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The case of People v. Mead is an important case for Fourth Amendment rights in Michigan.

What Happened in the Case

Mead was a passenger in a car. He had just met the driver, who had offered him a ride. The police stopped the vehicle and ordered the driver and Mead out of the car. The driver consented to a search of the car. The police officer searched the car, including Mead’s backpack, which Mead had left on the passenger seat. The search of the backpack revealed methamphetamine, marijuana, pills, and a digital scale.

Mead was charged with possession of methamphetamine. He filed a motion to suppress the search. The motion was denied, and he later lost a jury trial. The judge sentenced him as a habitual offender to 2 to 10 years in prison.

A cramped airplane is the last place you think a sexual assault would occur, but unfortunately, they happen more than you would think.

New Laws Designed to Protect Airplane Passengers

A sexual misconduct task force bill was reauthorized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airlines have stated they have no tolerance for sexual harassment or assault in the workplace for their employees or for their passengers.

Several high profile cases have lead to this bill. A sleeping passenger was sexually attacked by a Detroit man. The defendant was dealt a hefty penalty of nine years in prison. A man was caught masturbating next to a female passenger for hours. Lastly, two pilots have been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting 2 flight attendants while on the job.

In Yellowstone County in 1973 a young married couple was strangled to death. The victims were Linda and Clifford Bernhardt. Linda had also been sexually assaulted. The case went on for 45 years with no answers as to who committed such a terrible crime. That was until an online database that traces distant relatives was utilized. GEDmatch was able to determine that Cecil S. Caldwell had indeed murdered and raped Linda Bernhardt and murdered Clifford Bernhardt. Unfortunately, Caldwell died in 2003.

Caldwell was a colleague of Linda’s at the grocery store where the two worked. He had never been convicted of any crimes so his DNA was not in the National Criminal Justice Database. Caldwell appeared to conduct a normal life. He was married with two adopted children at the time of the crime. He then divorced and remarried another women who had children from a previous relationship.

The genetic genealogy has led to the arrests of Joseph James Deangelo, the Golden State Killer in 2018 and Coley MCCraney who raped and killed two young victims. For the family and friends of these victims it is satisfying that the killers were caught alive and held accountable for their actions. However, for Kelly Reich, Linda’s sister, the news is bittersweet. She states for her the resolution of the case does not provide closure or change the end result.

In 1982 Archie Williams was wrongfully convicted of rape, aggravated burglary and attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. Fingerprint technology proved his innocence due to the innocence project, a nonprofit organization that challenges wrongful convictions. The true rapist was identified as Stephen Forbes. Forbes had been convicted of several other rapes and later passed in prison. During the trial Williams had several alibi’s that testified he was sleeping at the time of the crime. The victim, however, identified him in a photographic line-up as the rapist. Therefore, he was found guilty by 11 out of 12 jurors within 5 hours.

Now that he is a free man Williams plans on proving other inmates innocence utilizing DNA and fingerprint technology. Post-conviction DNA testing is now allowed in all states, however the use of the new fingerprint technology is underutilized. Thankfully, in 2014 the fingerprint database was expanded.

ArborYpsi Law Takeaways

There are so many wrongfully convicted inmates that have been sentenced to years if not life in prison. The use of DNA and now fingerprints is a great, factual tool that can free so many victims. It is tragic that people like Williams had to forfeit so much of their lives before being acquitted of their crimes. However, hopefully, cases like William’s will encourage other prosecutors and defense attorney’s to utilize fingerprint technology.

Michigan voters have said yes to legal marijuana. What does this mean for you?

What You Can Do

  • A person over 21 can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Not more than 15 grams of the marijuana can be in concentrate form.
  • A person can use and consume marijuana.
  • At home, a person can have up to 10 ounces of marijuana and 12 marijuana plants for personal use.
  • A person over 21 may assist another person in the above activities.
  • A person may give up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to another person without payment (15 grams of concentrate.

What You Cannot Do

  • You cannot operate a car while under the influence of marijuana. This includes the operation of a boat, plane, ORV, or snowmobile.
  • No consumption of marijuana while operating a car or other type of vehicle.
  • A person under 21 cannot possess, consume, or cultivate marijuana.
  • You cannot transfer marijuana to a person under 21.
  • No marijuana consumption in public – unless there is a designated smoking area for people over 21.
  • No butane extraction of plant resin.
  • No cultivation of plants in a place where the plants may be easily seen from the public.
  • No possession of marijuana on the grounds of a school.
  • You may not possess more than 2.5 ounces within a residence that is outside of a locked container. So if you have more than 2.5 ounces, it must be secured in a container or area with locks or security device.

Cities

  • A city or township may limit the number of marijuana establishments within their municipality or may prohibit them altogether.
  • People may petition a city or township to adopt an ordinance to provide for the number of marijuana establishments or prohibit them within the municipality.

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

  • This Department’s job is to implement the new rules, which includes providing licenses for
    • Class A marijuana grower – 100 plants
    • Class B marijuana grower – 500 plants
    • Class C marijuana grower – 2,000 plants
    • Marijuana retailer
    • Marijuana safety compliance facility
    • Marijuana secure transporter
    • Marijuana processor
    • Marijuana microbusiness

Landlords

  • A landlord may prohibit consumption and cultivation of marijuana in a lease agreement.
  • A lease may not prohibit lawful possession of marijuana and consumption of marijuana by means other than smoking.

Employers

  • The new marijuana law does not require an employer to accommodate marijuana use.
  • There is nothing in the new law that prohibits employers from prohibiting marijuana use or terminating employment or discipline for being under the influence of marijuana.

Contact us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

In a historic vote the people of Michigan have chosen to make marijuana legal for recreational use.

What is Allowed

Those 21 and up can have up to 2.5 ounces of weed on them. They can have up to 10 ounces at home (must be locked up). People may grow up to 12 plants at home for personal use.

What isn’t Allowed

Lighting up in public will still be against the law. Importantly, driving under the influence of marijuana is still against the law. However, this is a change from the current law which prohibits driving with any amount of marijuana in a person’s system. A person is under the influence when their driving is significantly affected by marijuana.

In less than two weeks Michigan voters will go to the polls and decide on legal marijuana. Less than ten years ago Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana. So we’ll see what happens this November 6.

What Are We Voting on Exactly?

Here is the language that you will see on the ballot when you go to vote:

Proposal 18-1

A Hardship Appeal is a way to keep driving after losing your license to an implied consent suspension.

Chemical Tests in DWI Cases

When arrested for driving while intoxicated, a police officer will ask you to take a chemical test, either a blood or breath test. This is not the preliminary breath test (PBT) at the side of the road. Refusal of the PBT is a civil infraction.

The penalty for refusal of the chemical test is a one-year license suspension. Most people find this penalty to be more severe than the penalty from a standard DWI conviction. For your garden variety DWI conviction, post people are looking at probation with testing, perhaps a short license suspension, and no jail. However a one-year driver’s license suspension would make life pretty difficult.

A person convicted of a felony and headed to prison may instead attend boot camp as an alternative to prison. Not everyone is eligible for the boot camp option. At a starting point, convictions for certain crimes will disqualify people from boot camp altogether. Below is a list of those crimes. Disqualification includes conviction of the crime, or an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of the crime).

  • Operating while intoxicated causing death or serious injury. MCL 257.625(4) and (5)
  • Sexually delinquent person. MCL 750.10a
  • Taking woman and compelling to marry. MCL 750.11 (Repealed)
  • Animal fighting. MCL 750.49
  • Arson in the first degree. MCL 750.72
  • Arson in the second degree. MCL 750.73
  • Arson in the fourth degree. MCL 750.75
  • Setting fire to mines. MCL 750.80
  • Assault with intent to murder. MCL 750.83
  • Assault with intent to maim. MCL 750.86
  • Assault with intent to rob armed. MCL 750.89
  • Attempted murder. MCL 750.91
  • Burglary with explosives. MCL 750.112
  • Cruelty to children. MCL 750.136
  • Child abuse. MCL 750.136b (1), (2), (3), or (4).
  • Accosting a child for immoral purpose. MCL 750.145a or b
  • Child sexually abusive activity or material. MCL 750.145c
  • Solicitation murder. MCL 750.157b
  • Sodomy. MCL 750.158
  • Breaking prison, escape. MCL 750.193
  • Jail escape. MCL 750.195
  • Explosives, intent to terrorize. MCL 750.207
  • Malicious threats to extort money. MCL 750.213
  • Counterfeiting. MCL 750.260
  • First-degree murder. MCL 750.316
  • Second-degree murder. MCL 750.317
  • Death as a result of fighting a duel. MCL 750.319
  • Manslaughter. MCL 750.321
  • Death due to explosives. MCL 750.327
  • Death due to explosives with intent to destroy building or object. MCL 750.329
  • Death, firearm pointed intentionally but without malice. MCL 750.329
  • Incest. MCL 750.333
  • Indecent exposure. MCL 750.335a
  • Indecent liberties with child. MCL 750.336
  • Gross indecency, males. MCL 750.338
  • Gross indecency, females. MCL 338a
  • Gross indecency, male and female. MCL 750.338b.
  • Debauchery by females of males under 15. MCL 750.339
  • Debauchery by males of males under 15. MCL 750.340
  • Carnal knowledge of a state ward. MCL 750.341
  • Carnal knowledge of female state ward. MCL 750.342
  • Kidnapping. MCL 750.350
  • Prisoner taking hostage. MCL 750.349a
  • Kidnapping child under 14. MCL 750.350
  • Mayhem. MCL 750.397
  • Perjury in court. MCL 750.422
  • Poisoning food or drink. MCL 750.436
  • Soliciting or accosting. MCL 750.448
  • Pandering. MCL 750.445
  • Attempt to wreck train or endanger safety of passengers. MCL 750.511
  • Rape. MCL 750.520
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first-degree. MCL 750.520b
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the second-degree. MCL 750.520c
  • Criminal sexual conduct in third-degree. MCL 750.520d
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth-degree. MCL 750.520e
  • Criminal sexual conduct, second or subsequent offense. MCL 750.520f
  • Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct. MCL 750.520g
  • Armed robbery. MCL 750.529
  • Carjacking. MCL 750.529a
  • Bank robbery. MCL 750.531
  • Treason. MCL 750.544
  • Incitement to riot. MCL 750.542

Call Us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor lawyer focusing on criminal defense.

Fentanyl is in the category of drugs known as opiates, drugs derived from opium. Drugs in this group include morphine, codeine, and heroin. These drugs act as painkillers.

The drugs vary in terms of strength, but they all produce similar effects. For example, heroin has two to three times the strength of morphine. Fentanyl is about 75 times the strength of morphine. Some opiates can be thousands of times stronger than morphine.

Fentanyl use has become common with the increased opiate use across many communities in America. You can see based on the relative strength of fentanyl how much stronger it is than heroin. Many people believe they are using heroin when in fact they are using fentantyl, which is dangerous because of how much stronger fenatnyl is than heroin.

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