6th Circuit Reverses Prison Sentence In United States v. Johnson Finding That Defendant Had Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Bedroom

A recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case, United States v. Johnson, evaluated police officers’ conduct when they conducted a “knock and talk” at a residence owned by the defendant’s mother-in-law. An anonymous caller told the police that the residents were in possession of marijuana and had a firearm. When a crime is committed in Michigan and the accused has a firearm, sentencing guidelines call for a two-year sentence at a minimum – in addition to any sentence associated with the underlying crime. If you face such charges, an experienced Michigan criminal defense firm can help prepare a compelling defense.

Here, the police went to the house and one of the residents opened the door. Although two women who lived at the home consented to a search, the defendant objected. One of the detectives then began to search the bedroom where the woman and the defendant stayed. Police officers discovered counterfeit money, 100 grams of marijuana, digital scales, computer equipment, media storage devices and a handgun.

If you are facing any Michigan criminal charges including drug crimes, fraud or weapons charges, it is important to speak to an aggressive Michigan criminal lawyer immediately to begin preparing your defense. In many situations, errors in police conduct may provide a defense to the charges.

Here a grand jury indicted defendant on charges of aggravated identity theft, possessing counterfeit securities and producing and possessing false identification documents. The defendant pled guilty but reserved the right to appeal his motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is used to challenge evidence obtained by law enforcement – it is often used when police officers violate an individual’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. A knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense attorney can determine whether it may be possible to file a motion to suppress in your case.

On appeal, the court determined that the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his bedroom and had objected to police searching his bedroom. As a result, the court found the search was unreasonable and the defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence should have been granted.


Many times, law enforcement makes mistakes when collecting evidence that may violate your constitutional rights. When they fail to follow proper procedures, the evidence collected may be thrown out – possible leading to charges being thrown out or reduced.

In some instances, a lower court may make an erroneous ruling and it may be possible to appeal a decision, which can significantly impact your future. An experienced Michigan criminal appeals attorney can review lower court decisions and determine whether grounds for appeals exist. Here, as the result of an appeal, the defendant’s sentence of 45 months in jail was reversed.

If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense – including accepting a plea bargain – your future will be affected. In order to reduce the consequences it is important to explore every defense opportunity with an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney.

For more information or if you have been charged with any Michigan criminal offense, please contact the experienced Michigan criminal defense law firm of Grabel & Associates for immediate attention.