Retrograde Extrapolation Defense to OWI Charges

By | OWI Charges | No Comments

Retrograde extrapolation can be used to determine what someone’s blood alcohol content was at the time of driving by utilizing a mathematical equation. By using the BAC levels determined through blood or breath testing during the OWI investigation, time and other factors, a reasonable estimate can be made. Just as a prosecutor may use these calculations to prove that someone was intoxicated or impaired, a skilled and experienced OWI defense attorney can use the same calculations to create a reasonable doubt.

What Does Retrograde Extrapolation Mean to Me and My Drunk Driving Case?

Retrograde extrapolation” may sound like a fancy legal term that is hard to understand unless you are a lawyer or doctor, but despite its unusual name, it is actually a very simple idea. Retrograde Extrapolation, or RE, is a mathematical calculation. It is the rate at which a body eliminates alcohol multiplied by how much time has passed. In theory, this calculation can tell you what a person’s blood alcohol level (BAL) was at some time in the past.

Blood Testing in OWI Cases

As you can imagine, that is easier said than done. All people eliminate alcohol at different rates. Other factors also influence the elimination rate such as what and how much you had to eat, the type of alcoholic beverage you drank, your body size and the state of your overall health, just to name a few examples. Elimination rates even differ between men and women and people of different ages. The reason RE is permitted as a defense to OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) charges, despite these variables, is because medical research shows that there is enough of a percentage of the population that process alcohol similarly to make RE acceptable for evidentiary purposes in court. In other words, it has been decided that RE is a “good enough” and “reliable enough” way to argue a BAL was at a certain level at the time of driving.

Retrograde Extrapolation Can be Used as a Shield or a Sword

Although the prosecution frequently uses a retrograde extrapolation argument to prove that a defendant’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, the defense lawyer can also use the science as a defense. In many cases, the BAC of the defendant is rising and Retrograde Extrapolation can be used to raise a reasonable doubt about the level of the BAC at the time of driving.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

How Can a Great Criminal Defense Attorney Deal with Retrograde Extrapolation Evidence at Trial?

Due to the various rates of elimination and the different factors which impact it, an expert is needed to explain RE to the jury for the prosecution. A defense attorney will also want their own expert to challenge the analysis of the prosecutor’s expert, and provide their own estimation of what the BAL was at the time of the driving. At very least, the defense attorney will need to hire an expert to explain the prosecutor’s expert’s RE estimation of BAL so that the defense attorney will be able to effectively cross-examine the prosecutor’s expert.

If the defendant has a court-appointed attorney, typically such attorney will need to ask the court for special expense costs to hire such an expert. Often times the court will be reluctant to spend public funds on an expert witness in OWI cases. The prosecution has virtually no limit to what they can pay to get the best experts available. Many times, these cases end up being a “battle of the experts” and the lawyer’s ability to make the most of the expert’s testimony can be the single deciding factor in the success or failure of the defense.

The government will almost always have a prosecutor with vast experience handling OWI cases. There are no court appointed lawyers who exclusively handle OWI or DUI defense. That is why it is so important to have a reputable, highly experienced retained criminal defense attorney on your side in a drinking and driving case. He or she will know who the best experts are in the field, and will know how to utilize them to get you every possible advantage. In fact, once a lawyer gets a reputation for successfully defending these cases, prosecutors will start to offer deals to make cases “go away” rather than litigate a tough issue before a jury.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorneys to Rebut Retrograde Extrapolation Arguments

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties and throughout all Southeast Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

 

Using False Information to Obtain a License to Purchase a Pistol

By | Purchase a Pistol, Using False Information | No Comments

Using false information to obtain a license to purchase a pistol can be a felony or misdemeanor offense. The best defense to a firearms charge is an aggressive, experienced and successful criminal defense attorney.

What Are the Rules for Obtaining a Pistol License?

In Michigan, a person wishing to purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol must first apply for and obtain a license for that pistol. The chief of police or the sheriff with policing authority over the residence of the applicant shall issue a pistol license with “due speed and diligence” unless he or she has probable cause to believe that the applicant would be a threat to himself or herself or to other individuals or would commit an offense that would violate Michigan or Federal law. There are a number of conditions that would qualify as a reason to deny a license, but essentially, unless the police authority has a valid, affirmative, demonstrable reason to deny one, the police authority shall issue a license.

False Information to Obtain a License to Purchase a Pistol

The reasons for someone being denied a license are rooted in logic and common sense. For example, anyone who has been adjudged mentally ill, or is the subject of a personal protection order, or is a convicted felon who is a danger to himself or others, may be denied a license. Convicted felons may be issued a license if 3 years have passed since his last obligation to the state has been completed (payment of fines and costs, and completion of all conditions of parole or probation) or 5 years if the crime they were convicted of was a “specified offense” (threatening use of force, unlawful possession or distribution of firearms, manufacturing or delivery of controlled substances, use of explosives, burglary of an occupied dwelling, or arson). Convicted felons must first petition for and be granted an “Order for Restoration of Rights” from the circuit court of the county in which they reside.

A person must be 18 years old to buy a pistol from a private seller, and must be 21 years old to by a pistol from a registered dealer. A person must also be a resident of Michigan and able to prove it with a driver’s license or a state identification card or be registered to vote in Michigan.

Misdemeanor and Felony Violations of the Firearm’s Licensing Law

Sometimes, a person may be accused of trying to get around the licensing rules if they are disqualified from getting a license legally as explained above. Michigan permits prosecution of anyone who intentionally provides false information on an application to obtain a license to purchase a pistol. If someone intentionally makes a factually false statement in his or her application, that action constitutes a felony punishable by 4 years in prison and a $2,000.00 fine or both. If someone uses or attempts to use false identification or someone else’s identification to purchase a firearm, such action constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail or a fine of $100.00 or both.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Why is the Penalty So Much Larger for Making a False Statement Than for Using False Identification?

The law penalizes people more harshly who make false statements in an application because it is assumed that the applicant deliberately is hiding the fact that they are not eligible to purchase a pistol. In other words, they are legally barred from purchasing a pistol. Lying on an application on a formal state application is a deliberate attempt by a non-eligible person to obtain a pistol, and that, at least in theory, is a higher level of criminal activity. The latter is similar to committing perjury, hence, the more serious penalty. In some cases, a defendant may be charged with lying, the felony, even though the use of incorrect information was accidental or inadvertent. A great defense lawyer can help the prosecutor and judge see that a mistake was made and the error was not intentional.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Misdemeanor and Felony Firearms Defense Attorneys

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Michigan. We have successfully represented countless clients in felony and misdemeanor firearms charges. Our defense attorneys have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest possible quality advice and defense. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)

By | Residential Drug Abuse Program | No Comments

What is RDAP?

The Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) is a program in the federal prison system (Federal Bureau of Prisons) which attempts to educate federal inmates on the various methods of becoming and staying sober. It is one of the most intensive of any prison-based programs. It is thought that if inmates can refrain from drug use, they will pose a smaller threat of future criminal activity, and will be better inmates while they are still in prison. There is no Michigan, state prison RDAP program.

Prison employees involved with RDAP are highly trained and are trained on a continuous basis as new theories and treatment tactics are developed world-wide. The treatment program includes not just education about the ways to prevent relapse, but also involves job training, mental and physical health education and treatment, and familiarization with adjusting to a healthy, crime and drug free lifestyle. In short, the RDAP’s goal is to return inmates to society in as good a position as possible so that the inmate will have the basic positive skills necessary to enable them adjust to their re-entry into society smoothly and successfully.

Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)

Studies have shown that the all-volunteer RDAP has produced excellent results in line with their goals. The 500-hour, 9-month, 3.5-hour-per-day program is available to inmates who will be in prison for at least that long. In addition to learning valuable, perhaps life-saving skills, the inmates in RDAP who successfully graduate from the program are given a 1-year reduction in their sentences.

RDAP is composed of three individual stages. The first is the 500-hour program described above. The second stage is where the inmate has graduated from the first stage but is still an inmate in the prison. In this second stage, RDAP personnel understand that being in the prison general population is a high-risk situation for the inmate. Accordingly, the stage-one graduates are monitored carefully, and follow-up treatment sessions and activities are provided to the inmate.

The third stage of RDAP is after the inmate has been released to a half-way house or confined to a private home. This stage is known as the Transitional Drug Abuse Treatment (TDAT) stage. During this stage, the released inmate will attend group therapy sessions which groups normally are composed of other RDAP graduates.

How Does an Inmate Get Into RDAP?

As can be imagined, many inmates would like to get into RDAP. This fact caused a huge waiting list to develop, comprised of many thousands of inmates. In 2009, the qualifications for admission into RDAP were altered and significantly tightened, and now it is far harder to get into the program. Only about 10% of inmates who want to get in actually get admitted. So, the waiting list issue has been “resolved,” but only because far fewer inmates are now eligible.

It is important to know that certain documentation (a doctor’s diagnosis, repeated drug or alcohol-related convictions, documented withdrawal episodes, etc.) must end up in the possession of the RDAP screeners for an inmate to even be considered for the program. All applicants must have some kind of official, medical diagnosis for a substance use disorder; a “substantiated diagnosis for a substance use disorder.” Alcohol is considered a “drug” for purposes of RDAP. You do not have to be a convicted drug dealer or user to get admitted. There are certain crimes that will automatically disqualify an inmate, but if you have not committed one of those offenses (murder, arson, rape, kidnapping, etc.) and you are a documented, habitual substance user, and are within 48-60 months of release, you are eligible. There is no “right” to be admitted.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Can a Lawyer Help Get Me Into RDAP?

Yes, if you have the right lawyer. But even with a federal judge’s order to place you into RDAP, the order will simply be ignored by the Bureau of Prisons if your documentation does not establish that you have a substance use disorder. Inmates have headed off to serve their sentence, comfortable in their belief that their paperwork or the crime they were convicted of would surely be satisfactory to get into RDAP. Many inmates have been met with a regrettable surprise when they get to prison and are told that they are not eligible because the documentation of their substance use was either missing, not complete, or was inaccurate.

Some attorneys, naively, habitually wish to downplay the drug and alcohol issues their clients have, thinking it will help in getting a lighter, less onerous sentence. Therefore, many times a court file and presentence report will be missing valuable information about addiction that could greatly assist a person getting into RDAP. Ironically, attorneys who are unfamiliar with the rules regarding RDAP admission actually fight quite hard at times to keep addiction-related documentation out of the case, and the all-important case file. RDAP screeners rely heavily on the case file to determine whether to admit someone to RDAP.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

An astute, well-seasoned criminal defense attorney will understand that in some cases, substance addiction should actually be emphasized. For instance, if an attorney knows that the client is going to do significant time in prison, and that the client has a substance abuse history, he or she should do everything possible to get as much documentation of the substance abuse issue into the case file and the presentence report.

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle a case according to the best interests of the client, including laying the foundation for a smooth transition into programs such as RDAP. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Firearms Rights Restoration Attorneys in Michigan

By | Firearms Rights Restoration | No Comments

If My Rights to Purchase and Possess a Firearm Have been Revoked, Can My Rights be Restored?

Yes, they can be, in certain circumstances. Michigan law provides certain circumstances under which firearms rights may be restored, even if you have felony convictions on your record. The time you must wait to petition the county circuit court for restoration of your rights depends upon the crimes you were convicted of. A circuit judge must find by a standard of clear and convincing evidence that you meet all of the requirements of the restoration statute.

Getting Your Gun Rights Restored

The general rule in Michigan is that people convicted of certain crimes (felonies and certain misdemeanors such as Domestic Violence) are prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm or ammunition. However, Michigan law permits people who have convictions to petition the circuit court in the county in which they reside for a restoration of their rights after a certain amount of time. Exactly what crime you were convicted of determines how long you must wait to petition the court for restoration. And if you have had your conviction expunged or set aside, the wait times do not apply to you, and you should be able to have firearms and ammunition unless the expungement order specifically states that you may not have firearms or ammunition despite the expungement.

What Do I Have to Do and How Long Do I Have to Wait to File a Petition?

There are two types of felonies which are addressed by the law. The first group is felonies of any kind which carry a maximum 4-year prison penalty. With 4-year felonies, you must wait 3 years after you have paid all fines and costs, served all of the jail time imposed, and completed all conditions of probation or parole. In these cases, your right to possess firearms under Michigan law is automatically restored; however, your rights under federal law are not restored. Many people elect to go through court for restoration even if their rights have been automatically restored so that they can have a court order proving their restoration and to keep with their firearm. This can prevent an arrest by an uninformed police officer or having to defend a felony charge in court.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney - Ratings & Awards

The second, sub-category of felonies are called “specified felonies.” These are felonies which are especially serious and the legislature decided to make the wait longer. These specified felonies are those where: 1) an element of the felony is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against a victim, 2) an element of the felony is manufacturing, delivering, or possession with intent to deliver controlled substances, 3) an element of the felony is the unlawful possession or distribution of a firearm, 4) an element is unlawful use of an explosive, 5) the felony is burglary of an occupied dwelling or breaking into the same.

If you are convicted of a “specified felony,” you must wait 5 years to petition the court for restoration of your firearm rights. You also must have paid all fines and costs, served all of the jail time imposed, and completed all conditions of probation or parole.

Do I need an Attorney to Petition the Court for a Restoration of My Firearm Rights?

You don’t technically have to have an attorney to petition the court, but as a practical matter, the law is complicated, and you would have a slim chance of succeeding on your own. There are many items you must have in your petition according to the statute, and if any of them are missing your petition will be denied. Courts are very leery to begin with of restoring the firearm rights of convicted felons. It is not a stretch of the imagination to think that courts may in some cases be looking for a reason to deny your petition. And if you say the wrong thing in court, you may torpedo your chances on the spot, even if you filed and pleaded all the right things. And if you are not successful, and you end up violating the law, the penalty is a felony punishable by 5 years in prison or $5,000.00 or both. It is really worth the expense of hiring a lawyer with experience in restoring your rights.

There is No Federal Firearms Restoration

Restoration of your firearms rights under Michigan law is not recognized by the federal government. This means that even though your rights to possess firearms under Michigan law may have been restored, you can still be prosecuted by the federal government for being a felon in possession of a firearm. For those individuals who seek and obtain restoration, they would not want to be in the possession of a firearm at any time they may potentially have contact with federal law enforcement. Even a state law enforcement officer can refer someone for prosecution by the federal government under certain circumstances. Additionally, you will not be able to legally purchase a pistol in Michigan because you will not be able to get a purchase permit, which requires passing a federal firearms background check.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Firearms Rights Restoration Attorneys

You definitely do not want to hire just any lawyer to file your petition. You do not want to hire a real estate lawyer or personal injury lawyer, for example, to file for you. Although they may do an adequate job, the operative words are “may” and “adequate.” You want an expert attorney who is well-trained in criminal law to handle your petition. Why a criminal lawyer? Because the laws governing firearm restoration are criminal-law-based laws.

The cost in terms of legal fees for firearms rights restoration cases generally starts at $3,500.00.

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality representation and for being among the most persuasive advocates. We can guide you expertly and seamlessly through the firearm restoration process. If $3,500 is within your budget as a retainer, call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Court Appointed Attorney

What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

By | Criminal Defense Detroit MI | No Comments

What Makes a Highly Respected, Great Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The role of a defense lawyer is to protect the legal interests of his or her client and to advise and counsel a client during a pending case. This role encompasses all aspects of a client’s interests. A defense lawyer must step in between the government and the client and make sure the government acts properly and follows the rules and does not trample on a defendant’s rights. A defense lawyer should never shrink from a fight with the government, and must have the guts to go to bat for a client who is virtually helpless against the government without the lawyer. The government has almost unlimited resources, and without a fearless lawyer by his or her side, the government would be able to easily overwhelm a defendant. In short, the defense lawyer’s job is obtain the best possible result for the client including getting all charges dismissed if possible and doing what ever is necessary to help the client avoid jail or prison.

I’m Accused of Doing Something Pretty Bad. Will my Lawyer Still Do His or Her Best?

It is natural and human for a defense attorney to sometimes have an aversion to the alleged crime committed by a client. But the best lawyers know how to put that aside and do their best even for a client that may have done something wrong. In fact, the putting aside personal feelings comes naturally to the best lawyers, and they really don’t even have to think about it. Everyone has heard the familiar question put to attorneys: How can you defend someone like that? The answer hopefully given by a reputable and top-rated attorney is: That’s my job, and I have no problem with it. The best attorneys never internalize the alleged crime or harbor resentment against a client.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

A seasoned defense attorney has seen clients who have made terrible mistake. On the other hand, any experienced defense lawyer knows that prosecutor’s frequently try to gain an unfair advantage in court, police officers often exaggerate evidence or hide favorable facts, and judge often take sentences to the extreme and ignore mitigating facts. In any case, a great lawyer can find a way to fight for and protect each and every client, regardless of the allegations.

Why Are Lawyers Called Attorneys and Counselors?

Attorneys are more than people who fill out forms and file documents with the court. Of course, this is part of it, but as the title indicates, attorneys are also supposed to be the most trusted counselor and advisor a defendant can have. The best attorneys give moral support and comfort to people who are in perhaps the most difficult time of their lives, possibly facing jail and a loss of their reputation and their employment; maybe more. Doing a good job in court and fending off the government is what the public sees. What is unseen are the after-hours telephone calls, and the conversations giving comfort, hope, and advice on a personal level before and after the time in court. The attorney may communicate with the client’s family when the client can not communicate, and the attorney affirms the client’s humanity when the client feels the entire world is against them.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney - Ratings & Awards

Are Court-Appointed Attorneys as Good as Retained Attorneys?

There are many very good attorneys who take court-appointed cases. The question is whether they will spend the time and effort needed to do everything possible to defend a client in court and to counsel a client outside of court to the extent the client needs it. The answer is very often “no.” The attorney handling a court-appointed case has diminished resources compared to a retained attorney. They typically are not paid for many efforts they should be doing, such as doing thorough research on issues in the case, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining expert witnesses when they are needed, to name a few. Failure to do all that is necessary is a recipe for a bad result in court. Faced with a lack of funds and not being paid to do many critical tasks, a court-appointed attorney will naturally be tempted to arrange a plea bargain and wrap up the case quickly. This is not to say a court-appointed attorney will always “sell you down the river,” but it is true that they will be tempted to try to end the case as quickly as possible. This can never be in the client’s best interest. One thing is clear, the only way to chose the best lawyer for you is to hire someone privately.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys and Counselors

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Marijuana Defense Attorneys

By | Marijuana Laws | No Comments

Is Marijuana Really “Legal” Now?

Well, yes and no. Let’s say it is a lot more legal now than it was. Much has changed in Michigan law with regard to regulation of marijuana use and sales since the passage of the Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2018. The new laws took effect on December 6, 2018, and now anyone 21 years old or older may possess, use, transport, or process 2.5 ounces or less without state or local criminal jeopardy, with certain exceptions.

Marijuana Defense Attorneys

People may also grow up to 12 marijuana plants and store up to 10 ounces of the “crop” of grown marijuana in a locked container in their home. The marijuana being grown at home may not be visible to the naked eye to anyone in a public place, such as a sidewalk. Although marijuana sales are still not regulated or permitted, people may “share” or “transfer” up to 2.5 ounces to others who are at least 21 years old as long as the “sharing” or “transferring” is not advertised, done for money (i.e. sold), or publicly promoted.

What is Still Illegal or Otherwise Not Allowed?

It is still illegal to operate a car, boat, plane, ORV’s and snowmobiles under the influence of marijuana. This is much the same as with alcohol: it is not illegal to use it and then operate a vehicle of some kind, but you may not do so if you have had enough to impair your operation of the vehicle. Furthermore, smoking in public is still outlawed. Driving under the influence of marijuana is frequently called OWI or OWPD (operating with the presence of drugs).

It is also important to know that an employer may refuse to hire anyone who is found under the influence of marijuana or uses marijuana as allowed by the new law and may fire them if it becomes known that the employee has violated a company’s no-drug policies. Employers may also prohibit use of marijuana on company property. The new law does not change or limit any privileges, rights, immunities, or defenses covered by the Medical Marijuana Act.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney - Ratings & Awards

Private or public sales or “store-front” operations will not be allowed at least until December 6, 2019. The Michigan Legislature and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will decide when public sales are allowed and the rules for public sales. People wishing to engage in public sales must submit an application to the state to become a state-licensed retailer. Any sales by retailers will be taxed (10%). LARA is not obligated to issue any licenses until at least December, 2019.

Individual cities may still enact local ordinances and regulations which do not directly contradict the new law, but understanding exactly what activities are permitted is complicated. For example, cities may enact rules governing sales, licensing, annual fees for stores, the store location, the number of stores allowed, security measures and advertising methods, to name just a few. Fines for these violations may be imposed, and some of the local rules (and even the new law) include criminal penalties.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Understand the New Law?

It is true that marijuana is “more” legal than it was, but many people have gotten the idea after passage of the new law that “marijuana is legal” and they think they are essentially free to act any way they see fit. However, this simplistic approach can get you into trouble. Don’t think that because some things have changed that everything has changed. What is said above is only a basic summary of the more important points to know. The law covers many other activities and if you intend to be involved with marijuana, especially with regard to future sales or growing, you owe it to yourself to speak to an expert criminal lawyer about additional rules. The new rules are somewhat complicated, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor involving marijuana or any type of drug, don’t take chances with your future, your employability, or your driver’s license, you need the best lawyer you can get to defend and protect you!

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Consult the Best Top-Rated Criminal Defense Law Firm to Advise You on Marijuana Laws

At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our highly experienced and successful defense lawyers can guide you through the new law and what remains of the old law. If you are charged with any kind of criminal offense, we can help you!

Our dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. If you are charged Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Stalking Defenses Michigan – Why You Need a Great Criminal Attorney to Defend You

By | Stalking Charge Defense | No Comments

Stalking Defenses in Michigan and Why You Need a Great Criminal Attorney to Defend You

Stalking is a very serious charge, and one which can ruin your life if you are convicted of it. You need a highly experienced criminal defense attorney to defend against a staking charge. Judges and prosecutors will take these cases very seriously and your only hope is to do the same.

Stalking Defenses Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Misdemeanor Stalking Charges in Michigan

To prove Stalking, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed two (2) or more separate unwanted contacts which would make a reasonable person suffer emotional distress because they felt terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

Stalking can include: following or approaching someone, appearing at someone’s home or workplace, calling someone on a phone, sending email, texts, or mail to someone, or even leaving items on someone’s property. Stalking is a misdemeanor, and carries a jail term of 1 year in jail.

Aggravated Stalking is a Felony and Carries a Possible Five (5) Year Prison Sentence

To prove Aggravated Stalking, the prosecutor must prove that a defendant committed all the acts listed above for Stalking, and in addition to those acts also violated a court order, or violated a restraining order, or committed the acts against someone they’ve lived with or someone in their family. Aggravated Stalking can also be charged is the alleged victim is a person under 18 years of age, and the defendant was 5 or more years older than the victim at the time of the offense. Without expert criminal defense representation, jail and prison are often sentences imposed by judges in these cases.

How Can an Experienced Defense Attorney Defend Against a Stalking Charge?

An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to challenge a Stalking charge. A defense will depend upon which type of actions a defendant allegedly committed. If it involves calling, texting, or emailing threats, for example, a highly experienced attorney will know how to obtain phone records and establish that you did not and/or could not have made the calls based upon records from the phone company or through a defense such as an alibi. If it involves following someone, again, your attorney can establish an alibi defense or if you did cross paths with a complainant, that it was mere coincidence and not intentional. A good lawyer can often show that the prosecutor is mischaracterizing an inadvertent or accidental contact.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

A more complex defense that only an experienced criminal defense attorney would know to raise and how to raise is to bring out testimony from the complainant proving that there was no real intent to frighten, threaten, harass or terrorize the complainant. This may involve establishing the complainant is a “hyper-vigilant” or maybe even a paranoid person through artful cross-examination. A seasoned criminal attorney also will know a number of experts in psychology who can testify that based upon the facts, the complainant was over-reacting or imagining things when they felt frightened, threatened, harassed or terrorized.

Another strong defense would be if your attorney could bring out testimony from the complainant or other witnesses that establishes the complainant is actually lying. A complainant may have many reasons for lying, and a reputable, experienced attorney knows how to show that a complainant is lying and what motives there may be for them lying. Motives could include extortion, a spurned lover situation, a desire to ruin someone’s reputation, cause them to lose a job, or a desire to negatively impact someone’s life for any imaginable reason.

Finally, in cases where the defendant cannot avoid a conviction, a seasoned, skilled defense lawyer may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges or persuade the judge not to impose jail or prison as a sentence.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Top-Rated Defense for Stalking or Aggravated Stalking Charges

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Does a Juvenile Adjudication Count as a Prior For Purposes of Expungements?

By | Expungements | No Comments

An Experienced, Reputable Criminal Defense Attorney Can Ensure Juvenile Adjudications Will Not Interfere with an Adult Felony or Misdemeanor Expungement Motion

What Are Expungements and Do I Need a Lawyer?

Expungements are a clearing of your public criminal record. Although it is possible to attempt to expunge your record by yourself, it is not a good idea because most people are not successful without an experienced attorney and if you lose, you cannot try again for years. The expungement process is somewhat complicated and if the filings and procedures are not done perfectly it is unlikely you will be successful. Suffice it to say, you will wish for three years you had hired a good lawyer to handle it properly in the first place.

Michigan’s current expungement law states that a person with no more than 1 felony conviction and no more than 2 misdemeanor convictions may petition a court to expunge the felony conviction. If a person has only two misdemeanor convictions they may petition the court to expunge both misdemeanors. A person may only attempt one expungement, and expungements are not a right; whether an expungement is granted rests in the discretion of the judge. The judge will consider a person’s behavior since the conviction, as well as public welfare.

The law requires that 5 or more years have passed since the (1) Imposition of Sentence, (2) Completion of Probation, (3) Discharge from Parole, or (4) Completion of Jail Term, whichever comes last.

There are certain types of crimes that cannot be expunged whether they are misdemeanors or felonies. These include any crimes that carry a life penalty, certain sex crimes, child abuse, terrorism, human trafficking, felony domestic violence, using the internet/computer to commit a crime, and traffic crimes.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney - Ratings & Awards

Juvenile Court “Adjudications” and What Adjudication Means

If a case has been prosecuted through the juvenile court, the end result is not technically a “conviction.” It is called an “adjudication.” So, if you have a juvenile adjudication, will it count as a “prior conviction” in your expungement application? An experienced, seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to explain to a judge that the answer is “no”!

The expungement statute, as described above, contemplates only prior adult convictions, not adjudications. In fact, there is no such thing as a juvenile “conviction.” Michigan cases on the subject have repeatedly stated that juvenile adjudications are not convictions. In addition, there is a separate law in Michigan which deals with juvenile adjudications. This makes it even more clear that juvenile adjudications are not applicable under Michigan’s separate, adult expungement statute.

Even though the law is clear, judges and prosecutors frequently take a position that a prior juvenile adjudication does or should prevent an expungement. An aggressive and zealous lawyer will stand up to prosecutors who try to stretch the law or judges who are inclined to deny an expungement based on a juvenile record.

What if I had a charge was already dismissed, under advisement or expunged?

In Michigan, certain offenses can be dismissed by operation of a statute. This is common in cases of drug possession, domestic violence, and in the case of youthful offenders. People often incorrectly refer to these dismissals as expungements. Under Michigan law, these dismissed cases still may count as convictions under certain circumstances. The definition of “misdemeanor conviction” now includes felony and misdemeanor convictions deferred or dismissed under certain liquor code provisions, drug court diversions (like 7411), veterans court diversions, Holmes Youthful Training Act (HYTA), domestic violence diversion (769.4a), parental kidnapping diversion and others. Having a prior case dismissed by operation of a court rule or statute does not preclude an expungement but it may make things more challenging.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Top-Rated Expungement Attorneys in Michigan

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges and have successfully obtained expungements for numerous clients in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw and Livingston counties and throughout southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. A lawyer needs to understand how important the result is for the client’s life and fights for the client accordingly. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you regarding misdemeanor or felony expungement.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

How Do I Get Rid of an Arrest Warrant in Michigan?

By | Arrest Warrant | No Comments

There are only three ways to deal with an arrest warrant: appear for arraignment, pay a bond when it is available, or seek to have the warrant set aside or dismissed.

How Do I Get Rid of an Arrest Warrant in Michigan

What Should I do if I find Out There is a Warrant Out for My Arrest?

First of all, don’t panic or run away. A warrant is not the end of the world and there are various ways to get the warrant set aside. Any time there is a criminal charge that results in a warrant, the situation is serious and the assistance of a reputable, seasoned and experienced lawyer can make a huge difference. You should understand that if there is a warrant out for your arrest on a felony or misdemeanor charge, the warrant will never go away. Why should you deal with an open warrant? Because someday, perhaps when you least expect it (or least want to deal with it), the police will either show up at the door of your home, or show up at your place of employment, or pull you over while you are driving down the road. They will handcuff you, put you in the back of a police car, and take you to jail. This is a circumstance that can cost you your job, mortify your family, alienate friends, and cause you obvious great inconvenience and expense.

Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Protect me from Being Arrested?

Yes. Once you hire an experienced, respected criminal defense attorney, he or she will know exactly what to do to prevent a surprise arrest. If you find out there is a warrant out for your arrest and you contact the police, they may act friendly and agree to let you turn yourself in, but in a good percentage of times they will speak to you just to determine where you are, and then come out and arrest you. The police have no legal obligation to fulfil a promise not to come out and arrest you at once. A lawyer can appear with you in court and persuasively argue for a low or personal bond. A personal bond is one that does not require the posting of any money.

What Can a Defense Attorney Do or Say That I Can’t?

If you have not yet been arrested, an attorney can call the police and tell them you have a retained attorney. This alone will dramatically reduce the risk of being arrested by surprise and will likely nullify the risk altogether. Your attorney, if experienced and astute, will not only call the police, but will also send an email or fax to the police telling them that you have a retained attorney. If this is done, a surprise arrest is almost certainly not going to happen, and the police are not allowed to question you. The lawyer may also be able to arrange for you to be able to post a bond as an alternative to personally appearing. In those cases where you must appear, the lawyer can schedule an appearance with the court and appear with you and on your behalf. You should never, never appear for an arraignment without an attorney if possible.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

If I am Arrested Before I Hire an Attorney, Will That Somehow Hurt Me in Court?

Probably. If you have not hired an attorney, and you are brought into court in handcuffs (seemingly against your will) you will appear to the judge as being someone who perhaps wanted to avoid facing the charges. This can be the appearance even if it is not true. Remember, the judge does not know you and he will not give you the benefit of the doubt or assume you are a good person. All the judge will see is a person in handcuffs and escorted by a court or police officer. If you come into court voluntarily and with a retained attorney, the judge will immediately understand that you took it upon yourself to do the right thing, and that you are willing to face the charges. A skillful and zealous lawyer will be in the best position to convince the judge that you should not remain incarcerated while the case goes through court.

If you are alone, you may think you know what to tell the judge to help yourself, but in actuality, you do not. You could end up hurting yourself greatly. And remember, you will not have a court-appointed attorney with you at this point. The first time you could see a court-appointed attorney may be when he visits you in jail or, worse when he shows up at your pretrial conference or trial.

You Need a Top-Rated, Highly-Respected Criminal Defense Attorney with You When You Turn Yourself In

The top-rated attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are known by all judges in Michigan as being not only knowledgeable and fierce advocates for their clients, but they are also known as being trustworthy and highly reputable. They are whom you want by your side when you walk into court to address a warrant.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Possible Defenses in Criminal Cases – Part III

By | Defenses in Criminal Cases | No Comments

If Charged with A Crime, You Need an Experienced, Passionate Defense Attorney Who Knows All the Possible Defenses, And One Who Is Not Afraid to Vigorously and Aggressively Present These Defenses. You Need an Attorney Who Is Not Afraid to Win.

Any defendant charged with a felony or misdemeanor is presumed to be innocent unless the prosecution proves him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether at trial or in negotiations for a misdemeanor, a defendant has a right to present a defense. In Michigan, there are many defenses available in a criminal case and an experienced and successful defense lawyer will know how to analyze a client’s situation and build the strongest possible defense.

The thing that separates a good defense attorney from a great defense lawyer is the time, energy and skill put into proactively developing a defense and taking the steps necessary to admit that defense effectively at trial. If a prosecutor sees a defense attorney building a credible defense, he or she may elect to simply dismiss all charges rather than lose a bogus charge at trial.

In this three-part series, we will review for you the following defenses:

Consent as a Defense

There are many reasons why a consensual sexual encounter can turn into an allegation of sexual assault. In some cases, people are caught in affairs and decide to claim “rape” to avoid problems with a spouse. In other cases, an impromptu and unplanned sexual encounter can turn sour and then a claim of assault is made out of retribution. There are many scenarios whereby a voluntary sexual act might later be falsely claimed as an attack. These cases are always very complex to defend because there is usually physical evidence that a sexual act took place. The question is one of consent and if a jury finds that the alleged victim actually and voluntarily agreed to engage in sexual relations, the defendant must be found not guilty! An experienced defense lawyer will know what evidence to look for and what proofs will be most compelling to the prosecutor when seeking dismissal or to a jury when the defense is fighting for an acquittal at trial.

The Statute of Limitations Can Result in Dismissal

The statute of limitations can be very confusing, even for many lawyers. Generally, the statute of limitations in Michigan for most ordinance violations, misdemeanors and felonies is 6 years. This means that charges must be filed within 6 years, not that the defendant has to be arrested within that time frame. There are other crimes that have 10-year limitation and some offenses punishable by life in prison are not subject to any statute of limitations. To make matters more complicated, offenses committed against minors may not have limitations that start until the child turns 18. In addition, if the defendant leaves Michigan, any time out of the state is not included in the time calculations.

Abandonment and Withdrawal as a Defense

When a person is charged with a criminal offense, he may be able to successfully argue that he is not guilty if he voluntarily abandoned his effort to commit the crime or took steps to prevent it from taking place. This defense can also be a partial defense in the sense that a defendant who starts to commit a crime but then voluntarily and completely withdraws before it is completed may be guilty of an attempted offense, but not the actual completed crime. This can reduce possible punishment and a prosecutor who sees that a defendant voluntarily withdrew from a crime may be more flexible in plea negotiations.

Actual Innocence (mistake, accident, lack of intent, etc…)

A defendant may not have done anything wrong or illegal. Every felony and misdemeanor has elements or parts that the prosecution must prove. If one of the parts is factually unsupportable, the defendant is not guilty. For most crimes, the defendant must have intended to commit the crime. If the act was a mistake or accident, the defendant is simply innocent and the case should be dismissed or he should be acquitted at trial. Shockingly, many lawyers who are afraid to fight take measures to scare and manipulate a client to take a plea bargain even if that person is totally innocent. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will never push an innocent client to take a plea and we will fight to defend you against any odds. If you are innocent, lets go for the win in court if the prosecutor will not agree to dismiss the charge.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorneys Specializing in Felony and Misdemeanor Representation

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is Michigan’s premier and highly respected defense law firm. We have an unparalleled record of successfully defending clients charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses in state and federal court. When there is no room for errors and false promises and you need someone to fight for you like family, call us for help. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality, aggressive representation.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.