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Detroit Criminal Law Blog

Marihuana is (basically) legal

Last year, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, which legalized the recreational use of marihuana. Many believe this means they are free to use marihuana howmarihuana photo.jpg they please, but you should know that there are restrictions on its use, and you can face serious consequences if you break the law. First, legal use of marihuana only applies to individuals over 21. If you are 21, you can carry up to 2.5 ounces in public and keep up to 10 ounces in your home. This law frees up law enforcement from policing small possession cases. You might be able to go to establishments that solely have marihuana for social purposes. If organizers allow, you might be able to smoke during festivals and other special events. Business will be able to apply for license applications beginning November 1, 2019. These businesses could even give you the option of delivering marihuana to your home. However, marihuana is still considered a drug. If you use marihuana before driving/operating a vehicle, you can be charged with operating under the influence. If you possess more than the legal limit, you can face a larger possession charge. If the feds make your situation their business, you could face federal charges because there is no such thing as "legal marihuana" under federal law.

The First Step Act: Criminal Justice Reform

In the Justice System, 1.5 million prisoners were held in United States correctional facilities at the federal and state level. President Trump signed the First Step Act in December of 2018. The Act aims to provide rehabilitative and transitional services to reduce the rate of recidivism in federal prisoners and better provide for the prisoners' needs. In addition, the Act provides for lighter sentencing guidelines in order to prevent disproportionate sentencing. Indeed, the State of Michigan has already experienced success in achieving this goal when it expanded prison reform efforts to include job training and other services in 2005.

Don't Hide

Something as simple as a traffic ticket can land you in jail if you fail to appear in court. Arrests that stem from failures to appear in court typically come fromThumbnail image for warrant image.jpg bench warrants. Bench warrants are issued by judges. Bench warrants allow officers to arrest you upon contact. It is used to make sure you appear in court. Be careful. If a bench warrant is issued for your arrest, it can be unlikely that you will be released on bail because you are considered a flight risk.

Michigan's Sex Offender Registry to Change

Did you know Michigan's sex offender registry law was ruled unconstitutional in August 2016? Michigan's Sex Offender Registry is a database containing thesex offender registry.jpg names, addresses, and offense(s) of everyone in Michigan convicted of certain sexual offenses. This information is made available to the public. Offenders are classified into one of three "tiers," which is determined by the offense or the number of offenses. The tier determines how long a person remains in the registry.

Protecting Your Rights - Know The Rules Before You Fish

July, 2019 - Protecting your rights never takes a vacation, even during the middle of a Michigan summer. Here at the Law Office of John Freeman, summer fishing is a part of the norm. Whether it is an afternoon trolling night-crawlers on the St. Clair River for Walleye, using wax worms to clobber monster Bluegill in Ohio, heading to Florida in search of salt-water sail fish, or remembering a giant lake trout caught through the ice in January, it is always important to be aware of your rights and to protect them.

Be Careful: Social Media Can Cause Trouble

As technology advances, more social media platforms are created. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are just a few of the platforms that mostThumbnail image for social media image.jpg people are using. You use them to post pictures and statuses about your life while also being able to comment on the posts of others. Be careful what you post, especially if it contains illegal activity. Law enforcement agencies are using social media to track down and identify criminals.

Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA)

Some criminal matters arise out of youthful mistakes. In Michigan, you will be charged as an adult for crimes committed at age 17 and older. Michigan'steens photo.jpg legislature recognizes the underdeveloped youthful brain and has offered an approach to help young offenders avoid having a criminal record through the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA).

Can the Government Steal Your Property?

In 2017, more than 700 people -11% of all civil forfeitures- had property forfeited to Michigan law enforcement agencies without being charged with a crime. More than 200 defendants were charged and found not guilty, but the government still kept their assets. Some consider such government overreach a form of stealing.

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Law Office of John Freeman

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