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In Michigan, First Degree Child Abuse is a very serious offense.  According to Michigan Compiled Law 750.136b(2) it carries a possible penalty of life in prison or any term of years.  There are 3 elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial for a conviction to occur:  (1) the Defendant, (2) knowingly or intentionally, (3) causes serious physical or mental harm to a child.  See People v Gould, 225 Mich App 79 (1997) and Michigan Compiled Law 750.136b(2).

The above referenced elements have specific legal definitions.  The phrase “knowingly or intentionally” requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant intended to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child through the Defendant’s act, or that a Defendant knew that serious mental or physical harm would be caused by the Defendant’s act.   “[I]t must be shown that the Defendant intended to harm the child, not merely that the Defendant engaged in conduct that caused harm.” People v. Gould, 225 Mich App 79 (1997).

The terms “serious physical harm” and “serious mental harm” also have specific meanings that are defined by Michigan law.  According to Michigan Compiled Law 750.136b(1)(f) serious physical harm means any physical injury to a child that seriously impairs the child’s health or physical well-being, including, but not limited to, brain damage, a skull or bone fracture, subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, dislocation, sprain, internal injury, poisoning, burn or scald, or severe cut.   Michigan Compiled Law 750.136b(1)(g) defines serious  mental harm as an injury to the child’s mental condition or welfare that is not necessarily permanent.  The mental harm results in visibly demonstrable manifestations of a substantial disorder of thought or mood which significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or the ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.  In Child Abuse First Degree trials the prosecution often tries to prove this element through the testimony of an expert witness (psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.).

If you are accused of a crime and are not a citizen of the United States a criminal conviction can have negative immigration repercussions.  What type of immigration impact can be influenced by a number of factors.  The following is a partial list of items that may play a role in the ultimate outcome when it comes to immigration:

  1. The conviction type.  Certain types of immigration convictions can subject a person to deportation (removal from the United States) and/or inadmissibility (the inability to reenter the United States if the alien leaves and tries to return).  It also may subject an alien to mandatory detention.  There are certain crimes that are classified in certain manners for immigration purposes (for example: Crimes of Violence; Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude); Aggravated felonies; Prostitution, etc., etc.)
  2. The alien’s status in the country.  The alien’s as undocumented, on a visa, or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), can have a bearing on the immigration consequence and the forms of relief that may be available;

Carrying a concealed weapon in Michigan is a felony offense that carries up to 5 years in prison, up to $2500 in fines, possible probation/parole with conditions, and forfeiture of the weapon.  A conviction for the same can affect your ability to lawfully purchase and/or possess firearms.  This crime can also be prosecuted as a federal law violation depending on the circumstances.

In many accusations concerning carrying a concealed weapon the accusation begins with a traffic stop.  The car is stopped for some sort of traffic violation such as speeding, defective equipment, a bad license plate, etc..  The police officer approaches and asks the driver for his or her name, registration and proof of insurance.  During the stop a search of the vehicle occurs due to the driver’s consent, the officer seeing in plain view some sort of contraband, smelling the odor of marijuana, a search incident to an arrest (driving on a suspended license, an active warrant, open intoxicants in the motor vehicle, etc.) etc..  During the course of the search a weapon is discovered.

What happens next?

  • The information in this blog is not a substitute for seeking the legal opinion and/or legal representation of an experienced immigration lawyer who is fully aware of lawful permanent resident’s background and personal circumstances.  Immigration law is prone to frequent changes in the law that can affect the validity of the information provided herein.  For any immigration law issue I recommend attorney Sufen Hilf of the law firm Hilf & Hilf, PLC.

With the increasing legalization by States for marijuana there is a false perception that Federal law is also more tolerant.  The federal penalty for possession of marijuana (as a first time marijuana conviction only) is a misdemeanor with up to 1 year of incarceration and a maximum fine of $1000.  The federal penalty for selling or distributing less than 50 kilograms of marijuana is a felony that carries up to 5 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $250,000.  At the time of this blog marijuana is classified under Federal law as a schedule 1 substance.

Immigration law is similarly in opposition to marijuana use, possession, distribution, sales, or cultivation.  Moreover, any sort of a diversionary sentence in State court in which the alien pled guilty before a Judge is still viewed as as a conviction.  It does not matter if the State considers the conviction as expunged, sealed, or not entered into a public record.

Twelve Oaks Mall is a popular shopping destination due to its collection of great stores. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, the Apple Store, and Lululemon Athletica,  and Victoria’s Secret are a few of it’s most sought after destinations.  One of the issues that Twelve Oaks and its merchants deal with on a daily basis is shoplifting (also called retail fraud or retail theft) and employee theft (also called embezzlement).

Twelve Oaks Mall has mall security, close circuit court, and a working relationship with Novi Police to protect its tenants.  The prosecution of shoplifters and people who embezzle money and merchandise is intended to serve as a deterrent for repeated thefts and the public at large.

How are people caught committing theft offenses?

Michigan has a regulatory scheme concerning firearms that places great limitations on how local governments are able to enforce alleged firearms violations.  Michigan Compiled Law 123.1102 states that “[a] local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state”.  This means that local governments are not allowed to enact laws concerning firearms and pneumatic guns (bb guns or pellet guns), unless they are specifically allowed to under federal and/or state Law.  The legal term for this practice is “preemption”.  The doctrine of preemption is also supported by Michigan Court interpretation of the law (See Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners v. City of Ferndale, 256 Mich App 401 (2003)).

There are a few exceptions to preemption under state law that are contained in Michigan Compiled Law 123.1103.  The local government is allowed to prohibit or regulate conduct that is a criminal offense in Michigan under state law.  This means that local governments are allowed to adopt the language of state laws or state codes and enforce those codes.  The local governments cannot adopt their own prohibitions that differ from state law (See MCL 123.1103(b)).

The state also allows local governments from preventing local government employees from transporting, carrying, and/or possessing pistols, firearms, and/or pneumatic guns in the course of their employment.  In Michigan, local governments can also place restrictions on persons below the age of 16 from carrying pneumatic guns in public (See MCL 123.1103(c)).

Sometimes there is a need to hire a lawyer for purposes of a jail visit or a prison visit.  Reasons to hire a lawyer for a jail visit include the following:

  1.  Family and friends are concerned because they are unable to obtain information.  Someone incarcerated is often isolated, without the immediate ability to communicate with the outside world;
  2. The family and friends want to show the person who is incarcerated that they are loved and supported;

An accusation of probation violation will result in a court date with the Judge who sentenced you or the Judge who is now in charge of your original Judge’s docket.  Probation violations are often treated seriously by Judges for a number of reasons, including: protecting the integrity of the judicial system, protection of the community, deterring others from violating probation, deterring the probationer from reoffending, and the need to rehabilitate the offender.

Whether or not the probation violation will result in a jail or prison sentence depends upon a number of factors:

  1.  Did the probationer actually violate his or her probation?  The probationer has the right to a contested hearing before the Judge assigned to the case.  At that hearing the probationer is presumed innocent, and it is up to the prosecution to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (that it is more likely than not true that he or she violated his or her probation).  The probationer has the right to be represented by a lawyer.  The probationer has the right to cross examine witnesses, and subpoena witnesses.  The probationer can choose to testify or remain silence and not have the silence considered against the probationer in any way.  If the probation violation cannot be proven, the probationer has the right to continue on probation.

The Troy District Court is located at 520 W. Big Beaver Road in the City of Troy, Michigan.  This Court is also known as the 52/4th District Court.

For the assistance of a lawyer concerning all felony, misdemeanor, and traffic tickets, it is advisable to contact local attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm Hilf & Hilf, PLC.  Hilf & Hilf, PLC is located at 1775 W. Big Beaver Road, which is approximately half a mile west of the court house, on the south (eastbound traffic) side of W. Big Beaver Road.  The telephone number for Hilf & Hilf, PLC is 248-792-2590.

52/4 Troy District Court Search Instructions

In many criminal cases the best option is to try and work out a deal and cut your losses.  The question arises as to how a deal can be reached.  Obviously, the person making the request is your lawyer.  If you don’t have a lawyer it is best to obtain the services of an experienced criminal lawyer such as attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf PLC.  Anything that you say can in and outside of court concerning your case can potentially be used against you.  An experienced lawyer is in the best position to negotiate on your behalf.

What steps should the lawyer take in trying to obtain a plea bargain, diversion, or sentence agreement?

First, the lawyer needs to learn everything about the case through investigation.  Before any attempt to resolve the case takes place the lawyer needs to know what the evidence is and what information the prosecution has.  The lawyer can obtain information by making a discovery demand with the prosecution or a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request.  Discovery materials typically include the following: the names and addresses of witnesses; written or recorded statements; the curriculum vitae of an expert the prosecution may call at trial along with a report or written description of the expert’s proposed testimony; criminal records that the prosecution intends to use to impeach witnesses; a description of and an opportunity to inspect any tangible physical evidence that the prosecution may introduce at trial; any exculpatory information or evidence; any police report and interrogation records concerning the case; any written or recorded statements of the Defendant, a co-Defendant, and/or an accomplice; any affidavit for search warrant, search warrant, and return pertaining to a search and seizure in connection with the case; and any plea agreement, grant of immunity, or other agreement for testimony in connection with the case.