St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Roadside Sobriety Test

Roadside Sobriety Tests are Legally Admissible In Court

Roadside Sobriety TestMichigan drivers beware: Lawmakers have worked quickly to ensure that roadside sobriety tests can once again be used as evidence in court. The new legislation counteracts legislation enacted last year that had the unintended side effect of making these types of tests inadmissible in drunk driving cases, thus dramatically increasing the difficulty of earning a drunk driving conviction.

Public Act 315 of 2014 established new guidelines for enforcing drugged driving, making the existing laws tougher. However, this law also created a situation in which the legitimacy of field sobriety tests could be directly challenged. Says Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt, “It created an ambiguity in the statute where defendants are claiming, and an ever increasing number of judges across the state are accepting, that this renders all evidence of field sobriety tests inadmissible at trial.”

Legislators insist that the changes were completely accidental, and that it was not the legislature’s goal to weaken existing drunk driving enforcement. Thus, they were able to rapidly pass new legislation that once again affirms the use of roadside sobriety tests as evidence during court proceedings. An experienced and reputable Berrien County DUI attorney is your best ally when it comes to navigating current laws and in determining if the quick pace of the legislation might have some bearing on your case.

If you are stopped for drunk driving and a roadside sobriety test was performed, it is important that you have an attorney on your side who can defend your rights in court and work with you to find the best possible outcome. DUIs can be expensive and can impact your driving record for life if you handle them improperly. Thus, it is vital to work with a prominent Berrien County DUI attorney to forge ahead accordingly.

For further information or inquiries please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.

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Michigan Sex Offender Law

Parts of Michigan Sex Offender Law Deemed Unconstitutional

Michigan Sex Offender LawMichigan’s Sex Offender Registry law establishes clear guidelines for convicted sex offenders on where they can live, where they can work, and where they are allowed to travel. However, it appears that portions of the law have been ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court Judge, citing issues with enforcing such guidelines and noting that certain ambiguities make it difficult for offenders to reasonably comply.

For example, the 1,000-foot school safety zone, which demands that sex offenders remain at least 1,000 feet from schools, leaves offenders wondering exactly where the safety zone begins and ends. In this case, the state of Michigan does not provide enough information to offenders to enable them to actually follow the restriction; thus, enforcing rules for sex offenders to avoid future infractions becomes difficult.

Other requirements struck down include a rule demanding offenders to report in person with any new email or instant messaging accounts along with any and all phone numbers they may use. According to the District Court, the law is so vague it leaves too much grey area for registrants to determine if they have adequately followed the law, and provides no guidance to law enforcement on how to deploy the law. Essentially, the judge ruled that many of the provisions of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry law are too complex and convoluted for a reasonably intelligent offender to interpret without further guidance.

The Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, has years of experience fighting for the rights of sex offenders and ensuring they’re treated fairly by the law. Rulings like this show that when it comes to those on the offenders list, the state isn’t very concerned with protecting constitutional rights. Working with an experienced and reputable sex offender attorney in Berrien County is a powerful step in ensuring your rights remain protected. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.

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