Recently, a Danielson, CT man was arrested on numerous drug charges following an investigation that stemmed from a leather jacket found on a bar stool at The Sports Page in November of last year. According to news reports, a routine bar check was being conducted by troopers from the Quality of Life Task Force of Connecticut State Police’s Troop D when the jacket was discovered. In it was 20 grams of crack cocaine prepackaged for sale according to police.

The discovery of the unclaimed leather jacket led to an investigation and subsequent application for an arrest warrant. The warrant was executed earlier this week; the suspect, Jude Abellard, was found at his apartment along with a substantial amount of drugs, cash, and drug paraphernalia. Troopers discovered a digital scale, packaging materials, $576 in cash, and 72 baggies of crack cocaine prepackaged for sale. News reports indicate the 42 grams of crack cocaine has an approximate street value of $4,200.

Abellard is now charged with one count of intent to sell crack cocaine, two counts of possession of crack cocaine, and operating a drug factory. As of last reports, the suspect was being held on $125,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court on February 9.

Abellard was arrested on heroin charges in September of 2014, charged with possession and possession with intent to sell after police discovered about 260 bags of heroin in his vehicle during a traffic stop.

Selling narcotic drugs is extremely serious, particularly when coupled with charges of operating a drug factory. When an individual has a prior drug conviction, the punishment he or she will face if found guilty of the current charges will likely be even more harsh.

In the state of Michigan, possession of crack cocaine in an amount less than 50 grams may result in up to four years in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both. However, when police and prosecutors are able to increase the charge from possession to possession with intent to deliver or distribute, the consequences are far more serious in terms of prison time, as less than 50 grams may result in up to 20 years behind bars.

Penalties differ in every state, however the punishment for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute is always serious, even life-changing. Loss of freedom, a criminal record, ruin of the defendant’s reputation and career – certain drug crimes can literally ruin a person’s life if convicted.

Illegal search and seizure, violation of a person’s legal rights – there are many factors that could result in certain evidence being inadmissible in court. Police make mistakes, which often works to the defendant’s advantage. Regardless of the seriousness of the crime a person has been accused of, it is essential to work with a seasoned Michigan drug crimes attorney who is focused on getting the best possible result, and not afraid to fight for your freedom.

On Saturday February 6, a 51-year-old Fultondale, AL man was pulled over for driving in an erratic manner. Joel Allan Sloan was wearing a clown costume when he was pulled over by a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy. Another motorist reportedly flagged down the deputy after noticing Sloan’s erratic driving.

Sloan was driving a red Ford SUV when the other motorist noticed he was weaving in and out of lanes. As the deputy approached to pull the suspect over, he noticed the vehicle crossing into the oncoming lane then back into his own lane.

According to news reports, Sloan did not explain to the deputy his reason for being dressed in full clown attire, but did say he had just been at a local restaurant where he had a few drinks. Authorities also found that Sloan had an outstanding felony warrant for first-degree theft of property. He was arrested and charged with DUI before being booked into the Jefferson County Jail. Sloan’s bond was set at $2,500.

Chief Deputy Randy Christian made the comment, “I would really like to have seen Otis when he woke up from an all-nighter with this clown sitting next to him in the cell.” Christian did go on to say that kidding aside, DUI is dangerous.

Michigan DUI attorneys know that driving under the influence is no laughing matter. In addition to possible jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, and other consequences, someone who is convicted of DUI will also have a criminal record. Depending on whether it is a first or subsequent DUI arrest, those found guilty may also face vehicle impoundment, required completion of an alcohol program, installment of an ignition interlock device, and more.

If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never take matters into your own hands. Work with an experienced Michigan DUI defense lawyer who has a proven track record and will work to protect your freedom, securing the best possible result in your case.

In December of last year, Michael Robert Young, 27 and a former supervisor at Aramark was found guilty of solicitation to commit assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Young, of Kincheloe, was recently sentenced and now faces up to five years in prison for the felony conviction.

According to news reports, Young was employed by Aramark at Kinross Correctional Facility when he allegedly solicited an inmate to assault another inmate who Young said was incarcerated for murdering one of his relatives. The inmate Young allegedly wanted to harm was located at a different correctional facility. An article at The Detroit News stated that Young gave the inmate the other inmate’s name, location, prisoner number, and other details.

State officials revealed in a statement that the inmate Young was attempting to solicit told the Michigan Department of Corrections about Young’s plot. Young was charged in May of 2015, and was sentenced this month.

Even though the assault was not carried out, this incident highlights how harsh sentencing can be in Michigan for those convicted of a criminal offense. Young was found guilty of soliciting to commit assault, and may now spend up to five years behind bars.

Those convicted face consequences that are far more damaging than prison time in many cases. Ruin of a person’s career and reputation, and a criminal record that may impact future employment, housing, and other aspects of an individual’s life are other repercussions of a criminal conviction.

If you have been arrested or charged with solicitation to commit assault or any other offense, it is vital to take action immediately to protect your legal rights and freedom. Speak with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney who will provide legal guidance and support, and fight vigorously to obtain the best possible result.

Recently, James Everett Dutschke, 45, filed an appeal in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to overturn the dismissal of prior appeals of his conviction in the Northern District of Mississippi. Currently, Dutschke is incarcerated in a Colorado federal prison, serving a 25 year sentence.

Dutschke, a former Tupelo martial arts instructor, pleaded guilty to four counts of sending ricin-tainted poisonous letters via mail to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and others. Dutschke allegedly used the plot to set up a man whom he had issues with, Paul Kevin Curtis. Curtis was an Elvis impersonator who was not in good standing with Dutschke. Curtis was initially arrested, however authorities determined it was Dutschke who had developed the scheme. Curtis later sued the U.S. Dept. of Justice for wrongful arrest.

Dutschke’s first attempt to have a federal court overturn the dismissal for his convictions was rejected in October of last year by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock. His latest appeal attempt includes a five-page hand-written document. Dutschke insists his request to overturn his 2014 conviction is not “frivolous” because of the fact he does not have any legal counsel or guidance to proceed through the court system properly.

Any attorney who is familiar with the criminal appeals process knows that it is in fact a complicated process, and legal guidance is imperative to reach the desired outcome. Even when a convicted offender does obtain legal counsel in going forward with an appeal, it still doesn’t guarantee a good result.

The appeals process is complex; even with a skilled criminal defense lawyer who has worked with countless defendants convicted of crimes in appealing a conviction or sentence, the odds of winning are low. It is rare that a panel of judges will come to a different conclusion than a lower court does, but it does happen on occasion. Mistakes do happen in the legal system, whether by prosecutors, police, judges, or even a jury. Appeals courts basically review (and closely scrutinize) the entire case in an effort to determine if errors were possibly made, the defendant’s legal rights violated in some way, etc.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been wrongfully convicted or unfairly sentenced, there are options. It is not the end of the road. Consult with a Michigan criminal appeals attorney who is highly experienced in post-conviction motions and appeals, and who will fight aggressively on your behalf.

On Saturday January 30, police in Bridgeport, CT executed a warrant which resulted in the arrest of a 30-year-old man as the city’s Violent Crime Reduction Task Force undertook a major drug and gun bust.

Police executed the warrant on Aldine Avenue, where they found what was described as an elaborate marijuana growing facility in the basement, complete with high intensity lamps, agriculture supplies, grow tents, and a mechanical irrigation and exhaust system. Jack Kelhoffer was arrested after police seized numerous drugs and substances including 23 bottles of anabolic steroids, 250 human growth hormone tablets, 85 marijuana plants, and more than 500 grams of harvested marijuana. Xanax tablets were also found on the property, along with 21 rifles and hand guns found in two safes.

Kelhoffer faces numerous drug-related charges including possession of marijuana over 4 ounces, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, cultivation of marijuana, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

When police arrived at the Bridgeport home, Kelhoffer refused to open the door; police breached the door and found the suspect standing in a kitchen/living room area, where a loaded Glock semi-automatic handgun lay on a nearby table. There was no word on whether Kelhoffer faces any charges related to the guns.

Cultivating marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell are serious allegations. In Michigan, those who face cultivation charges for possessing marijuana plants will face a minimum jail sentence of four years, along with fines of as much as $20,000. However, an individual may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and/or $10 million in fines depending on the number of plants in his or her possession.

Additionally, those in Michigan who are charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver (or sell) involving between 20 and 200 marijuana plants will face a maximum of 7 years in jail along with fines of up to $500,000. Other factors including criminal history, where the crime took place, whether firearms were present, etc. may result in enhanced penalties.

Regardless of how hopeless the situation seems to be, a seasoned Michigan drug crimes attorney will protect your legal rights, thoroughly investigate the charges against you, and prevent prosecutors and police from using common tactics that make matters even worse. There are effective defense strategies that may be developed to protect your freedom and reputation. Do not face criminal charges without the guidance and support of a skilled defense lawyer.

On Saturday afternoon January 30, a Delray Beach man reportedly plowed through seven vehicles on Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach as they were stopped at a red light. According to news reports, 47-year-old James Dean Martin was driving under the influence when the incident occurred.

Martin allegedly attempted to navigate his Ford pick-up between two lanes of traffic that were stopped at the light; Boynton Beach police were called to the intersection after witnesses reported the incident. Police charged Martin with DUI and driving on a suspended license. He was transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.

None of the motorists were injured in the incident, however spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said victims and witnesses had to detain Martin until police arrived on the scene.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense that will leave those convicted facing possible jail time, community service, fines, a criminal record, driver’s license suspension, and more. In Michigan, a first DUI offense may result in jail time of up to 93 days, fines of up to $500, possible ignition interlock device during probation, and other consequences.

In most states the legal BAC limit is .08 percent; those who have a blood alcohol concentration of greater than this may face DUI charges. However, devices used to measure BAC do not always function properly. There are other factors that can skew the results of a breath test, including some medications. Police make mistakes is some cases. There are many variables when it comes to drunk driving charges which can impact whether an individual should plead guilty or go to trial and fight the charges.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, never answer questions asked by police without first consulting with a skilled Michigan DUI attorney. Just because you have been charged does not mean you are automatically guilty; in fact, you are innocent until proven guilty. Protect your freedom and legal rights by contacting a defense lawyer immediately.

For five months, authorities in Louisiana had been searching for a suspect in an attempted murder case. On Tuesday January 26, 29-year-old Curtis Obraine Scott was spotted by a Muskegon police officer as he walked down Allen Avenue, according to news reports. Scott has now been arrested, more than 1,000 miles from Ferriday, Louisiana where the alleged attempted murder took place last August. 

Scott had been at a nightclub in Ferriday, where Darren Curry and his girlfriend had also been. Curry had reportedly become involved in a fight with Scott and two other men, and left the bar with his girlfriend. As they were heading home in Curry’s vehicle, someone yelled which got his attention. He saw the three men, and shots rang out. Curry claimed to have heard five shots, one of which struck him in the side according to a Ferriday police officer’s affidavit. Police said two of the bullets landed on the passenger seat while three penetrated Curry’s vehicle.

Scott’s girlfriend reportedly has family in Michigan, according to a Ferriday police dispatcher. His location was tracked through credit card use. At last news reports, Scott was awaiting extradition to Louisiana where he will face two counts of attempted second-degree murder. He was arrested without incident, and held in the Muskegon County Jail.

While Scott faces criminal charges in Louisiana, the crime of assault with intent to commit murder (attempted murder) in Michigan is very serious. According to the Michigan Penal Code 750.83, those who are convicted of assault with intent to commit murder may be sentenced to any number of years in prison, including life behind bars.

Regardless of how serious a crime someone is charged with, it is vital to seek out competent legal representation. Even in attempted murder or murder cases, the defendant has legal rights. Police may make mistakes in their handling of the case, and are relentless when it comes to interrogation, often making statements that aren’t true in order to get a suspect to incriminate him- or herself, or even admit to a crime he or she did not commit. There are legal options that may be considered in order to mitigate the damage to the accused person’s life and future.

When charged with attempted murder, it is crucial to work with a Michigan criminal defense lawyer who is experienced, skilled, and who has a proven track record for outstanding results. When your freedom is in jeopardy and you potentially face decades or life in prison, choose who will defend you very carefully.

Recently, 33-year-old Christina Deam was pulled over by a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy in Arkansas for allegedly driving 63 mph in a 55 mph zone on U.S. 79. As a result of the traffic stop, Deam now faces drug charges.

According to news reports, Deam was initially taken into custody on two misdemeanor warrants. A probable cause affidavit revealed that Deputy James Hoffman performed the traffic stop, and Deam admitted she did not have a driver’s license. A passenger in the vehicle with Deam also did not have a license; after running a records check, Hoffman found both had warrants. Deam and her passenger were arrested.

After conducting an air sniff of Deam’s car with the assistance of Hoffman’s K-9 partner in which the dog alerted on the driver’s side door, a clear plastic bag of what was believed to be cocaine was found in the door pocket. Suspected cocaine was also found in Deam’s handbag, along with a clear straw containing residue of suspected cocaine. The State Crime Lab will perform an analysis to determine if all of the materials found in the handbag and vehicle are indeed cocaine, however Deam denied any knowledge of it.

While Deam was initially taken into custody on misdemeanor warrants, prosecutors now have probable cause to charge her with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Her bond was set at $10,000.

Possession of cocaine with intent to deliver is a serious charge. While news reports did not mention the amount of cocaine involved, less than two grams is considered a Class C felony in Arkansas which may result in penalties which include fines of up to $10,000 and three to 10 years in prison. The higher the quantity involved, the more harsh the penalties.

In the state of Michigan, possession of any amount of cocaine up to 50 grams with intent to sell or deliver the drug will result in punishment that includes fines of as much as $25,000 and/or a maximum of 20 years in prison. Factors that may affect sentencing include prior criminal history, the facts of the case (whether the offense took place in close proximity of a school, church, park, home, etc.) and other factors. The type and amount of substance involved is one of the biggest factors that impact sentencing.

Anyone who has been arrested or is under investigation for a drug offense whether simple possession, possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing, cultivating, or distribution should consult with an aggressive Michigan drug crime attorney right away. It is critical that your legal rights are protected and the charges investigated to determine whether mistakes may have been made by police, or your rights violated. Ultimately, the goal of your defense lawyer is to have charges dismissed or reduced, or to secure an acquittal at trial so the damage to your life is reduced.

On Sunday evening, a sheriff’s deputy was marking a DUI arrest in Hillsborough County when his parked patrol car was struck by a car driven by an impaired driver. News reports say the incident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. in Tampa. The driver of the vehicle who sideswiped the patrol car, 49–year-old Todd M. Casey, kept going. Deputies did catch up with Casey.

Sheriff’s deputies were in the process of arresting 36-year-old Michael Probst when the incident occurred. When deputies did apprehend Casey, they noticed his speed was slurred, that he smelled of alcohol, and had red, glassy eyes. Upon administering breath tests, it was found that Casey’s BAC (blood alcohol content) registered .181 percent on one test and .196 percent on another. In Florida, the legal limit is .08 percent, therefore Casey’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit.

Casey was cited for not moving over when passing an emergency vehicle; he was charged with DUI with property damage.

In the state of Michigan, anyone with a blood alcohol concentration of .17 percent or higher may be charged with Super Drunk driving. The Super Drunk law went into effect on October 31 of 2010 in an effort to deter drunk driving, and leaves those convicted facing stiffer penalties than those for a “standard” drunk driving offense. The Super Drunk law applies to first-time offenders, and may result in penalties that include required attendance of an alcohol treatment program, up to six months in jail, driver’s license suspension for 45 days followed by restricted driving for 320 days, community service, and more.

A Super Drunk conviction also has other negative consequences including a criminal record, and possibly higher car insurance rates. Those with a criminal record often find it difficult to secure employment, housing, even financing, and may have points assigned to their driver’s license. When property damage is involved such as in the case above, the offender may face even harsher punishment, or possibly a civil lawsuit filed by the property owner. Each case differs.

Regardless of the details of your case, consulting with an experienced Michigan DUI lawyer is critical to good results. Your attorney will fight for your freedom, work to have charges dismissed or reduced, and protect your legal rights in an effort to obtain the best possible outcome. Never plead guilty to driving under the influence without first talking with a defense lawyer.

Recently, United States Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced in a Department of Justice press release that Gregory Claxton, a resident of Kentwood, pleaded guilty to evading the payment of federal income taxes to the IRS for the years 2006 through 2012. According to the release, Claxton willfully evaded paying nearly $149,000 in taxes by placing property and money in the names of other individuals. He will now be required to pay more than $200,000 in restitution to the IRS, which includes interest along with $250,000 in fines; he also faces up to five years in prison.

Until 2000, Claxton was a certified public accountant according to court records. He was operating a tax preparation business for clients at the time he was investigated and found to be evading payment of taxes. Claxton transferred the deed of his home to a trust in his wife’s name, and also deposited money from his business into his wife’s bank accounts in order to make it appear he did not have the money to pay the taxes owed. Claxton met with the IRS to discuss the outstanding tax debt, and admitted transferring the deed of his house just two days earlier.

Those involved in the investigation include Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation and other IRS special agents. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sally J. Berens prosecuted the case.

As with other crimes, the consequences for those who commit tax evasion, fraud, and other white collar crimes are serious and may include prison time, substantial fines, a criminal record, and more. In most cases, those who accept a plea agreement face punishment that is less severe than the sentence they would likely have faced had their case gone to trial. Additionally, individuals who file false tax returns are often subject to addition criminal charges, such as perjury.

The IRS performs random audits every year, usually without the individual’s knowledge. When a discrepancy exists in a tax return, it usually results in a “red flag;” in this case, an IRS agent will personally perform an audit on a return. When a case involving tax fraud is prosecuted at the federal level, very specific elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. One of these elements is that the individual committed tax evasion or fraud knowingly, or willfully – in other words, it was not an accident or case in which the individual simply made a mistake.

Anyone who is being investigated by the IRS or who has been charged with tax fraud or any white collar crime must work with a competent Michigan criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in these types of cases. There are occasions on which it is best to plead guilty; your lawyer can advise you regarding all of your legal options and provide the legal support you need for the best possible result.