St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Drugged Driving Test

Proposed Legislation Would Allow Roadside Tests for Drugged Driving

Drugged Driving Test

With drunk driving on the decline and drugged driving on the rise, Michigan lawmakers have proposed legislation to curb these dangers on the road. Two laws passed in the Senate would allow police to conduct roadside saliva tests and make warrantless arrests based on their results. Both laws have stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Saliva Tests and Pilot Programs

A Michigan DUI defense attorney helps clients who have failed sobriety tests or refused to take tests when suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Senate Bill 207, which passed 29-9, would allow officers with special training to arrest someone based on the results of a saliva test combined with suspicion based on erratic driving and impairment. Most tests would be admissible in court when there is a challenge to an arrest’s validity.

Senate Bill 434, which passed the Senate 28-10, would establish a pilot program for the saliva tests in five Michigan counties. Over the course of one calendar year, police departments with one officer considered an expert in drug recognition would be eligible to enforce the law in their jurisdiction. Data from the arrests and challenges to the law would determine whether the law was rolled out for all of Michigan.

Fourth Amendment Concerns

Detroit lawmakers expressed concerns about citizens’ rights under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution when objecting to the law. A Michigan DUI defense attorney is used to protecting clients from warrantless arrest, and the laws in question bring up some of the issues defense attorneys have had with other sobriety tests.

In the case of the proposed laws, drivers who refused the tests could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, as they currently can from a failed preliminary breath test (PBT). The Senate sponsor of the law said the saliva tests would be conducted in the same fashion as a PBT. Commercial drivers who refuse the test and are guilty of a misdemeanor may have their driving privileges revoked.

If you have been arrested for drunk or drugged driving, you need an expert Michigan DUI defense attorney to guide you through your defense. Contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, for the best representation in the greater Southwest Michigan area. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.

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Juvenile Prosecution Policy

Reform for Juvenile Prosecution Policy Stalls in Michigan Legislature

Juvenile Prosecution Policy

Juvenile offenders charged with crimes in Michigan do not always face criminal prosecution. If they are placed on the juvenile consent calendar, no formal plea enters the court record and the offender may atone for the crime in a way the court deems appropriate for the circumstances. A bill aimed at setting rules for judges in these cases has stalled in the state legislature.

How the Juvenile Consent Calendar Works

When a defendant has record and/or the crime in question has not had a serious impact on the community, a juvenile defense attorney in Michigan may push for the case to be moved to the juvenile consent calendar. In this informal process, a judge may recommend rehabilitation, reimbursement to victims or other measures in order to keep the juvenile’s record free of criminal offenses.

No fingerprinting or pleas enter the court record. The calendar is in place so juveniles have a chance to correct mistakes made due to immaturity, thereby avoiding the early entry to the penal system that has affected many young offenders negatively. Ideas for reforming the calendar, which led to the bill that’s stalled in the Michigan House, came from the legal community.

New Rules for Judges in Juvenile Cases

A juvenile defense attorney works on behalf of defendants charged with crime to achieve the best possible resolution from legal proceedings. Sometimes, the best path forward involves the juvenile consent calendar. In the bill that came before the Michigan House, the prosecutor must agree with the juvenile and parent or guardian that the offense is appropriate for the consent calendar. Victims must also be notified.

If the offense is violent or otherwise considered better off in criminal court, the bill in the House would prohibit the case from being placed on the consent calendar. A Senate vote of 37-0 sent the bill to the House before it was tabled. A Cass County judge joined the Republican sponsor of the bill in hoping the bill would be taken up soon.

When in need of a defense attorney that is competent, experienced and respected, contact the highly sought after Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC. We have been helping clients successfully for over 45 years and are here to help. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.

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