Earlier this month, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a conviction against Kazem Hammoud, who was arrested for driving on a suspended license after he failed to signal that he was making a right-hand turn.
Hammoud was stopped by Dearborn police, and told the officer that his license had been suspended. However, prosecutors at trial failed to produce evidence that proved Hammoud had been formally notified of the license suspension. This resulted in the Michigan Court of Appeals throwing out the charge; Hammoud cannot be charged again for the same offense. The defendant had previously been sentenced by the district court to 24 months probation, and ordered to serve the first 30 days in jail.
Although Hammoud admittedly told the police officer who pulled him over that his license had been suspended, he argued to the appeals court that insufficient evidence was presented at trial to prove that he had been properly notified according to MCL 257.212. The appeals court agreed with Hammoud, due to lack of evidence that the defendant was notified of suspension of his license by the secretary of state via personal delivery, or through first-class United States mail.
Case files show that the appeals court found that “although the evidence showed the defendant had actual knowledge of the suspension, evidence of the defendant’s actual knowledge alone does not satisfy the element of notice required by MCL 257.904(1).” Essentially, prosecutors in the case did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hammoud received official notice of the suspension.
Michigan post-conviction appeals attorneys know that even though an individual has been convicted of a criminal offense such as driving with a suspended license, it does not mean that the defendant does not have other options. If you have been convicted of any crime including a violent offense, sex, theft, or drunk driving crime, discuss whether you may be able to file an appeal with an experienced and effective Michigan criminal appeals lawyer.