving record and most importantly, he will have no criminal record at all! This will help him in the future because it makes him a more attractive employee, will not pop up on background checks, or generally cause any trouble for him in the future.
Trespassing in Michigan is very common, and depending on the circumstances can be a felony or misdemeanor charge. You may be charged under local ordinance, or state law. Michigan law has further narrowed the crime through a series of laws prohibiting trespassing to specific locations such as railroads, or cars. Trespassing can carry heavy court fines, fees, and even jail time. An experienced attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor or city attorney to get these charges reduced, modified, or even dismissed.
The attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC have experience in all Metro Detroit Courts and know the prosecutors, city attorneys, and judges who may be assigned to your case. To retain Garmo & Kiste on these or other matters, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Often people are unsure exactly why they should hire a lawyer in a criminal matter rather than have a public defender or just represent themselves. However, people who show up to Court unrepresented or without a committed advocate are really missing out on a lot of opportunities that may be available to them. For example, in Michigan you may have the option to plead guilty under what is called a Cobb’s Agreement. This means that in exchange for a guilty plea, the Judge agrees to sentence you within some range, usually much lower than what you would otherwise be facing. Cobb’s agreements can be a win-win since the Court doesn’t want to waste its time doing your trial, you want to save money, and can be assured a good result.
If you think a Cobb’s Agreement might be right for you, it is important to hire an experienced criminal attorney in order to ensure you are getting exactly what you bargained for. While this and many options like this are available to those represented by court appointed attorneys and in pro per, it can be difficult to negotiate the complicated options that you are eligible for and how to best take advantage of them. Court appointed attorneys may do 15-20 hearings a morning, so they don’t have adequate time to consider the nuances of your case.