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Detroit Criminal Law Blog

The Trial Penalty

In 2016, 97.3% of defendants in the federal criminal justice system conceded guilt. This means that less than 3% of defendants exercised their constitutional right to trial. The vast majority of a criminal defense attorney's time is dedicated to plea bargaining - we negotiate with prosecutors to reach an acceptable outcome for clients. Plea negotiations are an important tool for defendants. However, when a defendant wishes to go to trial, is he or she punished for doing so?

The "trial penalty" is the discrepancy between the sentence offered during plea negotiations and the sentence a defendant faces after trial. Often, defendants going to trial will receive a much harsher sentence compared to what the sentence might have been following a guilty plea. In 2015, in most primary offense categories, the average post-trial sentence a defendant received was more than triple the average post-plea sentence. A majority of the time it is in the defendant's best interest to accept a plea. But it is fundamentally unfair that contesting evidence and maintaining innocence results in a harsher sentence.

The Justice System: More Federal Prosecutors On the Way

AAAA5649 (2).jpgIn The Justice System, the federal government  recently announced that it will be adding approximately 300 Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) nationwide. This increase marks the largest in decades. The government intends to increase resources to combat violent crime, enforce immigration laws, and help address the devastating opioid crisis.

Narcotics and Drugs: The Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis.jpgPoliticians speak frequently about Narcotics and Drugs. Recently, the Trump administration rolled out a plan to combat the opioid crisis, which includes increased funding for Medicaid recipients struggling with addiction and testing for opioids in prisons to direct people towards treatment centers. Also among these measures is a plan to subject some drug cases to the death penalty. No matter where one stands on these efforts, the first question should be: how effective will these measures be?

The Justice System Under Attack: The Attorney - Client Privilege

attack.pngAttorney Client Privilege.jpgThe attorney-client privilege in The Justice System, which ensures that a client can honestly communicate with an attorney in seeking advice and aid, is a cornerstone of the U.S. legal system. The privilege generally prevents an attorney from being compelled or even voluntarily disclosing information conveyed in confidence by a client for the purpose of seeking legal counsel.

Police & You: No You May NOT Search

Search & Seizure.jpgWhen it comes to the Police & You, one of the most important of all rights guaranteed in the Constitution's Bill of Rights is the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But what exactly is the scope of your rights under the Fourth Amendment, and how much authority does it leave police officers to perform their jobs?

Animal Cruelty in The Justice System

report-animal-cruelty.pngIn The Justice System, often Animal Cruelty cases evoke more outrage among the general public than a child abuse case. And, for anyone that has owned a pet, it's not difficult to understand why. Not only are pets seen as part of the family, but some pet owners even go as far as to give pets birthday and Christmas presents. Annually, owners spend more than $50 billion on pet care, presents, and even professional photos. Today, more than two thirds of American households own pets, and that number is on the rise.

Teenage and Juvenile Crime: CHANGES IN THE MIP LAW

When it comes to Teenage and Juvenile Crime, the list has gotten shorter.  Michigan minors who occasionally sneak an alcoholic drink have caught a break. I previously posted about the new legislation that was, at the time, sent to Gov. Snyder's desk that would reduce a first MIP down to a civil infraction. As a civil infraction, the penalty for a first MIP would be a $100 fine. Gov. Snyder signed bills 332 and 333 at the end of 2017 and they take effect this year.

2017 Deer Opener & The Justice System

buck-istock-twildlife.jpgDon't forget about The Justice System with the firearms opener of 2017's deer season just days away.  Remember that the laws governing hunting will be vigorously enforced. Year after year, I take on clients who are charged with a variety of offenses by Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers. These officers, who possess wide-ranging authority, have power to investigate and arrest for not only wildlife and hunting offenses, but also for all violations of law. Some say their authority exceeds that of a Michigan State Police Trooper.

Self Defense & Guns: Constitutional Carry Hold-Up

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Concealed-carry.jpgWhen it comes to Self Defense & Guns, I support the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, MCRGO.  The text below comes from their latest e-news.  I encourage all of you that are interested in Self Defense & Guns to visit their website.   

DRUNK DRIVING INCLUDES DRUGS

drunk driving.pngIt seems that drunk driving is a problem for any place with alcohol and roads, which means most of America. After years of a concerted effort by local, state, and even federal law enforcement agencies, community groups, educational organizations and ad agencies, drunk driving is currently on the decline in Michigan. As a result, drunk driving deaths are also on the decline. However, there is a new epidemic rearing its head on Michigan roads: drugged driving.

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For an initial consultation at the Law Office of John Freeman, call 866-720-3708 toll free or send us an email. In an emergency, call 248-918-0790 at any time of day or night.

From offices in Troy, Michigan, we represent clients in all federal and state courts in the greater Detroit area, throughout all of Michigan, and the United States.

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Law Office of John Freeman

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Suite 270
Troy, MI 48083

Toll Free: 866-720-3708
Phone: 248-918-0790
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