August was a good month for white collar crime clients of the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC. In Monroe County, a client's felony embezzlement charges were dismissed when the Circuit Court granted Mr. Freeman's motion to quash the information. In agreeing with Mr. Freeman's motion, the Circuit Court judge found that the prosecutor's evidence at the preliminary examination failed to demonstrate probable cause that the client committed a crime. Therefore, the District Court judge abused his discretion in binding the case over to the Circuit Court.
Financial debt to the justice system not only impacts your credit, but now it can lead to jail time. Michigan cities and towns are now turning to what is commonly known as user fees. These fees, unlike fines that are meant to punish, are intended to raise revenue for cities and towns. The problem arises when individuals who are responsible for a simple traffic offense cannot pay and are burdened with late fees, interest, and other charges that result in suspended licenses and damaged credit. Now, not only does the individual need to come up with more money, but they have lost their ability to drive their vehicle to a job or find housing due to bad credit.
Last week, Mr. Freeman helped a client walk out of Oakland County Circuit Court with his family instead of potentially facing months incarcerated. The client was charged with home invasion and the prosecution requested jail time. Mr. Freeman convinced the Judge to agree to give the client a chance to prove himself and sentenced the client under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). HYTA is a program that gives a defendant an opportunity to prove to the court that he does not deserve to have a criminal record. HYTA is available for defendants 17 to 20 years of age, and for charges that do not carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, major controlled substance offenses, or traffic offenses.