A recent national study states that 50% of police officers do not buckle their seat belts when driving a car. This compares with 86% of the nation generally. This study comes on the heels of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 2012 statistics which showed that 37% of police officers involved in accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time. Additionally, national failure of officers to wear a seat belt is the leading cause of officer mortality, above even shooting deaths.
While new officers to the force often use their seat belts at the same rates as others. However, some may emulate senior officers and avoid using them. Additionally, many older police cars do not have functioning seat belts, or the belts have been tied back or cut out. This is because of a perception on the force that police officers are susceptible to a sudden brutal attack from behind. In such a scenario, which is very rare, a seat belt may be an impediment to an officer who needs to access weapons quickly. In reality, while this situation may occur occasionally, it is far more common for an officer to be injured or die as a result of a failure to wear a seat belt.
Michigan Seat Belt Safety Law & the Police: While many states have exempted police officers from their seatbelt safety laws, Michigan’s law does not appear to exempt police officers specifically. It is unclear if there is no exemption because Michigan police officers regularly use their seat belts, or for one of the above discussed reasons. This means Michigan’s statistics could vary significantly from the national average However, there is still a decent likelihood that if you are pulled over for a seat belt violation the cop who pulled you over was not buckled up either.
To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
What is a plea bargain? Michigan Criminal Law: A plea bargain is an admission of guilt in exchange for a reduction in charges against you. For example, if you are charged with Retail Fraud 3rd degree, a 93 day misdemeanor with fines of up to $500 and/or three times the value of the stolen property, if you make a plea agreement you may be able to plead to a civil infraction which is punishable by just a fine. As a result you would not have any criminal record, supervision by the court, or any type of jail time or probation. This is just an example, not every crime or every retail fraud can be plead to a civil infraction. The basic idea is to plead to a lower level offense with fewer consequences that the original.
Why do plea agreements exist? If the state decided to take every criminal matter to trial they would have to hire hundreds more prosecutors to handle the volume of cases and trials are time consuming and costly. In order to promote efficiency and save money the prosecutor has a policy to plead some crimes down which usually only requires both parties to attend one or two hearings instead of a full trial. This saves both the prosecutor and you money and time.
Many people like plea agreements because they can resolve the legal matter quickly and get back to their lives.
Additionally, they don’t have to deal with the uncertainty of whether a judge or jury will find in their favor. However, it is very important to understand that by pleading guilty you waive any opportunity to prove your innocence and if you are pleading to a lesser crime or other offense that abstracts it will be on your record. It is important to consult with an attorney to see if the benefits of entering into a plea agreement outweigh the risks in your unique case. Additionally, many times prosecutors are much more open to negotiation with attorneys than people representing themselves because Prosecutors know they will have to do a lot more work to try you if you have someone who knows how the legal system works to protect your rights.
Our attorneys are regulars at metro Detroit courts. We know the judges, prosecutors and city attorneys who will be assigned to your case. We can put this experience to work for you and attempt to negotiate a plea agreement on your behalf with the result of getting your charges reduced, modified, or even dismissed.
To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
If you are driving a personal vehicle and you refuse to submit to a PBT it is only a civil infraction. However, it is much more serious if you are driving a commercial vehicle. Refusal of a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) in a commercial vehicle is a 93-day misdemeanor and or a fine of up to $1,000.00. This is before the Secretary of State imposes its licensing restrictions. In order to keep you out of jail, save you money, and preserve your livelihood it is imperative to retain an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney can investigate the cause for the stop and preliminary breath test. Through negotiation with Prosecutors or the City Attorney assigned to your case, we can attempt to get the charges reduced, modified, and/or dismissed. Additionally we can attempt to get you sentenced pursuant to a diversionary program so that once you have completed a term of probation or other court terms the charge will be removed from your record. We can ever represent you in a Driver’s License Restoration hearing for the Secretary of State.
Charged with Commercial Driver CDL Refusal to Submit to PBT Michigan? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
Have you been cited with a misdemeanor loitering charge under Detroit’s municipal code or that of another city? The ordinance below is Detroit’s ordinance, and an example of what other cities may look like:
Sec. 38-1-3. – Loitering—Generally.
It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter on any street, sidewalks, overpass or public place. For the purpose of this section, loitering is defined as the act of standing or idling in or about any street, sidewalk, overpass or public place so as to hinder or impede or tend to hinder or impede the passage of pedestrians or vehicles.
A person who violates this section shall be responsible for a civil infraction and subject to a civil fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) plus costs as set forth in section 55-2-31
(Code 1964, § 58-1-10; Ord. No. 337-H, § 1, 7-27-79)
A misdemeanor is a serious charge that will stay on your record forever. When employers do a background check it will show that you have been convicted of a crime. It is important to handle these matters when they first come up because it is a lot easier to fight a charge initially than attempt to overturn a conviction. An experienced attorney can represent you and attempt to get the charges modified, reduced, or even dismissed through negotiation with the Prosecutor or City attorney. The attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC have developed relationships with these same Prosecutors, City Attorneys, and even Judges. We can put our experience to work for you. Detroit Loitering Ticket. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
Reckless Driving is a serious misdemeanor that can result in jail time and the suspension of your driving privileges. Careless driving on the other hand is a civil infraction that carries lower penalties. However, it still has ramifications. First, it is three points on your driving record. Once your record has accrued 7 points you begin to pay driver’s responsibility fees which increase with every additional point. At 12 points your driver’s license will be suspended. Further, a careless driving citation may increase insurance premiums. An experienced attorney can negotiate with the Prosecutor or City Attorney to secure a modification, reduction, or dismissal of the charges. The attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC frequent Metro Detroit Courts and have developed relationships with these Prosecutors, Attorneys, and Judges. See the statutes below for reference.
257.626b Careless or negligent operation of vehicle as civil infraction.
A person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness, is responsible for a civil infraction.
257.626 Reckless driving on highway, frozen public lake, or parking place; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.
(1) A person who violates this section is guilty of reckless driving punishable as provided in this section.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
(3) Beginning October 31, 2010, a person who operates a vehicle in violation of subsection (2) and by the operation of that vehicle causes serious impairment of a body function to another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or more than $5,000.00, or both. The judgment of sentence may impose the sanction permitted under section 625n. If the vehicle is not ordered forfeited under section 625n, the court shall order vehicle immobilization under section 904d in the judgment of sentence.
(4) Beginning October 31, 2010, a person who operates a vehicle in violation of subsection (2) and by the operation of that vehicle causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00, or both. The judgment of sentence may impose the sanction permitted under section 625n. If the vehicle is not ordered forfeited under section 625n, the court shall order vehicle immobilization under section 904d in the judgment of sentence.
(5) In a prosecution under subsection (4), the jury shall not be instructed regarding the crime of moving violation causing death.
To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation. We are licensed Michigan attorneys, with offices in Troy, MI.
Charged with Illegal Public Dumping Michigan? Recently one of our attorneys represented a Canadian Citizen concerning a misdemeanor charge of Illegal Public Dumping in violation of a local ordinance, through thoughtful and careful negotiations with the city attorney the Client was offered a plea deal whereby he pled to double parking, a civil infraction punishable by a fine only.
Without our representation this client may have been charged with a federal violation of the Clean Air act, resulting in minimum fines of $5,000.00- $20,000.00, and faced up to $. With the right attorney, he will now pay approximately $300.00 and have a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor on his record or worse. If you have been charged with a similar violation contact the experienced attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC for a free consultation today!