November 2010 Archives

Handling Criminal Sentences in Michigan, Conditions of Probation

November 23, 2010,

If you have never been involved in the Michigan criminal system, you may not be aware of the plethora of conditions that may be imposed if you are placed on probation. First of all, you may be placed on probation immediately after sentencing or upon release from jail. Your Judge will advise you at the time of sentencing as to whether you will be placed on probation. A person convicted of a crime in Michigan, including Macomb County Courts, can be placed on probation for a maximum of 2 years for a misdemeanor and 5 years for a felony conviction. Your rights will be limited while you are in the system during a term of probation. You may not be allowed to do things that would otherwise be legal if you were not on probation. If you violate a condition of probation, even if the condition is an otherwise legal act (like drinking or traveling out of state), you are subject to re-sentencing and face the balance of any jail which has not been served with respect to the underlying case.

Here is a list of possible conditions that may be ordered and imposed with respect to probation:

  1. Do not leave the state of Michigan without approval from the court.
  2. You may not drink alcohol or go to places where alcohol is served.
  3. You may not be in the company of others who have a felony record or that are co-defendants in your case.
  4. You may not be allowed to use or have a computer in your residence (for sex crimes, identity theft or cyber predators).
  5. A curfew may be imposed.
  6. You may be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
  7. You may be ordered to wear a sobriety/drug monitor.
  8. You may be ordered to be registered and monitored by Global Positioning Satellites.
  9. You may be ordered to pay restitution to any victims of your crime.
  10. You may be ordered to stay away from any victims.
  11. You may be ordered to attend counseling, parenting classes, AA, anger management or be placed in-patient.
  12. You may have non-reporting probation or have supervised probation and be required to report weekly or monthly, in the discretion of the court.
  13. You may be required to provide random alcohol or drug samples at such frequency as directed by the court or probation agent.
  14. You will not be allowed to possess a firearm if you are convicted of a felony during your probation or thereafter. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a felony!

A criminal defense attorney should be proactive at the time of sentencing and attempt to minimize terms of probation where compliance is difficult or not appropriate. For example, a recent client needed to travel out of state for his employment. Our office made a request for out of state travel at the time of sentence. The Judge granted the request based upon our argument that the person needed minimal supervision and was not a flight or community risk.

Delivery Of Michigan Medical Marijuana By Unqualified Persons

November 16, 2010,

I think the Michigan Medical Marijuana laws will lead to the movement of marijuana by individuals who do not have any legal authority to handle the product. Under the circumstances, the attitude about marijuana has become relaxed; not by the police but by the public at large. The public is under the mistaken belief that the product is almost completely legal because of Michigan's medical marijuana law. There are numerous other Michigan and Federal drug laws on the books that do not protect you if you have marijuana in your possession or if you transfer it to another person.

It is my only understanding of the current Michigan medical marijuana law is that you cannot have it in your possession unless you are a qualified card carrying caregiver or patient! In my opinion, any other unqualified persons who transport, transfer or possess marijuana face prosecution for possession, intent to deliver or delivery! I think there will be incidental handlers of the product who do not have a Michigan medical marijuana card as a caregiver or a patient. For example, a caregiver may give marijuana to his friend (someone without qualifications as a caregiver or patient) to transport marijuana to a qualified patient . In my opinion, if this person gets caught with the product and the police can establish that the product was intended to be transferred to a third party, a charge and conviction for possession with intent to deliver can occur. There are already tens of thousands of persons who have obtained medical marijuana cards. There is no doubt that the qualified card holders are growing it and possessing it everywhere in Michigan. This large amount of legal marijuana product is bound to be moved around and get into the hands of individuals who are not legally allowed to possess or transport the product.