Court of Appeals Upholds Conviction of Man Found Guilty of Operating Motor Vehicle While Having Controlled Substance in Body

Carlton Vur Adams of Hastings was found guilty in May of 2012 of operating a motor vehicle while having a controlled substance in his body, according to a news report at the Hastings Banner. Adams was also charged with operating a vehicle while having a controlled substance in his body causing death, however the jury acquitted him of those charges. The 63-year-old Hastings resident was sentenced to one year in jail, 60 months probation, drug court, and ordered to pay nearly $5,700 in court costs.

News reports indicate that Adams was charged in connection with a September 2010 accident involving the death of an individual riding a motorcycle; the motorcycle was allegedly traveling at speeds of about 100 MPH when it struck Adams’ vehicle as he was turning left onto a cross street on M-37.

Adams appealed the jail time handed down at sentencing, arguing that the trial court erred in calculating scoring points to determine the length of sentence. The Michigan Appeals Court disagreed, ruling that scoring points were accurately used in determining jail time for the offense by the local court. The appeals court said that the call was “close,” and that if Adams had not been operating his vehicle with intoxicants in his blood, he likely would have noticed the bright headlights of the motorcycle approaching, and would not have turned in front of it. Jeremy Easterbrook, driver of the motorcycle, died from injuries sustained in the accident. The appeals court said that ‘but for’ Adams’ act, the victim would not have died and the accident would not have occurred.

Court of Appeals Judges Jane E. Markey, Jane M. Beckering, and E. Thomas Fitzgerald heard the appeal; the court issued the ruling on November 19.

Those who are convicted of a criminal offense often believe that they have run out of options, and that the sentence given them is set in stone. In many situations there are solid grounds to appeal a conviction or sentence, although it is rare that the appeals court overturns a conviction or remands a case back to court for resentencing. The key to success in appealing is working with an experienced and dedicated Michigan criminal appeals lawyer who is highly familiar with the process, and known for securing good results.

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