A field of law that has become a topic of immigration proceedings of late is Neglect and Abuse cases. Neglect and Abuse (NA) cases have a lower burden than that of criminal matters, but the consequences can be extremely severe for those that are not American citizens. To discuss this matter, we spoke to several of the top lawyers in the state of Michigan.

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and runs what is considered by many as the top criminal defense firm across the state of Michigan. Grabel spoke of the topic when he stated, “When a CPS Petition is followed it is often accompanied by the criminal complaint. For the average citizen, one goal is to try to avoid the criminal component while preserving one’s constitutional right to parent. With those that are not American citizens, the stakes are much higher as a successful petition can lead to removal proceedings. criminal-justice-attorney-300x225

Megan Smith is an Associate for Grabel and Associates and Tanis Schultz. Smith is known as a top criminal defense lawyer in Kent County and added her insight to this topic. Smith stated, “People often feel the need to fight for their right to parenting and they certainly should. With that stated, we must get creative on these cases. The rules of evidence are relaxed, and a termination of parental rights can lead to criminal charges and removal proceedings.”

Inchoate crimes are criminal charges that often get overlooked in the criminal justice system but can lead to serious consequences. An inchoate offense is a type of crime that is committed by taking a punishable step towards the commission of another crime. To learn more about this topic, we spoke to several of the top criminal defense lawyers across the state of Michigan.

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and created what is considered by many the top criminal defense firm across the state of Michigan. Grabel spoke on the topic when he said, “The three basic inchoate offenses are attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy. The crime allegedly intended is referred to as the target or principal offense can carry more severe consequences, but the case can be brought through the inchoate aspect.” iStock_000025943007_XXXLarge-2-300x200

Megan Smith is an Associate for Grabel and Associates and Tanis Schultz. Smith is known as a top criminal defense lawyer in Kent County and added her insight to this topic. Smith stated, “We learn when studying for the Michigan Bar Exam that the term attempt means incomplete but that is deceptive. The concept of attempt lends to the argument of the substantial step. In essence, we must argue whether the step towards the failed crime presents enough to charge the inchoate crime.”

One crime that has drawn legislative ire of late is Carrying a Concealed Weapon (MCL 750.227 (2). Carrying a concealed weapon which is often referred to as a CCW is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Michigan does have a concealed pistol license (‘CPL’) law that allows individuals to carry a firearm if they meet the statutory requirements. While the 5-year felony is often worse than it may sound, one issue is the situation of immigration consequences. To discuss this matter in greater detail, we spoke to a few the top criminal defense lawyers in the state of Michigan. iStock_000008551433_Large-2-300x200

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and created what is considered by many the top criminal defense firm across the state of Michigan. Grabel spoke on the topic when he said, “CCW can generally equate to a probationary sentence but if someone is not an American citizen, we must be cautious in negotiations. A starting point is that the charge is generally not considered a crime of moral turpitude but there is no exact framework on this issue. A plea of no jail may sound appealing but not if it leads to deportation.”

Megan Smith is an Associate for Grabel and Associates and Tanis Schultz. Smith is known as a top criminal defense lawyer in Kent County and added her insight to this topic. Smith stated, “Some counties can view a CCW as an aggravated felony. When someone is here on a student visa or the like that can create a scenario where you should try the case as opposed to taking a sure thing with a plea. A certain plea on the criminal aspect can lead to uncertainty on the immigration front.”

One crime that often gets overlooked when it comes to immigration purposes and criminal scoring guidelines is “Accessory After the Fact.” On its face the crime appears to be an afterthought in the criminal justice system. However, there are severe consequences that could include a stay at the Michigan Department of Corrections, county jail and even deportation.

The seminal case for “Accessory After the Fact” is People v Luca, 402 Mich 302, 304; 262 NW2d 662 (1978). In Luca, the court defines the crime as “one who, with knowledge of the other’s guilt, renders assistance to a felon in the effort to hinder his detection, arrest, trial or punishment.” While the crime has always effected incarceration, more recently the charge has led to have severe immigration consequences. To discuss this matter at length, we obtained commentary from several of the top attorneys in Michigan. 68916_law_education_series_2-300x225

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and has put together a team that is considered amongst the best criminal defense firms in the state of Michigan. When speaking of the immigration consequences, Grabel stated, “The first thing we must review is whether this is considered a crime of moral turpitude. Crimes of moral turpitude will almost always trigger immigration consequences. This charge is a gray area because it is deemed an inchoate crime and we would have to examine the principal charge to see where we stand.”

For years, a DUI was one of the only convictions you could not expunge in Michigan. Manslaughter, for example, could be expunged, but not DUI. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

Michigan lawmakers agreed. Effective February 19, 2022, the law was changed to allow for expungement of a first offense DUI. The new law covers most garden variety DUI offenses, including operating while visibly impaired, operating while intoxicated, operating with the presence of a controlled substance, operating with a high BAC (“Superdrunk”), and minor with a BAC (“Zero tolerance”). But more serious DUI offenses cannot be expunged even if they were a first offense. This includes operating a commercial vehicle while intoxicated, operating while intoxicated with a child (“Child endangerment”), operating while intoxicated causing serious impairment of a bodily function, and operating while intoxicated causing death. iStock_000002709890_Large-2-300x200

Only a first DUI conviction can be expunged. Any second- or third- offense convictions cannot be expunged. And you can only ever have one DUI expunged. So, for example, if you were convicted of DUI, got it expunged, and then picked up another DUI, the second DUI (although treated as a “first” offense for other purposes) cannot be expunged.

Original Case Details

A woman was charged with operating while intoxicated with a child as a passenger and open container in a vehicle after a police officer pulled her over. The main issue in this case is how the police officer came to pull the woman over in the first place. A police officer was informed by dispatch that a 911 call was made regarding a woman who was being loud and obnoxious. The caller stated that the woman appeared to be intoxicated and was yelling at her children. The caller gave the vehicle’s make, model, color, as well as license plate number. iStock_000006220072_Double-2-300x200

Within 30 minutes of the call, the officer saw a vehicle that matched the description given over the phone. The officer followed the vehicle for a bit and did not observe any illegal activity or driving infractions but pulled the vehicle over anyways. He did this “based strictly on the information” received from the 911 call. The woman was subsequently arrested and charged. She moved for a dismissal stating that the stop was unlawful.

Original Case Details

The defendant in this case was convicted at trial of armed robbery. This conviction occurred after two previous trials that both ended in mistrials due to hung juries. According to court records, in early August 2016, a man went for a walk and met a woman on the street. They talked and he invited her back to his house. At the house, the woman offered to perform sexual acts on the man for $50. The man agreed and opened a safe containing $4,200 in cash and other valuables and pulled out a $50 for the woman, telling her he would give it to her after the night was over. The woman then called a drug dealer to come over and sell her and the man drugs. The defendant then allegedly came over later and sold them crack cocaine and left. Later, the defendant allegedly returned with a gun and stole the man’s safe. iStock_000008551433_Large-2-300x200

About a week after this, a detective got a warrant to search the defendant’s property for evidence related to separate criminal allegations of drug trafficking. Upon executing the warrant, the police seized the defendant’s phone. The phone’s data was extracted and categorized, resulting in a 600-page report on the defendant’s phone. Evidence related to drug trafficking was searched. The phone was later searched again when the prosecutor in the armed robbery case asked the police to search the report using different search terms related only to the armed robbery case. Using information gained from the search of the phone information, the prosecutor was able to get a conviction at the third trial. This resulted in a sentence of 25-60 years in prison.

Original Case Information

This case originally started as an assault & battery case charged against the defendant, Michael Thue. The apparent story is that Thue committed his crime in an act of road rage. Thue pled guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to one year of probation by a Traverse City District Court judge. One of the conditions of Thue’s probation was that he does not use marijuana, including medical marijuana. Because of an accident in his youth, Thue has a rod inserted in his arm that causes him pain. To alleviate this pain, Thue became a registered patient under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) prior to his current assault & battery case. As a registered MMMA patient, Thue is entitled to certain protections from police, prosecutors, and courts. The protections that registered MMMA patients are entitled to relating to the possession and use of medical marijuana include:Medical-Marijuana-MI-Voters-Say-Yes-MDCH-Says-Not-Yet-Pic-300x225

• Protection from arrest,

The Current Law on DUI Expungements

Currently, in the state of Michigan, you cannot get a DUI conviction expunged from your criminal record. So, while the title of this article does give a reason for hope, it is still only a step towards the potential of DUI convictions being included in the list of convictions that you or someone you love may be able to finally expunge from a criminal record. Under current Michigan law, there are a few main categories of convictions that are not eligible for expungement, they include: iStock_000016894637_XXXLarge-2-300x200

DUI and other traffic convictions

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that the criminal defendant is entitled to a speedy trial. Without this right, criminal defendants could be held indefinitely under a cloud of unproven criminal accusations. The right to a speedy trial also is crucial to ensuring that a criminal defendant receives a fair trial. If too much time elapses between the charge and the trial, witnesses may die or leave the area, their memories may fade, and physical evidence may be lost. When our founding fathers came up with this concept, it is safe to say that they did not anticipate a national pandemic such as COVID-19. The battle of judicial economy and the factors of a speedy trial are on a collision course. The four factors that a court will examine when examining if the right to a speedy trial include: The length of the delay; the reason for the delay; the defendant bringing the assertion of the delay, and the defendant’s prejudice. To discuss these factors, we spoke to several of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state of Michigan and gathered their insight. 12736626-300x199

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates, which is known as the top criminal defense firm in Michigan. Grabel spoke of the length of delay when he said, “The jail can only hold a defendant in their facility for 180 days. If we are following this rule by the book, the 180 days can work to the defendant’s favor, but the rule is not always black and white.”

Joe Brugnoli is a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates and is known as the top criminal defense attorney in Kent County, Michigan. Brugnoli spoke of the reason for the delay, which is factor number two. Brugnoli stated, “As a defense counsel, you cannot have adjournments attributed to the defendant and then argue for a speedy trial. It would help if you strategized about this when you have a client charged with a capital case and cannot afford or has been denied a bond. Denial of bond does not mean the case is not winnable. The politics of bond arguments can play a large factor.”

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